The color of a home makes a first and lasting impression. For people who have been playing it safe the last few years by painting the exterior of the house white or beige, now may be the time to consider splashing on a little color.
Color works its magic by altering proportions, calling attention to details, helping a house to blend with surroundings and masking flaws. Best of all, it can give the house a fresh new look without seriously denting the family budget. An average-size house costs about $2,000 to paint.
Color considerations: Homeowners should start by thinking about what kinds of colors make them feel the most comfortable. Cool sea colors, warm earth tones and restrained neutrals are very different options. Each choice would result in a different image--from a conservative facade to a bold expression. Family taste should be considered before making a decision.
Then, consider how color can help achieve particular results:
* Perk up a boxy house with colorful trim around windows and doors, along the eaves and on the porch.
* Unify the look of a home with subtle paint colors in the same color family.
* Emphasize architectural detailing with a contrasting color.
* Tie together a sprawling house by using a strong trim color all round.
* Turn a boxy house into an eye-catcher with distinct colors that accent peaks and details.
* Paint bold and bright colors on a large house, and highlight its architectural features with white or a neutral.
* Use a color surprise to wake up a traditional paint treatment, such as a bright red door on a white house.
* Recapture the past with historic colors popular when the house was built.
* Camouflage out-of-proportion or unsightly details by painting them the same color as the house.
* Tie the home's elements together by taking into account roof and brick colors that can't be changed.