Dark Gray House Update in California

A simple switch from beige to dark gray can make a dramatic difference in the curb appeal of a house. That’s exactly what happened to Roland F.’s California stucco home after he enlisted brick&batten’s designers to come up with a completely overhauled look for his previously stuck-in-the-60s home.

Although Roland wanted a change, he didn’t want just a fresh coat of paint. Our designers are happy to jump off all sorts of homeowner dreams, so they included additional design elements, like a stone driveway, that provided beautiful contrast to the dark gray statement color. Read on to learn all about how Roland brought his virtual design deliverable to life.

At brick&batten, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful home with great curb appeal. That’s why we make the updating process so simple! We’ve provided virtual renderings of thousands and thousands of homes to homeowners, helping them see their vision before making expensive decisions. Whether you want to go from 60s drab to 60s fab, or just want to bring your home into the 21st century, our experts know how to help. Learn more about our virtual exterior design services. Or, if you already have a success story to tell, please do so here. 

Before, Roland's house is one-tone beige with blue shutters. They yard is solid grass with a few floral accents.

The Before

Roland felt his home was outdated and needed a fresh take. At first, he considered simply repainting.

We were going to just repaint our house, but we really felt that paint alone would not provide the update we were looking for. We decided to look for a designer that could help us.

While seeking a designer, Roland discovered brick&batten. He loved our Instagram and decided to partner with us on an exterior design. A few weeks later, he got it and said he was “blown away.”

Roland's after rendering showcases a dark gray paint and incorporates a rendering Roland had provided of his yard

The Design

Keeping stucco white or natural is a favorite style among homeowners, but there’s no rule saying your stucco has to look one certain way.

Roland was up for taking his home in a completely different direction. As part of his design order, he said:

We have a stucco house, but would be open to adding elements (for example, siding or stone, etc.) that can be used to update the look of the façade other than paint.

Per Roland’s request, our designers aimed to add contrast, color, and texture to the home. They delivered on this goal, coming up with something completely unique! They recommended adding fiber cement paneling on top of the stucco and painting it a rich, almost-black dark gray — Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore. This deep color emphasizes the home’s shadows, while lighter stone accents on the sides and driveway act as highlights. A beautiful, textured wood paneling section adds balance to the home’s similarly colored chimney. Finishing it off are a black garage, statement home numbers, and copper aluminum gutters.

Roland had just redone the home’s windows and didn’t want the roof touched, so our designers left those elements alone. He also stated in his initial request that he was in the process of replacing his landscaping with drought-resistant plants. He included his own rendering (below) in his request, and our designers incorporated this into his virtual exterior design deliverable.

The rendering Roland provided us shows his home's yard full of drought-resistant plants

Roland said:

It was amazing how brick&batten overlaid our photo with the updates. We really liked how the design worked with what we had, such as not suggesting to alter our structure… like a bay window or moving the front door.

Our designers are experts — especially when it comes to making a home look brand-new with no structural changes!

Roland's deliverable shows what his house would look like and includes clickable links to paint colors and other design elements

The Process

Roland decided to hire a contractor to bring brick&batten’s design to life. Having his virtual design deliverable (above), which included links to suggested elements to purchase, made it simple for Roland to explain to the contractor what he was looking for.

It made it easier to pick out colors, the type of door, the type of stone that we needed. If we made an alteration, it was easier to do those things within the confines of the design.

Supply chain issues made it a bit tricky to access all supplies and labor, so the total process took nine months.

Roland's home after its update looks similar to the design deliverable with a couple of tweaks such as a different door. The yard looks just he imagined in his included rendering.

The Actual After

Goodbye, one-note beige — hello, delicious dark gray!

We love how Roland used our design deliverable yet made certain things his own. The wooden mailbox that matches the door, chimney, and brown paneling is a perfect touch. Plus, everything looks fantastic amid the drought-resistant yard!

The back of Roland's home is also painted dark gray

Even the back of Roland’s house looks great with a fresh dark-gray coat of paint.

A look at Roland's house from another angle, providing a closer look at the garage.

We love how the black garage turned out — it provides a great contrast to the myriad colorful flowers.

The straight in front view of Roland's home

A dark-gray house update that brings joy

Who knew going to “the dark side” could be so pretty? Whether you want your dark home brightened up, your drab home livened up, or your old home freshened up, brick&batten’s virtual exterior designers can visualize your dreams.

Roland wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted when going into the process, but he’s glad he worked with us:

We get positive comments all the time. When we come home now, we feel happy.


Want to see how your house can look brand new with little risk up front? Brick&batten can help you choose a paint color, find unique accent pieces, and design beautiful hardscaping. Get started today.