Architect Changes His Spots

leopardI’ve heard a leopard cannot change his spots, but an architect can change the color of his house. I don’t know where the leopard idiom originated, but I know where the architect phrase originated. It’s an absolute in every architect-designed home, every architect-remodeled home and every home an architect ever lived in. Our architect-designed and architect-inhabited home is no exception. After five years of living, WishingRock is slowly changing colors like the seasons.

When we first built our home, I envisioned an environmental color palette. That’s archispeak for colors copied from the site. If you take a little time to observe landscape, it contains more colors than the proverbial earth-tones. Earth-tones suggest multiple shades of brown and maybe some green and blue, but I think a broader and more appropriate color spectrum is what I call the site-spectrum.

Within the site-spectrum naturally occurring at our homestead), there’s much more color than brown and green and that palette changes throughout the seasons. I observed predominant green, yellow, tan and purple during the changing seasons on this site and that’s the palette I chose for our home’s facelift.

Where did I observe these colors (it was not as some people assume an inebriated psychedelic vision)? I observed them in nature of course.

  • trees – our cedar and oak trees are deep green
  • stone – the naturally excavated stone we used contains yellow shades
  • adobe – the soil behaves and looks like tan adobe
  • flowers/grass – summer cactus flower and fall mountain grass contain purple hues

My next step was to select the paint. Modern marketers won’t allow a paint company to name colors green, yellow, tan and purple so I picked my colors from the Sherwin-Williams deep base color palette. Sherwin-Williams calls my colors:

  • artichoke (green) the walls
SW6179 – artichoke
  • baguette (yellow) the doors
SW6123 – baguette
  • sawdust (tan) the soffit/trim
SW6158 – sawdust
  • expressive plum (purple) the fascia
SW6271 – expressive plum

I selected them from color chips and samples because they were of similar value. Then I decided the purple should be a shade darker to transition between the bronze roof and other colors.

Obviously, I’m not the only one living in this home so I illustrated the home make over in a computer model to get teacher and prodigy approval. Now that I’ve started painting, I have partial approval from one and full approval from the other, but I won’t divulge who is a supporter until I progress.

Stay tuned to learn whether this leopard chose wisely!

2 thoughts on “Architect Changes His Spots

    • Ok, full supporter. Perhaps the paint fumes have clouded your recollection. That’s ok. I remember presenting computer color models, color chips and granting you color veto. You must have approved “Expressive Plum” or I would never have painted it.

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