Coordinating Landscape and House Color

It’s exterior house painting season in Seattle and architectural color consultants like me are in full swing helping homeowners make proper decisions in choosing house colors and their proper placement on each architectural element. As there are a multitude of factors that affect making these correct choices, this post is about just one of them - landscaping.

Landscaping should be taken into consideration when choosing the color palette for your home’s exterior. This not only includes hardscaping, foliage and bloom color, but the landscape style as well. They must harmonize. And conversely you can add even more curb appeal to your home by matching pots and plants with the existing house colors. By coordinating your landscape with your house and vice versa, an enhanced, unified design will result.

I learned this the hard way. Early on in my color consulting career I specified beautiful orange doors, Benjamin Moore #1196 “Burnt Sienna”. This orange hue of the door was just the perfect feel good punctuation the palette needed against the house body color C2 401- “WildWood”.


Yet it was midsummer and the surrounding foliage was still green. When I returned a couple of months later to see the finished result and take some pictures, I gasped. The house looked great, but the Burning Bush in front of it was aflame in all its deep magenta glory. Clash of the Titans! The cringe quotient was high.

The only living thing I could find that matched with the door was a nearly ripe apple! I took it up with my client who had noticed it too. We eventually changed the door color to C2 #056 “Paprika”.

I have never made that mistake again and know they both go in tandem. Here is a picture of a successful job that illustrates just that.

The red front door and window sashes painted in Sherwin Williams 2801 “Rookwood Dark Red” echo the Japanese maples.


The body painted in SW 2808, “Rookwood Dark Brown” is a natural foil for the all the trees and shrubs.

So, this summer, if you are planning to paint, consider your landscaping or if you’re planning a planting scheme, remember what is already there. By the way, a great resource for just that is a book entitled The Garden Color Book, 343,000 Combinations for your Garden. It is divided by different color sections and each page is cut in three so one can mix and match.

If you need help in planning your color scheme, don’t hesitate to contact a seasoned architectural color consultant. Our services are well worth it.

Elizabeth Brown ebrown@eb-color.com 206-353-0454

Original post at Colorific.

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