Achieve a Classic New England Look with Paint 

June 23, 2020

Do you own a historic home, or maybe just one that conjures up images of quintessential New England homes? Whether you live on the rocky shores of Maine, the sandy dunes of Cape Cod, or on the bustling streets of Boston, your home can take on that traditional look of a New England home with the transformative power of paint. 

Classic New England periods actually have a color palette. Think about the colors that remind you of the region and the homes that you encounter in the quaint villages and towns that dot the coastline of our region. The area is rich not only in history but in a traditional look that many homeowners are searching for when they paint either the interior or exterior of their homes. 

Yankee Magazine has dubbed the common color palette in our region as, “Shades of the Era.” Each time period, whether it is the First Period Colonial period, Federal/Greek Revival period, or the Victorian era, allowed for different color palettes to thrive. colonial home

First Period Colonial Period

In the First Period Colonial period, when New Englanders were first to revolt against the English monarch, the color palette was fairly simple. Many early houses were left unpainted to weather the elements. Leaded white (that would later turn yellow), black, and traditional barn red were common for residential homes. Color specialists often refer to the colors of this period as neutral drabs with the occasional pop of color. 

Federal/Greek Revival Period

During the late 1700s and early 1800s, our region went through a Federalist or Greek revival when it comes to color palettes. Post British independence caused many New Englanders to use brighter colors and paint trims lighter. During this time, soft colors were all the rage, including peaches and brighter pastels in shades of green, yellow, and blue according to the historians at Yankee Magazine.victorian home

Victorian Era

In the years following the Civil War, synthetics were introduced to the nascent paint industry, opening up a wider range of pigments and greater saturation. Color was used to play up exterior architectural elements, such as columns, dentils, and cornices. Often three to five colors would be used on a single house. For example, chocolate-brown trim could be paired with golden-yellow siding and a brighter accent, such as turquoise, on a porch ceiling.

Are you looking for a traditional New England color palette but aren’t sure what would work well with the style, size, and architectural details of your home. Take a look at our portfolio page and contact us for an estimate and a consultation with our color specialists. 


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