Although picking paint colours is not the most stressful job on earth, it can be downright terrifying if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing! Think about it: going with boring colours can result in a flat and featureless look for your house’s façade, while too-bold options can severely overwhelm your house’s architecture (and might just enrage your neighbours).
So, we here at homify have taken it upon ourselves to present you with 7 ways to help you find that magical colour combination before painting your house’s exteriors.
Most people painting their (much) older homes like to pay tribute to the vintage designs by sticking to historically accurate colours. One way to accomplish this is by a simple form of archaeology – hiring a pro to dig down to old paint layers on your siding and trim. These are then analysed and recreated to match the original colours of your house. Or you can simply pick up a historic colour chart and match tints that were considered trendy at the time your house was built.
Although the next-door houses can inspire you on paint colour ideas, don’t copy what your neighbours have done verbatim. One option would be to pick colours that set your house apart from the rest, yet don’t clash (it’s not the same as ‘contrast’) with the surrounding homes.
If you’re in a leafy suburb with great, big lawns, then you’ve got nature to be inspired by. What about an earthy palette made of greens and browns to match those trees? Or a beach setting might inspire you to play with vivid blues, bright turquoises, and sand-tinted browns and beiges.
Whatever colour palette you deem as ideal for your house’s exterior surfaces, keep in mind where the sun shines. Colour needs light, and the light’s quality always has an influence on colour.
Roofing materials can provide an inspiring palette to guide you on how to paint the rest of your façade. From shingle and metal to terracotta and slate, there is a variety of colour palettes that can work as jumping-off points.
And even though your exterior side paint colour doesn’t have to match the roof, there should still be some harmony between those two colour schemes.
If you want to bring certain architectural details to life, paint them with an accent colour that has an intentional relationship with your home’s main façade colour. These colours can be complementary, contrasting, slight variations of the same colour family, or sometimes even clashing (depending on what effect you’re going for).
But first determine what details you want to emphasise. Will it be shutters? Imposts? Swirls? Do any of these architectural details need to be replaced before starting with the painting?
Large, grand estates are often painted in a soft neutral colour (like whites, off-white, grey, beige, etc.) as these help to make a structure look even larger. And white has always been the favourite colour for traditional architecture.
So, how about making your house seem bigger and grander with a similar colour scheme on the outside?
A darker colour can make your façade seem smaller, but will definitely draw much more attention to details. This technique can be seen in many of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright's interiors.
For the outside surfaces, accent the recesses with darker tints and highlight details with lighter colours. And to follow the traditional route, you will need to paint the window sashes of a Victorian home with the darkest of the chosen historic colour combination.
homify hint: As large surfaces always make paint colours look somewhat lighter, perhaps think about selecting slightly darker tints for expansive areas instead of relying on the apparent colours of paint samples.
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