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Photoshop Redo: A Foursquare's New Colors

Three paint palettes—in both modern and period hues—make the details of this heirloom homestead pop

Tired Whitewash: Before

"Please please please help with the color!" says Jennifer Martens, who lives in her great-grandparents' whitewashed 1914 home, in Pipestone, Minnesota, with her husband, children, and 98-year-old grandmother. We turned to colorist Robert Schweitzer for suggestions.

Grand Color: After

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

"This house was probably first painted white during the Depression, when that was the cheapest option—and putting multiple colors on your home was like showing off," Schweitzer says. No longer. The updated palette with a currant-red body, contrasting dusky blue in the gable, and gray trim, helps the house's handsome details stand out. Sage-green and goldenrod palettes were inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, when houses were meant to blend into the natural landscape.

"This is beyond!" Jennifer says. "I wish my grandfather was alive to see his childhood home looking as grand as the day it was built."

Opulent Palette: Berry Red

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

We dressed up this grande dame in three eye-catching schemes.

Opulent Palette: Brick Dust Body

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

"A warm-red body color is very opulent," Schweitzer says.

Paint: Olympic's Brick Dust

Opulent Palette: Gray-Blue Gable

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

At the time the home was built, he adds, the large gable on top would typically be painted in a contrasting color.

Paint: Olympic's All American

Opulent Palette: Thin Ice Trim

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

The trim would be a color other than white. Paint: Olympic's Thin Ice

Opulent Palette: Misty Surf Ends and Trim

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Gray-blue gable ends and pale-gray trim update the period formula.

Paint: Olympic's Misty Surf

Earthy Palette: Sage Green

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

An earthy pale-sage body color with creamy yellow trim makes for a cheery exterior.

Earthy Palette: Rookwood Jade Body

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Paint: Sherwin-Williams's Rookwood Jade

Rookwood Dark Green Gable Ends

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Forest-green gable ends add drama. Paint: Sherwin-Williams's Rookwood Dark Green

Earthy Palette: Birdseye Maple Trim

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Paint: Sherwin-Williams's Birdseye Maple

Earthy Palette: Rookwood Red Windows

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Brick-red windows add drama. "Dark-red window sashes were common in the early 20th century, due to the excessive amounts of dust and dirt caused by car traffic," Schweitzer says.

Paint: Sherwin-Williams's Rookwood Red

Period Palette: Rich Gold

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

The most historic palette

Period Palette: Spun Gold Body

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Olive-green trim, faded red in the gable ends, and red windows flatter a deep-gold body color.

Paint: Pratt and Lambert's Spun Gold

Period Palette: Rose Bisque Gable

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Faded red in the gable ends flatter a deep-gold body color.

Paint: Pratt and Lambert's Rose Bisque

Period Palette: Light Olive Trim

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Olive-green trim flatters a deep-gold body color.

Paint: Pratt and Lambert's Light Olive

Period Palette: Bryce Canyon Red Door

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

The oak door is varnished, as it would have been when Jennifer's great-grandparents moved in.

Paint: Pratt and Lambert's Bryce Canyon