If you are unlike the thousands of Americans who don’t have options in the color they select for their home exterior due to Home Owner’s Association constraints, then you are dealing with both a blessing and a curse.
Do you want to be the house that sticks out or blends in? Have you been dreaming since childhood of living in a baby blue Victorian home? Or are you more of a taupe stucco and red tile-roofed ranch type? In either case, you will have to make a decision—and the choice between colors that would otherwise look almost identical to you can become wildly different when under the kind of scrutiny you’ll subject them to while making your decision. Eggshell and off-white, tan, beige, desert sand, and all kinds of “not quite white” colors can seem like a drag. Here are some alternative ideas to rev your exterior paint engine.
Where do you live?
If you live on a rolling hill in San Francisco, chances are the houses are scrunched tightly next to yours. They come in every imaginable shade, giving the street the bright, intense color richness the city is known for. This is not the place to go with Navajo white or pearl beige. This is the place to think outside of the box with more daring choices. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a place that doesn’t feel like home.
But what if you live in the suburbs of Albuquerque, surrounded by houses that are all essentially the same color? If you’re just dying to use something a little more daring than the rest of your neighbors, you can choose a toned down version of what you would have chosen in San Francisco. For example, let’s say you had planned on going Amazon green: living in the suburbs, you can take the green concept from this vivid green hue and choose something like a honeydew or creamy mint instead.
What colors are your roof and fixtures?
If your roof is blazing red, chances are that deep Amazon green is a bad choice regardless of where you live. Tile-roof homes do best with colors that allow the roof to shine and be the center of attention. Many homes on the East Coast have gorgeous bronze or other metal fixtures, awnings, or trim.
Love thy neighbor
While it doesn’t apply everywhere across the board you will be likelier make great friends with your neighbors next door and across the street if you don’t pick banana yellow—for your exterior paint.
When you purchase your home, take a look around the area to see what others are doing. Don’t settle, but don’t be rigid either. Pick a color within the pallet of your first choice if it’s too bright or too intense. Tone it down enough to keep the peace, but not so much you get lost in the matrix of suburbia.