You’ll Love San Francisco’s Sensual Feast of Colors

San Francisco is a city of colors. Alongside the pastel Victorians of Alamo Square, the vermilion of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the murals of the Mission, nature adds fog, eucalyptus trees, and brown hills, creating an almost dizzying array of beauty. And the fizzy, lemony light makes every color look it’s crisp, clean best. So whether you’re catching the breathtaking view of the bridge from the top of the Lyon Street Steps or just browsing pics, you’re sure to find color inspiration for your own home in everyone’s favorite City by the Bay.

Bring Home a Painted Lady

The San Francisco Painted Ladies
Photo: Amusing Planet

On Steiner Street, just north of the Lower Haight, lies a row of six photogenic, pastel Victorians that are known as Postcard Row. They’re so tied to our image of San Francisco, it seems like they’ve always been there.

But it was in the early 1960s that Butch Kardem, a local artist, painted the first Victorians these intense, clean hues — and in doing so, accidentally kicked off the city’s colorist movement.

You don’t have to live in San Francisco or in a Victorian to be inspired by these beautiful hues. Bring home your own Painted Lady by choosing a range of hues from the same color swatch. Try Aqua Sparkle for your field color and add Caribbean Splash trim for a look that’s clean and timeless.

Go Bold With GGB Orange

The Golden Gate Bridge - International Orange
Photo: Golden Gate Bridge

When the Golden Gate Bridge was built in the 1930s, the steelmakers coated the spans with red primer. Irving F. Morrow, the bridge’s architect, could see the bridge under construction during his commute from the East Bay, and he knew the impact its color would have on the entire Bay Area.

He was so inspired by the way the red primer blended with the landscape that he chose International Orange, a vermilion close to Safety Orange, for its permanent color. Not only did it complement the warm landscape colors, but it was easily visible by the ships passing through the Golden Gate.

We can mix International Orange for your project with this CMYK formula: Cyan: 0%, Magenta: 69%, Yellow: 100%, Black: 6%. Or try Orange Vermillion for an interior paint color as memorable as the bridge itself.

Warm Up With Fog Gray

Fog over the golden gate bridge
Photo: Trip Savvy

It’s a sight as common as trolleys and Ghirardelli chocolate: San Francisco tourists shivering in their shorts and t-shirts when the afternoon fog rolls in. Salute the city’s cloudy mascot by painting your home silver gray. Try Whirlwind, Elemental or the aptly named Spring Thaw

Embrace the Green of the Eucalyptus Trees

Andy Goldsworty's sculpture Wood in the San Francisco Presidio.
Photo: IHG Blog

The Presidio. Twenty-four miles of hiking trails. Eight overlooks. And miles of towering forests of eucalyptus. The trees’ rich green leaves and pungent, clean smell make for a walk that’s a sensual feast. Create your own sensual feast by painting a room in your home this same deep green. Capture the dark side of the hue with Midnight Clover, or embrace its lighter side with Pear Cactus.

For more San Francisco-inspired colors, visit our sample portal to find the perfect color for your space. You can even order free 8″ x 8″ color swatches!

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