Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

How to love your exterior color

Fifteen very different homes. Not a single white/black color scheme among them.
I think each one of them has the right color selection.

The color designer followed these rules:

     1) respect for the type of architecture
     2) consideration of fixed elements
     3) establish color harmony
     4) proper use of the color white
     5) proper use of color contrast

6 responses

  1. It’s rare I will do a white picket fence, especially in a small space. Typically I stain them 2-3 tones darker than the main color of the home.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

    April 10, 2013 at 8:56 am

  2. donna

    We have purchased a whacky looking older home. The former owner put blue siding on the top half and white on the bottom and it has a new brown metal roof. I am consisting painting the top half white and I want to add shutters to all the windows. What’s Colorado would go best with white and brown? I’m thinking a deep red or green. Any suggestions?

    April 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

    • Not seeing your house, I will say that any of the browns, red-browns or greeny-browns that you like would probably work. Check out Great Barrington Green HC-122 (Benjamin Moore) for what I mean by greeny-brown. Anything close to that that you like should be fine, which is darker muted browny-green and not clean green.

      April 11, 2013 at 10:08 am

  3. omg, Ellen! I just found your blog through your comment on Tara Dillard’s blog today. I’m SO glad I did!! I’m your newest subscriber and I love this post. I’ll be going through your previous posts this weekend when I have more time.

    Were you by any chance on Maria Killam’s webinar this morning? Great presentation on exterior door colors.


    May 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm

  4. Kelly Stano

    I live in a very traditional suburban neighborhood near Raleigh, NC. The previous homeowners painted the exterior of our home “Avocado” by Sherwin Williams (, and we have basic black shutters. While I would love to just repaint over all of it, my budget doesn’t currently allow me to do so. Instead I want to change up the color of the shutters and the door to freshen things up a bit, but I am completely stumped as to what color combination to choose. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    July 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    • Kelly, try a much lighter green shutter (start with the first color on the same SW swatch as 2861) with your current avocado body. Sorry I am out of town and don’t have a SW fandeck with me. Look at a much darker avocado green for the front door, perhaps the darkest green on the SW2861 swatch. Any trim should be a creamy white not stark white. This should give you an updated traditional look without repainting the house body. Good luck!

      July 31, 2013 at 11:56 pm

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