The Color of Architecture

by FDeditor

Simpler architectural styles can opt for more colorful and saturated colors, which will make up for any architectural details that a home lacks. (Joseph Pubillones)

By Joseph Pubillones

Who hasn’t heard the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? The old adage is appropriate for almost every aesthetic concern. However, there is much controversy about what constitutes beauty and the appropriate color for the exterior of a home.

Most homeowners will regard this matter as one of personal preference, and that is true to some extent. Homeowners sometimes fail to see the importance of selecting a color, which impacts the public realm. Something as simple as color on the exterior of a home has an impact for 5 to 10 years, which is the life span of a good paint job.

The style of architecture should be one of the main elements taken into account when selecting a color for a home. Generally, the more complex or sophisticated a particular architectural style is, the more subdued the palette should be. Simpler architectural styles can opt for more colorful and saturated colors, which will make up for any architectural details that a home lacks. Architectural styles that are harder to discern or homes that lack a definite architectural style can benefit from an “anything goes” palette or a simple white or neutral color scheme.

Taking into account the architectural fabric and existing color palette throughout the area is another important factor when selecting colors for your own home. Some homeowners, however, are at a loss as to what to do as they weigh what is considered good taste versus striking out for a fresh approach to colors.

Curb appeal, obviously, is the one thing that most homeowners are after. Color selection can affect how one perceives a neighborhood. Curb appeal can lure a potential homeowner to a certain area or neighborhood. The colors of the homes can give identity to a neighborhood or particular district and speak volumes about whether an area is stable and established or an up-and-coming fringe neighborhood. Needless to say, you can see how color could affect the value of a home and marketability of a neighborhood.

In residential developments, the norm is to have a preselected color palette intended to maintain a cohesive image for the neighborhood. Some may think that this prescription is too strict or lacks imagination. On the other hand, when you purchase your home, you are guaranteed a certain aesthetic standard void of any surprises. Outside of gated neighborhoods, color is something that is also very hard to regulate, even in historic districts.

For those who are having doubt, there are a few ways to approach the dilemma of selecting an appropriate color for your home.

The first is somewhat scientific: Try to chip or scrape off layers of paint until you reach block, brick, or whatever stucco may cover your home. If you are successful, sometimes you can see the different layers of paint and take the sample to your local paint store, where they have computers to color-match the original.

Another method is to do a study of the type of architecture of your home and look through photographs and books on architecture about what colors were typically used for that style.

Finally, the last approach involves hiring a professional color consultant, who may be an artist, architect, or historical preservationist.

Here are a few tips, if doing it yourself.

Tip No. 1: Buy a few cans of different colors, and choose a discrete area of your home to try a few selections. Ask a few neighbors for their opinions; this will help you narrow down your final selection.

Tip No. 2: Never, ever copy the color scheme of another home within a five-minute walk.

Tip No. 3: Rarely should you use more than three different colors (walls, trim, and doors).

Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at Copyright 2020


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