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Choosing Exterior Colors for your Home

The weather is warming and slowly we’re beginning to come out of our homes and enjoy the outdoors. Naturally, we start to notice just how much needs to be done out there. The garden needs to be prepped, windows washed to let that glorious sunlight in, porches and walkways swept, and maybe even finally getting the cobwebs off the overhangs and mailbox. And then for some of us, the inevitable happens… we realize the exterior of your home needs a fresh coat of paint. 

Choosing an exterior color can be a little daunting. “What if my house stands out too much and offends my neighbors'', “What if it doesn't stand out enough and looks just like everyone else's home on the street?” “What if it looks awful and I have to spend the next five to ten years living in a home with colors I hate?!”

When choosing an exterior color there are three helpful factors to keep in mind. The location of your home, the neighborhood and surrounding homes, and the people that live in your home and their general style preferences. Once you’ve determined those, then it's as simple as getting some samples of the paint you like or calling a color professional, and determining which color is the color for you!

First, let’s consider the neighborhood you live in. Take a drive or walk down some of the streets closest to your street. Notice if the homes vary drastically in color and style or if they are mainly a different shade or value of the same color? Does the neighborhood have an HOA and if so, what are the rules for painting the exterior of the homes in that neighborhood? What are the colors of the two or three houses to the left, right, and in front of your house? As a general rule, you don't want to have the exact same color as your immediate neighbors. If you live in a neighborhood that is more conservative, then you’ll want to choose more conservative colors. If you live in a neighborhood that is not conservative and has homes with many different colors then you have a little more wiggle room in choosing your colors but probably don’t want to choose anything super conservative.

Now let’s consider the area or region you live in. Northeast homes tend to be a bit more muted in coloring. Southeast homes can get away with flashier and brighter colors. Midwest homes tend to lean more toward earth tones

Lastly, let's consider personal style. Gather the members of the home (that have a say) and start considering what you DO NOT like. I often find that this is the easiest way to find what you DO like. Maybe take a family drive around your neighborhood and neighborhoods similar to yours. Note the homes you’re drawn to. Another helpful suggestion is to look on Pinterest for ideas or go to Houzz to look at exteriors of homes in your region.

All in all, this is YOUR home. You want the home to be an expression of who you are without offending the neighbors too terribly much. So have fun with it! And if you get overwhelmed or worried, call a professional architectural color consultant!

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