You’ve probably heard that changing your home’s paint color is a great way to up that important curb appeal and your home’s value – and that’s true. But I’ve encountered homeowners who’ve made that investment only to see their dreams of a creamy white house crushed when the house ends up looking pale yellow. Or other homeowners wanting a rich deep charcoal gray, but ending up with paint that looks light, crusty and dull. How does this happen you might ask?
Well, paint is a transformative medium. It’s affected greatly by the elements. If you think the lighting inside your home affects how your paint reads, just wait till you try to tackle that big sun outside! Here are my tips for choosing the perfect paint color that will stand up against the elements and feel right at home with the nature surrounding it.
Choose a paint color that’s darker than you want
Whatever paint color you fall in love with, when translated outside, will always read lighter than it does inside. Your paint color’s pigment power can’t withstand the sun’s power, whether direct or indirect. That’s why it’s helpful to go a few shades darker than the color you decide on. The change in shades will help your darker color choice read like your original choice.
Blend in with nature
I’m not saying you should paint your house green! However, a nod to the natural color of our gorgeous planet does help your paint choice to blend in and not appear jarring or out of place. A subtle hue of forest green in a deep grey works well against a greenbelt or tree-lined backdrop.
Whites with a slight mushroom hue look more natural than anything too stark. Even bright colors like red and blue can benefit from having a slight brown or green tinge. Think of our earth’s natural colors (blue, brown, green, beige, rust, etc)—any earthy colors will look right at home on your home exterior.
Contrast your trim
Contrast is the most helpful tool in design, inside and outside your home. It creates a push and pull feeling and helps add visual interest or highlights certain features. For a home exterior, the trim is an excellent place for a punch of contrast. A white trim against a deeper base looks crisp and clean. A dark trim is moody and romantic. A pop of color is quirky and interesting. Choose the style that’s right for you and remember to abide by the earthy-infused paint color rule.
If you’re still not sure where to start, I’ve got you covered. These are my two favorite color combos for a home exterior:
1) Off-white with muted green trim and black accents
2) Black on black with warm wood accents
As you sort through the myriad of paint color choices for your home’s exterior, keep these tips in mind to ensure you get a result you’ll love—and help your house stand out for all the right reasons.
Ashley Freeman is a Toronto-based interior designer who leads her design firm to capture the fullness and richness of life through materials and finishes. See her featured on Apartment Therapy, the Contemporist and Umbra.