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Black is elegant and dramatic. It seems like the obvious answer to everything right – including accent colour?  So why does the black trim you were so excited to put up on your brick exterior look less than fabulous?

Does black trim go with a brick house?

Let’s discuss when black trim works with brick and also when it doesn’t.

You scrolled for inspiration. Then you took the plunge and chose black trim and accents for your brick house.

And, you expected it to look something like this below. Stunning!

Steven Harris Architects

But instead it ended up looking something like this:



Lately it seems that black trim is popping up everywhere on brick exteriors. But often, it looks something like this (below). Do you get the Halloween vibes from this otherwise pretty house?


 It’s a solid: almost-but-not-quite. Black is trending, so why not? But, the orange brick looks like hot fire over black coals on this exterior.

How to balance black trim with a brick house

The fix is easy though, it needs plenty more green grey (like the cast concrete window apron)  painted on the soffits, fascia and stairs at least, to look FRESH yet balanced. That’s how you achieve a more TIMELESS look with black trim on a brick house.

Like this classic house below:

Lasley Brahaney Architecture

The dark accents on the house above are actually bronze, which brings me to another point. Drama comes from contrast. That means you don’t need to go full black-hole black to get it. Often bronze is a much softer, more timeless option than straight-outta-the-can black.

Black shutters and doors are just enough black on a timeless brick house. This is a classic combination (below).

G.P. Schafer Architect

It’s easy to overdo black in both interior and exterior design

The same thing is happening in interiors too. Once you’ve installed black flooring, tile, and then some furniture – you go, “Hmmm, we need some rich wood tones to warm this up.” And then you end up with something like this below.



That’s not to say this combination never works. Because it can.

Read more: How to Decorate with Black in a Bathroom (Don’t Overdo It)

There are plenty of interiors with black, white and cognac orange that work perfectly well. It’s all about proportion and balance.

See how the black and orange is all densely crammed into the rooms above? These two heavy colours need plenty of light and bright throughout to look balanced and fresh.

So this post is a bit early in the season haha! But my point is, you certainly don’t want your house to look spooky all year long do you? Here’s a lovely combination of warm cognac and black, with plenty of cream to create balance.

Via the Design Chaser

I can’t say it enough, black is SO easily overdone and tricky to balance. So you need to decide, is all that black you’re considering a Trick? Or a Treat?

If you’d like to learn how to choose the right colours for any exterior, shop my Exterior Masterclass for Timeless Colours here.

If you have a more complicated exterior and want to work with me, see my eDesign packages here.

See you this Fall!

We have sooooo much to talk about this Fall and I can’t wait to meet you in person at one of my events. The trends are moving swiftly and if you are trying to renovate or build a new home in the future, you need to educate yourself on how to navigate the trends but also make timeless decisions you won’t hate in 5 years. 

Plus, you’ll have my best secrets on styling and decorating to create a home that truly brings you JOY! Watch my video to learn a FREE decorating lesson.

Learn to Understand Colour and Understand Undertones in two days. Sign up here. Early bird rate ends August 31.

Related posts:

The Best Exterior Trim Colours; NOT Cloud White

The Black and White Exterior Mistake Everyone is Making

Update the Brick Columns on your Exterior; Before & After


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  • Carissa says:

    Oh I love this! We are planning our new build with a cream brick and while I wasn’t considering black, I really appreciate the tidbit on bronze and why it works. Thank you! (:

    • Diane says:

      My friend’s very pricey designer has suggested bronze lanterns to refresh her front door area. Now finding more affordable ones is the trick..or treat!👻

  • Cindi says:

    I did bronze-black windows on the outside (and bucked the trend with white on the inside windows, probably the only house in my town built in 5 years without black inside.) I also did bronze skirting to cover the foundation and on the fascia/soffits in a few areas. But mostly white fascia and soffits (not really white, shades darker than white so it looks white outside), with green and “white” siding and brown roof shingles. See, Maria, I learned something! I definitely am not trendy here, where people are painting siding gray or black, with black windows and roofs. The only other option in my mountain town it seems is wood and stone. But I get so many compliments on my house. And that’s with the yard still all dirt and weeds.

    So important to test your paint colors. And I also had color renderings done very inexpensively, with different colors in different of these areas, to see which looked best. Was looking for one that looked balanced but with contrast. It was amazing how much small differences made, and so easy to test with computer renderings.

  • Faye says:

    The first photo, which is indeed stunning, almost looks like a very dark nickel or pewter finish to me. Is it the light? The sheen? It’s just gorgeous. What a beautiful use of black.

  • Kimberly says:

    I live in a city with mostly historic brick/stucco homes, which has given me opportunity to reflect on when black works, and my observations definitely align with yours!

    We’re kind of the opposite of the suburbs, in that stark white windows usually look “wrong”. But there’s a lot of variety in the colors of windows used. And jusk like stark white windows don’t look right, stark black doesn’t look great either.

    I live in an alley of small row homes and one of my neighbors recently painted their stucco house white and put in black windows + trim. It looks just as bad as in the suburbs. More ghost than pumpkin lol

  • Matt says:

    The French seem to like indigo and other shades of blue with brick (and white and gray, of course). At least that seems to be the case in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.

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