Choosing the right exterior color for your home is a significant decision that can impact its overall appearance and curb appeal. Whether you’re planning to refresh the look of your home or preparing to sell, selecting the perfect exterior color is essential. In this guide, we’ll explore how to pick exterior house colors that complement your home and reflect your personal style.

Why Picking the Right Exterior Color Matters

Before diving into how to pick exterior house colors, let’s understand why this decision is so important.

1. Curb Appeal

The exterior color of your home significantly influences its curb appeal. A well-chosen color can make your home stand out in the neighborhood and leave a lasting impression on visitors and potential buyers.

2. Home Value

A visually appealing exterior can increase the value of your home. If you’re planning to sell, an attractive color scheme can make your property more marketable and appealing to buyers.

3. Personal Expression

Your home’s exterior color is an opportunity to express your personal style and preferences. The right color can make your home feel welcoming and reflect your unique taste.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Exterior Color

1. Architecture and Style of Your Home

The architectural style of your home should guide your color choices. Different styles have traditional color palettes that enhance their unique features. For example:

– Colonial Homes: Typically feature classic colors like white, beige, and muted tones.
– Victorian Homes: Often have bold and vibrant colors that highlight intricate details.
– Modern Homes: Benefit from sleek, neutral colors like gray, black, and white.

2. Neighborhood Trends and Regulations

Consider the color schemes of neighboring homes to ensure your choice complements the surrounding area. Some neighborhoods and homeowners’ associations have guidelines or restrictions on exterior colors, so it’s essential to check these before making a decision.

3. Climate and Environment

The climate and natural surroundings of your home can influence your color choice. In warmer climates, lighter colors reflect heat and keep your home cooler. In contrast, darker colors can help retain warmth in colder regions. Additionally, consider how the color will look against the natural landscape, such as greenery, mountains, or water.

4. Permanent Features

Take into account the permanent features of your home, such as the roof, stonework, and landscaping. The exterior color should harmonize with these elements to create a cohesive look. For instance, if you have a red brick chimney, you might want to choose colors that complement or contrast with the brick.

Steps to Picking the Perfect Exterior Color

1. Gather Inspiration

Start by gathering inspiration from various sources. Look at home improvement magazines and online platforms like Pinterest, or even take a walk around your neighborhood to see what colors catch your eye. Create a mood board to visualize how different colors might look on your home.

2. Test Paint Samples

Once you have a few color options in mind, test paint samples on different sections of your home’s exterior. Observe how the colors look at different times of the day and under various lighting conditions. This step is crucial, as colors can appear differently in natural light compared to artificial light.

3. Consider the Color Wheel

Understanding the color wheel can help you choose complementary or contrasting colors for your home. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel and create a balanced look. Contrasting colors, on the other hand, add visual interest and make certain features stand out.

4. Select Accent Colors

In addition to the main exterior color, choose accent colors for elements like the front door, shutters, and trim. These accents can add character and highlight architectural details. For example, a bright red door can create a focal point on a neutral-colored home.

5. Think Long-Term

Consider how the color will age over time. Some colors may fade faster than others due to exposure to sunlight and weather conditions. Opt for high-quality, weather-resistant paints to ensure your home’s exterior remains vibrant for years to come.

Popular Exterior Color Palettes

1. Classic Neutrals

Classic neutrals like white, beige, and gray are timeless choices that suit various architectural styles. These colors create a clean and elegant look that appeals to a wide range of tastes.

2. Bold and Vibrant

For those who want to make a statement, bold and vibrant colors like deep blues, rich greens, and striking reds can add personality to your home. These colors work well for Victorian or modern homes that have unique architectural features to highlight.

3. Nature-Inspired Tones

Nature-inspired tones like earthy browns, soft greens, and warm tans blend seamlessly with natural surroundings. These colors are ideal for homes in wooded or rural areas, creating a harmonious connection with the environment.

4. Monochromatic Schemes

A monochromatic color scheme involves using different shades of the same color for a cohesive and sophisticated look. For example, varying shades of gray can create a sleek and modern appearance.


Choosing the right exterior color for your home is a decision that requires careful consideration of various factors, including architectural style, neighborhood trends, climate, and personal preferences. By following the steps outlined in this guide and understanding how to pick exterior house colors, you can enhance your home’s curb appeal and create a look that reflects your unique style.

Remember to gather inspiration, test paint samples, and consider the color wheel when making your decision. Additionally, think long-term and select high-quality paints to ensure your home’s exterior remains beautiful for years to come.

Whether you opt for classic neutrals, bold and vibrant hues, nature-inspired tones, or a monochromatic scheme, knowing how to pick exterior house colors can transform your home and make it a standout in your neighborhood. Happy painting!