5 fantastic tips for choosing exterior house colours

Do you find selecting colours for the exterior of your home stressful?

Do you lie awake at night worrying about what colours to choose?

A lot of people find choosing exterior colours nerve-racking as it is the first impression of your home, not to mention it’s a very large area, so the fear of getting it wrong causes anxiety.

Hopefully the following tips will help relieve that stress and make selecting exterior colours an enjoyable and satisfying experience.

Exterior in White and Grey

Tips to take the stress out of choosing colour

Here are some important points to consider when selecting an exterior colour scheme.

1.   The style of your home.

This should be a factor in what colours you use for your home.  If you have a traditional home, such as Federation style, you may like to consider using a more traditional colour scheme such as reds, greens and creams.

For a contemporary style of home you may prefer a modern colour scheme like black, white and grey.

There are no hard and fast rules. You should choose colours that you like and you are going to be happy with.

However, this doesn't apply if you are in a heritage listed area. There are rules and colours that you need to adhere to.

White, black and timber exterior

2.  What is the aspect of your home.

The direction your home faces will have an impact on how colours look at different times of the day.  If your home faces north and you get the hot, warm sun in the late afternoon you may want to reconsider using very saturated colours.  These colours can look very bright in direct sunlight. Muted or greyed colours tend to look better on large areas.

If you don't receive any direct sunlight, a warmer colour can help to create an inviting feel.

House exterior in cool, muted tones

3.  How do you want the exterior of your home to look.

Do you want your home to stand out from the crowd or sit in harmony with the landscape and streetscape. If you’re not sure how you want your home to look take a walk or drive around your neighbourhood and have a look at the homes in your area.  

When you find a home that you like take note of the reasons why you like it.  Is it the colours, the tones used or maybe you like that it stands out from the rest of the houses in the street?

It's also a good idea to look at the homes you don’t like and think about why you don’t like them.  Take this into consideration when selecting colours.  Sometimes what you don’t like will help lead you to what you do like.

Check out your next door neighbours colour schemes. You may want your home to complement theirs either by using contrasting colours or using a similar colour palette.

Are there any existing colours around your home that you won't be changing? Maybe your fence colour will stay the same or you have a paved area that needs to work with your new colour scheme. Use these colours as a starting point and find colours that tie in with these.

Natural toned exterior

4.  Use neutral colours

Neutral colours tend to look better on a home’s exterior.  

They are the colours found in nature and they help your home to sit harmoniously into the landscape.  

Of course, if you want your home to stand out you might want to use some brighter colour.   

However, it is wise to use brighter, saturated colours cautiously as they can cause sensory overload, especially in large areas.

A splash of bright colour can look great on a mostly neutral home.  You could paint your front door a bright yellow or a small section of cladding in a bold colour.

Contrasting coloured front door

5.  Use 3 to 4 colours

Too many colours on the exterior can make your house look like a licorice allsort!

As a general guideline 3-4 colours will give you good contrast while still looking cohesive.  

You can create interest by using similar colours in different textures.  You could use grey face brick and grey render and they will be a different in colour because of the different finishes. 

You might choose a dark coloured roof and your cladding could be a similar colour but a few tones lighter to create a contrast between the two but still keeping in the same colour family.

Exterior in Grey tones

No matter what colours you decide to use make sure that you check your colour samples outside.  

Colours will look very different outside than they will inside.  

Direct sunlight will wash colours out considerably and what may look a mid-toned grey inside will look a lot lighter outside.  The undertone will also be a lot more obvious outside.  The sunlight washes out the grey and the undertone of the colour comes through.  This catches a lot of people out so you need to CHECK YOUR COLOURS OUTSIDE!

Once you have selected a colour that you like for the exterior consider going a couple of tones darker to ensure that the colour looks the same outside.

Always paint large samples of any colour and test it outside prior to painting the house.

Hopefully these tips have given you a better understanding of selecting exterior colours and you will be more confident in your choices. 

I also hope this helps you sleep at night instead of lying awake stressing about colours!

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Happy decorating.

 Trudi x

October 26th, 2017

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