The color of your house says a lot about you to the world. But painting the house is a big decision and a big investment. The colors you choose will affect the way you feel about your home and may also impact on the resale value. So you don’t want to make a mistake.
Before you look at the paint chips, consider the style of your home, the tones in the roof, the masonry, the site, and even the colors you’re using inside the house.
You will probably select a main color for the body and a couple of colors for trim. Trim is applied to window and door frames, porches, columns and railings.
A yellow house can be a bright spot on any block, and yellow houses are said to sell faster than those in other colors. But select the right yellow for your street. I was recently in a neighborhood where most of the houses were brick. But one shingled house was painted brilliant yellow with black and bright white trim. Although it was attractive and might have been perfect on another street, it felt too bright for its neighborhood. A softer, historic, golden yellow would have created a gentler contrast with its brick neighbors.
Some homes seem to glow in certain colors: Picture a green bungalow with maple-gold trim, a creamy colonial with black shutters, a gray Cape Cod with a blue front door. Now think about some larger homes, like an exquisitely shingled Queen Anne in a brilliant pastel or a Tudor Revival in tan and brown.
A drive through your neighborhood will help you put together a color scheme that appeals to you and matches well with the other houses on your block. Take pictures. A color consultant or paint retailer can help you find the right colors to coordinate with the houses nearby.Your roof will help you coordinate the colors that will work on your house. Charcoal gray asphalt shingles will look fine with almost any color of paint you choose, but if you have a green roof, a warm color like red or terra cotta might help make the house sing. If the roof is terra cotta, a warm neutral will complement it beautifully.
The prettiest homes fit into their surroundings. A house that sits in a vivid garden can take its inspiration from the colors of the flowers; a home on a wooded lot looks its best in natural earth tones.
You can’t really pick a hue for your house from a little chip of paint. So, buy a few quarts and try it on the house first. Make sure you check the color in different light, at different times of the day.
Finally, if painting your whole house is too big a project right now, consider painting just the front door. It’s a little project that can have a big impact. A red door adds a lot of punch to a white or yellow house. A deep, dreamy blue door will provide your home with a tranquil focal point.
And you can paint a door a color you would never consider on the whole house. You may love your neutral gray house just the way it is, but a purple entry door provides an easy and exotic accent.