colorful exteriors

The quickest way to spruce up the outside of your home is with new paint colors. Whereas you’re free to choose any colors for the relatively private interior, everyone sees the outside your home, so there’s a public component to your color selection to consider. Here are several tips designers and architects use to find exterior color schemes.

1. Pay Attention to Your Neighborhood
Study the color schemes of the homes around you, noting which ones spark your fancy. If your home is similar in style, then a variation on your favorite color schemes will look nice and be appropriate for the neighborhood.

red trim in shade

2. Follow the Sun
Full sunlight intensifies colors, so make note of what parts of your home get the most sunlight at which times of day. If the front of your home is in full sun for the second half of the day, consider more subtle colors to avoid a garrish effect. Conversely, a home mostly in soft shade due to trees can sport more saturated colors to beautiful effect.

3. Play with Accents
Homes typically have many smaller details, like shutters, porch columns, fascia, where you can be more adventurous with color. For example, stick with a neutral color for the body of the home, and use one bold color to highlight the front door. Also, remember that you have flower pots (and flowers), home address plates and mailboxes to use as opportunities for pops of bright color.

contrasting colors

4. Embrace Contrast
Variations in tones highlight the architectural details of your home, so you need both dark and light colors for visual interest. If the main body of your home is a dark color, go for lighter window frames, shutters and trims to provide contrast.

5. Test Colors on the Home
The color you see on the paint chip in the store will become darker and more intense in full sunlight across a wide swath of the exterior. Make large boards with the paint colors you’re considering so you can move them about the exterior. Or paint the samples directly onto several spots of the home. You want to see the colors at different times of day under different lighting conditions to assure you can live comfortably with those colors.

coordinate with natural materials

6. Coordinate with Materials
For homes with a stone or brick façade, choose trim colors that work with the natural shades and textures. For instance, a dark red brick home benefits from a contrasting cream trim with sage green accents as the complimentary color to red.

The exterior of your home deserves as much design consideration as the interior. Making the right choices is easy when you work with the designers and architects at St. Louis remodeling firm Mosby Building Arts. See a gallery of some of their exterior design projects. To get started, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.