Brick houses have a long history in the United States. What is believed to be the oldest standing brick abode today is located in Massachusetts and dates back to 1680, which speaks to the enduring quality of this building material. Bricks were made by hand until the Industrial Revolution, when they became easier and cheaper to produce, leading to an increase in brick homes. In some Southern states, brick continued to be used in the majority of new dwellings — upwards of 80% — through the late 20th century.
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You can find brick homes in a wide range of architectural styles across the country: colonial, Tudor, cottage, Victorian, and ranch, as well as modern and contemporary homes. Shades of red and orange continue to be the most common, but bricks come in an array of hues these days — brown, gray, tan, and black, among others — which opens up the possibilities for your exterior color scheme.
How to Choose Accent Colors for a Brick House
When choosing paint colors to go with your brick house, there are several factors to consider. First, think about the architectural style and whether you'd like to choose colors that conform with it or deviate. For example, if you live in a colonial house, you might choose traditional colors like black, white, navy blue, or hunter green. But maybe you'd prefer to ditch the expected and go for a bright shade like turquoise or yellow. The choice is yours, after all.
Also keep in mind the various parts of your exterior that you can paint. There's the front door, garage door, shutters, window trim, siding, and more. You can even paint the bricks themselves for a whole new look.
Once you know what kind of look you're going for and the areas you'd like to paint, consider color theory. If you're working with red or orange brick, choose similar shades for an analogous or monochromatic color scheme. Or go for complementary shades of blue and green, which Mary Beth Wagner of Mary Beth Wagner Interiors recommends. "However, slate grey would be my first choice to accent the brick!" she shares.
But before you commit to an exterior color, Wagner has this tip: "Test paint samples at different times of the day so that you can tell what it will truly look like at any given moment." Also consider what the paint will look like under different weather conditions and if you live in a region that experiences all four seasons. Will the color hold up well? How does it look when it's overcast versus sunny?
And let's not forget your immediate environment as well. Will the color work or clash with the plants growing around it? Perhaps you can find inspiration for your color scheme in your garden. Read on for more color ideas.
11 Colors That Go With Brick Houses
Black and red brick are a timeless combination. If you live in a colonial-style house and want to go for a traditional look, use the same shade for your shutters. Up the drama by painting the window frames black as well. For a more modern look, mix in a third color, like the white shown on the front of this home.
Get the look: Clare Blackest
Multicolored brick opens up many possibilities for accent colors. Both the bright orange door and the off-white window trim above come from the palette established by the brick exterior wall. While a dark brown would look just as harmonious, the cheerful persimmon shade makes the front door the main event, beckoning visitors to stop by.
Get the look: Benjamin Moore Orange Nectar
3. Sage Green
A good place to look for inspiration for accent colors for your brick home is the surrounding landscape. The greenery around this brick estate is complemented by sage green window trim. It's a subtle placement with high impact.
Get the look: Clare Dirty Martini
A bright white doorway is as traditional as it comes for a brick home. To warm things up, consider decor such as a seasonal wreath, potted plants, and a cheery welcome mat. The black railing here offers additional contrast to the white and brick siding.
Get the look: Sherwin-Williams Extra White
Green accents with a red brick home can look too much like Christmas for some. To avoid this, choose a shade with blue undertones, like teal. Such a bold, saturated color will draw attention wherever you place it, making it an ideal choice for beautiful architectural elements — like this paneled double door and transom window.
Get the look: Farrow & Ball Vardo
Many contemporary homes, rather than being made entirely of brick, have brick exterior features like the planter lining the walls above. For a modern look, choose cool neutral paint colors like gray and bright white that will make the red or orange clay stand out. Gray trim and entryway posts make this house look extra sharp.
Get the look: Behr Gotham Gray
Red paint can be a great match for a red brick exterior, as long as the shades you choose are different enough from each other to provide some contrast. Texture and finish can also help. The front door pictured above, from Red Door Floristry, is a perfect example. The glossy cherry red door, with its black trim and accents, stands out from the warm brick, creating a welcome sight. White window frames and greenery soften the bold color combo.
Get the look: Glidden Red Gumball
8. Seafoam Green
Seafoam green offers a cool complement to brick, whether it's red, orange, or whitewashed. Studio McGee transformed the exterior of a 1939 brick Tudor into a cheery family home by painting it white, with a soft green front door. The red brick accent on the front steps gives a nod to the home's past, and copper gutters provide an unexpected and original finishing touch.
Get the look: Clare Headspace
9. Charcoal Gray
Here's another inspiring color combination featuring painted brick. This monochromatic house has wood siding and a brick chimney painted in contrasting shades of charcoal gray, resulting in a very contemporary look. Pale gray concrete steps and a honey-colored front door and fence add definition.
Get the look: Glidden Deep Onyx
Browns with warm undertones pair well with red brick homes. This entryway shows how various shades of brown can combine to create a grounded, homey atmosphere. The natural wood front door and the chocolate-colored paint used on the trim and siding pick up the lightest and darkest colors in the brick for a cohesive palette.
Get the look: Farrow & Ball Cola
Turquoise is always full of personality, but against red brick, the color truly pops. It's a bold move, and one that will make your home instantly look more modern — so make sure that's what you're going for before you swipe on the paint. Combined with traditional touches, like the iron transom and footed planters, the turquoise paint on this front door creates an eclectic and intriguing look.
Get the look: Sherwin-Williams Dynamic Blue
Exterior Colors That Go With Brick Houses
Think of your brick exterior as a neutral foundation onto which you can layer almost any color. Go traditional with white, black, or dark blues and greens. Be bold with orange or turquoise. Or paint your entire brick facade to create a whole new look. No matter which route you choose, keep in mind your home's architectural style, the surrounding environment, and the look you'd like to create.
Here are some of the best colors to accent brick houses:
- Sage green
- Seafoam green
- Charcoal gray