It’s one thing to pledge allegiance to bold colors, it’s quite another to actually buy a bright orange couch. Take it a step further – toss a bright blue pillow to go on said couch, hang a neon light on the walls, roll out a pink rug underfoot – and you’re getting into some tricky territory indeed.
How would one make a bunch of in-your-face colors work together? Take a cue from the brand new Shoreline Hotel in Waikiki, which was designed with a “Nature Meets Neon” color scheme that’ll snap you to attention.
Outside the lobby – which gradually transitions from daylight to bright pink overhead lights as the sun sets – the city bustles by, while the view from certain rooms is neighboring rooftops and, in the distance, a sparkling ocean view. But inside it’s all bold colors and architectural shapes. “All our colors were inspired by the islands, and then processed through a neon lens,” says Dan Mazzarini, owner of BHDM Design, the firm that handled the renovation.
“Think shifted hues of primaries, like an Instagram filter: bold pinks vibrate next to radish red, tones of aqua and Scandinavian blue.” Here’s how they made it all work.
Choose the colors wisely. “I think lots of color can work if the chromas (or intensities) are similar,” says Dan. “My personal preference is in complimentary colors on the color wheel: pink with teal, blue with orange-reds, and in triads – pink-yellow-blue.” So this isn’t a “pick a few bold colors, any colors” situation – it’s about strategically choosing bold colors that have something in common.
__Work in some neutral accents. __ The “nature” part of the design scheme is what keeps all those bold hues grounded. In the lobby, that’s two custom coffee tables by BHDM made from hickory wood (and a glimpse of trees outside the window). In a guest room it might be a rattan side table or lacquered wood headboard. Woods aren’t the only neutral, of course. Says Dan, “Always set it off against plenty of white, so there is a place for the eye to rest!”
Use lights to take it a step further. All these super saturated colors will melt into the background at the flick of a colorful light bulb. The BHDM team used bright pink lights in the lobby to mimic the sunset; as they gradually grow brighter, the colors of the furniture fade out of sight and eveything’s pink. “It’s pretty rad, and can be seen through the exterior, lighting up the lobby like a glowing cube,” says Dan. That may or may not be what you’re going for in your apartment, but it sure would be cool in a single room like a bathroom.