If you've noticed an influx of two-toned exteriors in your neighborhood, you're not alone. As homeowners, we are always on the lookout for creative ways to add curb appeal to the outside of our houses. "A harmonious or contrasting two-tone color scheme can really make the exterior of a home more dynamic and add layers of visual interest," explains Leni Popovici of KAP Studios, who believes that two-toned facades are becoming increasingly popular.
Note that the architectural style and siding material of a home can impact whether or not it is a particularly strong candidate for a two-tone exterior color scheme. "Applying a different color choice to those different [siding] materials can work nicely in creating variation and interest [on] your facade," explains Mindy O'Connor of Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture & Interiors. For example, O'Connor says, brick and clapboard are often painted in two different colors.
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Keep in mind that there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to selecting exterior paint colors for your home. "Sometimes we go for a stronger contrast if you want to achieve a bolder look, or some clients prefer a more harmonious two-tone look for a smooth, slick effect," Popovici says. "Choosing two colors or materials with starkly different patterns and colors will ensure they'll draw attention, while white and muted beiges fall more into the background." Many pros look to color theory and the color wheel; as Luis Murillo of LMD Architecture Studio says, "I stay with either a cool or warm palette regardless of the actual color (gray, white, blue, etc.)."
Honoring a home's historical integrity when selecting colors is also key. "You want to make sure that your color combinations work with the style and era that your home was built in," says Anthony Kulikowski of Five Star Painting of South Bend. "That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to always choose colors from the same era, but the colors you choose should reflect your home's characteristics and enhance any specific features the home may have."
As far as challenges go when designing a two-tone exterior, Scott Specht, the founding principal of Specht Architects, notes that issues can be avoided with restraint and a calculated approach. "Ideally there should be only a few moments of change in color in each facade, and the two colors should be emphasized by a change in plane or [another] organizing principle," Specht says. "If you simply start and stop materials and color at random points, or without an inherent logic of why the color or material changes, the result can be a mess."
Now that we've gone over the basics, it's time for the fun part. Below, we're showcasing a range of two-toned home exteriors that are guaranteed to inspire your decision.
13 Two-Tone Exterior House Color Ideas
1. Sage Green and White
The team over at Willow Homes gave this charming abode a subtle pop of color, with the help of sage green. Against a mostly white exterior, the verdant trim color really stands out and yet doesn't weigh down or overwhelm the architecture. And bonus: The green paint color looks stunning alongside the lush landscaping.
2. Brown and Robin's Egg Blue
This arts and crafts style home flaunts dark brown shingles, which pair beautifully with an unexpected shade of robin's egg blue. The unique hue is refreshing and lively and imparts the more serious wood siding with a playful burst of energy.
Get the look: Farrow & Ball Blue Ground
3. Blue and Yellow
Victorian-style homes like this one are often painted in bright exterior paint colors. Here, a sunny shade of yellow pairs wonderfully with a blue-gray hue that tempers its vibrancy. While yellow is a bold color, it can feel a lot less risky when used in smaller doses, such as on the trim.
When combined, dark blue and crisp white result in a tried-and-true color palette that will continue to be a classic — especially for homes near the water that have a coastal vibe. However, even if you don't live by a lake or an ocean, there's no denying the power of navy blue exterior siding with white trim.
5. Beige and Black
Traditional-style homes generally showcase light, neutral colors such as white, gray, and beige — and this home by Jean Stoffer Design is no exception. However, combining the muted hue with a high-contrast color such as black gives this classic facade a modern edge. The ebony window trim and garage doors complement the black roof, while the stone exterior wainscoting brings out the warm undertones in the beige siding.
6. White and Black
Many people are drawn to black-and-white two-tone exteriors, no matter the style of the home, and with one look at this contemporary abode, it's not hard to see why. Here, the high-contrast combo is showcased by way of color blocking, which imparts the minimal facade with loads of drama and visual interest. The surrounding verdant foliage provides an additional dose of color.
7. Mint Green and Turquoise
If you love color, don't be afraid to go big when it comes to exterior house paint. For example, a tone-on-tone color combo gave this craftsman-style home some major curb appeal. The turquoise trim highlighting the architectural details is just a hint darker than the mint green siding, resulting in a subtle difference that won't overwhelm the already bold scheme.
8. White and Light Gray
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some homeowners may wish to play it safe with a softer color palette. This dreamy abode has the right idea, flaunting white and gray exterior paint colors. The classic scheme, while neutral, is far from boring, showcasing siding in a warm shade of white with trim (including the gutters) in an equally warm shade of gray. The verdant foliage surrounding the facade completes the picture-perfect scene.
9. Forest Green and Yellow
You can't help but smile when you see this cheerful two-tone exterior house paint idea by Winn Design. The buttery yellow siding color tempers the more dramatic forest green hue, resulting in a wonderfully charming facade. The red brick hardscape provides additional warmth and color.
10. Charcoal Gray and Black
You might have noticed that dark color schemes, both inside and outside the home, have been trending lately, and we are so here for it. Not only do they make a powerful statement, but they instantly amp up the drama, as proven by this handsome exterior from M House Development. The charcoal gray paint is slightly lighter than the black accent color, resulting in the perfect dose of contrast.
11. Taupe and Black
Are you a fan of earthy colors? If so, taupe might be worth considering when selecting an exterior palette. M House Development paired the grayish-brown hue with black to give this modern home exterior a welcome dose of depth and contrast. The dark wood garage door adds a natural touch that complements the warmth of the siding.
12. Tan and Aqua
Another warm neutral that acts as an ideal base for a more vibrant accent color is tan. Case in point: This serene cottage, complete with tan siding and aqua trim. The bluish-green hue, while bold, is far from overbearing and provides just enough contrast and color to the otherwise muted facade.
13. Greige and White
If tan feels a little too warm for you, the color greige might be more up your alley. Pair the gray-beige hue with crisp white trim to play up unique architectural features, as demonstrated on this lovely exterior. Homes like these, with arched entryways and windows, deserve some extra attention in the form of paint so that the special features don't go unnoticed. The gray roof and the stone cladding on the lower portion of the chimney stack complement the neutral shade, while the red brick portion of the chimney adds warmth and a pop of color.
The Best Two-Tone Exterior House Color Ideas
If you're looking to design a two-tone exterior of your own, there are many colors to choose from. The key is simply to be mindful of where the change from one shade to the next will take place. The goal is to make the combination appear intentional and not distracting.
Before the painting process begins, you will want to reflect on your color choices and determine whether they are compatible with the architectural style of your home. The paint colors should enhance your home's beauty, not detract from it.
Here's a quick recap of some of our favorite two-tone exterior paint color combinations:
- Sage green and white
- Brown and robin's egg blue
- Blue and yellow
- Navy blue and white
- Beige and black
- White and black
- Mint green and turquoise
- White and light gray
- Forest green and yellow
- Charcoal gray and black
- Taupe and black
- Tan and aqua
- Greige and white