Choosing an Exterier Home Color

It's Summer time!  Perfect time to spruce up the exterior of your home.  
Painting gives the most bang for your buck!  
But how in the world does one decide what color to paint their house?  
In a guest post by Zillow, Jennifer Riner shares some ideas.

6 Steps to Choosing a Home Color
It’s difficult to alter home exteriors without major renovations and large budgets. Repainting, however, is an easy, inexpensive way to give face-lifts to boring home façades. Along with fresh landscaping and a few décor features, new color schemes can transform exteriors from dated to designer.
Before purchasing paints and brushes, owners should determine which colors best suit their homes. Use these six steps to figure out appropriate exterior shades.

1. Research Surrounding Neighborhood
Determine the best exterior paint choices by examining other homes throughout the neighborhood. Location can ultimately determine if certain hues are regionally appropriate. For instance, it’s more common for homes in Florida to be painted pink than in the Midwest due to the warm, southern climate that welcomes bright and upbeat colors. San Francisco has “painted ladies” – or Victorian-style homes featuring perky shades of purple – lined up on some of the most popular streets in the city. Vacation homes in the Caribbean might incorporate more eccentric outdoor color schemes than bungalows in the Pacific Northwest. Uncharacteristic shades might draw negative attention, so try to match exteriors to their respective locations.

2. Match Architecture
Architects often paint homes with historically iconic colors or hues to complement structural genres of homes, which make the styles easily recognizable to the average onlooker. For instance, cottages benefit from light and bright blues and craftsman-style homes shine in earth tones such as green. Tudors give off rustic vibes that should be honored with classic red brick. Mediterranean homes usually feature terra-cotta pinkish-brown. These are just a few of the many styles of homes on the market, and some may not follow these guidelines precisely. For instance, Dutch colonials are often painted warm neutral colors, but might look great in classic white. Compare distinguishing color choices with personal preferences to come up with a compromise that satisfies tradition and individuality at the same time.

3. Pick a Palette
After choosing the color to paint the siding or brick, consider the additional features. More contemporary residences are the same color for siding and trim. However, there’s no shame in picking three to four varying shades for one home. Classic exteriors typically have varying body and trim colors with dark wood doors. From a selling standpoint, buyers may be overwhelmed by too many contrasting shades – keep the palettes somewhat neutral to broaden the number of potential offers.

4. Highlight Uniqueness
Paint trim in bright tones to stand out amongst darker siding. Oppositely, paint trim dark to offset stark home colors. Homeowners should direct focus to top-selling points, especially during open houses and listing photo shoots. The contrast between deep blues and grays with whites and beiges impress individuals searching for homes with updated, stylish exteriors.

5. Mask Eyesores
Paint gutters, vents and utility boxes the same exact color as the body of a home. Creating a monochromatic scheme helps hide some of the less attractive, but necessary structures. Rather than hide unsightly fixtures with overgrown landscaping, match colors to trick eyes into looking past imperfections.

6. Complement Landscaping
Homeowners who recently painted their front doors red might consider planting red rose bushes along the front of their homes in two symmetrical lines. Against white homes with black shutters, rosy hues stand out without being too dramatic. Already have well-designed front gardens featuring colorful flowerbeds? Use those arrangements to decide which tones to paint siding, trim, doors, railings and shutters. This way, only one feature has to be modified to match the rest of the front yard.

Aside from paint colors, think outside of the box when it comes to façade ornamentation. Consider bright yellow front doors or stained-glass windows to add unique elements to home exteriors. Even with neutral color schemes, fun décor can draw wanted attention to homes. Keep trinkets and accessories minimal to avoid an over-done look.