Exterior Home Design Trend CyclesTypically, trends tend to shift every six to seven years, reflecting the desired atmosphere of homebuyers and residents. When Smith first exclusively focused on exterior design, she saw many houses featuring gray colors with white trim. Soon, there was a shift towards more neutral tones such as balanced beige colors and tawny taupes. In 2019 and 2020, another change in trends occurred – one that we are still seeing today.
Popular Home Exterior Color ChoicesA popular choice among homeowners is a white home with white trim or keeping with the modern farmhouse trend started by HGTV stars Joanna and Chip Gaines – white homes with black doors and shutters as accents. Another trending is to remove shutters altogether to give the residence a uniform look with a single-color choice. Color-blocked areas are popular with white homes allowing homeowners to have fun with color in an allotted space. For example, homeowners with white homes may have an entire section of black to accent the all-white façade. Typically, this will be a bay window or a section of the house that juts out.
Popular secondary choices are natural colors such as green and blue, often with underlying gray tones in place of brighter choices. An accent choice returning as a blast from the past is gold. Instead of genuine gold, wheat gold is gaining popularity. It is also common to see darker homes with bright contradicting colors, such as a black home with lime green shutters.
Minimalism is KeyIn the past, an average of four colors on the exterior of a home was very common. A different color would be used for the trim, siding, shutters, and doors. However, it is just as common to see a single color covering the entire exterior. Pretty much anything goes. The home could feature one color or up to four.
A design choice Smith favors is to use a light gray color for window frames to add diversity to an all-white exterior of a home. This look particularly shines on a stucco home and is a design choice often seen in France on homes.
Popular Door PalettesAn essential exterior color choice is the selection for the front door because it is often where a visitor’s eyes land first upon approaching the home. About 50% to 60% of the time, homeowners opt for darker colors versus lighter ones. Another popular choice is to match the front door with the trim for uniformity and balance, a fantastic look for brick homes.
To make a home pop, Smith recommends using yellow, orange, or rust hues on a front door to contrast a gray home, depending on whether it is light, dark, or blue-gray. For deep wooden tones, Smith’s recommendation is Sherwin Williams Sealskin for a front door to blend the wooden grains and the warmer elements.
Gutter and Roof TrendsWhether featured on the entire home, porch, or portico, metal roofs are a popular new construction choice with gutters boasting a similar hue to the trim to marry the elements. However, it is popular to paint gutters a darker color to contrast a white home. Darker gutters also look great on cabins and homes with darker palettes. Choosing bronze or copper gutters is another popular European choice.
Homeowner Personalities Reflected in Color ChoicesPersonality is an aspect that is easily gleaned from exterior color choices, revealing career choices as well as geography. Generalities seen by Smith include IT people commonly choosing grey, lawyers favoring white trim and black shutters, engineers loving blue, salespeople leaning towards brighter hues, and Midwesterners finding inspiration from their geographical palette of white and tan. The pattern does not directly reflect every homeowner but is a commonality Smith witnesses often!
Updates on Existing ConstructionIn Virginia Highland and Dunwoody, homeowners commonly restore older homes by blocking homes horizontally with wooden stains and two accompanying colors, dark siding, and a board and batten of lighter tones.
Millennials tend to lean towards a lime wash brick stone to preserve the natural texture of the material and add more depth to a home. For newer homes, manufacturers often send painted or lime-washed brick directly during construction. Popular choices seen by Smith include Bradford Hall Tutor, La Costa, and Grand Bay from North Georgia Brick.