Beautiful Exteriors: How to Pick a Color Scheme for Your Home


When you are down to the finishing touches of your new home or your house remodelling project, you are probably looking for every possible way to make those last few expenses a bit less painful. We all tend to run short on budget by the time a project is nearing its end and realize we need to compromise with the initial grand plans regarding design.

When it comes to color, however, a lot of people make the mistake of simply assuming that an extravagant exterior color scheme will cost a fortune, so they “scale back” to an unimaginative palette or just go with plain old white. In truth, budget should not be your leading motivation when choosing the right color scheme for your exterior, since picking a few shades or even contrasting colors would come up to the same total expense as purchasing a single hue paint.

There are a few ways to escape the routine and add glamor to your home exterior that don’t involve painting your house in electric orange just to stand out or choosing a different color for every element to achieve an unflattering carnival mask effect.

Consider your surroundings

Look at your neighbors’ homes first. A bright red house in a row of tame beige exteriors is not extravagant, but rather an eye sore and displays a definite lack of taste. It is vital to be able to fit in the neighborhood’s style without knocking on your next door neighbor’s door to ask for his leftover paint or the exact color code he used. Variety is good and works to your advantage when done in style. Pick a color that stands out unobtrusively and play up accents such as window frames and doors.

Another factor you should pay attention to is the surrounding greenery. Does your front yard sport a massive tree, which throws a heavy shade on your front façade? If so, or if your house is surrounded by thick shrubbery or a tall hedge, pick a color that is a few shades lighter than your intended one, since the shadow cast by trees and shrubs will make your house appear darker.

Play up the accents

Depending on your house’s architecture, you will have a lot or very little to play with when it comes to accentuating certain elements with different colors or hues. Regardless, these particular accents will give your home character and will bump up its value in the future if you decide to place it on the market. Windows are a great place to start, as well as your porch beams and walls. Pick colors that complement each other, but at the same time provide the necessary contrast. So, for example, if your home is in the dark brown or brick color scheme, pick a gentle pink or peach for the accents.

Factor in geography

Keep in mind that if you live in an area with lots of sunshine throughout the day and year, you can expect the intensive light to wash out the colors a lot quicker than in area further north. In this case, it is a better idea to focus on lighter color schemes, so you can avoid the unsightly faded patches and an uneven color of your house front. In addition lighter colors will repel the sun to provide your home with a cooler interior, while darker hues tend to absorb the light more easily.

Size matters

The same home colored in a darker shade, such as dark green or deep brown, will generally appear smaller and more solid than if you paint it in lighter colors. Again, you should take this into account, as well as the surrounding properties. If your house is larger than your preference or the right look for the neighborhood, you can play down the size by dividing the exterior into two and painting the upper part in a darker shade of the same color. On the contrary, if you would like your home to appear more grounded, consider picking a darker hue for the bottom part (either the entire first floor or just the foundation).

As you can see, picking the right color scheme is not simply a matter of leafing through a catalogue and picking your favorite color (as in your favorite color for a dress or a car). Remember to always check out color samples out in the open to see what they would really look like under natural light. Finally, go with your instincts. Sometimes all the advice in the world can’t help if you absolutely hate your new dark grey home and would much rather come back to a coral exterior.

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