Create a great first impression

Create a great first impression

GET THE COLOURS RIGHT Modifying the facade of your home involves three elements, form, decoration and colour.

Homeowners usually consider exteriors for a touch-up only when the shabby look renders it absolutely necessary! But, a well-planned facade can enhance aesthetics and creates a great first impression.

 Altering the facade of your house involves modifying three elements – form, decoration and colour. Colour lends life to form and decoration. Most home exteriors require at least three colours – siding colour, a contrasting colour for windows and door trims and an accent colour for shutters, doors, railings, window sashes, etc. However, make sure you choose the right colour because an ill-chosen colour combination can lend either a tired or a garish look.  

So, what aspects determine the colour choice for exteriors? First, the features to be toned down and those to be highlighted. Next, if the design incorporates fixed elements like brick, stonework, etc, choose new colours that gel with these. Harmonise the exterior colours with those of the interiors. Avoid extreme contrasts. Select related colours. Also, pick colours that look good throughout the day – under direct sunlight, clouds and in the dark.  Light colours make your house appear larger. Darker colours have the opposite effect. Dark siding/trim make the house seem smaller, but highlight the details. Darker shades also stress shadowed or recessed parts, while lighter colours are suitable for parts projecting from the wall surface. Very bright or deep colours fade quickly and render touch-up tasks difficult. However, dark colours absorb more heat and create more moisture problems than lighter ones, creating maintenance problems. Avoid splashing a bright colour onto only one side of the facade. Failure to balance colours over the entire building betrays lack of taste.

Choose between subtle or dramatic colours depending on the house’s overall architectural style. A simple facade requires fewer colours.

Be careful when you are using colour swatches to choose colours. Indoor lighting and bright sunlight distort colour. So, view the swatches outside, but never in direct sunlight. In addition, the chosen colours appear lighter when painted onto the façade. So, first try out your preference on a small area of the exterior. Plus, decide on the paint’s sheen – glossy, semi-gloss or flat. Glossy surfaces, though easier to clean, make brush strokes and touch-up marks conspicuous. Flat paint for walls and semi-gloss/glossy for columns, railings and window sashes constitute the recommended combination.

Today, people resort to design software to test out the facade’s appearance with different colour combinations.

Some others consult paint companies’ websites. True, such websites offer information about the entire product range with prices, free cost calculations and colour scheme advice. But, remember, colour appearance varies from monitor to monitor. The hue on your facade might look totally different from the one you originally chose! So, use these only for getting an approximate idea. You could also experiment with colouring a photocopy of your house’s photograph till you find the perfect combo.