What does the color of your house say about you?
Hopefully it is not what Melania Trump’s jacket says, “I really don’t care, do you?” The exterior of your house is what the world sees. And, it is what you see every day. Does it reflect your personality? Is it inviting to guests or customers if you have a home based business? Does it send a message to others about who you are? Does it make you happy?
When it comes time to paint the exterior, you have a lot of options and some limitations you need to consider.
Let’s start with the limitations. Just as with the interior, you need to consider the “fixed finishes”, the things which rarely change, which for the outside is primarily your roof color or features such as natural stone or brick. Wall and trim colors you select will have to be harmonious with those colors, as well as with each other.
You also need to consider the surroundings. Will your colors go with your landscaping and the view surrounding your house? Will they fit in with the neighborhood? A bright, saturated color may not fit in well with a neighborhood of neutral colors, but may work great in areas where that is the norm.
Do you run a business from your house, such as a vacation rental? What image will the colors project to your customers? Is it consistent with your brand? You may be using photos of your house to attract customers online. Will the photos attract your ideal customer?
Are you selling the home? If so, you may need to narrow your color selection to appeal to more buyers.
Your front door color makes a strong statement. A house with very neutral colors can add a colorful door to make the home unique and memorable.
Color is a personal thing. People see colors differently and have an emotional response to what they see and surround themselves with. People tend to be drawn to different colors based on their nature. Does the color make you feel relaxed, happy, energized, inspired, or depressed? How do you want to feel in the home?
The colors you select may also affect the cost and physical aspects such as temperature. For example, dark colors covering a light house may take more coats of paint for sufficient coverage. Dark colors will absorb heat on a sunny day, requiring your primer to provide a more flexible base. Dark colors may be too “hot” for a deck where you want to relax and stay cool on a summer day.
As a color strategist, I recently helped a Bed and Breakfast owner determine exterior colors and other decorative aspects for the business in a residential neighborhood. The goal was to create a unique but welcoming and relaxing color scheme that would fit into the surroundings (mountains ocean, glaciers), the neighborhood (an eclectic mix of neutral and colorful homes) and work with the landscaping (colorful flowers, primarily in shades of purple dominated by rose bushes with primarily fuchsia blooms. The roof was blue and there were no other fixed finishes to consider. I had previously done Interior Design work for this Bed and Breakfast which helped at least double the income and bookings and helped with branding and attracting the ideal customer identified for the business. Ideal customers were retired professional couples interested in outdoor adventures, wildlife viewing, bird watching and art. The current brand was colorful, relaxing, artistic, and luxurious, but comfortable and down to earth.