Color scheme for red brick colonial home?

piscesgirlAugust 23, 2006

What colors scheme would you suggest for a red brick colonial home with black shutters? I tend to like pinks and purples but I am not sure if that will look ok against our house. Any suggestions or pictures anyone has to share would be appreciated.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Hold colors against house you like and see what you think. Silvery foliage is good against red brick, also goes with pinks and purples.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 8:17PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Brick colors can vary considerably, some are browner, some have an almost rosy color.

Keep in mind that flower color is usually temporary, and backed up by lots of green foliage that acts as a buffer. Unless you are going to see the flowers directly against the brick of the house, I'd just plant what you like, keeping in mind the relationships of the plants to each other, more than to the house.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 8:24PM
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pastvast(z5 NW Ohio)

This assumes you're talking about plants that would be in foundation beds.

With my brick home, I found that darker foliage (like smokebush) tends to blend in with the brick. That was discovered by walking about other similarly colored brick neighborhoods.

I've also found (from direct experience) that in regards to flower color, darker-more subdued colors also tend to blend in with the brick. White, "hot colors", and other bright colors pops out. The other thing that I've found is that if you want the flowers to make a statement (and see them from a distance against the brick), you need to have big flowers or lots of smaller ones in bloom at once. I suspect it's because the brick has lots of different colors going on in it, along with the mortar that is visually distracting... so it requires more "flower power" than a house with siding.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 2:29PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I wouldn't plant just any color. Even if you are standing with the house behind and looking out into the garden if you have just looked at the house you will have its coloring in your mind. If the place is big enough or the layout compartmentalized enough you may be able to make a separate area featuring colors that would clash with the color of the house, which by the time you are viewing you have looked at enough other colors that the coloring of the house is no longer foremost in your mind.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 1:08PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

I have a brick house and love pinks and purples. They look terrible against the brick, a major clash. (except very dark purple.)

All bricks are different colors. What works for me is shades of peach or burgundy. Depends on the tint of your bricks.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 7:01AM
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daffodowndilly(z5/6 OH)

i wondered this all last spring. even took pics of neighborhood homes with red brick (some garden expert wrote a book i got from library about this issue - coordinating your house and landscape - but, sorry, can't remember the name!) For a while I considered movingto a white or light brown house where i can surround myself with beloved pink roses!

I DO remember he said to go with white. However I reached my conclusions, I decided I really like varying shades of evergreen, with white and dark pink or red flowers, like japonica, white rhodies, red azaleas and reddish new-guinnie (sp?) impatiens. Of course, I'm partial to daffodils and plan to plant hundreds in same yard. But then yellow looks great with red, and it will only be in spring.

I admit I'm only limiting this scheme to public areas (front and side), and also plan climbing roses and clematis in those colors on the sunny side. The other side is all hostas and ivy, and they look great against the brick. But in the back, my sanctuary and the area not framed by the house, are getting my favorite pinks and purples.

You're the one who has to live with it, and unless you're REALLY concerned about resell value, go with what you love. Besides, things do grow on you. I used to hate red and purple, but my neighbor's red hat collection has caught my eye, and maybe i'll throw some purple clematis in with those red roses...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 1:56PM
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Beyond color of blooms, which I agree are fleeting and difficult to show against brick, are you thinking more formal or more cottage-y?

If more formal, than having colors show up would be easy, as they could be showcased against evergreen shrubs, which is an easy way of having color show up anyway. In this case, I would go with blooms in the red/pink family with white to make them pop.

If more cottage-y, then you're looking for a variety of hues that pop one against the other.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 6:32PM
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tulip_lover(z6 MI)

I, too, have a red brick home. I have decided that I like RED flowers best in my front flower beds. (One year I planted pinks and purples and I didn't like how it looked.) I also have lots of green - yew bushes and hostas. In front of them I have a mass of red impatiens. (shady front yard) I agree that you need lots of blooms to draw your eye away from the busy brick pattern.

In the spring I have rows of red tulips. Red just seems to look best with the brick. Last year I put red coleus and vinca vines in my window boxes. That looked nice too. Here in Michigan, my annuals often bloom into October. So the red goes well with fall decorations too, like pumpkins, fall leaves and mums.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 11:28PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Color theory and the color wheel can be used to create combinations. If your brick is basically orange, the complement is blue. Blue flowers or blue tinged foliage will contrast with the orange of the brick. The problem with blue flowers is that they don't "pop", and are best viewed at fairly close range. Massing large numbers of the same plant can help. Using split complements takes it one step further. You can buy a color wheel at any office supply or art supply store, and the color combinations are explained right on the wheel. Check your library for books on color in the garden, or even color theory in general. There are also lots of websites that explain color theory, many of them home decorating websites.

An analogous color scheme for orange brick would include flowers (and foliage) that are red and/or yellow. These would blend rather than constrast.

Most of the brick I've seen is basically orange or red-orange, but there are also yellowish, pinkish, and tan colored bricks.

Using the same color theory you would use when dressing yourself in the morning also works in the landscape, except that you have to consider foliage as well as flowers when working with plants. You can also have a "hot" colored spring show change to a cooler colored summer show, or vice-versa.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 8:51PM
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