As a kid, I loved clicking my seatbelt into place, sitting back, and watching houses whiz by the car window as my mum cruised to my grandparents’ house. The 30-minute drive was ample time to study each and every home along the way, from whitewashed Colonials to little Capes with tan vinyl siding. I imagined what kinds of people lived inside these houses, dreaming up their personalities and the storylines of their lives.

Since those days, I’ve come to notice the significance of choosing a house’s exterior paint color. What kind of person opts for a dark brown versus a muted green, for example? What does that selection say about them? Here, find what a paint color might say about you.

Just because you’re a fan of classic design doesn’t mean you’re boring. Your deep red home is proof of that. You have a strong sense of what looks good to you, and you stick to it. It’s why you’re drawn to antiques, too — that vintage coffee table in your living room has charm, yes, but it also harkens to simpler times when there weren’t always so many decisions to make.

Every time you’ve decided to move, whether to a new apartment or into your first house, you’ve searched for a home with entertaining in mind. Sure, everybody on HGTV loves to entertain, too, but you love it just a little more. You were born with boundless energy, and you delight in sharing that energy with others at gatherings you’ve planned. They’re bright, cheery, and fun-filled parties, just like your sunny yellow abode.

Some people equate the words trendy and stylish, but not you. You’re all style, no trend. Just because dark gray is in doesn’t mean you’re submitting to trends if you like it — it means everyone else is catching up to your sense of style. Similarly, you’ve been known to take calculated risks on occasion, and they’ve always paid off. Becoming the only house that’s not pastel-colored on your street was one of them. And boy, was it worth it.

You’d agree that tradition exists for a reason. The clean presentation of a white house with black shutters, for example, is timeless. But what you really love about this look is how straightforward it is. When the white paint starts to dull, it’s time for a new coat. No guessing games here, just easy-to-understand (and easy enough to perform) maintenance.

You’re the most loyal friend you know, and that’s saying something, considering you have a lot of wonderful friends. Being thought of as a solid person — someone you can lean on — is a great quality! Your brick apartment building is secure in a way, too. Even though you’ve been a renter for years, you know you won’t leave this place anytime soon. How could you, when all your best pals live down the street?

Your neighbors and friends get jealous of you from time to time, but you probably haven’t noticed. They covet how grounded you are. It’s easy to see how much you unabashedly love where you live, how much you respect the great outdoors, and how much pride you take in your yard. The outdoor string lights bedecking your side-yard patio are just the icing on the mossy-green cake.

There’s a certain type of person who switches the look of their home every few years just to liven things up. This is not you, of course. You’re prone to playing it safe and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a very good thing, actually, when you consider how much can change from day to day and year to year. Craving stability is only natural, much like the shade of tan your house is painted in.

The glossy magazine you’ve been known to toss into your beach bag is always a shelter mag. You love to ogle home design trends, even if you don’t always employ them in your own house. Still, there’s no denying gray is a popular look these days, which is why you splashed your shingles with a can of light gray paint. Call it Trend Lite, just like your aesthetic. 

If it was possible to do a double-take at photos on Instagram (a scroll-back, perhaps?) you’d do it to those over-the-top retro images. You know the ones — rooms with orange shag carpets, kitchens with lime-green cabinets. Throwback vibes are your pillars of style, which is why your suburban split level is painted a very ’70s shade of chocolate brown.

Madeline Bilis

Real Estate Editor

Madeline Bilis is a writer and editor with a soft spot for brutalist buildings. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Boston magazine, the Boston Globe, and other outlets. She has a degree in journalism from Emerson College and published her first book, 50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts, in August 2019.

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