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Should garage doors be painted the same color as the house?

When it comes to home exterior design, one of the biggest debates is whether the garage door should match the color of the house or not. Some homeowners feel strongly that the garage door should blend seamlessly into the home’s color scheme, while others believe contrasting colors look more stylish. There are valid arguments on both sides of this issue, so let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of matching vs. contrasting garage door colors.

The Case for Matching Garage Door and House Colors

Here are some of the benefits of painting your garage door the same color as your home’s exterior:

  • It creates a cohesive, uniform look. Having all exterior elements in the same color palette makes the home appear more pulled-together and intentional in its design.
  • It doesn’t draw unnecessary attention to the garage. Matching colors help the garage door blend in rather than sticking out.
  • It’s easier to coordinate with other exterior details. Things like trim, shutters, and front doors will automatically match if they’re in the same color family as the garage door and house color.
  • It enhances curb appeal. Continuous colors help the home look well put-together when viewed from the street.
  • It makes the garage door less noticeable. For homes where the garage door is a major focal point in the front, matching colors help it visually recede.

Here are a few examples of homes with matching garage door and house colors:

House Color Matching Garage Door
Light gray Light gray
Sage green Sage green
White White
Charcoal Charcoal

The Case for Contrasting Garage Door and House Colors

On the other side of the debate, there are also good reasons to select a garage door color that contrasts with your home’s exterior color:

  • It adds visual interest. Contrasting colors create a focal point and add diversity to the home’s facade.
  • It minimizes the impact of the garage door. Using a different color prevents the garage from dominating the front view of the home.
  • It defines the garage as a separate space. Distinct colors help delineate the garage as its own distinct zone or structure.
  • It provides an opportunity to showcase your style. Contrasting colors let you get creative and add flair with a color that might not work for the entire house.
  • It draws less attention to an unattractive garage door. If the garage door is worn or outdated, a different color can help divert focus away from it.

Here are some examples of homes with contrasting garage door and house colors:

House Color Contrasting Garage Door
White Black
Light blue Red
Gray Yellow
Green Purple

Other Factors to Consider

When deciding whether to match or contrast your garage door color, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind:

  • Architectural style – Formal house styles like Colonial and Tudor often look best with matching colors, while more casual Craftsman and cottage styles can pull off contrasting colors more seamlessly.
  • Garage door design – Traditional panel garage doors tend to suit matching colors better, while more modern door styles with glass inserts or decorative hardware can handle contrasting colors more appropriately.
  • Color undertones – Even if you contrast the main color, try selecting undertones that coordinate, like a blue door on a gray house or a green door on a tan house.
  • Surrounding landscape – Consider how the garage door color will look alongside the color scheme of your home’s exterior landscaping and hardscaping.
  • Future plans – If you plan to paint the house a new color in the next few years, choose a garage door hue that will work with a variety of house colors over time.

Opinions from Home Design Experts

When looking at insights from interior designers and home color experts, there seems to be more support for matching garage door and house colors, but contrasting colors aren’t completely ruled out either. Here are a few opinions:

  • “As a general rule of thumb, your garage door should be the same color as the body of the exterior of your home. Not only does it make visual sense, but it also gives a home exterior a polished, complete look.” – Maria Killam, Color Expert
  • “Painting your garage door the same color as your home creates a cohesive, seamless look. However, don’t be afraid to veer away from monotonous matching if a home’s architectural style suits it.” – Joanna Wood, Designer
  • “Smaller or more traditional homes often look best with matching garage door and exterior colors. Contemporary homes with unusual shapes and forms can sometimes pull off contrasting colors nicely.” – Jordan Atkins, Architect
  • “Choose garage door colors that complement the home rather than starkly contrast. Soft palettes with just subtle contrast between shades work really well.” – Rebecca Wesson, Designer

The consensus seems to be that matching colors is the safer option in most cases, but contrasting garage door colors can work on the right style home when done thoughtfully.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the choice between matching and contrasting garage door colors comes down to personal preference. Here are a few closing pros and cons to consider:

Potential Pros of Matching Colors:

  • More classic, timeless look
  • Enhances overall curb appeal
  • Easier to coordinate other exterior details
  • Minimizes prominence of the garage

Potential Pros of Contrasting Colors:

  • Adds visual interest
  • Highlights architectural style
  • Distinguishes garage as separate structure
  • Provides creative flexibility

At the end of the day, it comes down to your own design vision for your home’s exterior. If still unsure, erring on the side of matching colors is likely the safest option that will have the broadest appeal. But don’t be afraid to get creative with contrasting colors if you think it will suit your home’s unique style! Just be sure to view color swatches on the actual house before finalizing your decision.