The Effects of Color
Color affects us more than we think. The human mind subconsciously associates a color with an element of nature or a particular memory and instantly relates that element or memory to the color in front of them. Understanding the effects and meaning of colors can be useful when making a decision on which color to use on your home’s exterior.
Following are examples of popular color associations:
- Blue is the color of the sky, water and mountains. In the northeast part of the country, gray-blue shades are associated with weathered wood that’s reminiscent of Nantucket. Blue exteriors are calming, relaxing and fit in with any landscape.
- Red on a home’s exterior is most commonly associated with nature’s flowers and fruits. Nature uses red in most cases as an accent, especially when seen in bright, clean shades. Deeper, grayer-toned reds are common in Midwestern farm areas and northern areas of the country and therefore have a very warm, friendly rural feeling. Reds are also associated with fall leaves and bark and work well in landscapes that experience all four seasons.
- Yellow is strongly associated with sunshine. It also has strong links to flowers, especially in the spring. Traditional associations, such as energy and intellect, do not translate well when yellow is used on the exterior of a home. Yellow homes appear to be clean, fresh and happy houses.
- Green in many parts of the country is strongly associated with nature, new growth, trees and shrubs. Greens that are more yellow-based will be associated with new growth and springtime. Deeper greens are linked to maturity, such as older plants or trees. Keep in mind when working in arid areas of the southwest that there are limited associations to this color in nature, so use it sparingly as an accent color, if at all.
- White is generally associated with adjectives such as pure, clean, new and bright. These are all positive associations, but be careful of using too much white on your exterior because it can be very boring. If you really want a white house, make sure you use some other colors to add interest, personality and drama.
- Brown is most frequently associated with earth, Mother Nature and warmth. Since many James Hardie® siding textures resemble wood, shades of brown authenticate this look and can enhance design.