Gain New Inspiration From Alexandria’s Historic Old Town

As a thriving, historic district along the Potomac, Alexandria‘s Old Town is an excellent place for inspiration for your exterior paint colors.

Located across the river from Washington, D.C., it’s a small town with a cosmopolitan feel. The iconic Chart House Restaurant, painted a blue that’s almost the same color as the river, overlooks the waterfront.

This area’s cobblestone streets and 18th-century townhouses make it a charming place to spend the day, especially on Saturday when you can visit the farmers’ market, which has been operating for 260 years.

The local government restricts paint colors based on historical accuracy. If you’re looking for even more color ideas (note that they recommend not painting brick and masonry), this Historic District Design Guide is a great place to start.

If your home is a pastel green, blue, or yellow, consider this lipstick-red hue for doors and shutters. On the other hand, if your home is barn red or red brick, a black door, and white shutters make a beautiful color combination — and a classic one, too. You’ll never have to worry about either color scheme going out of style.

Bold Georgian door frames were often used to emphasize an otherwise plain façade. In addition to the variation in door architecture and porch material, these homes set themselves apart through the equally bold door and shutter colors.

Beautiful cobblestone streets and alleyways are part of Old Town’s rich history. They make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Iconic Captain’s Row name comes from the sea captain John Harper, who is the mind behind the homes on the north side of the street in the 1700s. Located at the 100 block of Prince Street, this is the oldest cobblestone block in the city.

Most homes in the Old Town are unpainted brick, but some were painted over time. If you’re thinking of painting brick, talk with a painting expert, first. Brick is porous and needs to breathe, so regular exterior paint can cause it to deteriorate over time. Instead, look for a brick stain and ask about the proper way to apply the stain to keep the brick healthy.

Add a historic feel to your home with working, full-length shutters on either side of your front door. Match them to your front door and your window shutters to complete the look. Black is a natural choice for white, cream, or pale yellow homes.

Brighten up a brick home with a pop of color on the front door. Try bold blue or warm terra cotta. The orange in the terra cotta is great for making your landscaping stand out.

Get even more ideas for exterior paint colors at our Color Tool. You can order free paint swatches or get a free quote for your paint project. Let us help you transform your home with color.

Kelley Rebori

Kelley Rebori has written for national brands like Paintzen, HGTV, the DIY Network and Trulia for more than a decade. She loves home renovation projects, chocolate icing and small poodles. She and her husband split the year between their homes in Tennessee and Italy.