I was going to blog about how to choose a color for the outside of your home but all I can think about is that it’s supposed to be summer here in Seattle and I’m still wearing jeans!! Okay I think I have that out of my system now. With our gray Seattle days I think color inside and out is one of the most important components of creating a space that nurtures and sells. Skillful use of color can disguise design flaws, boost curb appeal and increase the market value of your home. Choosing outdoor colors can be a real headache, especially if you start with a huge paint fan and try to narrow it down that way. I recently interviewed Pam Ellis from Ellis Design services on my radio show. Pam has years of experience as a faux painter, and in color design and offered great tips for my listeners on how to choose an outside color schemes. Here’s a few of her tips, sprinkled with a few of mine 🙂
1. Go for a drive. When choosing an outside color it’s important to blend in with the neighborhood. Now I’m not suggesting that you paint your home the same color as everyone elses, but it is important to choose a color scheme that is complimentary to the neighborhood, not one that sticks out like a sore thumb.
2. Consider the architecture of the home. Choose a paint color that highlights architectural features of the home, and plays down any flaws. One home I consulted on recently had upper siding that was different from the lower siding. By painting the siding the same color the result was well blended. If we had painted the siding two different colors the house would have looked dated and choppy.
3. Borrow from nature. If you have a home that is surrounded by woods, you might want to choose an earthy palette of browns and beige.
4. Consider features of the home that won’t be painted. Choose colors that will harmonize with the roof color, brick features and metal work.
5. Don’t get too creative with outside colors. I recommend using no more than three colors for the exterior of the home. One color for the main area, a trim color, and a color for the front door. The only time I would possibly recommend an additional color is if you have eaves that should have the underside painted. In that case I would recommend a darker shade of the main house color.
6. Choose outside colors that harmonize with the interior color scheme. The home should flow well, with the color scheme naturally transitioning from the outside in.
7. Check out palettes that have already been put together. Both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have some great color schemes that have been developed by their designers who have years of experience. Why stress yourself?
What ever colors you are leaning towards, I recommend that you buy a small amount first and paint a few swatches around the house. Colors change with lighting and surroundings. A color that looks great in the store will look different in sunlight, and a little different in shade.
Right now with our blah summer, I’m really liking those creamy yellows 🙂