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“Cool” Versus “Warm” Home Exteriors

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The popular question in the 1970s was “What’s your sign?” In today’s culture, that question has turned into “What’s your color?” According to national color expert Kate Smith, people tend to identify their personalities with specific colors, all of which fall into either the “warm” or “cool” classifications.

Cambridge blend of Bellaforte tiles on a home exterior. Cambridge blend of Bellaforte tiles on a home exterior. Image courtesy of DaVinci Roofscapes

“Just as a person may see themselves as having a ‘cool blue’ personality that is calm, confident, and in control, a home exterior also has a color personality,” says Smith, chief color maven and owner of Sensational Color. “A ‘cool’ home may feature blues, greens, and purples as the primary colors in the siding, entryway, and roofing. On the flip side, a ‘warm’ home exterior would have more focus on neutral colors plus hues in yellow, orange, and red.”

Smith recommends trying to match your own personality with the colors used on the home in order to create a cohesive living environment. “Start at the top of the house with a blend of colors in the roofing tiles to set the overall tone for the home,” says Smith. “Companies like DaVinci Roofscapes® offer unique multi-color blends in their synthetic slate and shake tiles to complement the home’s personality.

“For example, a Canyon blend of brown tones features dark mountain, medium autumn, and dark autumn colored slate roofing tiles that reflect a warm personality, while an Aberdeen blend includes dark gray, light brown, dark purple, green stone, and dark stone tile colors to mimic a cooler personality. You can then move down the house by picking up complementary colors for the second most visible aspect of the home --- its siding.

“There are wonderful accent variations within cool and warm color families that can contrast with the overall color scheme to provide visual balance on a home’s exterior. For instance, you could have a warm Cambridge blend Bellaforté roof on a home that includes light brown, medium brown, dark stone, and dark tan tiles matched up with neutral colored siding. Then, add a pop of a cooler color such as deep teal or hunter green for the shutters, trim, and front entryway. These accents are easy to achieve with low-maintenance building products that readily accept paint, such as Classic-Craft® Canvas Collection™ smooth, paintable fiberglass doors from Therma-Tru® and Fypon® urethane shutters and trim.”

What’s My Color?

For some homeowners, the challenge starts within. First they need to determine whether they have a cool or warm color personality before deciding on their home’s personality.

“If you are an outgoing individual who gets all you can out of life, holds a position that requires some form of leadership, and doesn’t tremble at the idea of public speaking, then you’re most likely a warm personality,” says Smith. “These people gravitate to the colors of tomato red, terra cotta, burgundy, or olive.

“However, if you are a trusted friend, volunteer in your community, lead by example, and are a natural peacemaker, then you’re likely to be a cooler color like navy, aqua, or forest green. Certainly there are different ‘ranges’ on the color spectrum, so it’s possible you --- and your home --- could be on the high end of the cool tone with a personality reflected more in shades of electric blue. Or you may be on the low end of the warm tones with a quieter, shy personality that is attracted to these hues for the warmth, strength, and energy they give you.

“There’s definitely a color for every person … the challenge is identifying that color and then reflecting it on the exterior of your home.”

Homeowners who are sometimes paralyzed with the fear of making the “wrong choice” for the color of a replacement roof can relax. The DaVinci Color Design Program includes an introduction to roofing colors and blends, a Color Design online tool, and personalized color consultation assistance.

DaVinci offers a wide spectrum of 49 warm and cool colors in shake and slate roofing tiles. The company also has 28 unique roofing color blends as standard options.

Last modified on Thu, Nov 08, 2012
DaVinci Roofscapes

DaVinci Roofscapes has manufactured award-winning polymer slate and shake roofing since 1999. The roofing tiles are virtually maintenance-free and far more cost-effective than the natural product. DaVinci leads the industry in tile thickness, tile width variety, and the greatest selection of subtle earth-toned colors. Company products have a 50-year limited warranty and are 100% recyclable. DaVinci proudly makes its products in the United States and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the Cool Roof Rating Council, and the U.S. Green Building Council. For additional information call 1-800-328-4624 or visit


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