New Kid on the Block: INColour

Color specialist Martin Kesselman has a lot of clients downtown, and when he heard rumblings of a design hub happening in northeast Tribeca, he decided to open his showroom/store on a still-gentrifying stretch of Lafayette. “I’m from Brooklyn,” he says. “I don’t mind a little grit!”

INColour is for the trade and the public. Designers can make an appointment to come in and lay plans or fabrics out on the table for some consulting on color, and people can walk in off the street to buy paint and other supplies. Choosing colors tends to happen later in the design process than it should, given their importance to the overall effect. And color consultation is surprisingly intimate business, says Kesselman: “You’re in people’s homes, their bedrooms, their closets. You’re observing what they’re wearing, what colors they’re drawn to. I love that connection you make with people.”

He’s an ambassador for both Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball: He helped launch the former’s new Century line, with its curated palette, and he created a bespoke white, called Elliyah, for Farrow & Ball. (It’s the white on INColour’s walls, naturally.) He used to collect paint palettes from all over the world, and at some point, he began mixing his own colors. “I’m more of a style editor than a chemist,” he says. “Elliyah goes back to my days creating whites for galleries and for clients with big art and modern architecture. It’s a pleasant white, not stark or institutional.”

He’s just as comfortable at the other end of the spectrum: When you visit, be sure to check out the floor, painted by America Painting, with whom Kesselman collaborates often. It’s a clear finish mixed with gold-colored mica—they call it the Billie Jean effect, after the Michael Jackson video: “The gold is present when you look down, but it disappears as you look up. That’s the kind of thing I love to do—a lot of one-offs with different techniques and materials.”

INColour is at 100 Lafayette (at Walker); 917-639-3437;

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