House siding colors: What is traditional?

House siding colors: What is traditional?

Ask a dozen people what traditional siding colors are and you might get 12 different answers. Many consider white and beige traditional colors; others think they are the ones associated with their geographical area. Some even think "traditional" refers to the colors that are historically accurate for a house's architecture.

According to Sherwin-Williams, white and light colors for the exterior of your home have traditionally been perceived as safe choices and are still among the most popular. Today's traditional siding colors may have become traditional simply because, for many years, white, beige, gray and a limited selection of pastels were the only color game in town. Now, however, it's a whole new ballgame with the riot of house siding color selections available. Who knows what "traditional" will be in 10 years?

Architecturally traditional siding colors

American traditional exterior home color schemes have followed changing architectural trends; first from the Colonial style paint colors of nature to the more light and delicate shades of the Federal period; then, from the pristine white homes of the Greek revival period to the three-color paint scheme of the 19th century Victorian painted ladies. The 20th century saw a contest between traditional and modern styles. And now, in the 21st century, Sherwin-Williams has a color palette called Suburban Traditional with more than 20 "established color combinations that befit traditional residential architecture and blend well with the suburban landscape." In this case, "traditional" may be a moving target based on architectural style.

Regionally traditional house siding colors

Traditional color palettes are often reflective of the regional landscape--the sandy desert in the Southwest, the blue-gray coastline of New England or the wheat fields of the Midwest. To help you make regional siding color selections, professionals at James Hardie Siding have handpicked a color palette for different areas of the country. On their website, you can enter your zip code and receive custom color combinations "based on regional housing styles, environmental surroundings and extensive research and development." They even have a fun widget that recommends a siding color selection based on your personality.

Regardless of how you define "traditional," house siding comes in a kaleidoscope of traditional and not-so-traditional color options. Siding companies also have widgets and useful information on their websites to help you choose a siding color palette that could exponentially increase your home's curb appeal.

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