Choosing Exterior Paint Colors
Now that spring is officially here, homeowners are calling me for help choosing their exterior paint colors. Many factors go into narrowing down colors that work. When choosing exterior paint colors, factoring in the overall look, the individual elements, and the neighboring houses enables me to empower homeowners to choose the right colors the first time.
Consider the Overall Look
In my area, so many homes are brick with siding on the upper level or only on the sides and back. Some also have stone and brick along with siding. When paint colors don’t relate to the brick or stone, or worse yet, when the brick and stone don’t relate to each other or look too busy, the house looks like there are two different houses stuck together. If you have a new build, all the materials and colors must be chosen at the same time to create a look that is styled. For a partial renovation or a new coat of paint, the existing elements must be considered.
The upper house and lower house are two different styles. The siding color and window trim on the upper windows does not relate to the brick. (Photo by homewithkeki)
Assess the Individual Elements
To help homeowners narrow down colors from the thousands of choices available, I begin with the shingles, brick, stone, pavers, landscaping, and neighboring homes. Considering the hues in the architectural materials is the first step in creating a cohesive color scheme. Just as with interiors, creating harmony and flow around the house as well as in the neighborhood is important.
The siding does not relate to the brick or the stone, and the stone and brick do not relate. In addition, the green is too bright for the brick. (Photo by ashiyasediet.info)
Remember the Neighboring Houses
When considering the look of their exteriors, most homeowners want a distinct look without their home screaming flashy or garish. Builders usually vary the types and colors of brick and other elements on houses in a subdivision. Thus, a look that is different enough from the house next door or across the street can be accomplished by looking at the unique hues in a home’s shingles, brick, stone, and landscaping. By creating a color scheme with coordinating hues, homeowners can have a look that is unique yet harmonizes with the neighborhood.
Choosing Exterior Paint Colors that Make Sense
When I assess the exterior of a home, I make note of all the colors and hues in the brick, stone, and shingles as well as any pavers. I also consider the color of the window and door frames. A white window limits the trim color you can use around the windows and most likely the majority of your trim. Note that a house with brick looks best with windows and a trim color that is not stark white. Once I establish the trim color options, I then pull a color from the brick or stone for the siding that coordinates and pulls together all the fixed elements. In the past some homeowners painted the trim and siding the same color. For a fresh, updated look choose a trim color that contrasts with the siding color. In addition, a front door color can announce the entrance and give your home a unique look. Beware of choosing bright, saturated colors with a more muted color scheme, unless you’re consulting with a designer trained in color. Your door will not only pop, it will look like it belongs on a different house.
A yellow door that is too saturated and bright for the brick. (Photo by Edward Jones, Clarksville)
A door that coordinates with the hue families of the architectural elements.
If you’re interested in reading about other options for choosing color with brick, read this article. For help choosing your exterior colors and color schemes, contact me for help choosing the right colors the first time!
Color is back in 2019 Home Color Trends!
After the gray trend of the last nine years, I’m seeing home color trends moving toward more color and warmer colors. Look in accessory catalogs, on home decor blogs, and in paint company inspiration palettes to see bold colors, warm earthy tones, and navy being featured. Remember, trends last 7-10 years, and gray is on its way out. Here in the midwest, we are a little slower to catch up with color and design trends. Along the west coast in California and on the east coast in places like New York these color trends are here. If you’re a late bloomer, maybe you’ve just finished painting your walls gray. Don’t despair! Bringing in colorful, new accessories can brighten your home and give it a fresh update until you paint again. On the other hand if you’re ready to get rid of the gray and not sure how to transition to color, read on.
Pillow by chicdecorpillows
Curating Your Color Scheme
One way to create a new color scheme without gutting and starting over is to find a pillow or fabric with new colors that complement your current color scheme. This pillow by chicdecorpillows incorporates a blue-gray in the pattern along with yellow-green, aqua, and the on-trend navy I’m seeing in so many accessories now. The gray color scheme was originally intended for consumers to use pops of color to brighten up the gray backdrop. Many homeowners gravitated toward monochromatic shades of gray and neutrals with no colorful accessories or artwork anywhere. If your color scheme falls into this category, a simple way to freshen your design would be to add those intended pops of color.
If you still shy away from bold, saturated colors, consider navy to accessorize and add color to your home. Navy is the new neutral of neutrals, so it’s a good way to start experimenting with color if your home leans toward whites, grays, and other “safe” colors. Scour home decor catalogs for accessories, scan Pinterest to see how others incorporate navy, and seek help from a color consultant if you need help.
Cultivating the New Home Color Trends
After the cool gray trend, consumers are wanting bolder colors and warmer environments. Home color trends are moving toward earthy colors, as demonstrated by Sherwin Williams 2019 Color of the Year, SW 7701 Cavern Clay. Their website descriptively states: “A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together creates the desert modern aesthetic.” Bringing these colors into our homes reminds people of varying landscapes, the freedom to explore, and a serenity only nature can offer. Geometric patterns and layered textures and accessories create a richness that invites. Wallpaper is back in subtle and creative ways to enhance the feel of our spaces.
Behr’s 2019 Color Palettes
Behr describes their 2019 Color of the Year, S407-5 Blueprint, as “An honest, approachable color that conjures up the blueprints builders rely on to bring architectural designs to life, Blueprint creates a space where you can build your own reimagined life—where awareness of what we want to build for ourselves can transform into action.” The saturated blue-gray surrounds consumers and invites them to be the creator of their spaces. The names of their four curated color palettes – Color Binge, Down to Earth, Soft Focus, and Inspired Curation – demonstrate how saturated colors dominate the new home color trends.
A Whisper of Color
In the end, many people still prefer neutral walls with accessories, rugs, and furniture bringing in color. The trend for neutral walls leans to greige, which adds a touch of warmth to the grays we’ve been using. Greige paints a whisper of color to freshen up and brighten, while still providing the backdrop for artwork and color. If you need help figuring out the best color for your walls or deciding on an updated color scheme, contact me so you can choose the right colors the first time!
Find Your Color Inspiration
How to choose paint colors:
- Begin at the Beginning – When you choose paint colors, be sure to have a starting point, whether it’s the fabric on your dining chairs or a pattern in your window treatments, a favorite area rug or a favorite piece of artwork. Define your color scheme by choosing two to four colors from the furnishings and finishes that are already in your home and will be staying.
- Know Your Likes and Dislikes – have fun noticing which colors you love in other homes, in restaurants, in magazines, and online. Knowing what you like will help ensure you use colors that you will love to come home to.
- Analyze the Undertones – Even whites have different colors underneath when compared with a true white. The key to creating a look of harmony is to match the undertones of your new paint colors to your existing undertones. Floors, countertops, stone, and fireplace surrounds count!
- Consider Mood – in addition to making your space visually beautiful, decide on the mood you want in each room. A mood is a feeling. For example a peaceful, calm room will help you recharge, restore, and relax, which is perfect for a bedroom. In a dining room where you entertain, you might want an energetic feeling that stimulates conversation. Think of how you want to use each room then use colors with personalities that match the mood you want.
- Consider Your Color Scheme for Remodels – When doing a total remodel or replacing cabinets, countertops, tile, and flooring, choose paint colors in conjunction with these elements. If the undertones in your granite are in the beige family and you want a gray color scheme, you will likely need to choose a different granite.
- Narrow Down Your Choices – Paint samples on large posterboard or foam-core
- Take Your Time – be sure to test the colors and sit with them, ponder, view them in different lighting conditions at different times of the day.
- Choose Paint Colors – Once you go through these steps, you will then be able to choose the right color the first time! If you want a professional consultation, click for Certified Color Expert help.
For more ideas, see my idea book at Color Confident Home – Houzz. Also, follow me on Facebook here. For a consultation or a quote contact me.