As we start to say goodbye to Winter and hello to Spring, it is time to bring out those “to-do lists” you have hidden away in the kitchen drawer or buried in your phone notes. One of the first things you have jotted down is to “paint the house,” not because you have bare walls inside or exposed dry wood outside but because you’ve hated that off-white color in the living room and the exterior paint has been looking dull for some time now and it’s time for a change.
Painting can be difficult, I know, but I am here to make it easier for you. There are questions that come with painting your home: What color scheme should I choose? Are there colors I should stay away from? When should I start painting? And more! The answers will vary with multiple variables to consider.
Starting from the outside in, let’s consider how to paint the exterior of your home. Considering you live in or around Tacoma (totally okay if you don’t), you want to keep in mind the type of house you have and the neighborhood you live in, so you should:
Take into consideration the “residential architecture” of your home
When painting the exterior of your home, age is NOT just a number. You will want to choose a paint that is appropriate for the age of your home. If you live in a hundred year old Craftsman home, choosing a bright purple exterior color may not be the color for you. I would suggest leaning toward softer colors like creams or light grey, that will allow the character of the house to stand out more than the color itself. If you live in an architecturally more “simple”home, the color scheme also is best kept simple. You do not want to cover your house with 4-5 different colors, taking the beautiful simplicity away. Stick to a 2 – 3 color palette and take pride in the simple architecture.
Whether your house has architectural charm or is perceived as simple and basic, you want to be sure to coordinate the exterior paint with your roof color or future roof color if you plan on replacing it! Treat the paint on the exterior of your home like the lighting in your selfies. You want to utilize colors to highlight the best features of your home like the large windows or beautiful front porch. Do this by using bold colors in certain areas to attract viewers’ eyes to that spot first! This will be especially helpful when you are trying to sell your house.
Living comfortably in the neighborhood your house is in, is important. Your environment subconsciously affects your mood and productivity level everyday, so you want to be sure the environment you live in is as stress free as possible. Can simply painting the exterior of your house cause that much turmoil and stress? Depending on where you live and who your neighbors are, yes! That is why you should:
Consider your neighbors
Try to put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would feel if your neighbor painted their house a very extreme color that was contrary to the aesthetic of the block? Some may say they wouldn’t care, until their neighbor does just that! As you decide on a color to paint the exterior, keep in mind that pink is seen everywhere in Florida, but perhaps not all that common (or well received) in Tacoma!
Is it hard enough for you to find something to wear in the morning, let alone, pick out the color for the exterior of your whole house?! I get it! Being indecisive can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you’re not too quick to make rash decisions and on the other hand, a decision may take weeks to be made. When you finally decide to move forward, you should know that “this is it!” And there is no going back; you have more things to finish on your to-do list!
Make it YOUR home
As you pick a color, be led by what inspires YOU. That’s right – sometimes that is furniture arrangement in your living room, or a favorite art piece in the family room. If there are color accents that you love, consider using those same colors as an accent colors on the exterior of your home. Accent colors can be on shudders, doors, molding, etc. Feel joy when pulling up to your home and do what resonates with You. If you love sunflowers, consider using yellow accents, or go all in and paint your house yellow! NOTE: purchasing smaller “tester” size paint cans are a great investment before you go all in, especially when deciding on a bold color pallet.
Finding the time to paint the exterior of your house is hard to do, especially when you are a full time parent, business owner or employee. Yet you still want to add some new color somewhere in your home – start inside! Painting the interior of your home is time consuming and may take up a whole weekend but definitely beats painting the whole outside. When you do paint the interior of your home, you want to be as particular about the color(s) you use, as you would be with the exterior. Without hiring an interior designer to tell you which colors would work best in each space, you can still maximize each room in your home by keeping these things in mind:
Size of the Room Matters
The rooms in your house may vary in size and shape. If you own an older home, this will probably be the case! It is important to take room size into consideration when deciding which color(s) to paint. Whether the room be rectangular, square, or uneven each room type and size has colors that better compliment them than others. For example, painting a small square room black will make you feel boxed in and ultimately make the room size feel even smaller than it is.
Color Schemes Already Present in the Room
Assuming you have been living in your house awhile and each room has been decorated accordingly, you want to pick paint colors that go with the interior design of each room. If the rug, artwork and upholstery have similar color schemes, you want to keep that going with the paint color. For example, having a large area rug that is teal and white means you should not paint your walls a bright purple color. Wanting to remain neutral with your color choices is fine as well, just be sure to go off of the more neutral colors already present in the room to keep a steady flow!
Create Vertical Contrast
When picking a color for different rooms, your mind should be looking at the whole room as the canvas and not just the walls. By this I mean taking in consideration the floor color and ceiling color as well. Having a red carpet, with red walls and a red ceiling creates zero contrast within the room and puts your mind in a whirlwind. To add contrast, you want to have dark, medium and light colors throughout the room, creating a more relaxing space. If your floors are dark hardwood, the walls should be a medium tone of the color you desire and the ceiling should be an even lighter color (most common is off-white). Not only does following this rule of thumb create contrast but it also elongates the room.
Use the Color Wheel
There are a lot of colors to choose from and it can be difficult to figure out which colors work best together on your own. (Thank you Sir Isaac Newton for creating the color wheel!) By using the color wheel, it is easier for you to determine which colors work best together – which typically are the colors next to each other. Looking at a color wheel also lets you decide which colors are more relaxing and casual, at which you can decide where those relaxing and casual colors fit best.
Spring is the perfect time to bust out a few items on that to-do list and where better to start than on the top? Finally get around to repainting your home’s exterior and bringing your house back to life. Or repainting your living room to look more open and really maximizing the space. As you pick colors for your be mindful of:
- The architecture
- Your neighbors
- Your style
- The size of the room
- Present color schemes
- Vertical contrast
- Colors that go well together
If more help is needed, know that: men and women see the color red differently, pink soothes nerves, yellow and red together make you hungry, and green promotes rest. Use these fun color facts to help you determine the color scheme of each room in your house and to make sure the room is fulfilling its purpose.