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Color

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This restaurant building was built in 2006 and is now occupied by its third eatery. The building has been vacant for years at a time between restaurant occupations. In January, as I drove out of my neighborhood, I noticed that the pillars were being painted a bright pink. In addition, the window trim and porch railing was painted a strong blue color. I think it’s great that we are getting another restaurant in the neighborhood, but I was not excited about this aesthetic change to the street scape.

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I’ll get right to the point, it is a mistake to paint the building with these colors. Why?  Because there is no relationship between the new paint colors and the natural finishes of the building’s design and structure. This building is traditionally styled in every way, adding pink to the pillars and blue to the porch railings and window frames looks like an arbitrary choice, probably made to enhance the name of the business that will occupy it next. 

What do I mean by “a relationship between the colors and the natural finishes?” Thank you for asking…

In the simplest thinking, would you wear these colors together? The pink and blue, maybe, but with a warm gray? Probably not, the pink is a cool pink, it has a lot of blue in how it was mixed. But even if the pink had some yellow tones, would you put those colors together? No, because of two other reasons…

First reason, the environment. As people making design choices we need to remember our surroundings. Choose colors that are in keeping with the community you will be serving. Choosing pink and blue emphasizes the business over the architectural cohesiveness of the neighborhood. These colors are wonderful, but  should used in the street signage, the flowers in the porch baskets, even a flag or two with restaurant slogans hung from the porch railings. 

Second reason, the building style. This style references the early part of the 20th century, many would say it has craftsman influences. During this time period earth tones were the choice for architecture and design. If you want to brighten up the building, paint the trim and pillars a warm off-white color. It will be a fine looking, classic establishment with a festive business clearly meant for parties and fun for whomever visits. 

This would be a more reasonable choice to brighten up the building. One might also consider painting the trim and railings a complimentary lighter neutral color as well.

This would be a more reasonable choice to brighten up the building. One might also consider painting the trim and railings a complimentary lighter neutral color as well.

As business owners we want to attract customers and presenting a beautiful facade is key to attracting people. Owners should use a designer to help make color choices, signage decisions, or even a good plan for how you present yourself in the neighborhood. These choices will pay for themselves, the same as a good menu, quality food and a welcoming environment. 

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