Preserving the history of a period home requires special knowledge of the architectural era during which it was built — from design practices and traditions to decorative approaches and popular accents and touches. If your home holds a particularly important architectural pedigree, even the specific shade of color employed in the home’s exterior and interior design becomes integral to honoring its original character.

Insight into the most common colors of the era and locale come with extensive experience in historic restoration. Clues can be taken from old paint surfaces found under old wallpaper or in hidden areas such as closets. Homeowners can also employ paint analysts who specialize in the latest technology and scientific techniques for uncovering and extracting the exact shades that once enrobed a home.

Let’s take a look at some common colors found in historic homes:

Queen Anne style homes often feature elaborate color schemes that echo the era’s architectural philosophy that “more is never too much.”

Colonial yellow, Spanish brown and white are characteristic of Georgian Style architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries.

After American independence, Federal style homes brought softer yellows, rich creams, peaches and a range of grays and whites to the forefront of home design.

Greek Revival houses of the pre-Civil War period are known for their austere white palettes inspired by the sun-bleached temples of ancient Greece.

Vibrant and colorful homes that defined the architecture of the Victorian Age were a result of more colors becoming available and paint becoming more affordable. Popular colors included brilliant golds, vibrant blues and greens and rosy hues.

Bungalows and other turn-of-the-20th-century homes are easily identified by their organic color schemes featuring gray, green, bone and biscuit inspired by natural materials used in construction.

As an interesting article on historic paint colors explains, “If you don’t have an existing color scheme you’re trying to replicate, it still makes sense to pay heed to historic precedents.” This is because there are certain colors that are best suited for particular architectural styles, resulting in designs that are not only tasteful, but authentic as well.

To learn more about restoring historic homes to their original glory, contact the experts at TMS Architects. We’ll help you choose the right colors for your historic home, while making it more functional for modern-day living.

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