How to Choose Trim Color for a Brick House

Brick isn't always that standard brick red -- it can be dark red, brown, white, beige, black or even pink, partly because of the type of clay it's made from. So trim choice is not a matter of one-color-fits-all. And besides, who wants a cookie-cutter exterior, when you can make your solid-looking home appear even more stately? If, instead, you want to downplay the brick, there's at least one way to do that, using the right trim.

White on Track

You usually can't go wrong with pure white trim if you want to showcase brick, regardless of its natural shade. The high-contrast outline defines the home's architectural lines, tracing the roofline, porch, doors and windows to emphasize a rich, substantial ruddy or pale facade.

Off-white trim with a yellow or cream tinge has a subtler effect, which suits gray, black or brown brick, or a home with a more traditional design, an English Tudor home or rustic cottage, for instance. If the home has pure-white window frames, however, it may be best to match these, and avoid tone-on-tone upset, which can read as dirty.

Use white tinged with yellow, or storm-cloud gray if your aim is to neutralize pinkish brick. Alternatively, rev up the warm undertone -- to thwart brick's coldness -- playing into it with complementary white tinted with green, pale sage or pure-white outlines.

Dark on Dark

To downplay a deep or saturated brick exterior, opt for dark trim. Stay in the color family, pulling the trim color from the brick -- pairing brown with brown, for instance. Or, use neutral black or deep gray outlines to update brick red, dark red, brown, gray or black.

For a large two- or three-story brown-and-red brick house, choose a trim color that matches your preferred shade; if you opt for brown trim, in this scenario, the brick's brown tone appears more prominent than the red. This color-popping trick works with any mottled or dual-tone brick.

Taupe It Off

Creamy beige, pink, white, or light- or mid-brown brick is amicable with copper or taupe trim. This pairing creates a soft look, blending the home quietly into a semi-arid or barren landscape. Be careful, though -- if the trim is even a little too dark for the brick tone, the home can acquire an unfinished appearance. To avoid this, choose a hue that's slightly paler than or the same saturation depth as the home's body, resulting in an almost monochromatic effect.