If one color stands out the most amongst trees and grass, it's red. This three-bedroom addition to a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Texas is covered in cement board panels in Ferrari red.
The previous house stands out in the landscape; this one does a similar thing on its block in St. Louis, through variations in red.
The orange exterior of this overlook outside Atlanta is another example of standing out among the trees. With its balance of indoor (left) and outdoor (right) space, the orange overlook frames the green trees all around.
Los Angeles is definitely one locale that's more open to color than most. Stucco provides a blank canvas for applying color, as this sculptural orange house reveals.
Color does not need to cover every surface. This house in Houston is different shades of gray, upon which an orange band has been inserted above the garage; the small area makes a big impact.
Selective color, and its relationship to a background color, also has a large impact in this Seattle house. Window frames, spandrel panels and doors are painted orange against gray stucco.
Color can be used to create identity within one building, such as this two-family building in Los Angeles with one unit in light orange and one in dark orange. Note that the corrugated metal is oriented horizontally on the left and vertically on the right for further distinction.
The earthy tones of the stone and wood in this house in Wisconsin are heightened by the dark yellow walls on either side of the entrance.
This renovated house in Seattle has layers of stone, yellow plywood panels and beige siding. The plywood extends inside to give the house some warmth.
We started this ideabook with red and, not surprisingly, with green the effect is different. This addition seems to grow from the ground (not set itself apart from it), moving from dark green at the base to light green above.
This "abstracted farmhouse" outside Washington, D.C., gains some of its abstraction from the stucco exterior and its pastel green color. The house manages to stand out from the landscape without the tactic of contrast.
And what could be more appropriate for the color of a houseboat than blue?
Color can be used to heighten the sense of depth, as darker colors recede. As a case in point, the green front enhances the push of this house in San Diego toward the sidewalk, while the purple recedes.
But why settle for one or two colors? As Charles and Ray Eames, Luis Barragán, Gerrit Rietveld and others have shown, selective use of color can do a lot. This ocean retreat in the Pacific Northwest features splashes of yellow, blue and red against a predominantly gray exterior. The gray makes the other colors appear even stronger, turning the retreat into a three-dimensional abstract painting.