New wood or gracefully aged? Here's help deciding. 

The beauty of Beach House Shake is its power to stop time. Each one of the four colors captures and preserves a perfect moment forever: the day eastern white cedar is installed, western red cedar on day one, and the graceful weathering of eastern white in two different coastal climates. But which of those four moments in time is best for your home? Which one is a true reflection of your design style? If you're on the fence, here's some advice.


When to go for the new wood look

Nowhere in nature does wood retain its fresh, newly cut look for all time, but you can achieve the impossible with Beach House Shake's Pacifica and Sandcastle shades.

Pacifica, which replicates the look of freshly cut western red cedar, is a natural fit for Craftsman-inspired homes. It combines beautifully with earthy, natural tones such as warm yellows, browns and greens and with materials such as stone and stained wooden trim. The red tone of Pacifica makes it a bold color, but the fact that it harkens back to ancient Pacific forests makes it timeless rather than trendy. Whether Pacifica is installed in gable ends or across entire walls, it evokes the beauty of the north-west. You can have your cabin in the woods, wherever your home is located.

Sandcastle, on the other hand, is a day at the beach. It matches the look of freshly installed eastern white cedar and looks stunning on full walls and entire homes, but can also be used to bring light and attention to architectural details such as gable ends. The color is bright. The statement is "I'm new." And you'll never have to do any work to keep your home looking that way. Sandcastle pairs beautifully with white trim, giving the feeling of the first day of vacation (minus the unpacking). 


When to go for gray

Over time, natural eastern white cedar weathers to a rich gray that is found on older homes, particularly in coastal environments. Our newest shade, Atlantica, captures the silvery gray commonly found in New England, New Jersey and Delaware. The deeper gray found cladding beautiful homes further south along the Atlantic coast, such as on North Carolina's Outer Banks, was the inspiration behind our darker gray shade, Hatteras.

Use gray as a color for exterior cladding when you want to confer a sophisticated, established feeling to your home. It's an excellent choice for new homes that have been built to replicate the charm of a late-1800s farmhouse, a Cape Cod beach house, or a Victorian- or Edwardian-era home. Gray is also perfect for homes that actually date from the turn of the 20th century or earlier because it's historically accurate. 

But gray is much more than a historical color. It's also an on-trend hue that shows no sign of diminishing in popularity. Neutral but never boring, it coordinates well with black as a roof color and white or black as window and trim colors.

If you're a design purist with a home in either New England or the mid-Atlantic, your best bet is to choose the gray of your climatic zone: Atlantica for the more northern areas and Hatteras for further south.

If you've decided on gray because it complements other exterior design elements of your home, the shade you choose will be more a matter of the colors you need to work with and the look you want to achieve. Darker Hatteras will be dramatic when paired with white trim and windows. The look of Hatteras will likely be more subdued with black trim and windows. The reverse is true with silvery Atlantica: pair it with white and the look will be more homogeneous. Pair it with black and the colors will pop.


Making the decision

If you're unsure of your taste when it comes to building exteriors, it can help to think about your style as it relates to something you're more familiar with, such as clothing or furniture. Do you lean towards natural colors? Do you go for drama? All four of the Beach House Shake shades are "natural," but can feel more or less bold depending on the colors of the materials they're mixed with.  Start a Pinterest board and look for similarities in the images you're pinning—that's a sign that you've hit on your aesthetic. You can also go to an area with homes similar to yours. What color combinations are you drawn to? What combinations can you rule out? If you find yourself still unsure, you can also enlist the help of a designer. Your Beach House Shake shade will never fade, darken or otherwise change, so it's a decision you'll want to get right.


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