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Samantha and Dave paint their mid-century house jadeite green

mid-century-house-after-painting-burma-jadehouse-before-paintingHere’s an inspiring story from readers – Samantha and Dave – who told beige to bite the dust and instead painted their Colorado bungalow / ranch a fabulous shade of Burma Jade — jadeite green — from the Sherwin-Williams Suburban Modern palette. A note on the brick detailing on this house. By the early 50s architects and builders were looking to create a “long and low” ranch house feel on designs of every ilk. Adding a half-wall trim like the brick that runs along the front of this house — and in some cases beyond, as in this house — accentuates the horizontal, even though this house appears to be pretty much a square box. A classic classic mid-century house design trick. Click thru for Samantha’s explanation of their journey.
She writes:
Hi, Pam,
Love, love, love your web site! I am writing to tell you our experience with using the Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern palette for our home’s exterior. Our house is a 1300 square foot ranch built in 1959 There are many classic midcentury modern houses in our neighborhood–some “cooler” than others; that is, some have bolder color choices and seem to stand out.
paint-your-ranch-house
Our house before painting was yellow with maroon trim. It has a brick facade that was originally pinkish-beige. We chose Burma Jade for the body of the house, and white for the trim. This was a classic combination according to the Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern palette. We also painted the brick facade white. When we finished, we received nice compliments from the neighbors. One woman who raised here family in the neighborhood said that it reminded her of when the neighborhood was first built. That was a big compliment, in our opinion! Some didn’t “get it.” One friend said it was an “old” color. Most people said that it went with the style of the neighborhood, so we chalked that one disparaging comment up to a matter of taste. The house looks amazing. We love the color and the fact that we don’t fit in with most of the brown and beige houses on our street.
paint-ranch-house
As for taking a courageous step…..it really was. We went through many color combinations before deciding to “go bold.” Initially, we wanted to use the beige color on the Suburban Modern palette, but when we tested it on the house, it looked pinkish. Not good. So after much discussion about colors, our “final” decision was white with the trim in Burma Jade. But then….we noticed that the house kitty corner from us was white with teal trim….a little too close to what we had in mind. So, at the last minute, we switched, deciding to go bold with Burma Jade as the body color and white as the trim. We love the way it turned out, even if some don’t get it.
Thanks again for your wonderful website. I am addicted!
Samantha and Dave
Thank you, Samantha and Dave,  for sharing your story. It will give courage to all of us who struggle with taking a bold step when it comes to color.


  1. Trase says:

    Love the Burma Jade, to the point where I am thinking I want to see about getting it mixed up as an interior color. It’s one thing seeing it on a sample chip, and QUITE another seeing it in use – your house looks DARLING – kudos to you, Samantha!

  2. Love, love, love the color!
    You’ve inspired me: I was thinking of a lighter turquoise or aqua for the body of our 1956 ranch, but that jadeite green is spectacularly successful. Great job!

  3. loumeigs says:

    That is fantastic! I love seeing people embracing color again! Kevin just agreed to repainting our house the other day, to a pale turquoise! Of course, it was between that and a salmony pink color, (a neighbors house has that color and I LOVE it!) so he decided that pink didn’t belong on that large a space and folded! Hooray!

  4. pam kueber says:

    I just want to agree again – this is a terrific color. I really want to find someplace in my house, although it might be too close to my aquamarine to add more blue/green.

    I also want to add: This is the 2nd time I’ve heard folks report disappointment with the beige in SW’s Suburban Modern exterior palette being too “pink” — like, “nude” pantyhose. I do recommend this color, though, for: Interior ceilings. I have it in my basement in all three finished rooms. My office has avocado walls/beige ceiling/narrow white trim. The rumpus room has original cherry paneling/beige ceiling. The guest room has Caribbean Coral walls/beige ceiling/white trim. All three look terrific. The beige ceiling keep the rooms feeling “warm”. In the rumpus room with the cherry paneling – the ceiling actually reads “white” without the harsh glare that actual white can sometime cause.

    Final note, I think the Pinky Beige in the interior palette would be good for kitchen cabinets. But I have not seen it used there, yet.

  5. Samantha says:

    Thanks to all for the positive comments! It is nice to know that there are so many people out there who love the midcentury modern style. I wanted to address the painting of the brick, since I know conventional wisdom says to never paint brick. I had to convince my husband Dave that painting the brick was a good idea for one reason and one reason only: the brick was UGLY. It wasn’t even real brick, but instead was that formed concrete “brick.” It doesn’t look bad in the “before” pic, but if you were standing on the sidewalk looking at the house, the brick looked terrible. There are houses in our neighborhood that have nice brick, and if our house had had a nicer style of real brick, I wouldn’t have even considered painting it. However, because it was so bad, I had no qualms. Also, our friends a couple of houses down have a white brick ranch with red trim, so I decided that the white brick would fit in with the neighborhood. I know that painting brick is some sort of sin in the world of home improvement, but the brick was so ugly that leaving it as is would have been worse. Again, thanks for all the wonderful comments. And Pam, thanks for the interesting details on 50’s brick facades. I always wondered why they did that!

  6. pam kueber says:

    All – I don’t have anything “against” cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. I am more in a “reporting” mode of saying that I don’t see them much in postwar homes. I can only speculate why. Thoughts: (1) cabinets were being mass produced, and manufacturers wanted to design a size that would fit well with all ceiling heights; (2) postwar kitchens were already much larger than previous kitchens so they provided ‘more’ space without having to take the cabinets to the ceiling; (3) the look is long and low – modern. And I will add (4): I had a kitchen once, in my 1912 house in Michigan, that had cabinets to the ceiling on one wall. Those shelves all the way at the top were not very useful, we’d stash stuff there and not touch it for years…Perhaps there are other places where kitchen extras can be stored, like a dining room buffet or china cabinet? In any case, all said and done: No single way needs to be prescribed – a room should be functional and make you happy, so apprise yourself of all the possibilities then choose what’s right for you.

  7. RetroRuth says:

    Love, love, love the improvement! While painting the inside of our ranch I kept looking at that color and thinking, “I really wish we could use this one.” Now I am totally thinking about it again! Thanks for the great inspiration, and congrats on an excellent, excellent job!

  8. Tikimama says:

    Love this color! I am going to keep this photo bookmarked for my exterior design file. I’m glad you explained the painting of the brick, Samantha, because that was my first thought when I saw the after photos. I love that you put so much thought into making your choices cohesive with the overall look of the neighborhood, too. I’m glad people are getting away from beige, and I’ve never understood why they are afraid of using color on their homes! Our first house was blue, second one was green, and I think this one will someday be a bluish-green! At least it’s white with blue trim for the time being, not yellow and brown! 🙂

  9. Dino Melfi says:

    The color does look great on your house. I live in a more traditional stucco/stone 1960 ranch. A friend wanted me to paint the stucco the burma jade, but I went safe with a brown (similar to the sycamore tan), but did do turquoise trim, and may do coral for the front door. The burma jade looks great on more modern styles like yours. I am glad to see more people appreciate these mid century houses.

  10. Amy says:

    The new colour definitely looks more in keeping with the style of the house, beige can be boring.

  11. Kayleigh says:

    Love the new colour! We are having our entryway door replaced and the contractors scraped somehow against the exterior paint and revealed this green. Going to look forward to bringing our house back to this colour.

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