A few months ago, I walked into my local art store to buy a paint pen and some Gesso but instead bought a $16 purple coffee mug instead. Why? The power of Pantone, that’s why. Ever since I was first turned on to the world’s leading authority on color, I’ve been fascinated by their forecasting of soon-to-be-seen-everywhere palettes. When I found out that they were manufacturing coffee mugs in many of their most popular colors, complete with the color number, I instantly had to have one…and I don’t even drink coffee.
This situation was heightened upon learning that Pantone actually has its own seven-floor, 59-room Pantone Hotel in Brussels, a magical place referred to as “where the principles of design meet the principles of color.” Every floor is dedicated to a different color: blue, green, orange, brown, red, violet and yellow. Of the seven tones, I would feel most happy sleeping on the orange level. But enough about me, let’s get back to the hotel. Designed by the Belgian interior designer Michel Penneman along with architect Olivier Hannaert, the property is unmistakably branded from its folding chairs to its get-around-town bicycles; however, it’s incredibly tasteful, striking definite balances between color, concept, shape and scale.
Whether you’re into ultra-white or borderline-nuclear orange, take a look at some of Pantone Hotel’s color-tastic interiors as well as some toned-down ways the same principles can be applied to residential spaces. And hey, if you can’t make it to Brussels, at least you can buy the coffee mug, right?
Pantone Hotel lobby
The most striking of all is the hotel’s lobby sporting bold jolts of color and super modern lines. The vertical beams each introduce a different color, which ties into the color-blocked furnishings set against an ultra-white and black backdrop. So invigorating. If this is too modern or stark for your residence, take a look at a space that packs just as much color but with more softness.
Superstar designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd designed this living room featured in House Beautiful for the Kips Bay Show House. All the colorful elements are still there but in a more transitional, even traditional setting. If ultra-white is too stark for you, a greige or dove grey backdrop is an excellent alternative.
Another way to go multi-color is through upholstery. Maharam produces the classic Millerstripe by Alexander Girard. Just one or two pieces—or even an accent wall—in this pattern can make an enormous impact. It can be purchased online through J & O Fabrics.
Pantone 137 c :: vibrant, intense
Of all the rooms in the hotel, those on the orange floor pack the most punch. Love it. But since orange is one of the hardest colors to pull off, below is a more muted baby-steps way to introduce the shade.
Photographer Patrick Cline shot this stunning guest bedroom designed by Lee Kleinhelter for Lonny Magazine, and it’s appeared on hundreds of blogs since. Known for bringing a good dose of color into residential interiors but in a non-overwhelming manner, Kleinhelter often sticks to large upholstery items as a color source. In this case, the room is definitely given an orange appearance; however, it can be played up or down depending on what it’s set against such as the brown/white striped walls.
Pantone 200c :: daring, fiery
Ah, red, black and white: classic to some and loathed by many. Why is it that this combo is often labeled “bordello-like”? Sure, I can see how some may consider it kinda 1980’s but otherwise, it’s a timeless trio. Hell, I can even understand how red by itself can be too daring. Either way, the combo is put to good use in the rooms in a contemporary fashion on Pantone Hotel’s red floor.
HGTV’s very own Sarah Richardson managed to make red more tame with the design of her home office on Sarah’s House. The cream backdrop and stainless accents allow each controlled dose of crimson to add that extra touch of energy one needs to tackle their own workload—even if the workplace happens to be in comfort of their own home.
Color yourself happy with an online visit to the Pantone Hotel, and then share with us what floor you would reserve a room on—orange, blue, green, yellow, brown, red or violet?
Tell me, tell me.