Why A White House Is Still A Design Classic

Brilliant white marble exteriors of buildings go as far back as the ancient Greek civilization and they really took off in Roman times. For public buildings a white façade echoes the ancients’ design aesthetics and you will still see it used regularly in modern architecture. However, dwellings are a different matter. Whereas the exterior of The White House is designed to evoke classical architecture with shimmering columns, a regular white home’s façade is more likely to take its design cues from Scandinavian design or Bauhaus.


Whitewashing your home means that you can have confidence that it will work visually. Indeed, a completely monotone façade rarely works unless it is white. Nowadays, you will not often see great expanses of marble on view, but painted stucco, brickwork and woodwork are common enough. And they remain a design classic.

One of the classic white looks for a home is when weatherboarding has been installed on to the outside of the walls. The construction method has been popular for hundreds of years and, even with contemporarily built homes, the white weatherboard look evokes a bygone era. Even homes that have red brick walls or gray sloping roofs that make up the eye line, it is the white weatherboarding that will dominate the look. The design is best complemented by window frames and eaves that are painted white, too.

White Walls.

If your home has a blank look, then a white picket fence often makes for the ideal boundary choice. However, a boundary wall, covered in white stucco, makes for a more pleasing look with more modern homes. Match the same tone of white for your walls as for the façade of the home.

Off White.

Some people are put of the classic white look because, especially when newly painted, the look can be a little too bright. There’s no getting away from it. White homes do need a few years to weather in nicely. However, off white tones remain good choices for an exterior. If your white home needs a new coat, then experiment with an off white or cream on a patch of the home that cannot easily be seen. This way you will be able to see whether you like it before committing to the new look.

Black On White.

Some colors will set off a white home perfectly and some take a little more imagination to pull off well. If you have a white façade to your home’s entrance then break up the look with some black elements. Window shutters, painted black, always look good with a white home. Back this design idea up with a black front door and black guttering.

White With Gray.

Another commonly used color that coordinates well with white exteriors is gray. Light grays tend to be ideal for white facades that see plenty of natural light. However, if you live further north, go for a darker tone of gray to create more contrast with the white. This will help it stand out even in the diminished light of the winter period.

Ultra Modern Ultra White.

Modernism has been around so long that it is surprising how new it still appears. There is something about a modern home, which has plenty of geometric lines to it, that simply works when it is painted white. If your home is modern, it seems a shame for it to be painted in any color other than white.

Brilliant Bricks.

Painting brickwork is something that many homeowners want to avoid. The problem is that, once painted, bricks will never go back to their natural color. You will have to live with it, even if you change your color choice. Nevertheless, white painted bricks and mortar look stunning in many domestic settings. Why not get the classic white house look even if you don’t have stucco or weatherboarding and paint your brickwork façade in pure, brilliant white?

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Published by in Outdoor, on January 25th, 2013


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