Color Happens

by Erika Woelfel

Feast your eyes on this sink!

This was what was waiting for me when I checked into my room at the Clarion Etoile hotel right off the Champs Elysees in Paris.

More often than not, travelers are applied with the same neutral scheme in one chain hotel after another. The décor and colors are meant to be relaxing, to put you to sleep with a capital S for snore. Nothing is ever too noteworthy or memorable. Not this time! After a 10-hour flight from LA to Paris, I was accosted by the color in this room. It was flamboyant, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners color. This was an impressive surprise. I’ve always said, color gets you when you least expect! It woke me up and gave me instant energy. I’ll have to see if any studies have been done on hotel colors that combat fatigue and jet lag…

For three days I lived with purple carpet, white walls, gray curtains and variations of egg yolk tile in the bath, as shown. This is a great color scheme if you’re a Lakers or Vikings fan. Not that it wasn’t altogether unpleasing, because the room décor was kind of modern Parisian flea-market chic. And it looked really good with my purple suitcase. However not just one wall boasted this decadent remnant from yesteryear (like any tasteful accent color would), but all four walls. It also ensconced the shower stall and paved the floor. I wasn’t quite sure how it made me feel while brushing my teeth or applying make-up. The entire room was vibrating, so I guess it made me a bit manic before going downstairs for breakfast. What a way to start the day! Or finish it off, for that matter…Would I stay there again? Definitely! Even if it was just to see if other rooms were dressed in similarly wild complementary hues.

Also, they have the world’s smallest elevator, big enough for one adult and a piece of luggage…enchante!


Colorfully Yours,


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