Colour schemes for house exterior

by | Dec 6, 2023 | Home design, Style of home

Choosing exterior colour schemes is one of those tasks that many homeowners find to be intimidating. It’s understandable; it’s not like you can hide your choice from other people after all. As big a job as it may seem though, it’s not an impossible one. With a little know-how and guidance, you’ll end up with an exterior colour scheme that looks great, suits your home, increases your house’s street appeal and even improves the value of your house.

What should you consider before choosing an exterior colour scheme for your new home?

Unfortunately, choosing the right paint for your home isn’t as simple as picking your favourite colour. There are a few key factors everyone should consider before painting their new home.

New home architectural style

The architectural details of your new home should be a guiding light in your final choice of colour scheme. Certain styles suit certain colour schemes, while another colour scheme will just be jarring and odd-looking. For example, if you’re building a Hamptons-style home, you should favour lighter, neutral colours with the occasional brighter colour at most. Bright, bold colours will draw attention for the wrong reasons to this particular architectural style.


Choosing colours isn’t all about aesthetics; there are some functional aspects to take into account as well. The climate in your area is one of the biggest factors you’ll need to take into account when choosing your exterior colour schemes. Colours have different absorption rates when it comes to heat, so depending on where you are, you’ll either want a scheme that maximises heat retention or minimises this.

There’s also the “sense of climate” you want your home to project. Brighter exterior paint colours work best in beach areas and create an airy, cool sense to your home. A darker colour scheme has the opposite effect, creating a sense of warmth. In Queensland, brighter colours are more common, both for the vibe they create but also as a practical step to combat the heat. If you travel south, you’ll notice darker colour schemes and warmer tones are actually more common in states like Victoria and Tasmania.

Surrounding environment & neighbourhood

There’s a fine art to standing out in your neighbourhood. Certain environments are going to suit a particular style or colour more than others. For example, in a country town, a sleek, modern home with bright colours might be at odds with the overall vibe of the place. Find ways to make your home unique while working within the space you’re given.

3 popular neutral exterior house colour schemes

Bright whites and undertones.

Crisp white has a clean and classic look that can be seen as a canvas through which other features of your home can shine.

Traditional Exterior Colour Scheme

Traditional home designs tend to work best with a neutral colour scheme, with splashes of colour in certain areas like the roof.

Hamptons Style

Though originating in America, the Hamptons-style home has since become a staple in Australian home designs. The neutral colour scheme is a signature of this architectural style and these are perfect colours for coastal life. Blue undertones are another option if white isn’t for you.

3 popular bold exterior house colour schemes

Bold colour schemes are the opposite of neutral colour schemes. It’s about making a distinct impression with bright, bold colours. Going big in this way is arguably more of a gamble, but when done well, it can be a fantastic look.

Contemporary home

A bold statement is part of what having a contemporary house is all about. Great way to help your house stand out from the crowd.

Bright Colours

Bright colours can add a distinct look to your home’s exterior. Using complementary colours will help you avoid colours that clash with one another.

Custom Home Designs

If you’re looking to build a unique home, a custom home provides you a chance to choose a range of colours.

3 popular monochromatic exterior house colour schemes

Monochromatic means to use one colour or shades of a single colour.

Modern Home

For a sleek, modern look, monochromatic colour schemes are a perfect choice. Many modern homes aim for a less is more


Warm greys and charcoals work great on timber, brick or stone houses, creating a warm, inviting yet distinct look.

Minimalist Look

Monochromatic colour schemes are perfect for anyone looking to create a minimalist look for their home. Minimalism shouldn’t be confused with dull, rather it’s about letting simplicity shine.

3 popular contrasting exterior house colour schemes

Contrasting colour schemes can give your home a distinct look that will help it stand out. The basic idea behind this scheme is to use colours that deliberately contrast stylishly.

Monochromatic with a splash of colour

Sometimes it’s best to take a quality over quantity approach with contrasting colours. Something as simple as having a brightly coloured front door against an otherwise monochromatic main colour scheme can be a striking way to make an impression on any visitor.

Accent Colour

An accent colour isn’t the primary colour of your home, but the contrasting colour that adds depth and personality to your facade.

Complementary Colour Combinations

Complementary colour combinations are when you take two colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel and combine them for a striking contrast. Some of the most common combinations include orange and blue, red and green and yellow and purple.

Our tips for choosing exterior colours

Consider your home’s style and your neighbourhood.

The type of house design you have will influence your colour scheme. What works on a modern home design won’t necessarily gel with a Hamptons design and vice versa. Talk to your builder and painter about the best colour schemes for your new home.

Be Wary of Trends

Ever look back at some of your high school photos and wonder what you were thinking with that haircut and those clothes? Like music, fashion and everything else, there are definite trends when it comes to house designs and colours. The thing with trends is some end up transcending any particular era and become timeless, whereas others end up being very much of their time and end up looking dated. Ideally, you want the former, not the latter.

Test Colours Before you use them

When you get sample cards from the hardware or paint store, you need to be aware they aren’t entirely accurate. For one thing, different lights will make a big difference in how a paint looks and the fluorescent lights in the store are a completely different beast to the sun. We’ve heard stories of people who’ve liked how the paint looked in the store, only for it to turn out several shades brighter when they painted it onto their house.

It’s therefore important to get actual paint samples, rather than just colour swatches, and test them on the building you’re planning to paint. This will help give a better idea of how the colour will actually look in the right environment and lighting.

Look at other homes and see what you like

Not sure what exactly what you’re into and aren’t sure where to start? Why not hop in your car and take a drive around a few neighbourhoods? There’s also plenty of house decor ideas on sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and more. While you probably won’t find a definite choice just by doing this, it can be a helpful way to get a broad idea of what you like and, just as importantly, what you can’t stand.

Hire a professional to help

Does choosing a colour scheme seem like a daunting task that makes you want to curl up in a ball somewhere? That’s okay! Not everyone has an eye for this sort of thing (worse still, some people think they do, but they don’t!). There are plenty of people from decorators to professional painters who can help guide you through the process. Painters will have colour schemes for you to choose from and will hopefully steer you from committing any crimes against style.

Buildi is here to help you

Building a new home is a big job inside and out. Buildi is here to guide you through your entire building journey. We’ll help you navigate the often confusing world of construction and ensure you get everything owed to you. We can help you every step of the way, from finding the right builder to finding the perfect palette for your home’s architecture.

Click here to book your free, impartial consultation


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Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

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