The trim of your home serves to accent various components that make up the surface of your home’s exterior — horizontal trim breaks up the floors of your home; vertical trim adds a solid, structural look to your abode; and window shutters serve as an additional accent. Your trim holds just as much weight as the main color of your home’s facade. As such, it’s important to get the color of your trim right in order to balance the composition. So, how do you strike that balance? How can you make the most of the trim elements around the ol’ castle? Well, we’ve jotted down a few tips that you can employ to ensure that you settle on the best color scheme for your trim, accent elements, and the rest of the exterior of your home. Here’s our two cents:
Primary Elements & Secondary Elements
For the sake of clarity, we’re going to break down the elements of your home’s exterior into three parts: the main siding, the primary trim elements, and the secondary trim accents. We’ll define the main siding as the stuff that covers most of your home; the primary trim forms horizontal and vertical lines across your home, and it can be found at the edges and corners of your home; and finally, the secondary accents include other elements that break up your home’s composition (the window shutters, window sashes, and even the front door of your home).
Your main, primary, and secondary elements should all work together to make the most of the composition of your home. Each element should hold as much weight in the composition to ensure that your home looks balanced instead of off-putting or overwhelming. Try to consider all three of these elements as you consider all of the rest of our tips.
Mix to Match
While you may be tempted to match all of the elements of your home’s facade, we urge you to consider mixing it up a bit. While it’s okay to have a home with green siding and dark green shutters, for example, it may prove overwhelming if every element of your home is green. Instead, you might opt for mint green siding, off-white trim, and a firetruck red door that offsets your siding while serving as a delightful accent.
Consider the color wheel (remember the color wheel from grade school?) and color theory when selecting colors. Opposites work well together, providing contrast that can balance your home’s composition. Often, homes have two opposing colors that balance each other (like mint green siding, and a firetruck red door), as well as a more neutral hue (like off-white). You can also use a color that is similar to, yet several shades different from another color in your exterior painting palette (like a robin’s egg blue facade with navy blue window shutter accents).
If you’re tossing around a few ideas in your head, then visit a hardware or paint store to collect several swatches of paints. Then, place these swatches side by side in sets to come up with a palette that works best for your home.
The Traditional Look
Most homes follow a painting pattern when it comes to their color palette and the shades of those colors: The main color is relatively light, often a more neutral tone; the primary elements are lighter (often white or off-white); and the secondary elements are darker and bolder than the main color of the home (think about that firetruck red that we mentioned before). This traditional look often proves to be ideal to create a composition that is clear, balanced, and attractive. Consider pale blue for your siding, eggplant purple shutters, and white trim. Or opt for light yellow siding, light grey trim, and a maroon door that really pops in the composition. There’s plenty of room to get creative, while keeping to this time-tested traditional template.
Simple, Yet Bold
While you may be tempted to paint every surface a different color, too many colors can prove to be gaudy and overpowering. Stick to three or four colors for the entirety of your home’s exterior, especially if you have a larger home. With larger homes, too many color changes can muddle the composition, making the overall look confusing instead of contiguous. With smaller homes, you can get away with more accent colors. For example, consider a home with shake shingles that cover its gables (the gable is any triangular section below two rooflines that meet at a point) — these shakes can be painted individually with different colors to give a smaller home an exciting focal point. On a larger home, uniquely painted gables can prove to be too much for the composition.
When you look around your neighborhood, you’ll find that most homes have a color palette of three or four colors, which makes the composition modest, welcoming, and balanced. You can still certainly use bold colors, just be mindful that too much boldness and too many color shifts can prove detrimental to the overall look of your home.
If you still can’t settle on a color scheme for your home, it’s time to reach out to an expert. Talk with a color consultant to go over some ideas. Experience can go a long way to help inform your paint color decision. Here at Horner Painting, we’d be happy to help you to settle on the perfect colors for your home. We have years of experience painting homes here in Fort Collins and across the Front Range, and we’d be glad to lend you our expertise. We provide on-site color consultations, and we can paint sample swatches on your home so that you have a better idea of what your house will look like once all of its surfaces are coated with their new colors.
Transform Your Home Today
With Horner Painting, you’ll love the new look of your home. We can transform your home and revitalize its aesthetic with a fresh coat of paint, so that your home looks brand new, and it feels like it is truly yours. If you’re ready to get your project started, we’d be happy to help. Again, we provide painting services, including both exterior and interior home painting for our neighbors here in Fort Collins and throughout Northern Colorado — give us a call to kick off your upcoming paint project!