Mary Shares 6 Steps and Bonus Tips For Selecting Exterior Paint Colors

This is the season for exterior projects. Springtime came late this year. I am hearing from my painter and contractor friends that their schedules are busy, busy, busy with exterior work. My phone has been ringing too...I love adding colors to enhance people's world. 

I'm happy to share with you the process that I go through to select exterior colors.

  1. Speak to the client on the phone to get a sense of their vision and goals. Look at house on Google Maps or Real Estate listing. 

  2. Drive around the neighborhood to get a feeling for the neighborhood vibe.  

  3. Meet the homeowners at their house. Dig deeper into their vision and goals.

  4. Walk all around the property with the clients, observe roof, pavers, landscaping, furnishing, decking, patio... in other words, everything that will effect the color selection.  

  5. Start picking colors based on steps 1. through 4. My goal is to select colors the clients will love, that will reflect their personalities...unique to them but not so far out there that they stick out like a sore thumb (unless of course, they want to...I'm game). Nor do I want the house to be ho hum and blend in looking just like every other house.

  6. I ALWAYS suggest that people paint samples. You may have heard or read this from me already...don't buy a ton of samples. That makes it more confusing! Narrow it down to one or maybe two. If you love it, you are done! If not, use what I call Goldilocks method or tweaking - Is it too dark or too light? Is it too bright or too dull? Is it too much of desired color or too little? You guessed it; we are looking for "IT'S JUST RIGHT"


  • Whenever possible, select your roofing, stones and other permanent fixtures before picking paint!
  • Don't select colors based on what you see online or in print.  Use the pics as a guide only!  
  • Don't ask too many people for their opinion.  The only opinion that counts is yours and your family's.
  • Don't cheap out on prep or paint.  This is one of the scenarios where you generally get what you pay for. 
Unique House in Safety Harbor, FL

Don't worry...this is quite unique which most likely may conger up an image of the people who live inside...yes, stereotyping but that is what we humans do...we send a message by our colors and style. There is nothing wrong with that. I am just trying to make a point that our homes should reflect ourselves. It is my guess and assumption this family has achieved that. Now I am curious if my mental image matches reality. Maybe when I go back to Safety Harbor, FL, I'll have to try to find out ...I'm imagining they are friendly & open to strangers knocking on their door.  :) 

The internet has lots of inspiration…caution! only use web images as a starting point, guide and inspiration. You must view the actual colors to make your final decision! Here is a link to one of Sherwin-Williams exterior pages to get your wheels rolling.

Benjamin Moore also has tons of inspiring images and suggestions on their site too.  Explore the site beyond the first link...don't get too lost searching the web; you need to get the project started.  

Follow my tried and true steps or give me a call and we can get this painting party started together!  631-922-5405 

In case you missed my previous blog post regarding Long Island Exterior Color Combinations I did for DaVince Roofscapes at the request on my friend and color guru, Kate Smith here is the link

Winter storm (again) today...something to remind you of beach days ahead

If you're like me, you've had enough of this colorless winter! Multiple Nor'easters and then just when I have began looking forward to the beautiful springtime weather of April.... another snow storm. Isn't March supposed to go out like a lamb? 

Don't be a hater, but I'm typing this as I watch my son-in-law and grandson swim under the warm Georgia sun!

I do love all the seasons and even make regular trips to the beach regardless of the weather and temperature, but above all, I LOVE the colors, activities and energy of spring and summer. 

What is your favorite season on Long Island?

Colorless winter beach day

Colorless winter beach day

When doing color consultations I am often told by clients that they want "beachy" colors.  With all my consultations, the most important first step is what I call the "getting to know you" step.  Using the beach theme as an example, I will ask questions such as when YOU think of the beach do you think about -- read a book/play volleyball? leisurely walk/surfing?  solitude/party? collecting shells/ catching a beach ball? These imagination of these activities are different from one person to the next. One may be thinking of beachy colors being soft and subtle or on the flip side vibrant and bold. 


I put together combinations of colors that I have suggested through the years to clients that evoke both of those "beachy" feelings.

Beautiful bright blue summer sky dotted with contrasting crisp white clouds accented by the soft glow of the sun

Beautiful bright blue summer sky dotted with contrasting crisp white clouds accented by the soft glow of the sun

bright summer colors.JPG
Add a bright white to this palette to add a freshness and light

Add a bright white to this palette to add a freshness and light

shells and colors.JPG

Exterior Colors of Long Island, NY

Regional Exterior Colors of Long Island NY

December 6, 2017 | By Kate Smith

In the beginning of December, I was featured on Kate Smith's blog, sharing my insider view of the regional exterior colors of Long Island.

Kate Smith shares her input and experience, then turns it over to me. Kate writes: "My eye is always looking at the colors and combinations when I travel. The colors that people choose to paint on the structures come together to form a palette that is unique to an area. I’d love to explore more about how colors vary from place-to-place but since I can’t be everywhere, I’ve called on my color colleagues to give us their take on the colors that define their area. First up, you’ll see the regional exterior colors of Long Island (New York).

To get a designer insider’s view, I turned to my friend and fellow color expert, Mary Nolte of Kaleidoscope Color Consulting. Mary is a Long Island native, a professional interior designer, and was a pioneer in the color consulting business in the New York area. Since 1998, Mary has been serving homeowners and business clients in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Brooklyn, Queens, The Hamptons, and the Metro New York City Area.

I have known Mary for many years and know that her keen eye for color coupled with her pleasant nature keep her clients coming back to ask her advice every time they need to choose a paint color or need help decorating. I can’t think of anyone better to recommend regional color schemes for this area."

Regional Exterior Colors of Long Island New York

BY MARY NOLTE, Kaleidoscope Color Consulting

Ahhh, Long Island…diversity in many aspects. The geography and climate are as varied from sunny beaches in the warm summertime, the Pine Barrens in the crisp coolness of Autumn, snow sports and closed school days of frigid Winter and the beauty of Spring with new fresh growth as the temperatures warm and the anticipation of experiencing all of what this area and its diversity has to offer.

The architecture is as varied as its seasons and landscapes. As you travel from New York Harbor to Montauk Point, you will pass beach bungalows as well as fabulous seaside mansions. Farmhouses and beautiful Victorian gingerbread homes grace the area. As do city Brownstones and high-rise apartments to family-friendly development neighborhoods, and the list goes on.

Regional Exterior Colors of Long Island Inspired by the Natural Surroundings


This combination of colors to coordinate with DaVinci autumn roof work beautifully with a variety of architectural styles and geographic areas. The Earthy tones of the DaVinci roof and brookline beige are complimented with the soft greens of nature to add subtle interest to your home.

Yellow Gets Jazzed


Contrast, cheerful yet soft yellow, charm, simple, for a little pizzazz accent with – yam! Yam can be used on the front door for a bold splash of color for those who like to make a bit of a statement. If no statement is desired, black door & shutters are a lovely more conservative combination when used with the main color lantern light.

New York Style Understated Elegance

Davinci Weathered-Gray-Egret-White.jpg

A weathered gray roof makes a nice presentation of your home when trimmed by contrasting pure white which is also the right contrast to emphasize the lightness of the egret white main color. Accented with the medium warm gray of functional gray and the deep richness of Moscow midnight as a finishing touch of character.

Laid Back Summer on the Island

Davinci Chesapeake-Thousand-Oceans.jpg

DaVinci’s Chesapeake roof color works as well on the beach as it does in the country. The soft taupe tones of Chesapeake are perfect to “top off” thousand oceans trimmed with Stonington gray and accented with Boothbay gray….of course, if desired, you can always add a bit of “wow!” A bold color door such as pottery red or gentleman’s gray are also options for this scheme.

Colors That Say “Welcome”

Davinci Aberdeen-Raintree-Green.jpg

Sophisticated yet warm and inviting, the combination of colors of an Aberdeen roof say “welcome” from the moment you are at the curb. Raintree green is a natural color to display a sense of style. Trim the home with the appropriately named, Creamy White to set off deep, rich accent colors of forest floor and dark purple.

Thanks, Mary for showing us the regional exterior colors of Long Island. Your color combinations can inspire the “island girl” in all of us…Long Island that is!

If you enjoyed this post, I bet you’ll also like to more of Kate Smith's blog posts: see 50 best exterior color scheme match-ups for 10 of Davinci Roofscapes most popular roof colors.

Davinci LI.jpg

Proud moment

Guess who's featured in!

Proud Moment: Newsday Feature, January 20, 2017


Through the years I have had many clients and associates ask me what colors I have in my house.  I have always been cautious about talking about my choice of colors for a few reasons.  

The #1 reason is because if I told people that my kitchen walls are a bright cheerful green, my doors and some accents are a hot pink and I cMe, how do you like your coffee?hose to keep the vintage cabinets that are part of the charm of my home and stained them a turquoise color....I'd be out of work for fear I will select those colors for their home!  The colors I chose for myself, make me smile and feel happy.  

My colorful cheerful kitchen
The #2 reason is because each person is unique in what makes them comfortable and happy and every home or business are unique in what will work in each space. I work very hard to select the perfect colors for each person and each space.

By the way...I create some pretty amazing delicious meals in my brightly colored kitchen (we dine in the much more subdued dining room) my kitchen colors make you smile? 



Thank you Newsday, Ruth Bashinsky / writer, John Paraskevas/Photographer. Thank you to the painters of IPPA (Independent Professional Painters Association) for painting my kitchen and house when I moved in 2010 and thank you to Tony Vlachos - Color Your World Painting for stripping & staining my cabinets.  


We're Celebrating 2017 with Savings:

3 Hour Color Consultations will receive a 17% discount*

CALL 631-922-5405 to purchase or for more information

*Must be purchased by January 31st and can be used anytime during 2017

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