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Does a brown roof go with a blue house?

Does a brown roof go with a blue house?

When it comes to exterior house colors, the options may seem endless. However, not all color combinations are created equal in terms of aesthetics and curb appeal. One popular question homeowners ask is whether a brown roof goes well with a blue house exterior. There are a few factors to consider when evaluating this color pairing.

The Role of Color Theory

Color theory examines how colors interact with and relate to one another. It provides guidance on creating color combinations that are harmonious or discordant. Understanding basic principles of color theory can help in determining if brown and blue work well together on a home’s exterior.

According to the traditional color wheel, brown is considered a neutral or earth tone, while blue is seen as a cool tone. Neutrals and cool colors are generally complementary. They have enough contrast to make each shade pop without clashing. This suggests a brown roof could potentially coordinate nicely with a blue house.

There are other color theory principles to take into account as well. Monochromatic schemes utilize different shades, tints and tones of one single hue. Analogous palettes feature colors located right next to each other on the color wheel,offering a unified look. Brown contains hints of blue’s adjacent colors on the wheel. This allows it to have a harmonious analogy to blue.

Shade and Tone Variations

The specific shades and tones selected also impact how well the brown and blue pair together. Darker, duller browns often complement lighter blue hues best. For example, a muted cocoa brown shingle roof would likely match well with a sky blue house. Lighter barn wood brown could pair attractively with a bold navy exterior.

Matching the undertones is also important. Cool-toned browns (those with hints of gray, blue, green) coordinate better with crisp blues like cobalt or periwinkle. Warm brown tones (think cinnamon, chestnut) blend more seamlessly with earthy blues like denim or slate.

Using multiple shades of brown or blue close together on the color wheel can create a cohesive, monochromatic look. Just ensure there is enough contrast between roof and house color to define each surface.

Geographical Region and Architectural Style

Home design trends vary based on location and dominant architectural styles. The appropriateness of brown roofs with blue houses depends partially on what colors are prevalent and preferred in that area.

For example, in coastal climates like California, muted blue-grays and sage browns borrow from the natural landscape to form tranquil, complementary schemes. In the Southwest, vibrant terra cotta roofs coordinate with vibrant turquoise exteriors. Traditional Southern homes often feature navy blue houses paired with brown standing seam metal roofs.

The architecture also plays a role. Brown roofs make sense with the blue painted wooden siding commonly seen in Craftsman bungalows. For a Victorian-era home, a brown asphalt roof provides a nice contrast against elaborate polychrome paint schemes containing blue. On a Colonial or Tudor style house, a blue facade would likely be accompanied by gray slate or cedar brown shingles to maintain historical accuracy.

Landscaping and Surroundings

Landscape elements and surroundings should be factored in as well when evaluating this color scheme. Green foliage, trees and shrubs help soften and blend blue and brown together. Accent colors like white, gray and tan can also assist in transitioning from roof to exterior for a cohesive look.

Nearby properties should be considered too. Bold blue and dark brown may overpower other muted homes in close proximity. But as part of a colorful neighborhood mix, the combination could add vibrancy and character.

Benefits of Blue Houses with Brown Roofs

When well-executed, brown roofs can add many benefits to blue houses, such as:

– Complementary Contrast – Brown offers the right amount of contrast against blue to make both hues stand out attractively.

– Added Visual Interest – Multiple, harmonious colors create a more dynamic curb appeal than monotone schemes.

– Versatility – With proper shade selections, brown roofs coordinate with light, mid-tone and dark blue houses.

– Natural Appeal – Brown and blue are both commonly occurring colors in nature that evoke a tranquil feeling.

– Historical Significance – The combination references enduring Color Theory principles and is prominent across many architectural eras and regions.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

While brown and blue can form very aesthetically pleasing exterior house color schemes, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider as well:

– Color Clash Risk – Improper brown and blue shades together can sometimes clash or feel disjointed.

– High Contrast – Lighter browns with darker blues creates high contrast that may feel unbalanced.

– Fading Over Time – Depending on the materials used, blues tend to fade faster than browns, leading to aesthetics changing gradually.

– Limiting Palette – Having two dominant fixed colors provides less flexibility to easily shift exterior schemes.

– Drab Impression – Without proper livening from white accents or landscaping, some brown and blue combinations can feel drab or somber.

Key Considerations for Evaluating Blue and Brown Together

When deciding if brown roofs coordinate well with blue house exteriors, keep these key considerations in mind:

Factor Guidance
Color Theory Principles Browns tend to complement blues well due to their neutral, analogous pairing on the color wheel.
Shade Variations Lighter browns complement lighter blues; deeper browns pair better with navy hues.
undertones Match the brown’s undertone (warm or cool) to the same in the blue for harmony.
Architecture Adhere to historical trends for roof and exterior colors based on architectural styles.
Location/Region Follow color combination cues from the surrounding geographical area.
Landscaping Use green foliage and white accents to blend brown roofs with blue houses.
Surroundings Ensure the color scheme fits in with neighboring properties.


In most cases, brown roofs can coordinate beautifully with blue houses by selecting complementary shades and following some basic design principles. However, improperly balanced browns and blues can also clash. Pay attention to color theory guidance, architectural traditions, geographical trends, and surroundings when evaluating this exterior house color scheme. With proper attention to detail, a brown roof can add attractive, nature-inspired contrast to a blue home in many settings.