Think back to avocado green kitchen appliances. Did shivers just go down your spine or did you get a pang of nostalgia?
No doubt, colour can evoke a visceral response, whether for interior or exterior decorating, clothes, makeup or cars. It makes a first impression, accentuates attributes and softens flaws and offers a glimpse into your personality.
The colours you choose can also be influenced by many sources — friends and neighbours, magazine photos, designs on TV shows or by experts who annually select what the next year’s big colours will be in home decor, fashion and graphic and industrial design.
This is where the tale turns cautionary: What’s hot today usually has a short lifespan and is always subject to debate. Take a look at these three examples of the Colour of the Year for 2015:
- Paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore describes its Guilford Green as “a neutral that’s natural. A silvery green that works with, well, everything. Just a brush, dipped in a can, whooshed on a wall and a whole lot of happily ever after.”
- Rival Sherwin Williams calls its Coral Reef “an uplifting, vivacious hue with floral notes” and “the perfect blend of pink, orange and red.”
- Pantone Color Institute describes its Marsala as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red” that would “enrich the mind, body and soul.”
These colours may be nice, but how much of a good thing would you want in or on your home?
Rather than chasing trends, you can be sure you’ll be happy for years to come by following eight simple guidelines on choosing exterior colours.
1. Deciding between bright and cheerful colours or deep, rich earth tones will influence all other decisions.
2. You don’t have to be a colour expert, but you should take a little time to learn how colours work together. (Or find someone who does.)
3. You’ll want to make your home distinctive, but for the sake of your neighbours, you should pick colours that will blend with your surroundings.
4. Make sure your choices in siding and trim don’t clash with materials you are not going to replace, such as roof shingles, brick, stone and tile.
5. The size and lot location of your house matters. Light colours can make a house look bigger and dark colours can make it look smaller. If the house is set back in the lot, a lighter colour can also make it look closer to the street.
6. Landscaping will continue to grow and change colours as the seasons change, so trees, shrubs and flowering gardens need to be considered.
7. Use neutral colours to de-emphasize things such as an air-conditioning unit or gutters and downspouts and use contrasting or accent colours to highlight things such as architectural detailing, porch railings, windows and front doors.
8. Computer renderings can give a general idea of what colours will look like, but large swatches (about 2 by 3 feet) give a truer representation of colours.
Take a look at the swatches at different times of day. The colours will look different as the intensity of the sunlight changes.
Once you have selected your favourite neutral colour palette, consider making it last. No one wants to invest thousands of dollars every few years to keep that paint looking fresh. Many wood substitutes are now available as painted planks, but — buyer beware — their finishes degrade just like paint. Better are cladding products that are certified and under warranty to retain their colour. Vinyl and other polymeric siding manufactures incorporate colour that won’t chip, pit or peel, giving homeowners peace of mind that they won’t have to paint or repair the finish. Keeping your home’s exterior looking fresh and timely doesn’t have to be challenging.
Content courtesy of http://www.thestar.com
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