Painting the exterior of your home is a big decision. Unlike painting your kitchen, there is no room for mistakes when changing the color of your home’s facade—it’s an expensive endeavor that should last for decades and create curb appeal that will be visible to all passersby.
Yardzen’s new exterior design service helps homeowners reimagine their home’s potential and avoid the mistake of picking the wrong paint or stain color.
Benjamin Moore Exterior Color Schemes Created Exclusively for Yardzen
How to Select a New Exterior Paint or Stain
Yardzen’s CEO, Allison Messner, sits down with Andrea to learn more about how to select a new paint or stain for your home’s exterior. The goal: creating a home that looks “well-considered.” (Andrea’s wise words) Here’s what we learned!
Look Toward Your Landscaping
“When it comes to exterior paint color, many people don’t know where to start,” says Benjamin Moore’s Director of Color, Andrea Magno. Andrea’s advice: “look toward your landscaping.” Think about the color palette of your softscape and hardscaping choices to decide on home colors. If you lean toward cool-colored hardscapes, like pea gravel, bluestone, or concrete, and plants, like sage, grasses, olive, or agaves, choose a cooler color for your home, like Nimbus Gray or Decorator’s White. If you’re drawn toward warmer toned hardscaping and plants, opt for color combinations for your home exterior that reflect that—like warm taupes, mauves, dark browns, greiges, and greens.
Consider Your Region
“We see many people choose a color palette based on their region’s landscape and weather,” says Andrea. “The vista becomes a point of inspiration.” In the Southwest, many homeowners opt for a mix of organic and invigorating colors, which they see in the natural world around them. In the Pacific Northwest, “we see a lot of stains and deep colors that mimic the local forests, sky, and ocean.”
Do Some Research
It’s also helpful to research your home’s architectural style. For example, Craftsman-style homes often make use of earth tones and gem tones for exterior house paint colors while traditional homes lean more toward cool neutrals with high-contrast trim and Spanish homes look great with warm neutrals. At Yardzen, we often see that people make landscaping choices based on their home’s architectural style, too, although we also love to see people switching it up—a modern home with a traditional English garden can look awesome. We also see many people in traditional homes gravitating toward modern, low-maintenance yards.
There is no “right” choice when it comes to exterior paint color or stain—choose something that “sparks joy.” To find the seed, consider what inspires you, whether that’s the painted doors in Italy or rustic cabins in Montana. Or, maybe the white exterior of farmhouses you grew up with (like the Yardzen home above). Let that inspiration guide your color ideas.
Make a Sustainable Choice
One thing that many people don’t realize is Benjamin Moore classifies their paints by LRV, which stands for Light Reflectance Value. Andrea explains:
“Light reflectance value (or often abbreviated to LRV) refers to the amount of light that is reflected from a surface when illuminated by a light source, such as the sun. LRV is measured with a scale of 0 to 100, which 0 being the lowest LRV and 100 being the highest. The LRV of each color is noted in the Benjamin Moore fan decks.”
To help mitigate energy consumption, it’s of the utmost importance to keep LRV in mind when selecting a paint color for your home. In hot climates, choose a high-LRV paint to reflect light, which keeps a home cooler, requiring less air conditioning. The reverse is true in cool climates. For those of us farther north, consider a low-LRV paint that will absorb heat and help offset heating costs.
Don’t Forget Accents
Architectural details are often what brings a home to life, so it’s important to not overlook accents. Using high-gloss paint to highlight your trim, windows, and front doors can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your outdoor spaces. And, no, the trim color doesn’t need to be white—black accents and trim are trending! Consider a bold exterior color that you love, but one wise piece of advice: make sure that your home’s base and accent color have the same undertones for the home to feel “well-considered.”
Accent idea that Andrea’s loving right now: paint the ceiling of your outdoor porch. It adds unexpected personality and pop of color to your home’s exterior.
A Word on Black Houses
Black houses aren’t going anywhere! If you love the trend but fear that it’s too, well, “trendy,” Andrea now thinks of dark blues or blue-grays, blacks, and charcoal or dark gray paint colors as timeless neutrals.
One Last Piece of Advice
Just as you can use paint to highlight your favorite features of your home, you can use it to conceal elements too. Consider painting the exterior of your AC unit or an unsightly downspout to help it fade away.
10 Exterior Paint Colors Most-Loved by Our Clients this Year
These are the Benjamin Moore colors that Yardzen clients have chosen most often for their final exterior designs in 2023. Use them as inspiration for your next painting project!
Designing a landscape and home exterior tailored to your style
Yardzen’s award-winning online home exterior and landscaping design is tailored to each of our client’s local climate and design preferences. Our design process begins with understanding your space, aesthetic preferences, and a discussion of your budget and vision to minimize surprises when it comes time to build.
We want to make sure our top-notch designers can personalize your yard, delivering 3D and CAD renders that reflect what’s most important for your outdoor life and unique environment, while keeping costs within range. We do this by utilizing our in-house Build Team made up of former contractors and our Pro Network of vetted professional landscapers across the country.