Realty Check: Dark Exteriors & Cedar

8135 Hanley Lane, Zionsville, IN

Photo courtesy The Home Aesthetic

For those searching for a way to add drama and unique curb appeal to their homes, a new trend in exterior paint colors might be just the ticket. Rich, dark exteriors have been picking up steam in new construction over the last couple of years, and their popularity doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The hues can range from passport blues all the way to jet black. For those who want the drama but also a little bit of contrast, please welcome cedar to the design table. Long celebrated for its hardiness in various climates, this rot-resistant wood brings natural texture and warmth to a saturated color palette. Whether used for front porch columns, gable trim, or another accent, it’s become the perfect partner to this exterior trend.

In Westfield, a newly constructed ranch by Gollner Homes features Iron Ore by Sherwin-Williams on the exterior siding, plus equally inky windows and trim. Cedar columns, a red door, and light brick add contrast. “The dark exterior with the natural cedar accents is dramatic and exhibits personality. It’s a look that combines strength in color and elements of nature which are comforting and interesting characteristics in a home,” Teri Gollner of Gollner Homes explains. The home sits on a cul-de-sac and is eye-catching amid the grays, tans, and whites of others in the neighborhood. To bring interest to the interior, Iron Ore reappears on the kitchen island, while mixed metals layer texture—oil-rubbed bronze light fixtures, gold cabinet hardware, and white cabinets come together in the open-concept space. With over 5,000 square feet of living space, the three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms remain light to act as a blank canvas for the future owner.

Want to buy it?

Address: 18464 Cross Lakes Ct., Westfield
Price: $699,000
Agent: Sue Kappen, Remax Legends Group, 317-432-9770

Within Pemberton, one of Zionsville’s newest luxury communities, a stunning two-story pops against its wooded backdrop and neighboring equestrian estates. Built by Wedgewood Building Company, its brickwork, siding, and windows all share the same onyx hue that’s broken up by a long picture window surrounded by cedar siding. The effect is stunning, and, as a result, Realtor Traci Garontakos says it’s one of her most widely viewed listings. Its wow factor exterior brings people to the open houses in droves—many admitting their curiosity to see if the inside is as striking as the outside. Just shy of 5,500 square feet, the six bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms interior doesn’t disappoint. The main level is bathed in natural light, while espresso-hued cabinetry, a dark staircase, and wood beams ensure the space doesn’t feel sterile. Under the covered patio, cedar reappears in ceiling planks and gives a sense of continuity from the front of the house to the back.

Want to buy it?

Address: 8135 Hanley Lane, Zionsville
Price: $970,000
Agent: Traci Garontakos, Encore Sotheby’s International, 317-741-0861

Back in Westfield, this custom home by Estridge features cedar accents against deep, bluish-gray board and batten siding. A light brick veneer adds additional contrast, while the surrounding greenspace further enhances the home’s drama. Its sprawling backyard offers a great play area for the kids (and the neighborhood has a pool, playground, and tennis/basketball courts within walking distance), while a lanai provides an ideal spot for parents to relax. Coming in with over 6,000 square feet, six bedrooms, and five bathrooms, there’s plenty of room for entertaining. The interior is bright and filled with textures—a gray-paneled wall in the study, wood detailing on the range hood, and navy herringbone tiled fireplace nod to the home’s custom design.

Want to buy it?

Address: 15994 Oak Park Lane, Westfield
Price: $899,000
Agent: Mike Deck, ERA Real Estate Links, 317-339-2830

As Terri Gollner says, “Color is a great way to display style and drama.” If you’re building a new house—or just want to give your current home a refresh—and want it to have some serious joie de vivre, this may be the trend for you. A little too scared to commit? Check out Black: Architecture in Monochrome by Phaidon to explore 150 outstanding black structures built in the last 1,000 years—if nothing else, you’ll get a sexy coffee-table book out of it.


Images courtesy Tom Cooper/Tour Factory, The Home Aesthetic, and 360 Tour Designs of Central Indiana