See This Year’s Most Sophisticated Exterior Color Combo

Over the last few years, exterior paint colors have weighed in on the pastel side. Think Robin’s Egg Blue doors or pale greige walls. But this year, we’ve been seeing a shift to a darker, more sophisticated palette: taupe or tan field paint with black shutters, doors or trim.

Tudor stucco home with taupe paint and black roof and trim

On this Tudor home, dark taupe gives the traditional silhouette a modern feel. The black door, trim and accents (love the gutters) make it look like it’s wearing elegant evening attire. Photo: Cella Architecture

Bungalow with tan siding, white trim, black shutters and a dog

When you think black shutters, you often think of ho-hum white exterior paint. But darken the hue just slightly — to this creamy tan — and it’s like adding garlic to a dish. Suddenly, you’ve taken things up a notch! Photo:

Traditional home with taupe paint, white trim and black shutters

You’ll often see this exterior color scheme with white trim. The white’s crisp, clean lines make the black accents really pop. And the combo brings out any older home’s charming style. Photo: Nesting Notions

Traditional home with tan paint, white trim and black shutters

The trick when using this color combination (well, every color combo, really)  is to pay attention to the details. If you use black shutters, tie them in with black shutter dogs, light fixtures and porch accessories, for a done-by-a-designer look. Photo: My Metro Construction

Beach house with tan paint, white trim and black shutters

Most beach houses go for the pastels, but this one swerved away from the crowd, going for a more modern exterior color scheme. Photo: Catalyst Architecture

Transitional home with taupe paint, white trim and black shutters

Even new-build homes look great in this combo. The taupe-white-black exterior color scheme brings out the best of this home’s transitional lines. Photo: Illinois Energy

Beach house with greenish-tan walls, cream trim and black windows and doors

This beach-side house shows how this hot color combo also works with a green undertone.  Paired with a creamy trim and black windows and doors, the greenish-tan looks fresh and exciting. Photo:

Large Hampton's home with tan paint, cream trim and black shutters

The great thing about this exterior color scheme is that it scales up or down. Unlike some tones, which might be too bright for larger homes (like blue or yellow), a tan, white and black combo work on any size house. Their strength is in showing the architectural details. Photo: Devore Associates

Are you looking for the latest color combinations for the outside of your home? Visit our inspiration board, where you can upload a photo of your home and try on new paint colors, or browse color galleries till you find the exterior color scheme that makes your heart sing.