Going Gray on Top: Why Gray Roofs Are "In"

by Kathy Ziprik, Staff Writer

Jamie Lee Curtis. Jon Stewart. Diane Keaton. George Clooney. What do all these famous Hollywood stars have in common? Distinguished gray hair.

These days home exteriors are following the trend of famous silver foxes—by going gray on top.

A versatile color that coordinates well with a variety of home styles and exterior facades, gray is a timeless color that works well for almost any home.

DaVinci Roofscapes

A stately gray slate roof from DaVinci Roofscapes tops off this traditional European home to complete its distinguished look.

Kate Smith, a color trends forecaster, recommends homeowners consider adding a bit of sex appeal to the roofs on their homes with polymer slate and shake roofing colors in Light Chesapeake, Smokey Gray, Medium Light Weathered Gray and Slate Gray. "Grays work so beautifully for the top of the home because they complement nature," says Smith, president and chief color maven at Sensational Color. "A blend of grays on the roof, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes, sets the visual stage for working from the 'top down' to unite the home exterior.

"The great thing about gray is that accent colors really come alive when complemented by gray. A home with a gray roof that has deep hunter green shutters or a pomegranate-colored painted front door has tremendous curb appeal. Even the simple act of putting bright red pots of geraniums on a front porch or in window boxes looks so appealing when offset by a gray roof."

DaVinci Roofscapes

The Single-Width Slate gray roof on this house looks great and doesn't compete with the complex brick design shown on the turret. In a position of support, this color helps other elements stand out.

According to Smith, architects and home builders lean on the color gray to unify diverse materials and textures both inside and outside the home. "There's almost no home exterior that wouldn't work with a gray roof," says Smith. "Perhaps that's why Slate Gray is the repeat number one best seller in polymer slate and shake roofing products at DaVinci Roofscapes."

DaVinci offers 50 different standard roofing colors, including 14 shades of gray: Smokey Gray, Slate Gray, Medium Gray, Light Gray, Dark Gray, Light Weathered Gray, Medium Weathered Gray, Medium Light Weathered Gray, Medium Dark Weathered Gray, Dark Weathered Gray, Light Chesapeake, Medium Light Chesapeake, Medium Chesapeake and Dark Chesapeake.

While most homes look great with gray roofing, Smith believes that Traditional and New American style homes especially lend themselves to gray tops. "The classic aspect of these home designs encourages the use of gray," says Smith. "Sometimes gray looks great as a weathered color, like on composite shake shingles on a cottage style home. At other times the sleekness of a rich, dark gray brings a simple, clean look that's ideal for a contemporary style home."

FRESH Home Exterior Colors

Read expert color advice from Kate Smith in her free e-books. With the right information, you can create your own beautiful exterior design.

According to Smith, people secure in their surroundings tend to select gray as a roofing color. "These are homeowners who are confident, conscientious and conventional," says Smith. "They could be Baby Boomers who are starting to see signs of gray in their own hair or who have achieved success in their careers. Gray is such a chameleon color that it transitions beautifully from the top of the head to the top of the house!"

Homeowners looking for color exterior ideas and inspiration can download two free e-books written by Smith, "FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home Exterior" and "5 Steps for Finding the Perfect Hues for Your Home" here.

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