By Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG
Several blogs ago, I outlined the top color trends and trend drivers for 2012. One major development was the fact that consumers have become much more comfortable living with color. We are consistently exposed to global colors through fashion, the internet, and of course, HGTV. Given the predictions, it’s pretty exciting to be able to report to you a real-world example of this key color driver.
Il Palazzo is a newly-remodeled, luxury townhome project in downtown San Diego. Its proximity to Little Italy and its higher-elevation ocean views make this property a stand-out. But what really adds to the Old World charm is the continental color palette utilized inside and out. The models I toured were unfurnished, but the courageous use of color more than compensated for no furnishings. Well-chosen finishes (from floors to countertops to ceilings) gave an ambience of high luxury. Let’s take a look at some of those finishes and color harmonies to see how they worked their magic.
KITCHEN – The chef-friendly kitchens featured a transitional design style. Not quite contemporary and not quite traditional, this design mode walks a fine line. It’s a hybrid style that is more linear than traditional and appeals to a large segment of the market. Granite countertops add to the upscale look. The designer chose stainless steel appliances and achieved a great continuity by adding a metallic tile backsplash. The colors chosen for kitchen and family room were a warm taupe and vibrant blue/green (Reference color “X-hale” from the 2012-2013 color forecast).
BATH – The transitional cabinetry was carried into the bathrooms. Flooring for kitchens and baths was Amtico’s LVT, Linear Metallic Steel. This dramatic floor gave each space a sophisticated look, and the large format tiles (18” x 18”) visually expanded the space. Just a hint of metallic sparkle in the tiles added an element of luxury.
BEDROOMS – Different shades of taupe were used on walls, soffets, and ceilings. Ceilings were finished with a beautiful crown moulding. The monochromatic use of color added interest and character to each bedroom, without sacrificing the restful feel. The darkest shade of taupe was used on the ceilings! Does that shock you just a little? I hope so, because it was fun and unexpected.
Let’s talk about the exterior color scheme for a moment. If you’ve travelled to Italy, you know that their cities are a visual feast of warm, rich colors. Taking a lesson from the life-loving Italians, the façade of Il Palazzo is an artistic mix of unexpected colors. (Take a look for yourself at the pictures included in this article.) Deep and mid-toned violets work in harmony along side a true green, sunny yellow and rusty orange. Wow! That combination took guts and the risk paid off. The impact is memorable, and each vibrant color helps define the architecture.
If you have any doubt about color’s power to define spaces, Il Palazzo provides a real-life example. If you just happen to be a life-long lover of color, design or architecture, downtown San Diego is a field trip well worth taking. Treat yourself to dinner in Little Italy (just a block away). Colorful surroundings, authentic Italian cuisine and a glass of crisp Chianti–who could ask for more?