Exterior Color Design

Exterior Color Design

As part of the design team on multiple building and construction projects, I’m often called upon to select exterior colors and materials. I work on a lot of new construction and renovation projects with builders, developers and home buyers. For residential projects, I start by visiting and scoping out neighborhoods in which projects are situated, to see which colors and materials are in use nearby. This gives me a look at colors that are currently in place in the neighborhoods, so that I can select a color that will be unique to the project I’m working on, but also so I can select a color that won’t clash with neighboring colors.

If a client desires a certain color, I’ll narrow selections down to smart options within that color family. I tend to choose understated, classic colors that will look great for a long time. To me, bright exterior colors are usually jarring and short-lived (unless in the right type of setting like a tropical or resort location, where bright colors or fun pastels are the norm). Understated colors such as sage green, blue-gray, creamy yellow or dark beige/tan also allow for more creative or bold color selections for shutters and doors. I love to use welcoming accent colors that stand out on front doors.

Siding is just one component of exterior selections and can be broken down into sub categories such as clapboards and shakes or shingles. Other exterior items that I select include roofing, shutters, trim, door colors, deck materials and colors, post and railing materials and colors, and paver or walkway materials and colors. The wide range of colors available for roof shingles allows for great customization and for smart coordination with siding.

It’s always rewarding to work on an entire project that starts with exterior selections and moves to interior selections, and that addresses the whole home’s or building’s appearance from start to finish.

I keep the overall color scheme in mind when moving from exterior specs to interior specs, based on clients’ preferences, of course! For example, if a client prefers beige tones over gray, I’ll make sure the entire project reflects that preference. Or, if a client wishes to incorporate an accent color like blue or green, I’ll make sure that the color pops up with exterior finishes like shutters or doors, and then with interior finishes such as paint colors, tile accents, and fabrics. The result is a good looking package!

Soft blue with white trim creates a classic exterior

Neutral beige siding is a popular choice for many homes

Personalized gray-green selected for a client