This is not a post on color theory or what works and what doesn't based on research done with color. There are a great deal of books on that subject. I just want to talk about being a sensitive neighbor and getting professional help when choosing a exterior color scheme...unless, of course, you are very confident in your ability to choose wisely.
There are those people who do a great job choosing a paint scheme for the outside of their building.
And there are those who could use a little direction.
I'll be the first to say, it's not an easy task. There is much to consider when choosing colors for the outside that make it so different from choosing for the interior spaces. On the inside you have fabrics on furniture and windows to bounce the color around the room and balance the effect. On the outside the paint does not often get much help. I'm going to be talking about brick homes here because that is the material used on most of the homes in my area. The first item to consider is the color of the brick.
In some instances there are two colors of brick to consider as well as the color of the mortor. Although this is a very tasteful grouping of paint colors, it does not work as well as it might have had there been a connection to one of the colors in the bricks. Instead of using the creamy yellow, a grayish taupe would have connected to the lower bricks and a charcoal accent would have helped to bring the darker colors of the lower bricks up higher on the house making the two colors of brick work together. It would also have connected the roof of the porch to the base.
Sometimes glazed bricks or tiles are used on buildings along with the regular bricks. I took this photo as a positive example of considering the tile when choosing the paint. Unfortunately my photo colors are not as accurate as the real thing. In reality the greenish yellow looks much closer to the yellow tile. The black accent strip, although subtle, does play an important role in creating a cohesive color scheme.
Although these are rather delicate colors for an exterior, they hold their own because of the numerous opportunities to repeat them across the the front of the building.
I think a little coordinating would be nice. But I understand that isn't always an option.
Sometimes neighbors share identical architecture as in identical porches.
And those identical porches can take on very different appearances. (This was taken on Mardi Gras weekend so leave the banner out of the scheme.) What bothers me most about this paint choice is that it in no way relates to the doors. The yellow connects to nothing else and I don't undertand why the need for the beige when there is is already white which happens to look good with the gray.
There are a few colors that should be reserved for Easter eggs. Ok, ok, there are some doors that lend themselves to a variety of color and rather gaudy ones at that. Those are referred to as the Painted Ladies and I'm behind that look 100% as long as it is orchestrated well. That takes delicate balance of hues, value and saturation. (There are some great definitions of those terms here: http://www.colorcube.com/articles/theory/glossary.htm )
I am a big fan of pink and green together but neon on the exterior ...what can I say. I suppose some people love it. I just think it could have been toned down a bit.
There is either some touch up painting taking place or the color scheme is changing. Although the yellow is bold there isn't so much of it that it knocks your socks off.
Retail establishments are meant to stand out. They need to be noticed. So a little carnival atmosphere is perfectly ok. It can still be tasteful as is this storefront. Repeating the colors of the awnings was accomplished with spectacular results.
The colors are well balanced and the scheme is carried to the side of the building for continuity. Very well done.
Harmony is what we are looking for in the end. The eye needs to be pleased with how the parts are arranged. Order and balance are important to achieve this.
When choosing an interior color it is easy enough to paint a large foamcore sample and live with it a few days to see how it works in different lighting. That is a little more complicated on the outside. If possible it is best to try your choices on a section of the trim. Even if you have hired a professional to choose the colors, it is still a good idea to test them before commiting to painting the entire house.
Let me leave you with this color fact. Seven to eight percent of human males are relatively or completely deficient in color vision. So this could be one of those times when your husband's opinion might not be too useful.