If your house is close to neighbouring houses consider a colour scheme that is harmonious with them. That’s not to say that you can’t express your own tastes, but be aware that using outlandish colour combinations on traditional house styles can limit resale value. Colour combos that might look great on a new house can kill the classic lines of a federation home or a bungalow.
When you’re working out the colour scheme, consider all the exterior aspects that will have an impact. Pools, paving, decks, fencing and planting all need to be integrated. For example, a large expanse of terracotta paving will create a big impact on the overall colour-effect of your outdoors, while pebbles or stone provide a more neutral palette. Pools do not have to be bright blue – today many pools are being painted darker colours to integrate with their surroundings.
Consider the immediate environment. Do you want to blend in or stand out? If the house is surrounded by bush, or at the beach you may want to consider colours that will enable the house to ‘disappear’ into the landscape.
Consider the effect of texture on colour. What works on smooth weatherboards may not work on a concrete wall. Think about how the colour will age and weather on different surfaces – this can be used to wonderful effect.
Plant for colour. Plants that starkly contrast against the background walls or weatherboards will draw the eye. On the other hand, plants which are similar shades to a background wall will emphasise interesting or sculptural forms.
To help enhance the flow between indoor and out, consider continuing the exterior colour inside – this is particularly effective with flooring/paving.
Consider the colour of outdoor furnishings – cushions, umbrellas and awnings and pots and planters. A bright splash of colour that picks up a featured garden colour might be all it takes to lift a small outdoor space out of the ordinary. Climate and culture can make a big difference to your choice. A hot Mexican colour combination of orange and blue can work brilliantly at the beach, but it may fall flat in the city on a grey day in July.
Consider the fact that you might want to change your mind! Remember that it’s a lot cheaper to change the colour of the outdoor cushions, or the planters, or even the fence or shutters , than it is to repaint the entire house!
Make your spaces work beautifully.