Choosing Timeless Exterior Paint Colors

While it is natural to focus on your home’s interior, since you spend the majority of your time there, the exterior of your home is what people first see when they visit, and should be given careful consideration. However, there are many factors to mull over when choosing exterior colors for your home that will stand the test of time. So, if you are looking for a contemporary look without an expiration date, keep the following suggestions in mind:

Take a Good Look at your Surroundings

Because your home is a part of the larger environment around it, consider its surroundings when choosing the perfect exterior paint colors. Start with your neighbors. You won’t necessarily need to match their palette exactly, but looking to their tones and accents as an inspiration can get you started in the right direction. You may even apply a contrasting tone, as long as it doesn’t veer too far from those situated next to you. However, use your discretion – if the homes in your neighborhood are more spread out, a difference in tone may not be as jarring.

Consider your Home’s Architecture and Style

Another good starting point is your home’s architectural style. Older Victorian homes will require different considerations than modern brick homes. Not sure where to start? Research homes in your area that were built around the same era as yours. Of course, this is only important if the historical significance of your dwelling matters to you. It should not specifically limit your color choices.

Factor in Natural Lighting

Natural lighting cannot be underestimated when considering an exterior paint color. Your home’s location determines whether it spends the majority of its time in daylight or in shadow, and that should be a strong determining factor when choosing your palette.

For example, if your home sits in direct sunlight each day, the constant light exposure will cause your paint to fade faster, so a light to medium hue will probably be the best option for your house. However, if your home sits in the shade, a brighter shade will set it apart from the background; especially since homes lying in the shadows appear darker anyway.

Not sure about how your natural lighting affects certain paint colors? Simply paint a board and shift it around your home and see how it looks at different times throughout the day.

Stick to Basic Color Schemes

When you painting your house’s exterior, it is always best to think long term, since the process is exhaustive in terms of both time and money. Therefore, since exteriors by nature require more longevity than interiors, you should refrain from choosing colors that are too fashion-forward. However, little nods to current trends within your home’s accents are not as difficult to change as time passes, and should be considered.

Limit your house’s palette to as few as two distinct colors. Any more than that can be overwhelming to the eyes. And, don’t forget that fixed elements that do not require paint, such as stone or brick, count as distinct colors themselves, but if you have trim, siding, or a front door that requires paint, and you want it to stick out, a third shade may work well as a contrast.

Choose a palette that will look appropriate for at least a decade – about as long as you should wait between paint jobs. When searching for long term elegance, whites and neutrals spring to the minds of most homeowners in the know. White can be beautiful, but it can also be unforgiving. For example, if you are dealing with more classic architecture, a pristine white will look gorgeous, but for homes that are not necessarily in the best shape, a white paint job is sure to accentuate its flaws.

Neutrals, too, are always popular hues and can certainly contribute to a timeless look. Grey, taupe, black, and tan will always withstand the test of time against upstarts like lime green because they will never go out of style or seem too tacky in different time periods as your home ages. To stand out from the crowd, try contrasting matching neutrals, such as black and white, to pack a powerful visual punch. Fifty percent of each shade will do the trick. You can even add a splash of red, such as on the front door, to modernize the overall look.

In conclusion, there are many factors to be considered when choosing an exterior color scheme. However, if you factor in your home’s surroundings, style, natural lighting, and how long you want the paint to last, you should not have any problem coming up with a palette that reflects not only your personal style, but also one that puts your home’s best face forward.

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