Hue Consulting

Architectural Color Consulting

Building identity crisis

When faced with a blank slate like this building, it’s often helpful to look to its architectural heritage for clues about appropriate color combinations. After doing some digging at the UC Berkeley Architecture library, I learned that this apartment building was not really any specific style; not quite Art Deco, not quite Modernistic. The owners loved Craftsman bungalow architecture, so we took inspiration for the exterior colors from the distinctly autumnal palette. Now, this building has a strong, eye-catching presence.

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Location calls the shots

Taking cues from the natural surroundings is a great way to settle a building into the landscape. On the top of a windswept, foggy mountain in the Marin headlands, this stately home did not meld into its environment. Instead, the orange wood shingles clashed with the stone base and fussy blue and white trim. The home's architectural details looked mismatched, and out of place. The remedy included a cool grayish/greenish/bluish wood stain and simpler trim treatment that added cohesion and clarity to the overall look.

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What does your food say?

How do you take a small, outdated, dark restaurant space and infuse it with the message of healthy, high-quality, quick food on a budget? This eatery was getting ready to open its doors, serving Asian-fusion rice triangles called onigiri, and we needed to make big changes on a tiny budget. Against the warm wood floor, furniture, and crisp white wainscoting, the ripe green ceiling glows with energy and beckons customers.

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City block upgrade

Located in the heart of downtown Berkeley, a block of mixed-use residential and retail storefronts needed to be refreshed. We wanted to emphasize the Mission style architecture, and give shop owners a sense of individuality, while still cohesive within the overall Mediterranean palette.

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Marine blue hillside retreat

Tired of a drab exterior, these homeowners wanted a more cheerful presence that also settled into the landscape a bit more. A peek of cherry red was added to the underside of the eaves for a little surprise shot of color. The gray retaining wall was painted out to match the soft brown of falling oak leaves that covered the ground.

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Vanilla grows up

A lovely craftsman home had been "vanilla", as the owners fondly referred to their builder's beige walls, for far too long. They wanted some grown-up spaces in their otherwise child-centric home. Sophisticated jewel tones added depth and polish.

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Color pychology at work

Physical space is as much a part of a supportive experience as are wonderful teachers and a stellar curriculum. A dingy, low-ceiling preschool classroom desperately needed a facelift to more accurately reflect the love and care provided within.

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Painted wood panels

Some might be gasping in horror, “paint wood?!” Brick, too, when needed. Sometimes, that’s just what a space needs to feel light, and bright and clean again. Permission granted.

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Homey office space

This sounds like an oxymoron, but that was the design goal, to incorporate this business’s branded color palette and make cold, sterile office space feel warm and inviting.

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Virtually visualized

When dramatic change to the exterior are in the works, it’s helpful to visualize how the new palette will look. Virtual-mock ups are the perfect aid for this process.

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Mountains to the ocean

These homeowners wanted to completely change the look and feel of their family room. Tired of heavy leather furniture and dark wood, they wanted a beachy, airy feel.

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Adjusting the temperature

In this master bedroom suite, it felt like there was a lack of balance between warm and cool colors. By subbing out the caramel-colored walls for a deep blue, the leather chairs became much more of a focal point. Cooler-toned bedding added that finishing touch.

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An enjoyable place to play

Despite someone’s best intentions to make it playful by painting one wall orange and purple, the play yard at this elementary school was stark and sterile. By incorporating the campus’s color palette and breaking up the enormous mass of wall space, the play yard now feels inviting and more proportionately scaled to the whims of children. Adding greenery to the hardscape also made a huge difference, don’t you agree?

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Need energy? Add color.

Devoid of any windows, minimal artificial lighting, and extremely narrow corridors, this student apartment complex was really depressing. New carpet tiles in a graphic pattern paired with zingy bold wall and door colors give these hallways a new energy.

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Defining space

Big, open condo spaces can be lovely and airy. But defining distinct living spaces can be tricky. Where does one color stop, and the next begin? Can you get away with multiple colors when you can see everything from every angle? You can if you trust that it can be done, and embrace color as this client did.

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White to bright

The lovely architectural details were completely lost in a sea of “understated” on this aging bungalow. Armed with courage to step outside the safety of blah beige or washed out white, these homeowners fully embraced a vibrant palette of teal, lime, and tangerine.

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