On February 16, Rejuvenation, known for reproducing period-authentic lighting and hardware, and YOLO Colorhouse are holding a special event meant  to educate and inspire homeowners and DIY enthusiasts at the Portland Rejuvenation store at 100 SE Grand Ave. at 6:00 p.m.  For both companies, color is the anchor when putting together new palettes and collections.

In this blogpost, Rejuvenation Industrial Designer, Tim, writes about the how they arrived at the color palette for their Mid-Century Modern lighting collection:

With everything we do, historical authenticity is the reference point.  No different for creating the color and finish palette for our Mid-Century Modern Collection. The thing about selecting period correct colors for an era that spans a decade or so, is that  you can find an example of pretty much any color imaginable.  In looking at mid-century vintage lighting catalogs, I found palettes that ranged from cheery pastels, to lively highly saturated colors, to somber deep tones.  How to choose? I studied other catalogs too – bath fixture catalogs, house paint swatch books, catalogs for kitchen and dinette furniture with Formica tops and vinyl upholstery. Lots of interesting color data points, lots of colors evocative of the era, but not really any clear or obvious and compelling palette directions.  And our lighting product manager reminded me that it wasn’t only about historical accuracy – the colors had to relate to what our customers might like to actually use and live with in their homes today. So much for my personal favorite 1950’s color combo – coral and gray.

The breakthrough came when I had a flashback from my a car-obsessed childhood: the striking colors used on the 1956 Thunderbird.  I have a distinct memory as a youngster seeing those early T-Birds with the subtle tailfins, porthole windows, fender skirts and continental kits – and the colors –  richly saturated yellow, green, turquoise, vermillion, and others. If there was ever an inspired color palette, that was it.   You can pretty much see the very colors that we ultimately selected on the Thunderbird color swatch page.

The four colors that we ended up with were quite similar to what has recently been very trendy in contemporary décor, although we arrived there through a process based on historical use of color. One plausible explanation for the widespread popularity of these colors is that the mid-century esthetic is such a strong influence on today’s contemporary style.

In our Mid-Century Collection, we have a number of fixtures (Astron, Astron tri, Corona, Corona Tri in particular) where there is the option to mix finishes . The goal with the palette was to offer compatible colors that customers could mix and match in a more or less fool-proof way.  Personally, I think mixes of a neutral and one color can quite be quite sharp.  Some of our customers have been considerably more adventuresome.