1970's Two tone colour scheme

by David
(Sydney, Australia)

I am currently getting the red brick rendered and I require a colour scheme that will match in with terracotta tiles (roof and patio) as well as terracotta around the pool. The street is full of red brick houses which are starting to be updated.

I was looking at a coffee (Ground floor) / latte (Top addition) / white trimming.

Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.


Renate's Reply:

Hi David,
here's a visual approximation of the exterior house color scheme you have in mind (I'm assuming the white trim would include the space under the eaves, as well as the ceilings of your first-floor loggia and the ground floor patio.)

On paper, a coffee-latte combination with terracotta and white can work. But I do think there would be a few drawbacks.

Firstly, the terracotta flooring will be reflected by the white ceilings whenever the sun shines, making them look pink.

With brick walls, that wouldn't be a problem - the color would integrate very well.

But if you combine terracotta as well as its pink reflection with a coffee/latte exterior color scheme, you might end up with too many hues. 'Caffe latte' hues often have a strong yellow-grayish bias, and that looks really weird with warm earthy pinks.

You would have to do a lot of testing to get the coffee and latte colors right. Try to make them as neutral as possible!

Secondly, I think a caffe latte house color scheme would not be ideal with your aluminium window frames. 'Silver' alu color is a bit too cold for this combination.

I think you could avoid these issues by going for another of-the-moment color scheme (well, at least it's of-the-moment here in Europe):

Terracotta / cool grey / white.

This is a 'semi-neutral' variation of the orange-blue complementary color scheme, and as long as you use a truly cool, slightly bluish grey with a lot of life in it, you can't really go wrong.

Here's what your house might look like:

For a more striking effect, you could look at placing a darker shade of grey at the top floor level (You'll find more info about cool and warm neutrals in my free e-book on Neutral Colors):

If you wanted more of a statement color on your house, you could go to town on the top floor: anything that goes with terra cotta and your roof tiles would look great. Here's a version of your house color scheme with a deep cotto red:

And finally, just for the heck of it (and for folks who have similar decisions to make): Here's what your house might have looked like if you had decided to keep the brick surface:

I wish you the best of luck with your project, David!
All the best,

› Coffee Latte Exterior House Colors

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