Urban, Suburban, and Rural Home Colors


Urban, suburban, or rural, each one of these settings demands different considerations. Reflected light, that is the color cast by the objects surrounding your house has a profound influence upon the color of your house. Believe it or not, reflected light is colored light and can tweak the color you thought you picked out in the theoretically perfect color lab of the paint store.

At the paint store colors are isolated and small in scale. Strange and mysterious things happen once you plug color into an environment which may contain many unconsidered influences. Also, some paint colors scale up beautifully and some become untamed beasts when applied to 20 feet of wall.

A Modern Rural Home

A Modern Rural Home


In general a rural setting will call for softer color. This is because there is a good deal of light which is moderated by foliage, shade and shadow. Edges are softer than in other locations. Colors which are muted, like those in nature do best in rural surroundings. Homes treated with toned down colors are harmonious with their surroundings and look as if they belong to the earth.

Urban Bright Accent Color

Urban House Color


Urban settings tend to have extremes...extremes in energy, people, behaviors, and in color. Shade and shadow cast from buildings are sharp and pronounced...concrete and stone are cool in tone and cast a cool light upon surroundings. Bright accent colors look great in a city setting. Because most buildings are surrounded by so much gray in the city, the base color of buildings look best if they are a sort of grey or neutral but accented by primary or secondary colors (doors and/or trim).

Suburban House Color

suburban house color

The suburban setting is a bit of a blend between rural and urban. There is usually a good deal of foliage surrounding the suburban home but it may take the form of specialized ornamentals which may hold a unique local color. Often these local colors of plantings hold the key for color inspiration. Also, there may be brickwork on walkways or facades. This is another way to repeat colors such as rich warm browns and terra cottas for use as accents or main body colors. Trim here is best if not bright white but something which holds the character of the body color...for example...a terra cotta body; Navaho white trim.

These are guidelines of course but are general truths. Once you begin to look around, it is easy to see that location has a profound effect upon color choice and suitability.