Exterior Paint Colors for a Modern House

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Where to Begin?

The idea of selecting paint can be a little overwhelming when you walk up to the wall'o swatches at your local paint store.  And if the idea of selecting one color is a lot... a whole scheme can be downright paralyzing. 

Start with a plan: 

Even as a designer, I am no stranger to the overwhelm of the fan deck.  To get started, we scanned back through all of our concept boards and inspiration images.  We made a general plan based on what we liked before even setting foot into the paint aisle.


Test it out:

We bought (a lot of) samples (and then more samples) and tested them out before making our final decision.  First, we painted some siding scraps, then when the siding went up on we did test patches on the front of the house.

Make a choice:

Ultimately, we selected the exact same color for the main siding that we had used when we repainted our current home a few years ago.  What can we say... we're a little sentimental over "Grays Harbor" and love that we can keep the color as a little reminder of our first home together as a family. 

Dare to be different:

Most traditional homes have a single trim color.  All trim and facia are painted that trim color.  The trim is usually the lightest color of the pallet (white or off-white).  Our rule for the trim was that it should be painted the same as whatever color it was adjacent to.  If you notice, there is trim around the windows, but they are painted to match adjacent siding instead of a contrasting color.

Our final selections:


Why it works:

  • Our exterior materials vary in scale and color
    • wide flat Hardie Board divided with Tamlyn reveals
    • taller than average Hardie Artisan lap siding
    •  narrower cedar lap and gap siding
  • Different colors on different materials
  • Monochromatic, cool color scheme with warm wood accents
  • High contrast on main elements with a tone in the middle for accent
  • Black or dark bronze anodized finish on aluminum window and door frames and exterior lighting.


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