Exterior Color Combinations Done Right

Getting ready to paint your home's exterior? Find color-scheme inspiration and tips for picking paint palettes as you peruse this appealing array of homes that combine colors in charmingly impactful ways.

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    Pearl Gray + Slate Blue + White

    Taking its cue from nearby stone and concrete hardscapes, this home steps quietly into view. Its peaceable palette highlights the home's best features, establishes a sense of symmetry, and fashions a fresh take on midcentury modern style. By placing the slate blue at the front entry and using bright white extensively, the homeowners created a home with a pleasingly streamlined silhouette.

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    Cocoa + Olive + Off White + Russet

    Dark olive-color brick steps and foundation firmly anchor the cocoa brown siding to nearby perennial borders. Olive green lightens to moss green window sashes, which are highlighted by off-white trim. The russet-hue door sports orange undertones that allow it to stand out from the brown siding. Choose light and dark shades of one or two nature-inspired neutrals to fashion an exterior that steps lightly on the landscape.

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    Apricot + White + Smoky Gray

    A classic farmhouse takes a contemporary turn thanks to a refreshingly cheerful color palette. Soft apricot sets the siding aglow, glossy white paint highlights the home's vintage details, and smoky gray paint adds visual weight to the front door and window sashes. Appreciate this home's welcoming outlook? Paint your home's siding with a warm color boasting yellow or red undertones.

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    Color Dos & Don'ts

    Before you rush off to the paint store, check out these dos and don'ts of choosing an exterior color scheme.

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    Stormy Gray + Paprika Red + Bright White

    Cool gray siding fashions an easy-on-the-eye exterior that benefits from warming touches of paprika red. The spicy red highlights the roof peak, outlines windows, accents the front door, and defines the porch trim. White pops up as window sashes to bring dimension and brightness to the facade. Use rich colors with a touch of sheen to give your home been-around-awhile character.

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    Salmon + Jade + Rusty Brown

    The exterior's rough surface causes one salmon paint color to appear as varying dark and light shades, which creates a time-weathered look that suits the home's old-world architecture. Saturated jade green shutters punctuate the elegant facade with jewel-tone richness. The brown window trim and front door pair nicely with the salmon because the colors share the same orange undertones.

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    Chocolate + Chartreuse + Sand

    Green and brown naturally associate, but when green takes a turn toward yellow, the pairing pleasingly surprises. Chartreuse trim stands out as a high-energy counterpoint to rustic stone walls and earthen siding and firmly links the home to like-colored garden plantings. When choosing paint colors for your home, take your cue from exterior features that can’t be changed. Look at your home's roofing, stonework, and landscape to help narrow your color choices.

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    White + Black + Gray

    White trim, white siding, and white railings give this farmhouse spick-and-span appeal. A black-painted gable vent and charcoal gray steps take their color cue from the home's metal roof. The dark paint finishes and white surfaces enhance the home's historic country profile and complement its river rock foundation.

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    Buttercream Yellow + White + Black

    Want your house to be appreciated from the street? Do like these homeowners did: Paint your home's body a creamy yellow and complement the hue with bright-white accents. Set off by a black shingled and metal roof, the calming color combo advances from the surrounding greenery. Paint window trim and sashes white when you want windows to appear larger.

  • 10 of 18

    Pine Green + Red-Brown + White

    Field and forest colors perfectly suit a Craftsman-style home. Shutters painted forest green are dark enough to be seen against the rusty brown exterior. White paint brings the porch walls and columns out of the roof's shadow and also handily highlights green shutters and a front door stained to match the home's siding. Before choosing your paint palette, research color schemes associated with your home's architectural style.

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    Brick Red + Gingerbread Orange + Brown

    Though this home's main colors are shades of red and orange, they play nicely together because they share brown undertones that give them a muted appearance. Brown shingled roofs and window trim enhance without disrupting the view. Since ever-shifting natural light affects how paint colors are viewed, look at fan decks and paint chips outside on bright and cloudy days. Better yet, experts suggest trying three colors (e.g. shutter, trim, and exterior) on the front of your home and stepping across the street to see how the combination works.

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    Olive + Celery + Ivy + Terra-Cotta + Cream

    This painted lady does color right! Three shades of green, with olive on the main-level siding, celery on the upper-level siding, and ivy accents on trim, windows, and gables, produce an easy-going, but multifaceted, backdrop for bolder terra-cotta accents and cream architectural details. Like a mostly monochromatic look? Choose the darkest, the lightest, and a midtone color showcased on one paint-chip strip as your palette's primary players.

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    Taupe + Camel + Periwinkle Blue + Eggplant

    Camel-painted trim emphasizes this home's shape to make it appear wider and taller; the rich camel tone shows up again to bring out the windows and entry door. Eggplant-hue window frames sound a playful note and work with periwinkle blue details to add architectural interest to the plainly profiled abode. Take a close look at the roof shingles, and you'll see where the homeowners found inspiration for the blue and purple accent tones.

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    Gray + White + Cobalt Blue

    You can't miss when combining gray and white on a home's exterior. No matter the shade, gray always sets off white trim and all manner of other colors. At this house, cobalt blue appears as an enchanting entry door and lightheartedly repeats as simply applied lines accenting the home's rooflines and soffits.

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    White + Aquamarine + Tangerine

    White exteriors remain popular for their pristine appearance and go-with-anything properties. This farmhouse takes a flashy turn, thanks to calypso-style accent hues. Aquamarine shutters beautifully frame the windows, while a tangerine-color door moves to center stage. Choose three colors for your home's exterior; a neutral hue for the body, a notable accent color for trim and shutters, and a punchy color for the door to draw attention.

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    Country Blue + White + Black

    Blue is a universally beloved color that always delights. The calming and notable hue works especially well on homes situated in established neighborhoods or set on tree-lined streets. On this true-blue exterior, white-painted trim outlines roof peaks and windows; black paint highlights window sashes and dentil moldings running across window and door trim. White columns frame the front steps to direct traffic to the entry door.

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    Bonus: Foolproof Door Colors

    A new front door color is an easy way to test-drive a hue and give your exterior boost. Audition one of these tried-and-true color picks today!

  • Next Slideshow Before and After: Home Exteriors

    Before and After: Home Exteriors

    Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these 24 facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.
    Begin Slideshow »

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