From Zippers to Zeppelins (1888-1900) Color Palettes and Visual Schemes

External Architectural Colors

The color palettes used in architecture specifically during this era, varied the most out of all the other historical color palettes. Many of these colors were inspired by nature and ranged from dark, muddy colors to pale earthy tones. The muddier colors consisted of colors such as brown and beige, since people at that time loved high contrast and believed that the colors should reflect and blend in with their surroundings. However, it wasn’t only constricted to these colors; in some areas, vivid and brighter colors were used such as vivid blues, oranges, reds, and yellows. These colors were more expensive and tended not to last as long as the natural colors. Many multi-hue schemes were also incorporated on the architectural details of the house.

San Francisco’s Famous “Painted Ladies”

Late Victorian Interior Colors (1890 – 1914)

During the Victorian period, contrast was very important; therefore, many intense shades from the opposite sides of the color wheel were used. Details of the interior were often painted in gold colors to pop them out from their surroundings. As time moved along, people started to use more subdued colors, but they kept the overall contrast.

During the Arts and Crafts Movement

The interior of the houses also used natural colors taken from nature, such as light olive, sage, dark pink, and dark red colors, which were based on the color palettes designed by William Morris. However, sometimes people used a mixture of the blue and green colors found in ceramic tiles and some would just leave their walls the way they were in their unpainted wood, without ever papering them . Not only did people want to express similar natural earthy tones as used on the outside, but they also wanted to give a off a hearth and homely feeling. Since the arts and crafts movement had a great thrive towards making crafts and handmade objects, the simplicity of the walls gave great benefit as it would pop out the decor of the home.

Here are some useful sources if you want to check them out:


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