We all want our homes to stand out. It’s not so difficult in a rural setting, but in a suburban setting where there are rows of homes, a little individuality goes a long way. Have you ever tried to find someone’s home in a neighborhood where all the houses were similar in shape and color? Phone conversations like the following are all too familiar:
“Okay, I’m on your street. Which house is yours?”
“Just keep driving down. It’s on the left. The one with the green pickup in the driveway.”
If the only color that sets a home apart from the others is that of the vehicle in the driveway, then some new exterior color choices may be a good idea. The good news is, this doesn’t necessarily mean a complete paint job is needed. If the condition of the siding is fine, then maybe just a refresh on the trim and accents will do the trick. Keep in mind, though there are thousands of colors to choose from, the reality is that there are most likely only a few colors that are suited for your home.
First, you need to take a close look at the elements around your house. Take a look at the other homes in the neighborhood. If they all use a bland pallet, then consider bolder choices for your trim work. If the other homes use a darker palette, then choose something on the lighter spectrum.
Don’t forget about your home’s history. If it’s an older house then consider a palette that accurately takes advantage of the unique design features that older homes possess. Even if you’re not sure of your home’s original colors, a little research into the houses of that time period can help steer you in the right direction.
The natural colors and features of your landscaping can also play a large role in determining your exterior color choices. This can be a balancing act at times. For example, if your home is surrounded by a lot of shrubbery and other growth, then choosing a white or off-white color can provide enough contrast to help your home look larger. Choosing darker tones in the same situation would cause your house to stand out much less.
When deciding on the color for your trim and accents, conventional wisdom is to use a neutral color for the trim work. That’s because if a contrasting color was used, then some less desirable features of the house would be emphasized. Things like garage doors or a window that doesn’t quite fit with the exterior symmetry come to mind. Plus, by using a neutral color, you can make the surface area of the home’s exterior seem larger, because the base color of the home will appear to reach out further. Complementary colors are better suited for accents, such as shutters and doors— hence the term, accents. These are the things which will stand out the most. Just be careful though. A color choice that is too bold or one that just is not complementary may overwhelm the architectural features of your home and have an opposite effect.