Learn how to choose exterior house colours for your existing home or new build. I’ve packaged all my exterior design advice and answers to your questions about home exterior colour in my new Masterclass Exterior Colour Selection online training!
After over 4 months of development during the Spring and Summer of 2019, plus more than 20 years of experience, and thousands of colour consultations completed — it’s finally here.
I know exterior is only half of the expert training I need to have online, but the rest will take some time to create! So after many years of emails with readers asking about online training, I’m starting with the outside of your home!
NEW! Online Exterior Masterclass on Choosing Colours
I’m so thrilled to announce that my new Online Exterior Masterclass on Choosing Colours is now available!
This is the only course that will give you the step-by-step process for choosing the perfect colours for your exterior using my tried and proven System for Specifying Colour.
Not only that, it will help you navigate the trend cycles to arrive at the most classic and timeless look for any exterior.
My new Masterclass is the ultimate shortcut for learning to choose exterior colour like an expert. I’ve distilled my years of experience and insight into clear, universal principles that anyone can learn and apply to master colour for exteriors.
START HERE to watch the first module for free!
Let me start by sharing a great example below that illustrates just a few of the concepts covered in this comprehensive online colour training.
How to Choose Exterior House Colour
I received this question the other day along with a photo:
I’ve just bought a new home. It’s built in 1965, and has very little curb appeal. It needs new windows. The stucco is currently white, so I’ve considered black windows to add some contrast.
If I do white retrofit vinyl windows I think it will look bad unless we paint the house a contrasting color. I’m also bothered by the asymmetry of the windows and front door, so I’m worried about drawing attention to that with contrasting windows. Any advice?
Did You Know that Managing Contrast is an Important Concept for Getting Exterior Colour Right?
I agree, the window design needs a complete makeover. However, if that’s not in the budget, black windows with a matching dark body colour will definitely help hide the asymmetrical windows, as well as take the attention away from the dirty looking driveway.
Low contrast and consistent, blending colour creates a seamless coherent exterior look.
HOT TIP: low contrast and consistent, blending colour creates a seamless coherent look, high contrast draws attention to disparate elements. Use low contrast where you want certain disjointed elements to “go away”. Windows typically read dark on an exterior anyway, so if they are random in size or shape, and you don’t want to draw attention to them, consider a dark body colour as a possible solution.
Let’s see how that would look, shall we?
It’s better but now the door really looks wrong. It’s way too traditional for this more contemporary style home. The dated cherry stain isn’t helping either. It’s important to be aware of the style of your home when making selections like colour, window and door style. These are the details that can make or break the look of your exterior.
Never Underestimate the Power of Good Landscaping
I asked MaryAnne White, my Landscape Designer to weigh in on the landscaping since that’s also such a great way to take the attention away from architecture that is lacking.
Since working with her so closely on my home (and all while long-distance from New York) it’s one of the first things I notice when I look at the architecture and colour of a client’s home. I often suggest landscaping instead of more expensive “upgrades” like trendy stone, to improve the curb appeal of someone’s home.
I cover this topic in Module 12: Curb Appeal Begins with Landscaping.
She suggested the new evergreen shrubs and a metal sculpture in between the front door and the windows on the right. This way it would look the same all year.
I added modern doors into the image in black.
Much better. Now the choppy windows are way less of a feature than they were when the house was white and the new shrubs greatly enhance the curb appeal!
If we also added new black windows to this home, I would make sure the window frames were skinny.
If you are choosing new windows for a renovation or new build, your questions will be covered in Module 5: Windows: The First Step in a New Build.
This module, all about windows, also includes a book recommendation that no one should live without, to inform your new build, as well as the three most important features your new home should have.
What are the best front door colours?
Now, could the front door be a different colour?
How about yellow? A clean yellow often looks fabulous on a more modern home:
Definitely NO. Why does it look bad?
POP QUIZ: Tell me why the yellow door doesn’t work in the comments below, and in a of couple days I’ll post the answer.
And here’s the door in green. It relates nicely to the green trees and shrubs all around but if it doesn’t feel modern enough, you could stick with the black door and then we would just see the new landscaping instead.
Then you’ll discover Module 10: The Best Front Door Colours to help you navigate which colour is right for your home.
Here’s the home exterior before again:
and the home exterior after:
Everything about exteriors that I’ve learned, tested, and perfected over 20 years is packed into this course.
And it comes with lifetime access. You can use this to improve every exterior you’ll ever own, for the rest of your life.
And now it can all be yours.