It’s officially time to look at a new spring colour palette. With the leaping forward of the clocks and the lengthening of the days, comes an innate human desire to move from dark to light and for our homes to express a feel-good fresh start. It’s as if we are searching at an elemental level for a colour palette that says ‘new beginning’, ‘uplifting refresh’, or ‘out-with-old transformation’.
‘Colour is a power which influences the soul,’ said Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian artist and art theorist, whose work is currently part of a new exhibition at the National Gallery called After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art. His thinking was that we experience an inner resonance with colour; that each colour palette is an expression of emotion.
This hypothesis certainly sums up the mood of the moment. At London Design Week 2023, the spiritual vibrations of spring colours were in abundance; inspiring us with hope, positivity and playfulness. Here we share how to create a spring colour scheme that sums up these life-affirming feelings.
Styling for spring
If there’s one word that should guide your spring colour schemes this year, it is ‘renewal’. Post pandemic and refusing to be beaten by the wider worries of the world, the design landscape is currently awash with room styling ideas that are buoyant and easy going.
But how to get started? Step one is to make a mental note – or even better an actual list – of what your space needs to reawaken its spirit. Interior designer Rachel Chudley suggests that you ask three simple questions: ‘What’s going to bring this space to life?; What’s the purpose of the space?; And what will give this space joy?’ This thinking works for the smallest as well as the largest of projects.
Another formula to consider is the design rule of 60, 30, 10. This states that 60% of a room should be the dominant colour, 30% the secondary colour or texture and 10% should be an accent. It's a good rule of thumb at the planning stage of any interior project.
Next step? Immerse yourself in the world of spring colours…
Seasonal colour analysis: a glorious mix of light, warm, and bright spring colours
It's no surprise that many of the colour palettes we love right now are connected to the natural world we see around us at this time of year – the greens of emerging leaves, the pinks and whites of fragile blossoms and spring flowers, the blues of the sky. As we become more mindful of our environment, there’s been a real swing to these naturalistic hues that express our appreciation of Mother Earth. Gertrude from The English Garden linen collection is a classic example of this with its delicate rendering of rhododendrons.
Read on for more inspiration with this round up of spring colour palettes.
10 spring colour schemes you’ll love
We take a look at our favourite solo and multiple colour combinations, why they work and how and where to use them in your home.
A mix of light green and leaf
Imagine a lush and exuberant tropical garden and you’ll be immediately attracted to this sultry climate combination. We like to call it Palm Green thanks to its verdant edge on a cool neutral ground. This spring colourway epitomises exuberance and isn’t afraid to bring large-scale impact to a room. Use it as a confident hero design starter on curtains (as shown here) or an accent sofa. Be mindful to keep the wallscape and flooring calm with muted hues. If you’re feeling riotous, clash with disorderly graphics in linking colours on occasional chairs or cushions.
Green, pink and mustard
It's a colour scheme that shouldn’t work but it does. The reason? Green and pink are complementary colours on the colour wheel, sitting opposite each other, but yellow sits between them. This daring spring combination (as shown here in Miji) is a modern take on this colour theory and reveals the magic of how a classic chinoiserie style fabric in a deep jewel-like juniper sits effortlessly against a painted panelled wall of mustard. Highly ornamented designs of birds and foliage sit handsomely on neat, tailored sofa designs with dark wood legs in formal rooms. Brass finishes on lighting and door furniture make good accompaniments.
Pastels and terracotta
There’s nothing more delicious than the faded concoction of vintage pastels for a spring colour scheme. A timeless nod to the artist’s paintbox with its washes and watercolours, lilac, violet, rose and leaf are nostalgic hues reminiscent of the cottage gardens of yesteryear. The languorous Albertine in the Summer Rose colourway (as shown here) is given a shot of modernity thanks to the lick of terracotta on the wall. Its earthy depth picks up on the aged rose tones of the linen fabric. Textures are key in this conversational space with the marble mantel, the dark metal fire surround and the nubbly natural flooring sharpening the look for a smart casual vibe.
Lemon yellow and sage green
Walk through the woodland and you'll see spring’s true colours: the optimistic yellow of primroses matched with their soft grey-green leaves peeking from verges and underneath tree canopies. This bright spring colour palette works in perfect harmony in nature so is a sure-fire blend for a home decor scheme. It's given a contemporary interpretation on a velvet called Crystal (as shown here) that jigsaws it with brushstrokes of taupes, pinks, berries and sky blues. Relaxed velvets like this make the most quietly inviting and luxurious window treatments in a contemporary decorating scheme. Set off with a smart first green wall colour for added depth and layerage.
Bisque and porcelain
Warm spring neutrals, such as bisque, deserve a cool and collected partner when it comes to a calming and nonchalant light spring palette. Nutty hues in the light brown colour palette can feel dull and unappetising if left uncontrasted. Select a crisp porcelain white to gracefully energise and draw clean lightness into a chill out space. Elba in Bisque (as shown here) is a hardwearing tumbled linen that feels right at home on laidback sectional seating. Contrast with natural textures that speak of crafted woodwork, ceramics and weaving.
Pink and yellow
Sugary sorbet shades are another light spring colour palette to make your heart sing with the change of the seasons. Light-hearted and pretty, the blush, vanilla and tones are the place to head if you are looking for a sprightly and cheery feel. These bright spring hues will make you smile most when applied in spaces where there is bright light - a window seat, a kitchen banquette or a sunny garden room. Choose blocks of colour and accent with a neutral – a fudge, eggshell or dove grey – that will cut through any sweetness. Cushions in Elba (shown here) are good go-to for instant spring renewal.
Ochre and neutrals
The earthy pigment of ochre is a gamechanger if you are a lover of warmth and tranquillity in equal measure. This light golden brown and sandy tone is worth considering if you are naturally unadventurous with brighter colour and veer towards the wood tones. It’s an elegant refresher for spring interior schemes as it sits perfectly alongside neutral bases. Maze from the Small Prints collection in the Ochre colourway (as shown here) is an illustration of this. Warm whites – those with undertones of stone – will complement on walls and painted furniture, while darker woods on flooring will ground it with homely elegance.
Some interior gurus say that greys are passé for spring colour schemes. But we don’t think so. They are oh-so versatile and are the foolproof scheme starters when it comes to upholstering furniture. Our advice is to hone in on the mid to softer end of the spectrum - try Mineral (as shown here), Dove or Pebble from the Luna linen-mix collection. Whatever you do, don’t go for an all-grey space. It will result in the most uninviting and dreariest of atmospheres. Instead, invigorate with uplifting indigos, blossoms and mustards that will bring good-natured and easy-to-live-with drama.
Warm spring palette
May Day’s joyful maypole colours form inspiration for this spring colour scheme. Strawberry red, icing pink and frog green celebrate the spirit of mirth and merriment. The magical juxtapositions of hue and pattern will feel right at home in a country style setting, especially period properties such as cottages or conversions. The art of making this pattern clash of lattices, stripes and buttons work is the linking of colours throughout on soft furnishings. Look at how the pink and green are dominant in this Small Prints living room (shown here) with accents of red.
Dopamine green is the way to give a room a shot of spring colour energy. This punchy citrus spring colouring injects a sharp sense of vitality to a space, cutting through a neutral backdrop to add eye-catching interest. Go easy on the usage – you want to be showcasing a single attention-seeking chair or window treatment. Texture also plays a key role in the decor alchemy here. Avoid the ‘shinies’ and select soft-handle wools and tweeds such as Lana in lime green (as shown here) for touchy feely comfort.
Incorporate colour through spring accessories
Lampshades, cushions, throws, rugs and linens (from table to bed and bath), are all on the decorator’s tick list when it comes to perking up a space with colour.
If you are looking to flip a room from winter warm to spring zing, take your cue from your existing colour palette. Move the colours up a notch on the spectrum. For example, going from an indigo to a sky blue or from a fuschia to a rose pink. Look to texture too and switch plush cushion covers for cool-to-touch linens and cottons. Move on from plains to florals. A simple soft-furnishing swap can say it all.
Spring is a time for entertaining friends and family so embrace the kaleidoscope of colour for tablescapes. Our favourite tablescaping destinations right now are Anthropologie and Summerhill & Bishop.
From the drinking to the eating, there are glasses, cutlery, chinaware to cloths and napkins that will pop pace and excitement into everyday suppers and special celebrations.
Choose your spring colours
Colouring your interiors for spring is such a personal journey, but we hope this round up has set you on the right path to beautiful rooms that not only suit you and your emotions but also the role home plays in your life. Above all, colour yourself happy!