Exterior colour schemes – where to start?

exterior colour schemes

Choosing the exterior colour scheme for your home can be quite an overwhelming and complex task for just about anyone. The fact that colour selections are subject to various impacts, from personal tastes and preferences to trends and styles that dominate the market doesn’t make it easier.  

In addition, as opposed to your interior colour scheme, the exterior of your home is permanently exposed to the outside world. Whether you are painting the exterior of your newly built structure or refreshing your existing home, the right exterior colour scheme is vital to the overall external impression of your home. Furthermore, this decision will not only uplift its aesthetic appearance but will also raise your property’s value and marketability.

Knowing how daunting imagining the creative possibilities of a new facade can be, we strongly suggest consulting the local Interior Designer and leaving all the hard decisions in their professional hands. Exterior transformations are the ideal rejuvenation boosters that can create a lasting impression as long as you remember the three key conditions for a successful aesthetic project.


Nancy brings her knowledge and expertise of colour and design to bring out the best from the architecture of your home. This service will navigate you through the entire exterior selection process end-to-end. The first step in making the right exterior colour choice is to determine the focal element of the building. For instance, the focal element could be a pillar, feature wall, or any other standout point on the structure. The focal element could also be made of brick or stones which gives the facade some interest and depth.

Once you have determined the focal element, pull off the colours and use them for the rest of the exterior. This will harmonise the colour scheme and strike a balance for an appealing exterior. Also, maintaining a maximum of three colours throughout the exterior is essential for a balanced and sophisticated look. However, you may also incorporate different textures of the same colour on different architectural elements for a clean, yet attractive impression.

There are also structural features that may need to be considered when approaching the façade design. Structural features which could influence the colour decision process for your external colour scheme include: 

  • Roof material and colour
  • Feature Stone / Tile
  • Timber slats
  • Vinyl siding
  • Fibre cement siding
  • Stucco
  • Windows
  • Render
  • Moroka
  • Timber cladding
  • Gutter
  • Fascia
  • Downpipe
  • Front door
  • Decorative motifs
  • Garage door
  • Powder coating
  • Patio tile
  • Driveway
  • Pier colour

What every homeowner wishes to gain from the exterior of their home is a long-lasting satisfaction and a sense of authenticity and familiarity. A “welcome home” moment that is encoded within the exterior colour scheme of your home is the end goal of this process. Consequently, a carefully selected palette will enhance both the aesthetics and every other element of the building.

Many houses in Sydney have a large garage door making up almost half of the exterior. At Design to Inspire, we use Colorbond Surfmist and Monument which have been proven as an optimal solution for the garage door. Particularly,  when you consider the fact that Colourbond colours are the only options for the Gutter and Fascia. This even gets better and more appealing when the Colorbond colour is repeated on some other exterior elements. Another option is powder coating.


1. Consider the base tones of the building

When deciding on exterior colour schemes for houses, you should consider the colour of all building materials: The brick, feature tiles, stones, and patio bring in some background tones which must be considered. Also, the foundational colour of your building will go a long way to influence your choice. For a rational colour choice, you can combine colours of contrasting temperatures. In this case, a sharp and brightly coloured background could be complemented with a colour of reduced brightness.

2. Examine the surrounding

Pay attention to the outdoors, the environment surrounding your house. Do you have a pool, playing ground or relaxation garden? What are the colours present in the environment?

You would be left with the choice of either adding or highlighting the existing surrounding to accentuate the building.

3. Ensure the colour selection is done under natural light

The number one rule when choosing exterior colours is doing it natural lighting, and not under interior lights or halogens. This is a mistake most people make which can interfere with the reflection of the ’true colour’.

A rule of thumb is to ensure that all colours are selected and trialled with natural external light. It is also important to do a 360-degree turn with the colour sample in your hands. This will reveal the oscillations and variations in colour under the different angles, shadows, and during different times of the day.

By making a small investment in sample pots to try out the colour before the final decision will save you from making a colour mistake and overspending.  

The aesthetic impression is generally the leading reason for different colour choices; however, several other factors may have a final word when selecting exterior colours. The durability of exterior colours is one of those factors for homes in Sydney, Australia, due to the extreme weather conditions.

In the end, do express your personal style and make a statement through your exterior colour choices but always make sure the scheme is professionally done.

Nancy Malekpour is an expert in creating modern exterior colour schemes for houses and collaborates with renowned architects and building designers to create stunning home exteriors. Contact Nancy today to discuss the exterior colour scheme for your home.

Design to Inspire