If you're hoping to extend a mid-century modern aesthetic to the exterior of your home, siding is a historically accurate means of quickly and tastefully completing the look. With the popularity of siding during the mid-20th century, you have many options for types of siding. Once you decide on the best siding shape and material, you can enjoy selecting a suitable color for your retro nest.
Shingle siding evokes the mid-century aesthetic, instantly transforming a basic ranch into an inviting retro home. Unlike most types of siding, which use long, horizontal strips of material, shingle siding has the same texture as a shingle roof, usually using evenly sized, rectangular wood shingles. Adding shingle siding is a relatively subtle way to extend a mid-century modern theme to your home's exterior. Whereas many homeowners use a historical color palette to paint a home's exterior, the colors of the mid-20th century can be overpowering and visually jarring next to the neighbors' houses. By adding shingle siding, you can preserve a simple color, whether a neutral, white or a timeless color like brown or dark blue.
If you opt for traditional siding, with horizontal strips lining your home's exterior, using wood will give your home an authentic, historical look. Cedar siding is a classic choice for material, and a practical one, as well; cedar naturally resists rot and weathering far better than most types of wood. By choosing historically correct colors, you can set the look firmly in your desired era. If you like a restrained retro aesthetic, opt for a simple gray. You can make the soothing tone really pop by adding a colorful door, perhaps in an orange-tinged terra cotta, cheerful turquoise or rich coral.
Aluminum is a durable alternative to wood siding; in addition, it's perfectly in keeping with a mid-century modern look that was just gaining popularity in the 1950s and '60s. To emulate the early styles from the late '40s and early '50s, limit your color palette to white, gray or off-white. However, for a mid-century modern look that embraces the later '50s and early '60s, take full advantage of the broad color spectrum that aluminum permits. If you live in a historic home with aluminum siding, it's quite possible the original aluminum siding was painted. You may be able to refresh an old paint job by pressure washing. Alternatively, you can mine deeper paint layers for color inspirations, and add a fresh coat of a historical color.
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