What are the most welcoming exterior paint colors? 5 shades to make your home look more inviting

Boost your home's curb appeal with these welcoming paint colors

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore, Betsy Wentz/Sargent Photography, Benjamin Moore)

A welcoming home exterior is something we all strive for, and color is one of the most important steps in the design process in determining just how inviting – or uninviting – your home is.

Given, that exterior paint colors need to maintain a timeless look for all-year-round success and respect the existing surroundings, it's also worth considering how you can make your home look more inviting with the most welcoming exterior paint colors.

According to designers and paint experts, certain colors are generally regarded as being more welcoming than others. Below, we've rounded up five favorite paint ideas that will soon enhance your home's curb appeal – from pastels to warm whites.

5 welcoming exterior paint colors

Before landing on the next color choice for your home's exterior, it's important to consider the original features of your home and its environment. Painting a home exterior is a mighty and costly job so it's important to get it right the first time. While you may love the idea of bold and bright colors, that's not to say they will necessarily translate well to all settings and architectural styles.

'While trends come and go, a home's style and beauty are meant to last through cycles of taste and trends and should emanate from the dominant architectural features and its facade,' explains Mindy O'Connor, Principal and Founder of Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture & Interiors. 'Make sure to coordinate your color palette with the tones in the stone or brick foundation of your home, the roof, and any trim or details.'

1. Warm white

home exterior painted white with light blue front door and brick steps

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

You can't go wrong with a white home exterior, one of the most classic color choices that's universally appealing. Specifically, warm white paints are typically regarded as more welcoming than cooler-toned whites, complementing a wide range of house styles.

'A warm, chalky white is our recommendation for a friendly exterior that pairs well with any window or shutter combination,' say designers Jordan Winson and Tate Casper of Oxford Design. 'Benjamin Moore's Swiss Coffee is our go-to.'

Another recommended warm white paint to use across a home's exterior is Sherwin-Williams' Snowbound 'if you like a clean white house,' according to Miranda Cullen, interior designer and founder of Inside Stories.

If you decide on painting your home exterior white, consider opting for a more colorful front door color to add interest and character, much like this aqua blue.

2. Beige

home exterior painted beige with driveway and blue car parked outside

(Image credit: Betsy Wentz, Sargent Photography)

Decorating with neutrals is another expert-suggested way to create a welcoming home exterior. Again, warm neutral paints are generally favored above cool tones, but it's also important to consider the surroundings of your home. The neutral paint color should work in harmony with the existing materials rather than against them.

'I like to align the house color to the surroundings,' says designer Betsy Wentz. 'It should complement the setting, landscaping, and any other materials – like the stone, brick, or the driveway. If the environment has warmer hues, I like softer tones like Benjamin Moore Carrington Beige with Benjamin Moore White Cloud trim.'

Designers Kyle O'Donnell and Christopher Sale of Gramercy Design point to Benjamin Moore's Historical Collection for home exteriors, featuring some excellent beige tones: 'More nuanced and complex, these colors transform in different lighting throughout the day and provide a harmonious backdrop for landscaping in a wide variety of palettes. We recently used Grant Beige on an exterior siding paired with fieldstone and timber accents.'

3. Pastels

home exterior painted pastel blue with black front door

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

If you enjoy a playful approach to decorating with color inside your home, why not extend this to your home's exterior, too? Pastels are an instantly welcoming color choice that will certainly make your home appear more inviting.

Before doing so, consider the setting of your home. While pastels will make a statement in a city (which is no bad thing) they can be more seamlessly integrated into coastal locations that are often full of these uplifting colors.

'Coastal environments offer the perfect opportunity to inject a beautiful light and a fresh optimistic feel,' says Helen Shaw, Director of Color Marketing at Benjamin Moore. 'Opt for ice cream pastel shades such as Summer Blue and Rosetone on these properties, especially on masonry. This is particularly effective when an entire street embraces this look.' 

4. Charcoal

home exterior painted black with large driveway

(Image credit: Betsy Wentz Interior Design, Sargent Photography)

You may not naturally associate deep and dark colors with being welcoming, but designers say they turn to these hues for a more dramatic – yet still inviting – home exterior.

'If the house has a darker roof and a dramatic setting, then you can go with a deeper hue like Benjamin Moore's Iron Mountain,' suggests Betsy Wentz.

Kyle O'Donnell and Christopher Sale also recommend the use of dark charcoal tones on a home's exterior, but add that you can opt to use them in smaller doses for a less intense look: 'Benjamin Moore's Kendall Charcoal is perfect as an accent color on exterior window mullions and pairs beautifully with a variety of colors.'

For a more daring take on this color trend, Miranda Cullen recommends Sherwin-Williams' Iron Ore, an even darker charcoal paint that will instantly add drama and sophistication to your home's exterior.

5. Earth tones

green front door

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Earth tones are a failsafe exterior color choice if you want to venture out from neutrals yet don't want to make too much of a statement. From forest greens to terracotta hues, many earthy colors create a welcoming look, and you can use your home's surroundings to inform your color choice.

'Drawing on the natural environment and choosing tones that mimic the environs will add a welcoming atmosphere,' explains Helen Shaw.

'We have such beautiful colors in our rural settings where deep greens, berry reds, and gray-browns such as Benjamin Moore's Olympus Green will add a beautiful warmth to homes and complement the outside world rather than distract from it.'

'Bricked frontage houses look particularly aesthetic with doors in deep rich colors which nod to the period that they were built and will complement the original brickwork.'

Once you've decided on your exterior paint color, consider upgrading the smaller details to complete the welcoming look. 'Don’t forget the finishing touches: a new coat of paint for your fence, front gate, and metal guttering can make all the difference to create a welcoming space,' says Helen.

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.