One of the most important decisions you'll make when building a house is the color of brick. This stuff lasts forever so you may have to design around these colors for as long as you live there. Plus, it will probably last as long as the house is standing so future homeowners will have to deal with the choices that you make. Here are a few ideas for picking brick house colors or designing around your current shades.

Go classic. Red is one of the most traditional colors for brick. This color can work with all different design styles. Add shutters around your windows for a colonial look. You can even venture to orange shades and still have a pretty traditional house. Sure, it might not be the trendiest thing but this is a permanent decision. If you go with a pattern that has a lot of variation it will become dated quickly and then you'll have to decide how to cover it up. Red and orange brick colors have been in style for decades so there's a good chance that the trend will continue.

Don't underestimate the power of trim work. Brick can seem oppressive or heavy. You might want to have a yellow or blue house but it might not be the best choice for a brick color because of how limiting it is. Instead, just pick a brick color that is somewhat neutral so you can just paint the trim anytime you want a new look. Brick houses can even look Victorian when there is intricate gingerbread trim around the porch and windows.

Be inspired by nature. The classic red brick might just seem too glaring for you. Instead, you can find a more neutral tone. Look at natural stone when choosing your brick color. You can find a lot of different shades of gray and brown. One word of caution: stay away from gradient pieces. These were really popular in the 1980s; one brick would have several colors on it. This can look splotchy and confusing on the outside of your home. You'll just be looking at a small sample but you need to realize that this is going to be all over your house so it will look totally different en mass.

You can change the feel of your existing brick just by how you style the exterior of your home. You could turn it into a cottage with a white picket fence and a blue front door. You could take the same brick and make it seem elegant with black shutters, doors, and an iron gate in the front. Give it a Victorian feel with blue, purpel and even pink trim work.

Brick house colors are permanent but the decision doesn't have to be intimidating. It's improtant to choose a classic design and then just bring in more contemporary elements to modernize the design on a budget. Choose something that you love but will also work with a lot of different design directions. Remember to pick something that you love both now and well into the future.