Inside San Francisco’s Color Factory

{“Do it for the ‘gram”}

If you’ve got friends in the Bay Area, chances are you’ve seen photos of San Francisco’s newest made-for-Instagram spot. The Color Factory is an eye-catching rainbow-striped building just two blocks away from the city’s iconic Union Square tourist area. Various artists have collaborated to create interactive rooms – sorted by color – each of which makes for a photographer’s delightful playground. In the spirit of true friendship, my friend and fellow Insta-lover, Jacqueline, took me to the Color Factory for my 22nd Birthday Weekend. Here’s what we saw inside!

You can’t miss the Color Factory building at 575 Sutter Street, SF

The entrance to the exhibit is like going down a rainbow-colored rabbit hole. Ushers dressed in yellow jumpsuits guide you to create a polka-dotted photo booth pass that you can scan at cameras around the installations, that’ll send your pictures directly to your inbox. We followed the rainbow stairs to a room whose walls were comprised of hundreds of funky eclectic scents, invoking different olfactory memories for each sniffer.

Scents on the Sniff Wall included “Lip Smacker Stocking Stuffer,” “Finding the Perfect Xmas Tree,” and “Sprinkling oregano on freshly made pizza”

In a stark contrast, the next room’s walls were striped in black and white. An usher served us Gothic Lemonade, and with an amused shrug Jacqueline and I clinked plastic glasses to the charcoal-tinged lemonade. A few photos later, we continued on to the orange room which included various cheese puffs, traffic cones, and goldfish snack wrappers.

The charcoal trend in beauty products this season seems to have made it into our Lemonade too! {PC: Business Insider}

Breezing forward, we entered the Alaskan Airlines’ sponsored blue themed room. The installation of giant blue balloons is reminiscent of flying through storm clouds in the night, but at the same time ducking and dodging the balloons makes the place feel slightly cavelike!

You really gotta scan your polka dot card fast before the camera countdown happens!

Making our way through the red lit corridors, we arrived in a room that made us feel like we had shrunk and landed on the pages of a kid’s coloring book. Larger-than-life green paint markers sprawled around the room, and it was pretty comical trying to color in and around the lines! If you go back to the exhibit, see if you can find our “J+N <3” graffiti hidden on the wall!

After all, neither of us believes in blank walls!

One of my absolute favorite installations – and perhaps the most recognizable Color Factory location giveaway on Instagram – is Swedish artist, Jacob Dahlgren’s 10,000 ribbon exhibit. The densely packed ribbons are tied to a metal grid on the ceiling, and it’s actually easy to get lost in the cube of color. However, Jacqueline and I thought it made for a perfect colorful backdrop for Boomerang videos!

“Exits are to your right and left” – Practicing my inner flight attendant at Color Factory

Turning the corner, we came to the Confetti Room. Surrounded by bottles of blue soap, the room felt a bit like being in an enormous bathtub in which the bubbles had been replaced by confetti. Sunlight passed through the soap dispenser bottles, casting the room in a blueish hue that left little need for further Instagram filters. I can promise you that the wait was the longest in this room, as groups of friends collaborated for the perfect photos. The Color Factory is definitely a place to indulge in your love for photos!

Confetti Room was worth the wait!

The funky corridors passed through ceilings packed with disco balls, a carousel with macaroons, and a thought-provoking printer that spat out a photo every time someone on social media in California captioned their photo with the hashtag #selfie.

You could play around and change the designs of this wall!

While there were many other interesting photo spots around the Color Factory, the interactive exhibit definitely ended on a high note! Remember those indoor playground pits filled with hundreds of plastic balls? Bright and sunny yellow, the last room brings your inner child out to play. And the best part? Banana (or vanilla with yellow coloring) ice-cream cones as you head back out into the streets of San Francisco!

When life gives you lemons, turn it into a photo opp!

Tickets for the Color Factory are available at If you’re fond of taking fun photographs for your Instagram, I’d definitely recommend going with some friends!

Author: Nikita Taimni

A Dubai-based blogger, I write about travel, theatre and lifestyle in the cities I explore around the world. Follow me on Instagram @nikitalyfe and follow via email if you enjoy reading my posts!

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