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Destination Inspiration: The Colors of Iceland

Design Trends

Iceland has quickly become a top bucket-list destination. CNN dubbed it one of the world’s four hottest tourist destinations. Travel + Leisure calls Iceland one of The Best Places for Women to Travel Solo. And let’s not forget those bargain airfares or the influence of Hygge, a Nordic lifestyle trend trend focusing on the importance of coziness, which has become a worldwide lifestyle obsession. That’s why we’re exploring Iceland’s architecture, landscapes, and style, and showing you how you can draw inspiration from Iceland’s color palette in your next design project.

Black and White
When you think classic Scandinavian design you might think white and black. An achromatic color palette
is clean, minimalist, yet striking. For its volcanoes and chilly temps, Iceland is referred to the land of fire
and ice. Given that nickname, a white and black color scheme also aptly represents the country’s
abundant lava rock and glaciers. And in fact, the classic color scheme is well represented in the design of
Reykjavik’s restaurants and hotels.

Black and White Interiors

The restaurant at Reykjavik’s Hotel 101

To bring this cool, bold look into your design project look to Dunn-Edwards Black (DEA002) and Droplets

Destination Inspiration Iceland - Black and White

White is also a prominent exterior color choice as well, with a number of Reykjavik’s residences perfectly
blending into the cloud cover above.

White Building Exterior

Blue Tones
As an island with no shortage of waterfalls, harbors, and lagoons, Iceland features a vast range of water tones and cool blues. Below Zero (DE5835) and Frostproof (DE5777) are reminiscent of the hues in Reykjavik Old Harbor.

eykjavik Old Harbor Blues

Conjure the milky electric blue-greens of the country’s famous geothermal spa, the Blue Lagoon, with
Tinted Ice (DE5728).

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Blues

Red, White...and Green Hues
Iceland’s vast landscape is a tapestry of precious mossy greens and black lava rock. For this look, we suggest a faded black like Dark Engine (DE6350), light yellow-hued greens like Dunn Edwards Asparagus Fern (DE5551) and a truer green such as Charmed Green (DEA129). With these colors you can pay homage to Iceland’s sprawling landscapes and also some the country’s earliest structures, turf houses. Turf houses were a typically A-Frame wooden structure insulated with a roof and siding composed of turf.

Red and White Church Countryside Colors


Alternatively, evoke the signature red and white of the country’s many churches. Historically, Iceland’s
churches bore the colors of Denmark as they were, for years, a part of of the Lutheran Church of
Denmark. The color scheme is a popular one among residential exteriors as well, as shown here by
these home’s in Reykjavik’s city center.

Red and White Residences

Capture the other vibrant colors of Reykjavik's residences. Try Dunn-Edwards Red Power (DEA108) FuzzyDuckling (DE5396) and Safe Harbor (DE5865) to mimic the eclectic array of primary colors seen in this set of rowhomes.

Primary Colors
Looking to draw color inspiration from around the world? Destination Inspiration makes it easy to consider adding a touch of Iceland to your next painting project.

Primary Color Rowhomes

Destination Inspiration Iceland - Primary Rowhomes

All photography by STRUKTR Studios