Color ideas for the exterior of your home


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Is it time to paint the exterior of your home? Is some of the old paint peeling? Has the current color lost its luster? Or are you just in the mood for change? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, read on.

If you think about it, only a few people get to see the inside of your home to see what wonderful and colorful things you’ve done. But everyone who drives by your house sees the exterior. What do they think about your house? The exterior of your home makes a statement about you to all who pass by. In reality, it doesn’t matter what they think, but you should care what you think.

So how do we pick the right color or colors for the exterior of our homes? I’ve seen hot pink — bright! I’ve seen purple — interesting! But after a while, those bright and interesting colors — colors that might have been selected on a whim — are no longer enjoyed by the owner. So, instead, think and plan and think again before selecting exterior home colors.

When choosing the perfect colors, think classic, and yes you can still think contemporary, too. Avoid choosing trendy colors and instead choose colors that have withstood the test of time.

Here are some color combinations to consider:

• Slate blue combined with dusty red works beautifully, and if you add some muted green tones you will have a serene look.

• Earthy tones are always good. Consider sunbaked adobe in terra-cotta with desert sand. Add a hint of green for interest.

• Do you like green? How about an avocado green combined with amber. That is a nice combination that looks sophisticated and contemporary.

If there is a color you love and have a swatch of it in a rug, fabric, pillow, even a dress, take it to your local paint store or home store and have them color match it. Yes, it is done by computer and the color really will match. To be sure you love the color for your house, ask them to make up a sample of it so you can test it on the house. Then live with it for a day or two, and check how the color looks at different times of the day, before making a final decision.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.” For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at

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