vol.2 1.11

Welcome to the Color Story. We hope you enjoy this literary and visual experience, complements of The Sherwin-Williams Color Marketing & Design Services Department. This second edition takes an in-depth view on sustainable practices in the restaurant industry. We will examine and define color trends that are influencing the entire Hospitality Market Segment for 2011.

Compost Kitchens

The landscape of your local restaurant is evolving, yet staying comfortably familiar. Interested in the hippest trend of food establishments? Local flair and flavor with focus on native influences. Restaurants are incorporating sustainable design for a tastier, home-grown future.

Of recent years, the trend was to create an environment that transported the patron to an “authentic” locale. For example, the relentless theme for Italian restaurants was to depict imagery of Tuscany, a far away and exotic destination to capture the imagination and lure the patron. Nowadays, the trend is to simplify and incorporate what is close to home, utilizing and embracing the style, personality and influence of the existing neighborhood. Building materials are being repurposed for the interior structure with finishes such as reclaimed wood doors, lighting fixtures, exposed brick walls and beams. To compliment these materials, manufacturers offer greener alternatives such as greensolution fabrics and recycled carpeting. Our own Sherwin-Williams Harmony is a zero-VOC paint suitable for new construction and occupied spaces.

The non-profit group, Green Restaurant Association (GRA), offers convenient and cost-effective solutions to help the restaurant industry achieve better environmental practices. New York City’s Natural History museum, constructed a more natural lower level food court. Wind energy provides a supplement to conventional electricity. The GRA awarded the new space a three out of four star ranking, exclaiming “a solid mark for a place serving fried ‘dinosaur’ chicken tenders.” Bottled water is unavailable, lowering the implications of plastic. Containers such as cups and plates are made out of a biodegradable material originating from sugar cane. Pretty sweet!

The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, Ohio maries the farm to the city with fresh local menu items. The restaurant was built in the historical Cort Building located in the downtown East 4th neighborhood. Their website greenhousetavern.com, describes Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s passion and commitment to preservation.“Reusing the neighborhood’s building stock also preserves the precious integrity of vintage Cleveland architecture. Preserving that living history is as important as progress into a better future.” Next plan: a rooftop garden.

Exteriors, such as rooftops, or even parking lots, are being appropriated for urban gardens. Produce and herbs harvested are being utilized by the kitchen. Leftover food finds its way into compost piles for fertilization of the crops.

Perhaps the local movement has created the most sustainable practice: one of preservation, which lessens the need for a sparkling new structure and provides an ecological alternative to retrofit what already exists.


The neutral palette for Hospitality 2011 is composed and earnest. All things from nature, such as dupioni silk, pearls, or slate stones, inspire these hues. For a soothing backdrop, paint Light French Gray SW 0055 and Svelte Sage SW 6164. Add Peppercorn SW 7674 for an accent that is understated yet impactful.

Pacific Coast Highway

California’s fun in the sun radiates in the bright hospitality palette. The backdrop of the day is the Pacific surf, for skateboarders and beach-combers alike.Try Agreeable Gray SW 7029 as the main body color and accent it with Quilt Gold SW 6696 or Tempo Teal SW 6947. For an oceanic combination, use all three colors.

Miami Nice

Yes…pastels are back! Subtle, simple and sweet hues are being incorporated to the hospitality market. The 2011 pastel palette is influenced by the desire to streamline and disconnect – as well as to feel uplifted and light. Try one of the following palettes: Chivalry Copper SW 6353 with Tiki Hut SW 7509 or Sand Dune SW 6086 with Chartreuse SW 0073. The palettes have been designed to be harmonious, and all four colors together make for a restorative space.


Hospitality finds its colors this year from exotic destinations. Rio de Janeiro, home of the 2016 Summer Olympics, will play a power forward role in athletics, and also in aesthetics. For a sultry combination, try Purple Passage SW 6551 and Armagnac SW 6354. Use Whole Wheat SW 6121 as a body color for this scheme.

Stop on Red

You will brake for red this year. Red, popular in high fashion and lipstick, is back for a three-dimensional color statement. Increase traffic using Gypsy Red SW 6865 for a hotel exterior element or inside the lobby as a high gloss accent wall.

For more information regarding Color Marketing & Design Services, contact your local Sherwin-Williams Representative.