Our Most Colorful Cottage Exteriors Ever
This home’s maritime past—its dock was commandeered by the Marines in the 1940s—inspired its patriotic color scheme of red, white, and blue. But rather than get too literal with the patriotism, designer Michael Murphy opted for a lighter, brighter shade of blue on the home’s shingled exterior. And the results make us feel anything but blue.
Bold and Beautiful
While an orchid-colored concrete cottage might seem out of place in many neighborhoods, when your plot of land is steps from the Caribbean Sea on the island of Jamaica, it fits perfectly. Owner and island hotelier Sally Henzell’s unique style is anything but dull, from the cottage’s bold exterior to the interior’s wild mix of patterns and handmade décor.
Designer Jane Coslick is known for her no-color-is-off-limits approach to decorating, and in transforming this 1940s bungalow in Tybee Island, Georgia, she proved that a mellow yellow might just be the happiest hue for a cottage exterior. A door trimmed in turquoise and a pair of benches painted the same color compliment the sunny shade.
Upping the Game
When decorating a home in St. Barts, it’s hard not to be influenced by the perfect Caribbean Sea. Here, designer Barry Dixon found the perfect shade of turquoise to punch up this bungalow’s exterior. While the siding is a calming neutral, the shutters and door are splashed with turquoise (Capri Seas by Benjamin Moore). The high-pitched roof also got a coat of paint, making the tropical shade less of a minor accent and more of a statement maker.
What could complement the pink sand beaches of the Bahamas better than a charming cottage with a pink façade? Built in the 1800s, this Harbour Island hideaway was lovingly restored by serial house rescuer Trish Becker, who chose an island-inspired combo for the siding and shutters: pale pink and aqua. (Get the look with Powdered Petals and Minerva, both from Pittsburgh Paints.)
There isn't much that's as classic and universally liked than a powder blue exterior. Because it's reminiscent of the sky and the sea, it works virtually anywhere, from St. Croix to St. Michaels, Maryland, and with any decorating style. Channel our 2015 Cinnamon Shore, Texas, Showhouse with Benjamin Moore's Yarmouth Blue (which, by the way, would be lovely inside, too).
Nothing does as much for curb appeal like a vibrant front door. This one—painted Southfield Green by Benjamin Moore—gives visitors just a taste of what’s waiting inside the Lyford Cay, Bahamas home (loads of pattern and shades bordering on neon). As for this island-inspired hue? “It’s an ode to 1960s Barbados designer Oliver Messel,” designer Amanda Lindroth says. “You can never go wrong with this green.”
At the beach, we pretty much consider navy a neutral. So those interested in getting in the color game without committing to something as head-turning as yellow or pink can find inspiration from our 2014 Coronado, California, Showhouse. The design team chose to clad the home in Allura's Pacific Blue-hued composite shake siding, a shade that just so happens to reflect the real Pacific blue hues outside the windows.
Never underestimate the power of lush greenery in bringing natural color to your home's exterior. In this adorable Harbour Island escape, palm fronds peek out from behind a white picket fence. And, since the perfect complement for green is clearly blue (according to Mother Nature!), designer Trish Becker rounded out the home's palette with cream-colored siding and vibrant blue shutters, bringing a touch of fun to the tropical retreat.
Steal from Nature
There's plenty of places in the Bahamas to turn to for color inspiration, and in the case of this cottage on Abaco Island, that perfect spot was on the country's national flower, the yellow elder, which sports buds that can climb 20 feet into the sky. The owners pulled off the confident yellow exterior by choosing a shade that's softer than a traditional lemon hue and keeping shutters (and the porch's floor and ceiling) neutral.
Punched Up Pad
Once a run-down kit home in need of serious TLC, this charming gambrel roofed cottage is now an Airbnb favorite and Instagram star (@thebeachlodge), with more than 60,000 followers. We've got a feeling that might have something to do with its vibrant surf-shack curb appeal, which homeowner Tiffany Caliva accomplished with turquoise siding, yellow trim, and porthole-like windows on the upper deck walls. We'd give anything to live here, but a weekend stay just might have to do.
When working with association rules, one must be clever about how they make their home pop with color on the outside. In this tiny Martha’s Vineyard cottage—it’s just 900 square feet—designer Tracey Overbeck Stead opted for crowd-pleasing sea green and turquoise siding, with strategically placed accents of pomegranate orange on the balustrades. It adds a bit of whimsy, without overwhelming the compact cottage.