Did you know that the first and most important colour choice for your new build exterior is the window colour? Whether you are starting a renovation or planning a new build construction, your window colour choice sets the tone for the rest of your exterior decisions. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right window colour for your home.
How to choose the right window colour for your home
Ideally, your windows should look perfectly integrated with the colours and materials you’re installing. It’s also important to consider the versatility and longevity of the colour you choose.
Most window companies, like Centra Windows (located here in the Westcoast), have lots of colour choices – but which is the right colour for your home? To create the most timeless exterior, you’ll want to keep these guidelines in mind when selecting a window colour.
This post is sponsored in part by Centra Windows and they provided some of the window colour images for this post. All colour advice is mine alone.
1. Always create a design plan before choosing your window colour
I recommend creating a plan for your colours and finishes BEFORE choosing the window colour. Don’t just default to white or black windows.
I had a client early in the black and white trend whose contractor went ahead and ordered 40K of Almond (green beige) windows based solely on wild assumptions. This window colour choice impacted ALL other colour decisions for her exterior and led her directly into a much earthier (brown and beige) colour scheme than she had in mind.
She called my eDesign department in a panic. We of course encouraged her to call her contractor out on his mistake and gave her options to move her project forward.
Since the black and white trend arrived, and the black window trend along with it, most people are now simply assuming that black windows are the correct choice for every style of home they are building. The emails my eDesign department now receives go something like this: “HELP, I chose black windows for my new build and now I’m worried they don’t go with the rest of my exterior finishes!”
The moral of the story is: don’t go into your exterior project without a plan – whether it’s a new build or renovation. Also, don’t choose a default window colour without considering the overall look you want to create.
2. When to choose white windows
White windows remain popular and probably the safest default colour choice, and for good reason. They work with a variety of fresh and pretty colour palettes. White windows are an especially good option for a traditional to a transitional exterior with plenty of crisp white trim.
Because my aesthetic preference for exterior colours is a fresher look over an earthy one, white windows take the top spot in my rankings for timeless colour choices for your exterior.
But white windows do NOT work when you have an earthy colour scheme with stone that is warmer and more brown and varied in tone than green grey limestone. That’s when you need a warmer or deeper window colour. White windows will look too stark. More on windows for earthy palettes below.
3. Black windows are trending, but are they right for your home?
Due to the prevalence of the black and white trend for exteriors, the new popular default colour choice is black windows. But black windows in no way work with EVERY exterior.
I would argue that white windows are often the prettier, less trendy choice for an all-white exterior, even for the trendy modern farmhouse look. However, if you love the look of black windows, make sure to balance them with plenty of fresh white, cream or pale greige. This is a nice example of that below:
4. Here’s what to be aware of if you are considering black windows
If your windows are not nice and symmetrical or consistent in shape and size, that’s when you might want to avoid accenting them with high contrast black windows.
In the image below, the black windows and trim are too heavy for this exterior. It’s all you notice.
Black is a nice highlight for generously large and well-proportioned windows. In contrast to the example above, the design of this elegant house below has it right.
This house has large feature windows with slim frames and narrow mullions combined with a pretty symmetrical pale white/cream body. Black windows on an exterior like this will never look dated.
Black windows can also be pretty inside, just know that you will always have to incorporate some black into your interior decor to make them relate. This is relatively easy now with the black and white trend. There are plenty of subtle ways to repeat the black as they’ve done with the trendy area rug below. Black interior windows look great with white walls, but they are more limiting when your decorating style inevitably shifts.
But if you aren’t sure about carrying the black colour palette inside your home, here’s something else to consider. I always encourage my clients to choose white interior windows because timeless design means creating a versatile backdrop for decorating.
5. When to choose an earth tone or a warm grey window colour?
Did you know that colours typically wash out a few shades lighter in exterior light? This is important to know if you need cream or a softer window colour. A slightly creamier off-white option is probably not going to be creamy enough on an exterior. In fact, it might look more like white and end up being too stark to work with brick and earthy stone.
The best exterior creams are actually green grey and green beige, or sometimes taupe.
Read more: The Best Window Colour For Stone and Brick
6. WINDOW COLOUR TIP: See which window colour best matches your mortar.
Window colours that best match stone mortar are usually:
- Green beige, typically called Almond
- Green grey (which is also the colour of natural limestone and concrete), often called Clay, Cashmere, or Putty
While I recommend choosing a green undertone over pink, a pink or violet taupe is sometimes the right choice with exterior stone that has violet and pink undertones.
The soft colour of the windows below looks like a green grey and relates beautifully to the mortar. The green grey window colour provides just enough contrast to the brick without coming across as heavy on the one hand, or stark on the other.
That being said, make sure you don’t just default to green beige (in other words Almond windows) for an earthier colour scheme. They can often be too yellow to be versatile with the stone on your exterior. Rather, you’ll find stone commonly has cooler green grey, violet grey and taupe undertones.
7. Will bronze windows work for my home?
Bronze windows are also a great choice with earthier colour schemes.
This earthy taupe exterior below with slim bronze windows could easily be painted a pretty creamy colour for a fresher look. That’s what makes bronze a versatile choice. It’s softer than black for windows but deep enough to look good with many fresh and earthier colour schemes. A window colour like bronze that is also versatile essentially equals timeless.
I often encourage my clients to consider softer bronze exterior windows instead of black for a more muted but still timeless look with a pale body colour and a warmer roof colour. When you combine these warmer elements with plenty of fresh white, it can also provide a timeless look.
The best way to choose the prettiest window colour for your house comes down to having a design plan in place first. Once you know the context of the style and overall colour palette you want, you can work through which options will coordinate best.
You’ll also want to consider which option will give you the most longevity. Windows are not an easy thing to replace and they can set the entire colour palette for the rest of your exterior. That makes it an important early decision to make.
Which window colour is the most versatile for your home and will allow you to update and change the look of your exterior in the future?
Because your window colour is one of the first and most expensive decisions for a renovation or new build, making a wrong choice can snowball into limiting future colour decisions. So, do you have a design plan yet?
If you’re located here in the Westcoast and thinking about adding or updating your old windows, I would highly recommend visiting your local Centra Windows location or their website. They will be able to guide you through the process and have a wide selection of window colours. But remember – a design plan comes first!
This post is sponsored by Centra Windows, all opinions are my own.
Do you have questions about windows? Post them below!