Today’s post comes from Pat Verlodt, president of Color Services & Associates, Inc. After a trip to Florida by a member of the Hirshfield’s team, we thought it would be interesting to pose this question to Pat: why do bold, vibrant colors look so natural in the Sunshine State, but would look completely out of place here in the midwest? Here is what she had to say…
There is no room for the ordinary colors in Florida exteriors. They paint with carefree abandon leaving the beige behind. Single family home owners are more likely to take the biggest leaps in color usage with shopping centers following close behind. Even developments with covenants can boast colors that are a step ahead of their northern counterparts.
There are several reasons why this happens, first being because they can. Florida is strongly influenced by the tropical colors of the Southern hemisphere, including the Spanish from Mexico, Puerto Rico and South America. A major influence is the warm weather because warm climates are a natural habitat for exotic flowers all year long. The use of stucco as a common substrate also lends itself to bright colors, but painted wood is also in evidence.
Another factor is that a large number of Florida residents are transplants from cooler climes. If you lived in the north most of your life and move there it can be a new beginning for your pent up neutral confines, you can paint your house pink with white polka dots and no one thinks it is strange.
Shopping centers are painted in bright yellows, oranges and pinks and don’t look out of the ordinary. Deep Terra Cotta and Gold are also common color combinations for commercial exteriors. Resorts also sport these lively colors topped with terra cotta tile roofs.
The casual beach look also influences the color of homes both on the beach and inland. The bright blues, blue greens and aquas are commonly found in every neighborhood.
British Colonial style is a familiar sight in Florida communities, seen on both large and small homes and condos. The use of bright colors paired with white trim is an influence from British Colonial styles found in Bermuda and other Caribbean islands.
I am a winter resident of Florida with my summer home in northern Illinois and it is great to be given the freedom to paint with colors that people expect from a colorist rather than those found in my somewhat restrained northern residence. The colors in Florida make you smile and everyone needs to do that more. Am I going to paint the outside of my Illinois cedar home purple? No, I know my place and value my reputation, but inside I can carry my happy colors back when I return in the spring.