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Window colour in a modern world

16 Jun 2016

Resene colour expert Carolyn Atkinson talks choosing colour for your windows.

Windows – lots of them and the bigger the better. That’s our current thinking when building or renovating. It used to be that all windows were wooden, so you had the freedom to paint them whatever colour you liked.

Now many windows are powder-coated metal windows, which are low-maintenance, colour-fast and available as traditional, classic and contemporary styles. Often the windows will match the roof colour – but not always.

The standard range of powder-coat colours is limited. Some manufacturers provide a greater selection of colours, others not so many. Some of the colours are very distinctive. This is all well and good when every other colour on the exterior of the house totally co-ordinates and you never plan to change any of them or sell the house to someone whose taste may not be the same as yours.

But what if the colour of the windows is chosen without due thought? What if the colour creates a discord with the interior colours, drapes or blinds you want to use? Or perhaps you have just bought a house and want to make changes but the window colour stops you?

Distinctively coloured joinery limits what colour changes we can make in future so it would be reasonable to assume that a neutral coloured metal window would be best.  

But are all neutral window colours okay? Check them out by asking the manufacturer for larger metal samples rather than relying on the somewhat misleading (and small) samples from brochures or online. Compare them with each other to truly judge what they look like.

Even if you are considering white, there are often three or more ‘whites’. Compare them with each other on a sheet of white printer paper so that you can see the cooler blue-toned whites, the warmer fleecy whites, the off-whites that are quite creamy or peachy and the other ones that may be grey/green or silvery.

The next step is to not only place the powder-coat colour samples into the exterior and interior schemes you have chosen to use in your own house, BUT to put them with 10 randomly chosen paint colours and ask: ‘Does it co-ordinate well with at least six of them?’ If the answer is yes, then that’s the colour that’s going to future-proof your house.

If a window colour doesn’t allow you to make colour changes to the house without upsetting the whole palette, then it may not be the right colour for you.