Three’s the limit
A good rule of thumb for picking building colours is to use no more than three colours in total to coat, outline and accent a building.
The exterior colour scheme should be based on three parts, a field colour, an accent colour and a trim colour.
The field colour is the main colour of your home, this could be the colour of your cladding or your roof. The accent colour is used on doors, joinery and shutters.
The accent can be bold and eye-catching, such as a red door. The trim colour is used for things like windows, door casings, guttering and downpipes. Ideally, the trim colour should contrast strongly with the field colour. A dark trim will look stunning against a light field colour.
The environment that surrounds your house is an important consideration when choosing colour. Take into account where your home or building sits on the section, in relation to the street, and to the environment as a whole. If it sits back from the road or within a cluster of vegetation and large trees you might choose a slightly lighter or brighter colour so that it stands out.
In some situations, neutral colours can be the most striking. They blend in well with the street and landscape, avoid visual pollution, and create an inviting and welcoming effect.
If you’re building a new home, then certain styles and settings lend themselves to different colour options. Some combinations suit an urban environment but look out of place on a farm, a lifestyle block or at the beach.
Houses from different times and eras need a little more care when it comes to colour selection. Villas, bungalows and art deco structures lend themselves toward specific colour palettes. If you’re living in a neighbourhood of houses from a certain period then look around for inspiration.
Work with what you have
If you’re renovating, some surfaces such as stonework, pathways and driveways may stay the same. Consider any existing colour palette when choosing exterior colours.
Colour guides only go so far
Colour charts are extremely useful as a guide but it’s important to experience the colour in real life when choosing a permanent colour for your home. Request a sample of your chosen colour to make sure you’re happy with it.