How to Choose the Right Exterior Palette, According to the Experts

Homeowners and local paint connoisseurs help us overcome chromaphobia for a façade that pops.

Sitting Pretty

A strategically chosen palette will not only accentuate a home’s details, it will affect the way it sits on its property.

“A designer myself, I had certain ideas of how I wanted the house to look,” says the owner of this decorative West End Victorian. When she purchased the home, it was lemon yellow with white trim. While she was comfortable staying in that color family (“I wanted it to look energetic and upbeat,” she says), she wanted it to complement, rather than clash with a neighboring red brick church. 

In addition to considering abutting structures, the composition of the property itself was a consideration here. “The house is rather large and sits on a relatively small lot,” she says. In an effort to make the house appear in proportion with the lot, she opted for a trim color that was darker than the body.

victorian house

Painting a foundation visually anchors a house and conceals blemishes; this homeowner matched the foundation and trim colors. “Dark colors with low sheen will yield equally effective results,” says Adler. Photography by Tony Luong.