Collection by Bradford Shellhammer

Colors of Iceland


I just returned from a four-day trip to Reykjavik and am still filled with excitement. Though the sky was grey for most of my time in Iceland, the visit was anything but dark and gloomy. The colors found all around the country, from the landscape to the cityscape to the clothes people wore, spanned the full spectrum. Buildings stretched across the city's skyline were dotted in teal, brick red, and mustard. Shops were filled with traditional knitwear in elaborate patterns and avant-garde pieces (think Bjork) in bold primary colors. With every coffee shop I popped my head into and every corner I turned, I was treated with flash upon flash of color statements and mixes. The architecture, the sweaters, the bikes, and the cars were painted in pop washes that complimented the bright, cheery moods of the Icelanders I met during my stay—and provided ample ammo to fight away the solemn skies and hail showers that plagued our trip.

Buildings seen from our Penthouse terrace framed pops of color perfectly.
Around every corner it was common to spot unique shingle and roof color combos like this forest green and salmon house.
Little plastic dolls in this storefront perfectly illustrate Reykjavik's palette of bright hues.
More vibrant colors adorning the simple lines of the city's center.
I loved this collection of children drawings of the Hallgrímskirkja, a stunning Lutheran church overlooking the city.
The Hallgrímskirkja is visible from all over. Views from the top reveal a rainbow of rooftops.
While driving through a field of moss-covered volcanic rock, I spotted a group of cave explorers in orange, reminding...
Icelandic horses are richly colored, like this guy who braved a hail storm long enough for me to snap his picture.
Even in nature the colors are vibrant and intense in Iceland, like this rust-red hillside.
Reykjavik, like many cities, is covered in pockets of graffiti. But here the graffiti seemed even more colorful.
In many an alley I found walls and walls of graffiti.
There were also examples of knit graffiti in Reykjavik, like this tree, not painted, but covered in a colorful sheath.
A pink and yellow doorway made a rather boring building remarkable.
My favorite shop discovered was Icelandic designer Mundi's boutique, which featured graphic t-shirts.
Brightly colored womens' clothing.
Mundi also had interesting home designs like this blanket that I bought, which doubles as a coat.
This giant Styrofoam sculpture lives in Mundi along with the ready-to-wear fashions.
Secondhand stores were filled with Danish furniture. If only I knew a way to get these items back to New York cheaply!
While eating in a local cafe, I was pleasantly surprised by the color coded books at the barista stand.
Babies sleep in carriages outside in the cold while mothers drink tea in the warmth.