Reflective Light & Colors

The Story of Washington Street House

A few years ago, we renovated a house on Pacific Heights for a retired couple who have since become very close friends. Part of the project was the renovation of a bathroom with the following color palette: Black granite floor, Aubergine (eggplant) plaster, Ecru white wainscoting, and magenta claw foot tub with gold leaf feet.

We finished the bathroom, and the owners were thrilled with how it looked. Later, our glazing contractor came to make a template for the wall-to-wall vanity mirror. Our clients chose to experiment with a smoked mirror.

The day the mirror was installed, I received a distressed call from our clients telling me that the wall colors weren’t right. After a lengthy explanation, they agreed that the reflective light from the mirror had affected all of the colors. The following day, I went over with a gallon of white paint and bottles of pigment.

We settled ourselves in the bathroom and started mixing sample colors with the available light in the bathroom. At lunchtime, sandwiches and beer were served in the bathroom, while we got closer and closer to the colors we wanted. The laughter on that day was the beginning of a profound friendship.