For Sally and John's house, there was no such documentation. So Maycock dug up other resources, showing the couple paint-company brochures from the 1880s and 1890s with color illustrations of period houses. "The colors that were popular then were deep and rich—lots of golds, russets, and olives," says Maycock. There was a huge array of paint colors available at the time, thanks to the growing availability of ready-mixed paints that could be shipped via the railroads. "Pale colors, like the gray of this house, were very rare during the Victorian era," says Maycock. "Such colors didn't come back into vogue until the 1890s."
After hitting the books, Maycock presented a variety of color schemes. Her suggestions for the siding ranged from brick red to sage to a deep mustard yellow, each with a complementary color for trimwork and an accent color or two for movable parts, such as windows and doors.
Shown: John was a big fan of this green base color, paired with off-white trim and red accents. Sally was not. "It was too muted," she says. Benjamin Moore's Rolling Hills (1), Grant Beige (2), and Cottage Red (3)