Dark is the new black. When it comes to exterior paint colors, we’re admiring deeply saturated shades including green and gray and blue because of the magic they work on a surrounding landscape. Of course, this doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned black….
Here are 10 design ideas to steal from houses with dark facades:
Above: When architects Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown remodeled a former farmer’s cottage in Rhinebeck, New York, they embraced its Gothic roots. A dark green wash on the facade and stoop contrasts beautifully with the stacked-stone retaining wall.
The Blackest of Black
Above: Photograph by Alexa Hotz.
In northern California, the formerly white facade of Sir and Star restaurant gets a modern, sleeker look with Benjamin Moore’s Black Panther paint. “The trim is subtly different, with more sheen and pop to show detail,” notes Alexa.
See more in Restaurant Visit: Sir and Star in Olema on Remodelista.
A Touch of Sunshine
Above:The facade of filmmaker Derek Jarman’s black seaside cottage in Dungeness, Kent looks welcoming even against dark skies—because of its yellow trim. For more of this garden, see Garden Visit: Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage at Dungeness.
Above: Photograph via Airbnb.
In Iceland, a house clad in black timber has cloud-white trim details to tie it visually to the expanse of sky and dramatic mountainous backdrop.
Above: After architects Lucie Niney and Thibault Marca of Paris-based NeM Architectes discovered “a vacation home frozen in time” in Brittany, they complemented the existing white cottage with a dark addition. For more, see Before & After: A Charred Wood Cottage on a $45K Budget. Photograph courtesy of NeM Architectes.
The Natural Look
Above: In northern California planned community Sea Ranch, architect Nick Noyes clad a facade in cedar shingles, encouraged by wind and sea salt to weather to a soft gray. Dark window sashes add emphasis. Photograph courtesy of Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory member Nick Noyes Architecture.
Above: A black Victorian facade in San Francisco needs nothing more to dress it up than a single spiky succulent, a multi-branched euphorbia next to the front stoop. Photograph courtesy of Grant K. Gibson.
Playing the Blues
Above: Photograph by Michael A. Muller.
A custom shade of Oxford blue paint keeps a facade looking crisp, even in the heat of Texas. For a similar color, consider Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy.
For more of this facade, see Get Out of The Heat: Josephine House in Austin on Remodelista.
Black and Green
Black is a good foil for green. In a garden, black will recede and focus attention on foliage. This enables the eye to draw better distinctions among different shades of green.
Above: Photograph courtesy of Belathée Photography.
In Seattle, siding and trim are painted a dark gray (the paint color is Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore) to give the house a crisp modern feel and blend into the landscape. For more, see Sleekness in Seattle: Modern Garden, Midcentury House.
The Geometric Look
Above: Amsterdam-based architect Serge Schoemaker covered a 323-square-foot guest house with 2,000 black-stained cedar shingles. For more, see Outbuilding of the Week: A 323-Square-Foot Backyard Guest House (and Storage Shed).
- Dark Shadows: The Pros and Cons of Painting a House Black.
- Shades of Gray: Architects Pick the 10 Best Exterior Paint Colors.
- Black Magic: Architects’ 8 Top Paint Picks.
Finally, get more ideas on how to upgrade your home’s facade with our Hardscaping 101: Exteriors & Facades design guide.