The Back-and-Forth of Settling on a Exterior Window Trim Color

So if you watched our Youtube video about choosing exterior trim colors, you saw that we narrowed 11 different colors down to two (and this was after sampling 10 colors last year). And on the count of three, Chris and I both chose our favorite: the brown one, which was called Cromwell Gray by Benjamin Moore. And then the cameras cut, but actually the cliffhanger just began! Sometimes after I say something out loud, I get this ping of uncertainty in my gut. And I got that feeling when I said brown.


So the next day I went and painted some swatches on the back of the house of both colors. And to be completely transparent, I started to think too much about other people’s opinions. I thought, people are expecting me to to do the more blue tone, it’s the bolder choice. It is a little more fun, so even though I want to do the brown, I should do the blue because it would push me out of my comfort zone, which will help push other people out of their comfort zone.

So blue it was, then. We told our contractor we would go with the blue, aka Homburg Gray by Sherwin-Williams. I felt excited that I was doing something out of my comfort zone, but also anxious. The contractors told me they’d pick up the paint and prep all day, pressure washing the entire house and masking off the windows. So I said, “Can you paint two full windows just so I can make sure?” By the time they were done, it was in the late evening. I walked out front, and ohhhh, it was not what I was expecting. But I was not feeling well that day, so I thought, let’s just look at it in the morning. The next morning I left before dawn to go to gym, but I knew when I drove back to the house it would be bright enough to see. And that was the moment when my reaction went viral on TikTok. The trim looked like this cool charcoal gray to me, and…I didn’t like it. But I still wasn’t ready to let it go, so I waited until I could see it with the sun out. And actually, I was like, “I know why I chose this — this is pretty.” It would look amazing with a wreath on the front door next to it.

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But ultimately, when the sun’s not shining on it (which is at least half of the time), it’s going to look like that other tone — so remember that. So I had them paint the other color Cromwell Gray on a window, and the feeling was immediate: This is the right choice (again). I didn’t have any anxiety about it at all. That’s actually when I posted both of the options in my Instagram Stories. At that moment, it didn’t matter if someone told me they didn’t like it, because I was confident that I liked it. That’s something I’ve learned: When I’m not sure about something, I can’t really share it, because I can be talked out of my opinion.


The contractors got the Cromwell Gray, and they painted each window pane and trim with a sprayer. They started with the garage doors and the windows right next to them. Then they worked their way around the guest house, which was the most excruciating, because I couldn’t really see a difference —we never go back there, and the painters were there for a full day. The whole project took over a week, because there are just so many windows in the house — there are a few guys masking the windows, and then there’s a guy who is just amazing with a paint sprayer and can maneuver ladders like no other.


Someone commented on our post on Instagram and said they preferred the white trim because the white made the house stand out more. Of course everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but the fact of the matter is that 1) so many people have brick houses with white windows in this part of North Carolina that it doesn’t really stand out among other houses, and 2) the white windows made our windows stand out more, not our house. What I really wanted to accomplish with this window color was to lean more into the red brick and make that the star. And now that I see the Cromwell Gray, it really complements the brick in just a beautiful way.

Ultimately it’s a reminder that I need to choose what I truly want and not what other people are expecting me to choose. Which is a lesson I never stop learning.

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