Simple Color Guidelines for Projects

Exterior Projects

1. For certain styles of homes, research the appropriate traditional color schemes for time-tested ideas that work.

2. Pick a color that complements the home’s brick, siding, stone or roofing.

3. Choose a color scheme that blends with the neighborhood. If applicable, check with the homeowners’ association for any color restrictions.

4. Because color may appear different depending on the time of day, paint a section of the house where the body, trim and accent colors can be viewed together. Then check the colors throughout the day to see how they look.

5. To highlight architectural details, such as shutters and columns, choose a color that contrasts with the wall color of the house. For example, if the wall is a light color, choose a darker color.

6. To minimize attention to unattractive elements such as downspouts, air-conditioning units, vents and gutters, paint them the same color as the wall of the house or choose a trim color that is a similar shade.

Interior Projects

1. Light colors make a room seem larger, while dark colors are best for accenting recessed areas and highlighting details.

2. Use items in a room to provide color hints. Pick a piece of furniture, art or even a pillow for inspiration. Select your color preference and see what other colors work well with it.

3. Connecting rooms should share color elements. For example, using the same color on molding in adjoining rooms unifies an open space.

4. Use light and dark colors to create interest. Attractive architectural features, such as molding and columns, can be emphasized by painting them darker or lighter colors.

5. Consider the home’s flooring. The color of the carpet, tile or hardwood flooring plays an important role in the feel of a room and affects how a color appears.

6. Pay attention to the trim in a room. Painting the trim and walls the same color will remove attention to the trim and make it less noticeable. Using a contrasting color for the trim will give it a focal point, making the room more interesting, and add some dimension to the room.