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Trend Alert: Bold Exteriors


on November 1, 2021


First it was window frames, now it’s exteriors; more and more US homes are turning to the dark side. 

Black home exteriors are bold and minimalist, dramatic yet sophisticated. They can amplify colors that white or similar light hues often wash out, providing homeowners with all sorts of new color options to consider when designing their exteriors. But, black is also significantly more high-maintenance when compared to light colors. Before you opt to paint your home black, here’s everything you need to consider, from selecting the right black to pros, cons and more. 

Color Considerations for Black Houses

If you want to add some variety to your home’s primarily black exterior via its trims, shutters, bannisters, shingles and more, you’re in luck. With black being as versatile as it is, your color combination choices are seemingly endless.

For a more striking exterior, paint accents with contrasting sage or emerald greens, vivid yellows and bright reds. Keep in mind that black paints are not all the same and can feature hints of the colors used to create them, such as purple, blue or green, which might not suit the accent color(s) you choose to use.

You also want to keep the architecture of your home in mind when choosing your accent colors. For modern homes, you can’t go wrong with an all-black or black-and-white look, however, similar neutrals like ivory, cream or light beige will work beautifully as well. 

For more traditional homes, variety in textures — such as wood and brick — can help less contrasting colors, like brown, stand out on a black exterior.

Dark home exterior with light stone accents

Pros of Black Houses 

There’s a reason why black exteriors are becoming more popular, and here are just a few.

Dress It Up or Down

If you’ve got it — great landscaping or decorative elements like grooves, trims and mouldings, that is — flaunt it. Black serves as a great contrast to greenery and can emphasize those intricate exterior decorations. On the other hand, black exteriors are a statement enough as is, so there’s no need to do much in terms of landscaping, décor or additional exterior features if you don’t want to. 

Experiment with Bold Accents

A black exterior can really draw attention to any non-black elements, which is why painting accents with contrasting colors looks so good. But, this is also the chance for your home’s windows and doors to shine, so use this opportunity to refresh and install statement pieces that’ll pair well with your black exterior for an even bigger splash.

If you anticipate a window replacement after painting your home black, go for contemporary-looking windows with fewer grilles and more expansive panes. For windows that really pop, choose from a variety of contrasting wood or aluminum-clad wood frame colors. To achieve a dramatic all-black or classic black-and-white look, opt for durable fiberglass windows or cost-efficient vinyl windows with black and white frame options.

Replacing doors too? Try fiberglass doors with glass for both a change of color and texture, or opt for solid fiberglass or steel doors that you can paint with your statement shade of choice.

Whether you experiment with bold, contrasting hues or prefer to keep everything monochrome, your accents, windows and doors will stand out on a black exterior no matter what, and you want them all to work together to deliver the sleekest facade possible.

Cons of Black Houses

Because the decision to paint your house black is such a big one to make, it’s not something to be taken lightly. That said, it’s only fair to discuss some of the negative sides to going dark as well.

Hot, Hot, Hot

If you’ve ever sat in a black or dark-colored car on a sunny summer day, you probably know what we’re going to say here. A black exterior will absorb more heat than a lighter one would, meaning your indoor temperatures will be higher in the summer. While unwanted heat is unpleasant enough as is, you may also experience higher utility bills on top of that as a result of increased A/C use to combat the heat.

One way to solve for this is installing energy-efficient windows and doors, which feature multiple panes of coated glass to reflect heat energy. They also have additional insulation in between panes to prevent the glass from getting too hot or too cold, ultimately making climate control within your home cost-efficient as well.

Faster Fading

The sun strikes again when it comes to the negative side of black exteriors. Black paint fades quicker from sunlight than white or other light colors would, and because of the way black paint responds to heat — expanding to heat up and contracting to cool down — it’s also more prone to peeling and blistering, so it requires tighter upkeep.

Highlighting the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Just as black paint can emphasize the details you want it to, it can also accentuate blemishes, such as those caused by peeling. Even with the most thorough preventative peeling measures in place, black exteriors are no match for natural occurrences such as dried rain or wind that brings dust and pollen with it, as these can dull the look of the paint. As with potential fading, regular maintenance can help to mitigate these issues.

Negative Connotations

Perhaps it’s shallow, but it has to be mentioned. Many are on the fence about painting their homes black because of the color’s negative connotations. It’s spooky, it’s somber and it’s grim. When most think of black, there’s probably an initial association with funeral attire and haunted houses. 

Incorporating accents, windows and doors with different colors or textures can help make black houses seem more inviting. And, as the trend becomes more commonplace, this will help to diminish black’s bad rap as well.

Lighten Up Dark Exteriors with the Right Windows and Doors

A fresh coat of black paint can breathe new life into your home if done right, which is why you want to be sure that anything that can be accentuated by your dark exterior is in great condition. For this, turn to the experts at Pella. Visit any of our showrooms throughout the US and Canada to see our offerings firsthand, or simply reach out to us online. A Pella professional will walk you through our window and door replacement offerings to help you find the best fit for your bold new exterior.

Schedule a free consultation to find windows and doors for your home.