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Then, Now & Forever Collection® Highlight: The Mission Inn

Design Trends

Then, Now & Forever Collection®
Color plays an integral role in the spaces people create and occupy. Trends can often reflect the culture and society of the time. The Dunn-Edwards Then, Now & Forever Collection® offers a total of 300 colors, 142 of which are historically accurate and 158 of which are trending today.

The historically accurate colors of the collection were inspired by the architecture of the American West and carefully matched to actual samples from historic buildings and sites. To do this, we worked with Architectural Resources Group (ARG), a group of architects, planners, and conservators who believe in the value that history adds to modern life, and work specifically in preserving historic structures.


Original colors from the Mission Inn in Riverside provided a basis for Dunn-Edwards historically accurate paint colors. Photo credit: Kevin Dooley

How Historically Accurate Paint Colors Are Developed
The goal with our Then, Now, & Forever® Collection was to create a truly authenticate historic color collection; through methodical and careful work, ARG was able to authenticate each one of these colors. ARG pulled colors by carefully reviewing historic color cards and testing architectural resources chiseling and pulling samples.


Assisi Chapel, The Mission Inn. Photo credit: Tadson Bussey

These samples which were then matched to Munsell Color System color chips, in order to create reference points for Dunn-Edwards. After that, our own Dunn Edwards’ color lab created paint formulas based on these reference points, creating a few variations for Dunn-Edwards’ color expert Sara McLean to have the final say on. She worked closely with ARG, drawing on their expertise, to ensure each one was actually historically correct before receiving final approval. The final color was, in fact, then sent back to ARG for re-authentication.


Mission Inn’s Spanish Revival architecture. Photo credit: Edna Winti

Historic Colors of The Mission Inn
One such historic architectural resource ARG drew from for the collection was the Mission Inn in
Riverside, California. The iconic hotel and spa, which began as a boarding house 1876, features breathtaking Mission-style architecture. The spectacular resort has played host to everyone from presidents, to social and cultural icons, and Hollywood’s elite. Three of Dunn-Edwards historically accurate Then, Now, & Forever® paint colors were derived from colors original to the Mission Inn and represent the colors authentic to Mission Revival style architecture.


The first of these colors is Citrus Honey (DET461). Citrus Honey is a light orange that was originally painted on Mission Inn’s interior. It was given the name because its colors is reminiscent of orange blossom honey and because of California’s citrus trees and the honeybees they attract.

Next, is Carbon Dating (DET592). This historic paint color is a rich, dark charcoal gray that was inspired by the interiors of the Mission Revival building at the Inn. Its name invokes the scientific method archaeologists use for dating historic objects.


Mission Inn interiors. Photo credit: Greg Balzer

The third historically accurate paint color derived from the Mission Inn is Marine Layer (DET599). Marine Layer is a soothing, blue-gray, also found in Mission Inn’s original interior. The color and name are a call-back to the eponymous weather occurrence in coastal California regions which contributes to the “May gray” and “June gloom” experienced during the spring as offshore fog rolls in.

Stay tuned for more the stories behind the architecture and historic resources that inspired the historically accurate paint colors of our Then, Now, & Forever® collection.