Colour advice from Angie

7 Tips for Your Exterior Colour Scheme

Angie, of Stylish Livable Spaces, shares her top 7 tips for exterior colour selection.

Here are my top tips for creating a successful exterior colour scheme. These are some of my foundation rules when it comes to exteriors {but remember in design, you can always break rules which I do with these from time to time}.
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  1. Limit the number of main colours to 3 {house, trim, roof/gutters/fascia}. A 4th could be wood or stone but you don’t want it to be too busy. All the other colours in your exterior pallet should be a lighter or darker shade of the 3 main colours. Federation or heritage style homes are an exception to this rule.
  2. If painting (weatherboard or render for example) once you have selected the colour you like, get the paint about 4 shades darker as any colour outside looks 4 shades lighter from sunlight.
  3. Always buy a sample pot and paint large samples {min 1m x 1m} on both the front and back of the house. If your house has an East /West orientation the golden light in the afternoon is different from the crisp light of the morning, so have a look at your chosen colour in both lights to make sure you are happy with it.
  4. Never EVER highlight a downpipe.  They are not an architectural feature and in no way need to be highlighted by painting them a feature colour.  Down pipes do need to be given their own colour. One that makes them near invisible. That means painting them the same as the house or if you have brick or stone finding a colour that make them blend.
  5. Never paint your eaves white.  Eaves over the years will get dirty, so selecting an almost white is a better option.  If you have a light neutral home pick a 1/4 strength of your house colour.  If it’s a darker shade go to the lightest colour in the colour family (most Dulux colours have 9 shades of the one colour which I refer to as a family). It will still look white because remember the sun makes it about 4 shades lighter.
  6. Your colour scheme does not always have to be complimentary to the architecture of your home. What I mean is that if you have a federation style you can still go with a contemporary colour scheme.
  7. My most important tip…organise a professional colour consultant to assist you to create your colour scheme. The cost in getting it right the first time is priceless.


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