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Thinking Outside the Paint Can: Using Bold Color On Your Home’s Exterior

By June 6, 2017March 21st, 2022Painting Tips

If you’re toying with the idea of going bold with your exterior paint color, Debbie & Snowy from New England Home & Garden: Family Life Through The Seasons have pulled together some instagram-worthy inspiration from historic New England homes!
Go Bold, Go Dramatic
Admit it. You’re tired of following the crowd. Safe choices can be so dull. You’re longing to express your individualism by painting your house a bold or unusual color.


But you’re nervous. What if the neighbors criticize? What if you regret the choice? Luckily, there are a lot of talented painting professionals who can help you choose just the right colors for your house and trim, and make the selection as foolproof as possible. As for those neighbors, we think they will surprise you by falling in love with color too!

We’ve long admired houses in our neck of the woods that seem to flaunt safe color norms. From reds and pinks, to the deepest blues and mossy greens, we love them all. When nearly every other house is painted taupe, grey, white, or brown, why not choose a color that really suits your personality?
Take Inspiration from Local Farms and Historic Buildings

Gold and red make a happy combination. The red front door on the house above echoes the barn, and white trim defines the windows and makes them appear larger. The whole effect is crisp and inviting.

Red isn’t just for barns or country houses. This handsome home above sits in an established neighborhood of over 40 houses and it could not fit in more beautifully. Often, the prime consideration when you live amongst neighbors is blending in, or at least not offending others with your color choices. We get it, but we also support the choice this particular homeowner made. The house is beautiful, and it turns out the neighbors love it. The red is similar to Benjamin Moore’s Pomegranate, with Navajo White trim.
Let Coastal Homes Inspire Your Color Choices

Ah, to live at the beach where everything is a bit more relaxed. Except the house colors. Navy and white are a classic combination whether at the beach or in the city. One of the delights of visiting the coast is seeing the imaginative ways people paint their homes. Turquoise, fuchsia pink, grass green, you name it, colorful homes abound in coastal regions. Remember, you don’t have to live at the beach to have a colorful house.

If you’re not ready to paint your house a deep color, select a shade that’s not as dramatic, but still satisfies you. The house above uses a toned down pink to create a lovely effect.

If all this color leaves you faint, think small. Instead of painting your entire house, limit color to your front door or shutters. Some of the most handsome houses in New England are a weathered, soft grey, with blue shutters and a matching front door. The house above has a decidedly coastal feel, even though it’s not located at the beach.

Inspiration From Nature
Images of flowers, leafy forests, fall foliage, and anything else that you fall in love with can provide the inspiration you need to choose a great exterior paint color. Bring in a photograph to be color matched for the exact color you are looking for!

What nature puts together, you can too! Letting the natural world guide your color combinations can lead to beautiful pairings. The box of heirloom tomatoes shows how nature mixes red, yellow, green, and orange together for a beautiful effect.

Collect Color Swatches and Paint Palettes
Your local paint store is the first place to start when you’re considering painting your house. Pinterest and magazines can also provide tons of inspiration, including the names and makers of exact paint colors. We suggest that you collect as many swatches and color combinations as you can before narrowing your selection down.
Coral/Pink
Yellow/Gold
Blue/Green
Red/Purple

If you’re toying with the idea of painting the exterior of your home a dramatic color, we applaud you. If you can’t quite take the plunge, find a lighter shade of the same color. Getting advice and studying swatches will help eliminate the uncertainty you might feel if you want to go bold.  Remember, it’s a personal choice, and ultimately, you need to be delighted with your home. It’s yours, after all, and it should reflect your aesthetic.


About the Authors

As West Coast transplants, Debbie Green and Snowy Eischen met by happenstance in their small Massachusetts town, and discovered they had a lot in common, including a vibrant family life, and a mutual love of creating beautiful homes and gardens. The seeds of their blog, New England Home and Garden: Family Life Through the Seasons were planted when they began attending antiques fairs, show houses, open gardens, and planning unique and creative parties for families in their village. They’re passionate about photography, styling, and home staging, all with New England flair!


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