Historic Paint Colors of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park

I went on a little vacation last week with Mr. Man and the kids! We picked the most important things we each wanted to do while there, and mine was to visit architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio and tour the surrounding architectural mecca of Oak Park. YAYYYYYY!!!! The historic paint colors of Oak Park were a-mazing.

oak park homes historic paint colors

Because I choose exterior paint colors for a living, I am always examining houses while I’m driving to look for good exterior paint color palettes to copy. But guess what? I take very few photos of house exteriors because I seldom find ones that blow me away (in a good way). It’s a whole lot easier to find a “what-not-to-do” than it is to find a “what-to-do” when it comes to exterior paint colors!  However, while I was strolling around Oak Park homes, I could not. stop. taking. pictures. So many beautiful, well-done examples of historic paint colors and palettes that I thought I’d share them with you. You will want to PIN these color combinations!

red victorian exteriorBenjamin Moore:  trim – White Dove, windows and details – Black Satin, body – Currant Red

Just so you know, I carried a Benjamin Moore fandeck with me as I toured Oak Park homes so that I could color-match as I went! So the colors that I report will be from my expertise as a paint color consultant, and not actual knowledge of the original paint color. Let’s start with this stunner:

carrington beige exterior tudorBenjamin Moore:  body – Carrington Beige, trim – Trailing Vines

Here’s a lovely example of more subtle contrasts in the historic paint colors:

rare gray exteriorSherwin-Williams:  accent on shakes – Rare Gray, body – Rice Grain, trim – Dover White

tudor exterior colorsBenjamin Moore:  body – Annapolis Gray, trim – Bittersweet Chocolate, door/railings – Country Redwood

The architectural variety among Oak Park homes makes for such an eclectic neighborhood. What a dream it would be to live here!

dunmore cream exterior paintBenjamin Moore:  body – Crown Point Sand, trim – Lafayette Green

saybrook sage exteriorBenjamin Moore:  body – White Dove, trim – Louisburg Green

midcentury modern exterior paint colorsBenjamin Moore:  window trim – Branchport Brown, accent trim – Amber

ansonia peachSherwin-Williams:  body – Portrait Tone, trim – Alabaster, accents – Gallery Green, Majolica Green

This one was being remodeled, and I think the roofing and paint choices are fantastic.

philipsburg blueBenjamin Moore:  body – Boothbay Gray, trim – Chantilly Lace, accent – Philipsburg Blue

The red windows really make this historic paint colors palette special:

red exterior window mullionsBenjamin Moore:  body – Danville Tan, trim – Fairview Taupe, windows – Cottage Red 

This red brick facade could have been paired with a plain tan trim, like most would expect. Instead, the dark brown trim takes things up a notch and looks totally appropriate. And do you love that green roof as much as I do???

red brick with brown trimBenjamin Moore:  trim – Dragon’s Breath

This brick building has beautiful green “eyeliner” that trims the windows:

red brick with green trimBenjamin Moore:  window trim – Lafayette Green

coloful victorianBenjamin Moore:  body – Peale Green, trim – Grant Beige, accent/windows – Country Redwood, accent – Adams Gold

All the examples I have shown you of Oak Park homes are really well done, but that is not often the case. If you drive around your neighborhood or town, you may find more bummers than stunners.  And then there are those who take the risk and fail miserably, like this unfortunate color combo:

2015-07-08 14.13.17what the heck??

I hope this gave you some exterior inspiration for your new or historic home!

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karen savage
Guest

This was awesome–so much fun! Thanks for sharing! Good luck on those new combos. I know they’ll be gorgeous!

LaPriel
Member
LaPriel

Kristie,
I am so glad you were able to go to Oak Park. The beauty of the architecture there is enough to make me weep.
LaPriel

Cyndia
Guest
Cyndia

Oh, I do love it when people step out of the beige box and go for a little color! I especially love the red trim around windows, and I have that on my own house.

Lori Sawaya
Guest

🙂 @ the last one. Those are some bluuuueeee columns. I too am a fan of ‘red eyeliner’ on windows.

Linda
Guest

I don’t truly follow anyone but YOU:) Love your posts/blogs and usually find something to take away and use in my own business….am thinking that some day I’d like to come down there and take “your” course! Was just in Oak Park about a month ago and took the tour for the second time…I, too, loved it ….my FAV is the windows–high enough that you don’t need treatments…..just all that nature shining through! God bless your efforts–thanks for all you do for our Staging profession!

Sheri Bruneau
Guest

Love that the doors on most of these homes are also painted, This was a fun read Kristie!

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to Oak Park. Our first home was a block from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio. The old homes in that area are beautiful. Our little 1920 Chicago style bungalow was so charming. It was brick with a wonderful concrete roof which I loved. I always enjoyed walking around the neighborhood admiring the homes!

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

Should have said “concrete tile roof”.

Kelly
Guest

Beautiful homes! That is a place I have always wanted to visit. Thanks for sharing!

Judy
Guest
Judy

These examples are so pretty! There are a lot of newly-repainted homes in my neighborhood. Very few look as beautiful as these from Oak Park. So that means I’m also excited to hear about your new project. Improving exterior color combination suggestions for homeowners is a greatly-needed service!

Linda Kinsman
Guest

I’m going to pin several of these houses (especially the currant red house) and buy my own Benjamin Moore fandeck. I like your idea of keeping one with you when traveling and my husband isn’t going to give me his, he uses it way to much for work. Congrats on your new project too!

Joanne Vroom
Guest

Thanks sharing these beautiful homes with us. I especially like the house with red windows (taupe and tan). Many times when we are building homes and are using siding, it is a nice change from the tan and cream colours which are common around here just outside Montreal ( in St. Lazare). The red gives the house a much more updated look!

Karen
Guest

Congratulations on the new project with LP! I know you’ll do great work for them! 🙂

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