The Cross House

What to do? WHAT to do?

This morning I woke to an email from Alex. He had Photoshop gifts for me!!!!!!!! In this image he “painted” the upper tower band olive green, but left the rectangles the wall color. To me, this looks too…clunky. But Alex had other options to consider!


Here, the effect is reversed. And I had been considering this. But…seeing it? I don’t like it. Alex though had more options!


All green! I had been thinking of doing this, too…but don’t like it! The effect rather kills the vertical thrust of the tower. Sigh.


This afternoon I finished painting the lower band on the tower and LOVE IT. In looking at the upper band however, and looking again at the Photoshop options, I without hesitation prefer the upper band as it is. Even though it is just not right…somehow.


Well, I have no idea how to make the upper band right.

So, brilliant ideas invited!

One option not Photoshopped is to JUST paint the swags green. This seems like a good idea but would be stylistically at odds with how all the other decorative stamped tin flourishes are treated (green, on a green background).

But is consistency a virtue? Or vice?




23 Responses to What to do? WHAT to do?

  1. You are the artist, try what you think that you will like best. Change your mind if you don’t like it. If you decide to do all green, you can always paint the swags and perimeters outside of the boxes last to see what it looks like with light swags and perimeter. Life only feels like it is an emergency. If you don’t like it, take pictures anyway, just for the record.

  2. I cringed hardcore yesterday when you said you were considering painting larger portions of the upper band the dark olive, and those edited pictures brought my minds eye to life…I definitely vote for green swags. They sort of just *exist* right now in the background. Make those babies POP!

  3. Green swags!! You don’t want the outside to be TOO consistent… Like your interiors, you need one discording element!! 🙂

  4. Can he photoshop the swags green so you can see it? The photoshopped pics are a great idea!
    Or, what about just the skinny border rectangles green around the swags?

    • I was thinking the same thing as Julie. Maybe even paint the most inner boarder black and then that way they would tie in with the windows. You could paint the “eye” the same way which would tie in with the round telephone window as well.

  5. I vote for painting the swags and the rectangle frame dark, leaving the background light. I normally don’t like picking out details with different colors, but in this case I think it will look really good.

  6. How about just painting the frames around green? The thin frames. Or are they green already? They do look a bit darker but its hard to tell.

      • Aw yes, I see that now – for some reason it doesn’t show up as much on the thin frames as the green on the other areas. Of course, I’m sure it all looks different in person, too! We can all make observations based on photos, but seeing in person is the best

  7. Do the swags.
    They are visually prominent and scaled much bigger than all the rest of the frilly stuff, I think they deserve attention.

    I also keep looking at that eye, and then at that lovely round window all trimmed in green, and I feel like the eye is closed.

  8. Ross,

    I’m a graphic designer, and I’ve spent hours reading your blog while drooling over every single photo you’ve shared. Thank you! I’d be happy to photoshop the trim in different paint variations for you as well if you like. It always helps me make the right decisions before any physical work is done.


  9. How about the first example, plus green swags? This might weave the green around the tower a bit more convincingly and seem less clunky.

    No other part of the house has an uninterrupted vertical thrust, including the chimney next to the tower and the turret. This puts a lot of weight on the decision to allow the turret the privilege. I don’t see that painting the whole trim band green interrupts the verticality as much as it contains it– just as the cornice contains the rest of the massing of the house. That might be more of an issue when the body color is eventually replaced by the lighter original.

  10. Hopefully you can see the swags photoshopped. I also feel like they should be green.You are doing a beautiful job. Love watching your progress.

  11. I would like to see some of the fireplace color reflected on more of the outside. Right one it’s too obvious as this big red tower (for lack of a better word). I love your home though, whatever color you use.

  12. What about some of the red chimney carrying over to accent the woodwork. A bit artsy, but it would definitely be bold and make a statement!

  13. I thought of green stiles with gold panels all along… but I agree with you that it doesn’t look nearly as good as I thought it would, even though it seems to make architectural sense. You could try picking out the swags in the green, or just letting it go to ponder for another year or two. It’s a puzzlement!

  14. I like the last photo best but it looks a little unbalanced. Could you try photoshopping the last option with the decorative center of each rectangle the trim color? It just seems to need more weight in the tower to balance the rest of the house.

  15. I think that you SHOULD try alternating the colors so that the main swag is green on the two side ones and the wall color on the center with a green background. It should be accented with touches of the different colors that the sky might be on different days. Meanwhile the finial should be the color complement of a sky blue which I believe would be a dark burnt orange unless it is a dark day so you might…….. Just kidding. I like the way everyone is coming up with such interesting alternatives. It really must be rewarding to have so many people that you have never met really enthusiastic and caring about the Cross House and you.

  16. My vote is with Miss B. Davis. The chimney is there. Embrace it ! ! Try a small portion and then see how you (we)like, love, hate it. This could be your striped floors artery on the outside. After all, you “have” to give the neighbors something to talk about ! ! !

  17. I like how in picture 1 the cornice color segues into the decorative band, it’s less jarring to the eye. It’s not quite right though, kind of clunky like you said. Picture 3 does bring the tower down, too heavy. Hopefully the Photoshop gurus will come through.

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