“FRESH Home Exterior Colors” Guide Now Available

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The new 30-page FRESH Home Exterior Colors guide is now available online to help homeowners, remodelers and builders select the perfect colors for the exterior of the home. Written by national color expert Kate Smith of Sensational Color, the free downloadable tool is designed to make it easy for people to choose color palettes that complement the exterior of the home.

“Enhancing homes with exterior colors is one of the hottest trends in the marketplace right now,” says Smith, CMG, CfYH and a career color trend forecaster. “This step-by-step tutorial provides guidance and tips on understanding your home’s exterior features and playing off of them with color accents. The easy-to-read flow of this guide explores how to evaluate which colors should be used on the main features of a home exterior — including the roof, siding, windows, door and trim.”

The comprehensive and colorful online piece was a collaborative effort of Smith and several building product manufacturers, including DaVinci Roofscapes®, Simonton Windows®, Therma-Tru® and Fypon®. The free color guide is located on each company’s web site, plus on the www.sensationalcolor.com/colorforyourhome/ web site developed by Smith.

“We’re looking at ‘top down’ color for the home in this booklet,” says Smith. “To understand the colors that work best on a home’s exterior, I encourage people to use the FRESH approach, which stands for Fixed features, Regional colors, Environment and surroundings, Style of the home, and Have-to-use colors.”

Learning the FRESH Approach

  • Fixed Features – These are the permanent design elements of the home that need to be considered a constant feature of the house, such as the foundation, partial stone or brick facades, pathways and retaining walls. Each feature may be of a different material, but they usually will have a common color or color cast. Once you identify that common color, you can find a roof tile with a similar color or undertone that will work well for the overall home.
  • Regional Colors – West Coast? South? Midwest? Each region of the country has prevalent colors based on the housing styles, available materials, natural surroundings and the quality of light. Determine the colors in your area (often those you see a great deal of on other homes) to stick with regional colors.
  • Environment and Surroundings – Is your home in a rural setting or a downtown? Are you near the waterfront, a desert or a mountain? Temper the colors on your home’s exterior to complement your surroundings and the natural colors around you. The goal is to stand out while still fitting in!
  • Style of the Home – Remember that colors support the home’s style and architecture, not the other way around. So, determine your home’s style (are you a Ranch? Tudor? Victorian? Art Deco? Greek Revival?) and then do some research online to determine what colors are most associated with your style of home.
  • Have-to-Use Colors – If you live in a historic district, check for local guidelines and/or restrictions on adding colors to your home. More traditional colors, such as whites, browns, and shades of blue and green, work well on historical homes.

As an example of using the FRESH approach, Smith recently coached homeowners in Arizona to work from the “top down” when selecting new colors and products for a ranch-style home. “After discovering the reddish tint to the stone around the property I first suggested a Sedona blend of colors found in Bellaforté® polymer roofing tiles,” says Smith. “This combination of colors includes shades of medium and dark terracotta mixed in with light and dark clay tones to create an earthy color that works perfectly on many homes.

“The earthy colors played well with the region and the environment, so I next recommended an off-white painted siding with bronze frames on Decorum® by Simonton vinyl windows. Then, to move further down the home, I recommended both the Therma-Tru® Classic-Craft® Canvas Collection(TM) entry door and some of the Fypon® trim pieces around the home (including the shutters and louvers) be painted a burnt mocha color. These colors all combine visually to create an exterior scheme that suits the warm desert environmental setting and the style of this home.”

The FRESH Home Exterior Color guide features professional exterior color guidance, advice and tips, along with full-color pictures and links. The free online booklet can be found at: