When painting your home, you may feel overwhelmed choosing a palette for the trim, body, and doors. After all, an exterior paint job should last for years, so it’s important to choose colors you love. More than that, you want your home to match the look and feel of your neighborhood while showing your individual style. For years, we’ve helped our clients select a color palette for their home that they love. These are a few of our favorite tips.
1. Make a color inspiration board
Using a cork board, pin your favorite paint color combinations to the wall. Request some paint sample cards and choose the colors that make you feel happy, or calm. Put the board somewhere prominent in your home, so that you can see it every day. This will help you separate the impulse picks from the keepers. Have fun with this — you can always change your mind later.
2. Look to your neighbors
If you love vibrant colors, you might be tempted to paint your entire house canary yellow, or bright red. Before you do that, though, you should think of your neighbors. Choosing a color that is compatible with your block’s color scheme helps to raise curb appeal for the entire neighborhood. It’s also courteous.
As an extreme example of this, last month, a woman in London was ordered to paint her candy-striped house a more neutral white. The judge said that the garish paint adversely affected the surrounding area, and ruled that it must go.
This is not to say that you can’t choose eye-catching colors, however. Bright, bold colors might overwhelm a house when used on the whole wall, but they can work really well on a house’s trim.
3. Work with a color palette
A color palette, such as this one, can help you pull color groupings that work well together. If you’ve got one color that you really like for the walls, but you’re stuck on what color to paint the trim, this is the tool for you. Select one color to start with, and play around with the options until you find a palette you like. A monochromatic color scheme uses varying shades of the same color for an elegant look. Adding a complementary color is a way of adding contrast. Remember that white and gold (or blue and black) dress? That’s one example of how our perception of color can change based on context. For more information, check out this article on basic color theory.