City Palettes


City, the word itself makes us think of excitement. What is it about an urban environment that makes us think that way? A city is a place of many possibilities, of extreme contrasts and high drama. Color palettes as applied to buildings must be representative of their environment or they will look out of place. This is true for any building in any location!

I always think of cities as places where men and women dress up to the nines. Apply that same dressy attitude to a city facade and you may get a bold color on the front door dressed with highly polished brass accents. Think again about a chic city woman with bold red lipstick and gold jewelry…you get my drift? That bright red door which looks so smart and so right on a city street often looks like the door to Santa’s workshop if placed in the suburbs The city palette is about that bit of “eye candy” as relief in a sea of concrete and stone greyness…we absolutely crave it!

It’s not just about color either. The sheen used in paint and other material finishes goes a long way to setting the tone. Anything glossy is dressy, flat is casual. You will want to choose a high gloss for the front door and possibly any other accents on the facade. Flat finishes have their place only as foils for the glossy ones. Remember opposites are dynamic and that is what the city is all about. 

You also build dimensional interest when using varied sheens in juxtaposition. The glossy will come forward in space, and the flat will recede. In effect you are turbocharging the building in a three dimensional way which color alone cannot accomplish.

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