5 Biggest “Don’ts” When Choosing an Exterior Color

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Over the years, hundreds of homeowners have asked us for advice when it comes to selecting a color for their home’s exterior.  And since the right color combination for any home depends upon a variety of factors – like architectural style, location, and personal taste – we thought we’d compile our expert’s list of what not to do.  Here goes:

1) Don’t feel bound by tradition.

If you have an older home, feel free to honor the past with an historically accurate color scheme.  But don’t be afraid to upend tradition with exciting results – like using a bold blue or bubblegum pink to dramatize architectural details.  Savvy homeowners in trendy (and even not-so-trendy) neighborhoods know that skillful color usage can disguise design flaws and even boost the overall curb appeal of their home.

2)  Don’t ignore your neighbors.

Strategic color usage can add curb appeal and value (see #1 above), but not if your house becomes the laughingstock of the neighborhood.  A good rule of thumb?  Choose colors that set your house apart, without clashing with nearby buildings.  Likewise, let the house next door give you paint color ideas, but don’t copy your neighbor exactly.

3)  Don’t work against your home’s existing assets.

Every home has some features that won’t be painted, like brick walls, vinyl windows or a natural wooden door.  That said, choose a color scheme that harmonizes with colors already present on your house.

4)  Don’t mess with the laws of physics.

For those of you who missed it in high school science class, Michel Eugene Chevreul invented a 72-part color circle that essentially maps how the brain interprets color.  Taken together with theories on perspective developed by Leonardo DaVinci, Chevreul’s work determined that dark colors seem to shrink objects, while light colors seem to expand them.  The lesson for homeowners?  To make your house seem bigger, stick with lighter exterior hues.

5)  Don’t forget: Less is more.

Even on the most ornate of gingerbread Victorians, using too many colors in your exterior palette can totally overwhelm your house (along with anyone passing by).  Strike a balance by sticking to no more than 3 or 4 complementary shades.

One final tip?  Contact Coastline Painters today for more great color guidance.  We’re ready to help you create the home of your dreams.

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