Red brick houses can be difficult to decorate because of the intensity of the brick. When paired with another rich, saturated color, the look can be too bold or overwhelming for some homeowners. However, there are many gorgeous colors that complement red brick, so you can find the right color for your brick exterior.
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Know the Color Wheel
Although shades of red brick will vary, understanding color theory is key to deciding what colors to pair with red brick. The color wheel is comprised of three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. These colors combine to create three secondary colors: orange, green and purple. Tertiary colors include orange-red, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple and red-purple. Although not exhaustive, the color wheel helps determine what colors harmonize with one another.
A complementary color palette draws on color from opposite sides of the wheel, with some variation in the shades. Given this, a red brick house would suit certain accents. The shade of your brick will determine the shade of green most suitable. For example, a deep burgundy-red will look good with a softer, yellow green. A more orange-red brick will work with a rich more blue-green hue.
An analogous color scheme relies on colors sitting next to each other on the color wheel. It suggests that both orange and purple will work well with red brick. However, consider the shade of orange or purple you desire. For example, a rich eggplant-inspired hue will suit a brick exterior better than a garish bright purple. Likewise, instead of a bright orange, select a more muted hue for an eye-pleasing palette.
A monochromatic color scheme uses different shades of the same color for an aesthetically pleasing palette. A red brick exterior can be paired with a brighter shade of red for a coordinated look. Because brick offers textural interest, a monochromatic exterior will not look boring but can be made more interesting with the addition of flowers of a different color, such as violets, in a garden or planter.
If finding the right color is impossible, select a neutral. Although white paired with brick can look dated and predictable, a rich neutral like beige, taupe or gray can complement brick and create a harmonious yet subtle palette. Pair the intensity of the neutral with that of your brick, or opt for a rich neutral like charcoal gray with a paler brick and a light taupe with deeper brick. A glossy black works with red brick to create a modern look.
Just as you would test paint on a wall before painting, test paint colors you plan to pair with brick. Small pots of tester paint can be purchased at most home improvement stores. Paint a piece of plywood, and hold the painted surface up to the brick in natural light. Lighting can change the look of paint, and testing your color first ensures a good pairing. If you cannot find a test pot of paint, at least look at the paint chip outside beside your brick.