Fresh thinking for exterior colour


A home makes a statement. It tells the world something about the personality of the people who live inside. Whether a home is new or being renovated, each product and colour choice presents an opportunity to develop a style statement while enhancing the outward appeal and resale value of the property.

The problem is that choosing the right materials and products is often easier than choosing the colours. Having to pick a colour for one item can be difficult; having to select several colours for the exterior can be a daunting task. The good news is that it doesnt have to be a difficult task at all. All it takes is some FRESH thinking in selecting the right colour for each element of a homes exterior. These include roofing, ceiling, doors, windows, security grills, and the main gate.

FRESH is the approach I developed as a certified colour professional for selecting colours for a home exterior – and you can use this same process for choosing colours. By considering these five points you will be able to pick the perfect colours for any home exterior.

Fixed Features

  • Regional Colours
  • Environment and Surroundings
  • Style of the Home
  • Historic or Traditional Colours

Fixed Features
Unless you are working on a house as it is being constructed from the ground up, no home is a blank canvas. There are many factors to consider as you select your colours, with the most influential being the fixed features. These include items such as:

  • Foundation materials: brick, stone, plaster, concrete, etc.
  • Roofing: style, colour, and material.
  • Water tank structures: brick, stone, or corrugated sheets.
  • Porch or balcony, steps and corridors or walkways: brick, stone, cement.
  • Decks and patios: wood, brick, concrete, composite, etc.

The fixed features may be constructed using different materials but they will usually have a similar colour. Look at the fixed features of the home and more than likely youll begin to see some repetition and similarity in colour tones. It is this repetition and similarity that allows different materials and textures to work well together. When choosing colours for locations such as the roof, find a colour or variety of colours that also includes the major colours or colour cast of the existing permanent fixtures. All these colours don’t need to match the existing colours, but it is important that all colours are in harmony.

Regional Colours
Regional colour are colours that originate from a blend of the regions natural characteristics – These characteristics include climate, topography, the local landscape and quality of the natural light – together with the housing styles in the area, available materials and cultural history of the area.

Environment and Surroundings
As you make a determination for the colours of a home, youll want to take into consideration the overall look of the buildings in the area. While you dont want your home to be an identical twin of another home close by, you will want the home to blend in with the surrounding homes.

Consider the context of the home within the surrounding and choose colours that will standout yet still fit in nicely. Find colours that both express the homeowners individual style while still complementing the other homes in the area.

Style of the Home
The architectural style of the home is the next part of the colour equation that needs to be considered. You want your colour selection to fit in well with the design of your home. Colours and materials support the homes look and architecture, not vice versa.

Historic Colours
Traditional colour themes provide a sense of stability and permanence because they have been around throughout history and feel like they will continue to be in style for many years to come.

The good news is that most, if not all, of the popular exterior paint colours used today have their roots in local history. Even if a home is new, you might be inspired by the schemes, styles and elements of historic colours and architecture that have stood the test of time.

The FRESH approach guides you when making important considerations regarding the top five areas that will most influence the choice of colours that will look best on a homes exterior. By thinking about each of these key areas you, as the home owner, will be able to make great choices and identify a colour scheme that works beautifully for the home.

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