The popularity of board and batten is ever-increasing as it becomes available in more sizes, materials, colors, and textures. Some board and batten is textured like wood, while others are produced of smooth metal, and still others are painted or stained. It’s now one of the most accessible accent materials on home exteriors, and inspiration for applying it to your own home is limitless.
One of the most popular colors applied to board and batten is dark blue thanks to its calming effect and the ease with which it contrasts yet coordinates with natural landscape features like trees, bushes, grass, and mulch. But just because blue isn’t necessarily neutral doesn’t mean it isn’t versatile. There are many ways to apply dark blue board and batten to enhance the exterior of your home, so keep reading for ways to incorporate board and batten into your own home’s exterior.
1. Add Stark Contrast
One of the simplest ways to add visual interest to a home’s facade is by creating contrast using dark and bright tones, and different textures of the same color siding. Using bright white against a deep navy adds a nautical essence to a facade, drawing onlookers’ attention and having a calming effect.
And while board and batten was originally formulated of wood, it now comes in many materials available in different price ranges (vinyl, wood, composite, concrete, and metal are all readily available in board and batten). If you choose a pre-colored material, it’s likely the manufacturer also offers other styles of siding in the same color, like shiplap, lap siding, and shakes. Choosing other styles in the same color is a subtle way to add increased dimension against the white trim.
2. Add Stained Structural Accents
Nothing pairs better with stained wood than a deep, navy blue, so if you’re drawn to navy blue board and batten siding, consider adding stained wood accents to your facade. Since blue is one of the most complimentary non-neutrals with natural landscape, natural finishes like stained wood draw nature into the home itself.
There are several ways you can apply this concept, the most affordable of which is to add a few stained wood beams in a gable or by adding stained window headers. If you want a more all-over incorporation, however, consider swapping some structural elements with stained wood. While stained wood load-bearing beams can be pricier than their vinyl counterparts, they add a stained element without the extra fuss of added aesthetic elements. And if you’re attempting to save some money here, less expensive stained wood wraps are available for beams and columns.
3. Pair It With Stone
Much like cedar, stone can bring a natural element onto the facade of the home, and ways to incorporate this style are limitless. It pairs well with a solid dark blue board and batten, and continues the visual interest into other parts of the home, rather than letting the board and batten provide all the character. You can see here that this homeowner has added a stone foundation and railing on the porch, but one could also add stone as a siding accent one one side of the home, wrap stone around porch columns, and even use stone as a window trim.
While stone is an incredibly durable choice, one of the downsides of using true stone on part of your facade, either as siding, accent, or foundation, is that it’s one of the most expensive home-building materials there are, depending on your selection. A stone foundation requires piece-by-piece laying by a skilled mason, and the same is required for real stone in other areas of an exterior. But thanks to manufacturing innovation and standardization in production, stone veneer and faux stone options are available in sheets that can wrap a section of the home, giving the same effect for less money.
4. Make It Even Brighter
Navy might be the most common way to use dark blue board and batten. It’s often considered a neutral tone, rather than a color. But consider swapping navy for a jewel-toned blue to make a more artistic statement, and to add an element of fun to the neighborhood.
While colors like green, purple, red, and orange might be too “out there” for many homeowners, and often don’t fall within HOA rules, a dark jewel-toned blue can often be more easily accommodated as a fun hue. This color corresponds well with the same natural elements and white contrasts as does navy blue, so you can use many of the other ideas in this article alongside a brighter blue, crafting a truly unique facade to your home.
5. Add a Brick Accent
We’ve discussed using dark blue board and batten alongside natural elements to increase the blue’s compliment to the natural landscape, but another element that can soften the look of a blue home is brick. While brick isn’t a “natural” element, it is extremely classic and can greatly enhance and compliment the craftsman style of board and batten.
And with brick, your options are unlimited as brick is available in a wide range of colors and styles. For a countryside feel, consider a shabby chic whitewashed brick accent along the foundation and on one large section of the home. But for something classic, sleek, and elegant, consider a classic red brick, also around the foundation and up the porch columns.
How to Choose Your Blue Board and Batten Siding
Choosing your board and batten color and other accent features is just the first step. While aesthetics are important, choosing the right material based on durability, cost, and maintenance is even more so, so here’s a very basic breakdown of some of the most popular board and batten materials and their pros and cons.
Wood siding: Wood siding is the original board and batten material. It has a beautiful grained texture and can be stained or painted, and some types of wood are relatively inexpensive. However, it requires more maintenance than the other materials.
Metal: Metal board and batten siding is perhaps the most durable and long-lasting, but it’s not as affordable as some wood and most vinyl. It’s also important to maintain a clean, finished surface to avoid rust or warping.
Vinyl: This is the cheapest board and batten material and the easiest to maintain, as it never needs to be repainted. However, if it becomes damaged you’re looking at a full replacement rather than a repair or touchup, so consider the fact that it will need to be replaced sooner than other materials.
Composite wood and concrete: These two materials are around the same price, texture, and maintenance level, so they’re very comparable. They have a very convincing wood grain and hold paint much longer than true wood. They also absorb and release moisture very well, meaning they are unlikely to warp over time.