If you're looking to change the appearance of your home, changing the color is a great place to start. Unfortunately, for most people, picking the right house color is not just difficult, it's frightening! There are many ways to get it wrong. Pick nondescript colors and your house will seem flat or featureless. If you pick colors that are too bright and they might become overwhelming and probably upset your neighbors. Either way, too bold or too bland, if they do not enhance the appearance as expected, you run the risk of reducing the value and potentially, the ability to sell your property.
The right colors will highlight the most beautiful features of your home and hide the least. You can disguise certain design flaws just by using the right paint in the right way and in doing so, increase the street appeal and potentially the value of the property. So, what do you need to do to find that elusive color combination and make the decision process painless? Read on.
If you have an older property, most people like to stick to tradition so, if you're planning to paint an older home, you'll probably want to use a historically accurate color scheme. One way is to send off paint chips to your local paint experts and ask them to recreate the original color. Or, just refer to historical color charts and select shades that might have been used at the time your home was built.
If you're the non-traditional type or just want to fly in the face of history, before you buy that modern color you dream of, look at what your neighbors are doing. Using bright, modern colors on old architectural details can produce starting and exciting results. But, a word or warning, a bright colored Victorian home that looks splendid in an up and coming area of a city will seem wild out of place in more conservative rural neighborhoods. If you want really modern when you have conservative neighbors, choose 'conservative' modern!
Talking about your neighbors, although the house next door can give you paint ideas, never copy your neighbor exactly. Unless your homes are all supposedly to be exactly the same, choose combination's that set your home apart, without clashing with any buildings nearby. A good tip when looking at the neighbors, is to look at the landscape as well as the properties. A house surrounded by trees may suggest more earthy colors of greens and browns. A beach setting might suggest a sea palette of water blues, turquoises, and sand. Even the flowers in and around your front garden should inspire exciting color combination's.
So, when you've chosen the main color (s), what shade and do you go light or dark? There are 2 clear rules to abide by. 1. Use light colors to add size. Light colors make a building look larger, grand estates are often painted white for this reason. Increase your home's sense of size and dignity by using white or a pale cream color. 2. Use dark colors to add drama. Dark edging bands will make your house seem smaller, but will draw attention to details. Darker shades are best for accenting recesses, while lighter tones will highlight details that project from the wall surface. On traditional Victorian homes, the darkest paint is often used for the window sashes.
Of course, when choosing the right color combination's, you've got to consider much more than just the main colors on the walls. Some colors are already established and are hard to change. What color is your roof? Does your house have brick walls? Vinyl windows? A natural wooden garage door? Will steps and railings remain their existing colors? Your paint choice does not have to match everything, but it should harmonize. Focus on these details. Depending on the size and complexity of your home, you may want to choose up to as many as six colors to include accents for shutters, moldings, doors, window sashes, brackets, columns, porch decks and the largest detail on most houses, the garage door.
So, pick the main color that integrates the house and vicinity, pick the shade that enhances the natural features and pick complementary colors that bring it all together. Easy.