Which colours are on trend for house exteriors this summer?

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It’s not just contemporary houses that are turning black – it’s a popular colour for older homes as well. This house is painted in Dulux Castlecliff, with trim in Dulux Rawene.

We probably don’t change the exterior colour of our homes as often as we change things around on the inside. But when we do, it’s a huge decision, and most of us can’t afford to get it wrong.

While you may not care what colours are “on-trend”, it’s fair to say you don’t want to get tired of your colour choice – if everyone else is painting over the beige, for example, you might want to think twice about choosing that colour.

So, what are the colours that are turning heads this summer? It turns out black is right up there, as it has been for the past couple of years.

This new build by JWA Architects features Resene Pitch Black wood stain. Photo by Simon Devitt

Resene marketing manager Karen Warman says “lots and lots” of Resene Pitch Black wood stain is going out the door, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

“The black house look is extremely popular both city and country – it can look anything from ultra-modern to camouflaged in native bush,” she says.

It is, in fact, a colour sometimes requested by some district councils for houses and roofs in prominent positions, in order to make them “retreat” visually into the landscape.

Teal and aqua front doors are having a moment, and they are often teamed with soft blue-grey walls. This door is painted in Dulux Lake Taylor, the trim is Southern Alps, and the walls are in Dulux Manorborn Double.

Because black is a colour that absorbs a lot of heat from the sun, Warman recommends Resene CoolColour paint to minimise the heat and to make your home more comfortable on the inside.

Louise McKenzie of Dulux says many homeowners are choosing “near-blacks”, such as Dulux Piha and Castlecliff. “As Kiwis, we are attracted to black. Grey-black shades work well with our intense sunlight.

“We are also seeing some colour blocking on contemporary house exteriors, when architectural features may be accentuated by bold black or stark white.”

Hamptons-look blue-grey exteriors are on the increase. This house is painted in Dulux Hikurangi, with St Clair Quarter on the trim.

McKenzie says the different colours often define contrasting materials on the house, and using black with white is a strong look. And she also recommends choosing a fade-resistant paint, such as Dulux Weathershield Colourguard, which contains heavy-duty reflective pigments.

Resene colour consultant Brooke Calvert says it’s usually “one thing or the other” for house exteriors, meaning extremely dark or very light.

“Greys are still around, but there is not so much of the mid-tone greys. The colours on villas today are usually lighter and softer, with subtle contrast colours around the windows.”

Calvert says Resene Half Copyright, Half Foggy Grey and Quarter Delta are good examples, with Resene Half Sea Fog or Double Alabaster featuring on trim.

McKenzie sees the “Hamptons-look” blue-greys and green-greys dominating the grey spectrum.

BRYCE CARLTON – Resene Triple White Pointer is often chosen to avoid a washed-out look on a house exterior, which can happen to light colours under our bright sunlight.

But it appears there is less interest in pure white. Warman talks about a “warming” of white and a move to deeper variants, such as Resene Triple Sea Fog and Triple White Pointer.

“Using deeper variants means the colour doesn’t get washed out in the bright sun,” says Warman.

McKenzie suggests opting for one or even two shades darker than the colour you like, to get the same effect on the outside of your house – again, it’s due to our intense sunlight.

“A lot of people are doing a white-on-white colour scheme, but it’s the softer whites,” says Calvert.


“Bold front doors are still popular for a pop of personality,” says Warman. “We are seeing fresh and optimistic citrus hues, including bold yellows such as Resene Turbo, bright oranges (Resene Adrenalin), and more recently we’ve been seeing more teal front doors, which bring a bit of beach life home to enjoy year round.”

Those trends are echoed by Dulux, which is also noting a resurgence of bright yellow, teal and “intense aqua” for front doors (but not together).

An orange door makes a bright contrast to the near-black walls on this new house – the owner chose it because orange is “so happy”. Photo by Jane Ussher

“You can be adventurous with a front door,” says McKenzie. “It’s an invitation into your home, so you want to put some personality out there.”

Calvert says glossy black front doors, along with navy and forest green are perennials. And right now, dusty pinks, orange and terracotta tones are finding favour.

“I always suggest clients take a look at other elements surrounding their front door, and choose something to complement that. And it’s important to try A4-size samples or use test pots before you make a final call on your colour choice.”

The walls around this patio styled by Vanessa Nouwens feature Resene FX Paint Effects medium in Resene Aspiring and Resene Moon Mist. Photo by Wendy Fenwick


Resene points to the growing popularity of natural-look finishes. “Concrete and Mediterranean effects are easily achieved with Resene FX Paint Effects medium, and weathered steel effects with Resene FX Faux Rust Effect,” says Warman.