The color scheme you choose for the exterior of your house affects the curb appeal of your property. The exterior color scheme should complement the architecture of your home and blend with the surrounding neighborhood. Exterior color schemes are made up of two to three colors. The body of the house is the largest field of color, followed by the trim. Paint the window sashes and shutters--the movable components of the exterior--a third color.

White window on a blue wooden wall in Dominican republic
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Sharply contrasting color schemes work well on larger homes with symmetrically placed windows. Color combinations, such as red and green, blue and yellow, and black and white create a visual flow that complements the size and symmetry of the architecture.

The two colors in a contrasting scheme should match in intensity. If you paint your home an antique white, for example, select a charcoal for the trim. Keeping the color intensity on the same level creates harmony. If the shades are opposite, the contrasting colors appear disconnected.

In a contrasting color scheme, white or yellow usually works well for the sashes and shutters. If you don't want a third color, paint the sashes and shutters the same color as the trim.


Using several shades of the same color is called a monochromatic color scheme and is a technique used by interior designers to create an atmosphere of serenity and calm. Colors that work well for this scheme include earthy browns, medium to dark blues and shades of green.

For the exterior of your home, to achieve a monochromatic scheme paint the body of the house a pale shade and the trim a darker shade of the same color. Add a bit more color by painting the window sashes a medium shade. This type of scheme works well on rectangular houses with numerous size windows. The monochromatic scheme creates a sense of unity among the various shapes.


A two-toned scheme uses two closely related colors in blended tones. An example of this is a green painted body with blue-green trim. This type of color scheme works well on homes with multiple levels, such as split levels. The blended colors accent the multiple lines of the architecture without creating visual chaos.

Tonal ranges that work well in this scheme include red to orange-yellow, blue to bluish purple and brown to creamy white. Add a touch of contrast to this color scheme by painting the door a contrasting color, adding flower boxes to the windows and flower beds to the landscaping.