Painting The Outside of Your House? Here Are Four Tips

A super stylish friend of mine recently asked me to write about exterior paint colors because she is trying to decide what color to paint her house.  She really has great taste and is a designer to boot but here is the cold hard truth.  We designers have trouble committing when it comes to our own homes!  Of course, if you have an unlimited budget and are able to change things on a whim, it isn't so difficult but most of us aren't inundated with million dollar projects.  Just this morning, in barre class, I was speaking to another designer who is married to an architect.  They are in the throes of renovating their house and no joke, she is thinking about hiring another designer to help!  The problem is that because we are in the business, we know how many different options there are out there and our creative minds tend to jump from one scheme to another with alarming speed. So sometimes when we get stuck, it helps to have someone else tell us what to choose among the infinite options. 

So, Kelly, here is my two cents on exterior paint colors:

1. Keep it Classic.

When it comes to the exterior of your home, stick with what has worked for hundreds of years.  This is not the place to try to be too clever.  The style of your home will dictate the color scheme to a degree but I don't think you can ever go wrong painting the body of your house a white, off white or gray.

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2. Use Subtle (if any) Contrast on Trim.

Unless you are lucky enough to have an Italianate Victorian or a Queen Anne painted lady, I think subtle contrast on trim looks the most elegant for most homes.  If you are painting your house a bright white, you can keep the trim the same color.  If you are using an off white and want to highlight the trim a bit, use super white there.  

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3. Shutters

You can go in a few different directions with your shutters.  They can match the trim and the front door or contrast. Since they are a  little harder to repaint than the front door, I suggest sticking with the tried and true there.  Black, Dark Green, Gray, White or off-white are sure bets. If you live on the coast (or want your house to look like coastal!), blues and greens are also pretty on shutters. 

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4. Have Fun with Your Front Door!

Your front door is the place to try out that color that you love.  It's easy to change if you get tired of it so have fun with it!

Here are some color schemes that I am playing around with- maybe there is one here for my friend?

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I could play with colors all day but I must drag myself away and get to work.  Hope your weekend is colorful and restful at the same time! Happy Friday.