Similarly to selecting the right colors for a bedroom or your front door, choosing the right trim colors can make all the difference in your home’s appearance. Colorful exterior trim work can help highlight unique architectural features of your home, as well as provide depth, rich visual interest and enhance curb appeal.

Determining the best color for your exterior trim should be done carefully, and understanding a few trim basics can help you select and use the best color for your home’s exterior features. This includes things like:

  • Using the main trim color for all horizontal/vertical lines that suggest structure.
  • Painting window sashes, shutters and storm windows the darkest of your trim choices.
  • Keeping downspouts and gutters painted an inconspicuous shade.
  • Using contrasting colors to highlight architectural features.

From there, it’s time to narrow down your choices. Most exterior color schemes have three major elements — field color (the most dominant), accent color (typically used for doors, shutters and other similar features) and trim color. Many experts recommend using at least three colors for the exterior of your home, with a color that contrasts the field color for trim work. Your design professionals can help tremendously here, as they’ll be familiar with how particular shades translate on a grander scale, as well as how it will respond to your home’s lot orientation and light exposure.

Also, remember that unless you’re doing a complete renovation, your roofing materials, stone work and hardscape features will play into your color decisions. For this reason, you need to rule out any trim options that aren’t complementary with unchangeable property features. Again, consulting with a professional before making your final selection is advisable so you don’t miss out on an opportunity to show your house off to its very best advantage.

Take a look below at some great examples of homes with colorful exterior trim work.

Our Mount Washington Retreat project features bright trim against dark green accents.

Portsmouth NH architects

Design by TMS Architects

For our Exeter Village renovation project, a delightful pink tone was chosen to highlight the more ornate trim work on the home. 

New Hampshire architects

Design by TMS Architects

Vibrant red trim, along with a red roof and railings, provide a boost of energy in our Wyoming Western Craftsman home project’s serene setting. 

New England architects

Design by TMS Architects

Bright blue trim adds a refreshing splash of color to this home’s traditional architecture.

A rusty red color makes the trim work pop on this craftsman style home. 

Are you ready to build a home or renovate the one you’re in now? Make sure to download “10 Questions to Ask an Architect” before getting started. Or contact TMS Architects and ask us the questions yourself. We’ll help you make stylish decisions along the way, from selecting the best color combinations for the exterior and interior spaces of your home to materials and more.