Please Help My American Foursquare!

This is my son’s vintage home and I’m remodeling it.

The choice of roof is giving me headaches. The river stone masonry on the house is a neutral color of browns/some grays/some golds, but it is a busy pattern because it is so large textured. I’m presuming a slate style roof is best so it doesn’t compete with the stone masonry.

And then, it is an American Foursquare that really only has the Tuscan columns on the front porch for accent. The current roof is white and horrible. Plain white windows and soffits… the entire house is just washed out.

Anyway, if you could point me in the right direction for a shingle type and color… I would appreciate it so much.

Pat LeMond
Product: Bellaforté Slate

foursquare house


Dear Pat,

The American Foursquare design can be beautiful in its simplicity but I agree this home could use more color.

The stone is a standout feature on this home. Although it is basically a single color the strong texture adds pattern to the exterior. Let this standout and then punctuate with color. I recommend that you begin with replacing the roof. The Bellaforté Slate in a more solid blend of colors that will not add another pattern to the exterior would be the best choice.

I like the Slate Gray with the stone. It is neutral, warm and adds a nice contrast. If you are open to adding slightly more color the Verde blend could also be a nice addition to this exterior.

For now I would keep the trim a warm off white that blend with the stone and roof tiles you choose. If you later updated the windows I would suggest colored frames and grids in a color other than white or off white. Then you could go with a trim color that is the same or works with the window frames.

It appears that the front door may be painted black with the surrounding trim painted to match. Then on top is a white storm door. This combination is detracting from the beauty of the entrance. Also the colors are not the best choice for this home, especially when you are feeling it is lacking in color and design.

It would be best to find a beautiful color for the front door itself and keep the trim white to match the rest of the home. If possible, remove the storm door or replace with one that is mostly glass and will allow the color to show through more. It can be white to match the trim but the frame should be minimized so as not to detract from the door color.

Find a tone that blends with your roof color and stone color but stands out. Look in the “historic colors” section for paint colors that will work. These usually are a bit toned down and will work with the aged stone and new roof.

To add color you could consider having the dormer match the front door color rather than white but I would make the other changes first and see if you still feel it needs more.

I hope those suggestions help to show you some possible solutions for the home.


Kate Smith
DaVinci Roofscapes Color Expert