Asked on Apr 29, 2013

What color?

Deb Martin KnaffGammaconleyMelissa V


We just bought this nice dark red brick home. As you can see, it looks rather plain. All the trim and the front and back porches need painted. We would really rather not paint it the traditional white with black or dark green trim. We want this home to not look like every other red brick home in the area. We're also thinking about shutters to break up all the red brick, especially on the second floor. The porches are amazing and actually fairly large and we really want to make them pop and still look inviting. Any suggestions?
This is the front of the house. The brick really is red, the shadows from the trees are making it look brown. Notice the two windows on the second floor.
This it the back of the home. Another nice porch off the kitchen.
22 answers
  • Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos
    on Apr 29, 2013

    my opinion would be for colorful landscaping in front to soften the facade....right now without anything it looks very boxy. Then I would add shutters as you suggested, hang some ferns from the porch ceiling, and add a flower box over the porch wall/railing so the plans trail over, and I think a blue front door would be pretty with blue/gray painted steps. i would also add a flag pole bracket to your porch colum and either add an American flag or seasonal flag for more interest and a welcoming feeling.

  • Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos
    on Apr 29, 2013

    oh, and wreath on the front door always helps too :)

  • Jeanette S
    on Apr 29, 2013

    What a Jewel! I would put shutters on all the windows. Believe it or not, I would stay with the white because any other color is going to either disappear or look garish. Paint the foundation a dark color (match the darkest color in the brick) to ground the house. On the front, put in white columns...not overly large ones. (Take a photo and draw in columns and see what you think) Then put up at least a 5 ' high fence on both sides of the house with a taller pergola with a gate. Make the Pergola at least 8-9 feet tall, preferably with an arch to cut down on the straight lines! This fence would only be an "L" for show from the street unless you wanted to fence in the entire place. The Pergola would give height which is need to cut the tall sides. If you are not into a lot of yard work, invest in a couple of nice large pots and some graduating sizes and put in some colorful would take little effort to replant every year. If you want a splash of color on your house, go for a bright yellow or red/orange door.

  • Gwen
    on Apr 29, 2013

    i like the idea of beefing up the wooden poles. We did that--just added wood all around the existing and then made a base with wood. It was not hard. Just made the entry posts appear bigger. I agree. Shutters! I love the hanging ferns and boxes on railing. But it does need plants. Go to your local (not big box) nursery. I've gotten my best help there. I've found my shrub choices important. Ones that color in staggering times add interest and don't require much work at all. That's where my local garden shop owners remind me of size and scale and colors. Next, look through sites and google red brick houses with shutters. It will give you a chance to see if white is your favorite color. Door? I'd also on sites like Houzz google red brick house front door color. I just think yellow and red seem too harsh with all the red brick going on. Drive around. What do neighbors do?? Finally, make your backyard a retreat area with destinations. A sitting area. A pretty shed for gardening stuff. A place for entertaining. The arch leading to the yard. It may take years but by pouring over books and magazines, I drew my own plans and our backyard is just right. Still working on a new change to the front. It's an evolving project! But enjoy the process for you have a blank slate!

  • Debbie Gates
    on Apr 29, 2013

    Thank you for all the ideas. I love red brick houses, but they are the devil to decorate. Unless you paint the brick, (never) your color scheme is somewhat limited. I have a friend who has a greenhouse, he's going to help me figure out what to hang. As far as the porch columns, at least on the front porch, they are old wrought iron and need to be replaced. I'm going to reuse them as a trellis for the climbing roses, so we are looking at column ideas at the home improvement stores. Shutters are an absolute yes. Everything else is still up in the air. We haven't even closed on the house yet, but we're still getting ideas on what to do with it. The good thing is, it's right next door to where we live now. Hubby always said if the house ever came on the market we would buy it.....and we did.

  • Sandra
    on Apr 30, 2013

    If you don't like black, how about navy? It is a little bit more modern and original.

  • Leslie D
    on Apr 30, 2013

    I agree with @Jeanette S . Unless you want to paint the brick, I think light color shutters (maybe cream instead of white) and adding columns would help. You may also want to consider adding a copper roof to the front porch. That would set you apart from the other homes. I would also consider adding blue stone or slate to the steps on front, and landscaping to add the brightness and color you want. Your house is boxy, so adding some round shapes in your landscaping and laying a curved path to the front door would soften the facade. Although useful, screen doors on the front of a house just cover a blank canvas called your door, where you can really add some character and bring in color. The metal railing is dating the house and gives no curb appeal. Perhaps replace those with a painted wood railing that would flow into the columns to frame the porch area, which would brighten the whole exterior.

  • Z
    on Jun 6, 2013

    Have you moved in yet @Debbie? This is such a beautiful "four square" home! How lucky your dream of owning it has come true. If you haven't painted it yet I would suggest a light sage green for the window trim with cream pillars and fascia. Shutters were not used historically, but are more of a modern addition to dress up this style of home. Personally I like them better without. You might find some ideas here...

  • Debbie Gates
    on Jun 6, 2013

    No Becky we haven't moved yet, we're still waiting on a closing date. Our agent said maybe by the weekend or first of next week. Thank you for the links.

  • Z
    on Jun 6, 2013

    You're welcome. I thought they might help you learn about your homes style. It has to be hard to wait to move in when you've wanted it so long.

  • Delyse Tomaselli
    on Mar 29, 2015

    The back:- Relocate that downgutter to the side of the house where it will not be noticable Paint the part that is on the brick a colour that is the same colour as the brick or as close as you can get. Gutters etc are like drains, you do not want to feature them.

  • Jean Thompson
    on Jul 27, 2015

    How about a Bright Blue on all the Trim,doors and the bottom of the Foundation that is painted White. then paint the steps a couple shades darker on the Riser and Lighter on the steps.. even the parts that are painted white under the Edges of the Roof.., even the evespouts could be painted in a Blue... sure would be different...

  • Susan Rogers Garton
    on Jul 27, 2015

    Barn red. Looks gorgeous on doors and shutters on red brick.

  • Gwen
    on Jul 27, 2015

    I thought blue family too. I like the idea of shutters. Look on houzz for red brick two story houses what color trim and doors. They have tons of ideas.

  • Barbara
    on Jul 30, 2015

    I'd definitely add shutters to fill in the open spaces on the 2nd story and, as Delyse suggested, move the down gutter or at least paint it to match the color of the brick. for trim color it depends on the curbside look you want. Classic? black, white ir dark green, color pop I'd go with a cobalt blue. Because the brick already has a reddish tone, I'd avoid reds or yellows. Pretty hanging flower baskets for another pop of color.

  • Billye Rider
    on Dec 1, 2015


  • Sue Ryan
    on Jul 19, 2016

    this is what I would do.

    , if was my house this is what I would do I would paint the gutter and bottom of foundation to match the brick new shutters to match colour of front door Add a white railing and some landscaping A new window box on the poarch
  • Bbunny42
    on Jan 26, 2017

    How about painting the entire house a sand beige top to bottom with shutters in your color choice. I'm partial to green so would probably pick a dark sage green or any shade other than primary green. I can't tell the roof color, but if it's blue, then perhaps navy shutters. I like the plant lay-out in the comment above. I really like Craftsman-style houses and wonder if you could make the columns on the front in that style. I don't know how that would be done, but I'll bet some of the Hometalkers would know.
  • Melissa V
    on Feb 10, 2017

    Hey Debbie-Congrats on the new house! I think a lot of readers are confusing the front and back pictures.
    About the front: I don't think shutters would fit on those upper windows due to the heighth of the porch roof (Sorry😕). But, some decorative awnings on those 2 windows would be great! They come in so many colors/stripes/styles! So, now you're better off thinking trim color(s). And if you use a stripe or pattern, you can incorporate a brick color with whatever you choose-what colors do you decorate with?
    Next: About that porch roof-what's going on there? It looks like it used to extend out past the current porch (marks on the brick). And it needs a new roof, looks mossy.
    Can't see your steps or much of the porch itself, but I do think those wrought iron posts can be replaced with something more substantial.
    Add a big pretty hanging pot, chairs, rug...
    Backyard: I'd check that porch roof for durability also. The backyard is a blank slate, and that little path leads to the garage/storage?
    Before you close: Have you had both porches checked out? And, did you know there is a big branch on the very top of your roof???
    Good luck!!!🤞
  • Gammaconley
    on Feb 10, 2017

    Red brick is so nice and traditional. My suggestion would be:
    Paint the inside of the window frames black. Leave the outer edge white. Hang a pretty lacy half curtain in each to add to the charm. (tension rod and inexpensive lace panels work great)
    Paint your front door light celery green. That includes the storm door, but keep the border white.
    The most "clash" comes from the white blank line of concrete at the bottom of the house. I'd say paint that as close a color to the brick as possible to "ground" the overall look. Then put plants in that are light and airy, hopefully a lighter green or verigated. A pretty english ivy at the corners of the porch will add softness and could be encouraged to grow up the wrought iron columns.
    The house already has a lot going on, sorry, but shutters and awnings are just adding to the confusion.
  • Deb Martin Knaff
    on Feb 11, 2017

    Just my two cents, but the older I get (and I am older than dirt) but none the less, I am so bored by every house looking like the next. I have come to believe that our houses should reflect the inner you. In keeping with the traditional brick, I think shutters of a non-traditional color would make your house worth remembering when folks drive by. I believe you should pick a color that is very special to you or calls to you and just go for it!!!! Mixing the two styles makes it your own. Congrats on getting such a gorgeous place. You are so lucky. I know it's not the kind of advise you were hoping for but I just hope you are brave in your convictions of doing something out of the ordinary, something that says it's you, and letting the rest of us be in awe of it when we pass by your house.
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