Color in Natural Materials

Color in Natural Materials

Regina Yunghans
Oct 10, 2008

We often think of applying color in our homes with paints, wallpapers, and fabrics. But what about the range of vibrant colors offered by natural materials? From the warm golden tones of wood to the bright green of patinated copper, natural building materials offer abundant color without picking up a paintbrush...

Take those plywood-clad walls of Maison Goulet, for instance (up top). If that surface were a paint color, it would be a pretty rich orange or yellow.

Steven Holl's Sarphatistraat Offices project (below) is another example of the vibrant color of natural materials used in architecture. The entire building is clad in copper panels with a beautiful green patina.

We can use these examples to help us notice the natural color in our own homes. The floor, for instance, is as important as any ceiling or wall color. Many of us have wood floors, and they bring to a room a color all their own. Some of us have a brick wall in our apartments. That, too, has strong color that affects the light and tone of the rest of the room. What natural materials introduce a little color into your home's interior? How do you enhance the colors of those natural materials?

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