Choosing Exterior Colors

Even though I am an “interior” designer – people often ask for help with exterior selections on their home – mainly paint. Most people struggle with exterior paint colors as much – if not more – than interior paint.
The first consideration with paint color for the exterior is the architecture of the house. Is it from a time period that calls for certain color schemes? Some styles, such as Victorian, allow for a lot of drama and freedom to work with color.
Victorian style home

The architecture can also help you determine whether or not to go with a light or dark color. Houses with many windows and heavy trim can use a darker paint on the body, while houses with more siding should opt for a lighter color. After choosing a direction for the body of the house, the trim is your next consideration. The main thing to keep in mind when choosing your trim is that you want contrast. The Victorian pictured above uses a darker trim and a burgundy to offset the green of the house. If using a darker color for the body, keep the trim light – if going with a light body color, add drama with a dark trim. Often a fail safe way of doing this is to use lighter/darker shades of the some color.

Lighter body with dark trimDarker paint with light trim

Lastly, consider an accent color for the home. This will often be something bold to highlight a certain part of the architecture, or it could be another light or dark version of the body or trim. One item often highlighted is the front door. You want this to be bold and stand out, which creates a welcoming and sure feeling for a guest.

With all your color choices look at your neighborhood, landscaping, and colors of architectural accents such as your roof, any brick, or stone work. Don’t be afraid to be bold, and use colors you enjoy. Color is primarily a matter of preference, and as much as you hate your neighbors house color, they love it! Stick with traditional hues such as yellows, blues, greens, beige, taupe, and even reds – as long as your colors coordinate, your home will look amazing.

Craftsmen style homeA contrasting front door color adds interest

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