When you have an older home, some paint palettes just seem to work well with their specific style. Here are a few tried and true color palettes and fresh ideas for your style of home.
Victorian Style: Layered Brights - When you have a Victorian style home, you want to use beautiful bright colors. Over the top color is true to a Victorian home's original character. However, to keep it from getting too messy, stick with colors on the same end of the spectrum--like three different bright shades of one color, maybe with a second accent color. To keep it more subtle, swap out the bright colors with shades that have the same undertone, but not as bright. The lighter accent color can help draw attention to smaller spaces and make them feel larger as well.
Craftsman Style: Warm Tones - Craftsman styled older homes are known for their warm-tinged stand out wood in casings, trim and floors. You want to either balance the warm tones with cool colors like a blue or slate or go really warm with the colors. Earth tones are a great way to showcase the wood. Warm reds and gold tones or even more muted earthy tones will look lovely with the rich woodwork.
Spanish Revival Style: Deep and Rich - Dark beams, iron railings and arch details are part of the Spanish Revival charm. Using a lush neutral palette with classic brown and golds go well with this style. If you are using deep intense colors for an accent color, use more modest wall and ceiling colors.
Mid-Century Style: Bold Strokes - Mid Century older homes were known for their bold colors and classic lines. You can take a risk with a bold color, but make sure you pair it with the right neutral tones so that the look is kept clean looking and not cluttered. Balancing a daring wall color with the right shade of a neutral tone also helps keep it from looking too retro.
Colonial Style: Muted Hues - Older Colonial homes look beautiful with muted, softer or "greyed-out" colors. Using a rich color in the trim and then the same color in a much lighter shade on the walls works with with this style of older home. Bright hues were more costly back then, so having a very subtle color was in style. The bold trim and lighter walls is also historically accurate.
Whatever style of older home you have, the combinations of colors and hues are endless. Go to your local hardware store and paint stores to see what you can come up with!
This blog was inspired by the article Brush with History by Kate Wood in the Sept 2017 Issue of This Old House Magazine.