History and Color
Whether it’s appreciating the best examples of Mid-century Modern architecture that Palm Springs has to offer, or embracing the neutrals and muted accent tones of the trending cottagecore aesthetic, we all know that color can define a design. In fact, one can even be instantly transported to a different era simply by a color. That’s why Dunn-Edwards created our Then, Now & Forever® Collection, a paint collection totaling 300 colors, 142 of which are historically accurate and 158 of which are trending today. Each of the 142 historically accurate colors were inspired by the architecture of the American West. To make sure of their accuracy, we worked with Architectural Resources Group (ARG) a group of architects, planners, and conservators who believe in the value that history adds to modern life, and work to vet each paint color.
Historically Accurate Paint Colors
To help curate our 19th-century Revival-era colors, one of the architectural resources of the American West we looked to was Pasadena’s First Church of Christ, Scientist. ARG, through meticulous conservation work, pulled colors by carefully reviewing historic color cards, chiseling and pulling samples and testing them. Dunn-Edwards worked closely with ARG to ensure that each paint color was truly historically accurate. ARG’s samples were then matched to Munsell Color System color chips, after which, Dunn Edwards’ color lab created paint formulas for Dunn-Edwards’ color expert, Sara McLean, to have the final say on inclusion in the color collection.
Historic Colors of First Church of Christ, Scientist
The First Church of Christ, Scientist was built in Pasadena, Calif. in the early 1900s in the Classical Renaissance style by architect Franklin P. Burnham. The church features a central dome and was built with a reinforced concrete structural system to help protect the building against the region’s seismic activity. The church’s historic paint colors were a simple scheme consisting of light, warm colors.
Arts & Crafts Gold (DET477): This light honeyed nectar color was found within the church’s interior. As indicated by its name, this hue was also a popular color used in Arts & Crafts style architecture as the style like to tout nature-driven colors.
Jefferson Cream (DET666): The color is named for President Thomas Jefferson, who himself was a gentleman architect, designing in the neoclassical style from Monticello to the plans for the University of Virginia. This light, vintage cream paint color was found within the church’s interior as well.
For more background on how the West’s various architectural icons have informed the colors in the Then, Now & Forever® Collection, take a look at our guide to 20th-century Revival architecture. And learn more the specific architectural resources which inspired the collection like the homes of Cliff May and the historic Mission Inn.
Images courtesy Architectural Resources Group