THIS YEAR’S SPRING COLOURS + HOW TO USE THEM IN YOUR HOME

Pantone’s spring palette is to-die-for. In fact it’s positively delicious!

We explore its nuanced spectrum and give you some words of advice about how to use it in your home

Designer Nanette Lepore’s workspace (right). She describes her colour palette: “Clear Sky Blues and Sunny Yellows with striking accents of Creamsicle are set against a Pale Heather-Gray base, evoking coastal France and coastal California in the early ‘60s.” Images sourced: pantone.com

Spring has a lyrical feel to it. It’s a little bit heady, and a little bit magic. If it wasn’t called A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we’d say Shakers had nailed the season’s vibe right there. His band of woodland sprites and fairies called Mustard Seed + the like do seem its very essence.

Spring’s poetry is undeniable. It plays out before our eyes. The natural world is waking up, shedding winter’s sedate hues. This transformation is reflected on the catwalk. And with couture + interior design going hand in hand, there’s loads of inspiration for refreshing your nest.

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Designer Nanette Lepore’s workspace (right). She describes her colour palette: “Clear Sky Blues and Sunny Yellows with striking accents of Creamsicle are set against a Pale Heather-Gray base, evoking coastal France and coastal California in the early ‘60s.” Images sourced: pantone.com

This year’s spring fashion trends gifted us the kimono trench and the obi belt (meaning sash in Japanese – not related to that Jedi master). Gingham is rejoicing its tiny check, and yellow has become amber, canary, saffron, and marigold, adding in some glorious break-out tones to your palette.

Hailing military greens to a run of crisp + creamy whites, everyone is on hand with colour advice. Most importantly, in amongst all the style-whisperers and wannabe fashionistas, Pantone released their top ten colours for the season.

The Pantone 2015 Spring Palette. Image source: pantone.com

The Pantone 2015 Spring Palette. Image source: pantone.com

So, how does this translate to your home? We chatted to James Treble for some sterling advice on colour coordination…

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Designer Monique Lhuillier’s workspace (left). Her inspirations for her spring collection: “The first few moments of sunrise, the instant right before the sun rises and paints the sky with luminous shades of pastels. Additionally, the reflection of the sun hitting the water creates a visual landscape that inspired the iridescent metallic undertones in my collection. This beauty of nature shaped my color palette and fabric selection.” Images sourced: pantone.com

We’re taking George Michael’s advice – in honour of spring, we’re going en plein air to revitalise our palette. After the fuggy warmth and rich textures of winter, we’re hankering for some fresh air.

We make no secret of our infatuation with Pantone. What is not to adore about that institution of beatific colour??? Our heart is shamelessly on our sleeves for their 2015 spring colour collection.

Spring 2

From L to R: One Duck Two Pixels Pink Cushion, One Duck Two Henry Cushion, j.elliot HOME Rio Pink Chevron Cushion, j.elliot HOME Gabrielle Reversible Cushion, and j.elliot HOME Gabrielle Reversible Breakfast Cushion, available online at Zanui.

Fusing floral art and folkloric essences, this series of cooler, softer hues borders on scrumptious. Drawing together nature-like neutrals and toned-down brights, it effects an eclectic and ethereal ambience. Even the names are delicious.

In the blue corner, we have Aquamarine, Scuba Blue, and Classic Blue, contributing cool calming fluidity at one end and faithful anchoring depth at the other. Scuba Blue introduces a fun, playful element, evocative of a tropical paradise escape whilst Beveled Glass adds retro minty extravagance.

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Left: Designer Misha Nonoo’s inspiration: “Contemporary artist Dustin Yellin’s 3D psychogeography collages.” Her signature colour: “Metallic Rose Gold, as it unifies the prints with the solid hues.” Right: Designer M. Patmos: “Inspired by the happy look of the fresh jolts of mixed color used in Southeast Asian textiles.” Images sourced: pantone.com

Strawberry Ice and Tangerine add some charming zest to the palette, and are still pale. Tangerine adds a gregarious touch without being too “hot popsicle”, and is equally met by the rich brown earthy roots of Marsala, offering strength and confidence.

The neutrals are key with their contrasting ability, introducing an authenticity and a timeless appeal to the wider palette. Toasted Almond gives a “toes in the sand” organic feel whilst Custard is cheerful, relaxing and easy. Glacier Gray enhances with understatement, referencing rock, sediment and a peaceful solidity.

Like it? Love it? Here’s how to put it together thanks to our fave designer James Treble

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Scuba blue brightens your decor and your entertaining. Images sourced L to R: bridalguide.com and pantone.com

Us: How do you know what kind of palette will suit your space?

JT: When I’m looking to create a scheme for an existing home, I start by looking at the floor. If you have existing tiles, timber flooring or carpet, then their tones can give you a starting point for your scheme. If, for example, your carpet has creamy tones, then off-whites or grey/beige tones may work. If you have oak floorboards, then a more grey/green scheme may be best.

I also take into account existing large furniture pieces, like the lounge or dining suite, and perhaps any existing major artworks. It’s easier to work with these more expensive pieces and create a scheme around them!

If you want to start from scratch, then look at the colours you like. A great place to start is to look at your clothes! You will usually find your favourite colours very quickly by doing this simple task.

Spring 3

From L to R: Jenniferlia Blue Steel Cushion, Jenniferlia Low Tide Cushion, Jenniferlia Wash Over Me Cushion, Urban Nest Designs Velvet Cushion, and Urban Nest Designs Big Cross Cushion, Aqua, available online at Zanui.

Us: How do you work with the colour wheel to create a complimentary/cohesive aesthetic?

JT: The colour wheel is a tool created to break down the spectrum of colour that exists in our visual world. This starts with the basic primary colours (red, yellow and blue), and then is broken down into secondary and tertiary colours. Tints and shades, where white or black is added, then complete the palette.

This is a great tool used by qualified specialists in colour, but you can also use this to help you create a scheme for your home. To create a complimentary scheme, look to colours opposite each other on the wheel (like red/green or purple/yellow). In full strength, these will be too strong for everyday use, however in diluted forms they can work well.

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Images sourced L to R: elledecor.com and pantone.com

There are also analogous, triadic and split complimentary schemes. They sound very wordy, but are, simply put, rules for how the colours work in relation to each other on the colour wheel. (See here for our blog post breaking down the colour wheel!)

A little research on the colour wheel may help you find what colours can work with that large artwork you have or that bold coloured rug, and with a little knowledge you may better understand why one scheme you like in a magazine works better than another.

Spring 4

From L to R: Pantone Universe by Serax Classic Pot, Cool Grey, Pantone Universe by Serax Cylinder Vase, Cool Grey, Amalfi Hellen Vase (Set of 2), Amalfi Blair Vase, 12x55cm (Set of 2) and Amalfi Blair Vase, 11x35cm (Set of 2), available online at Zanui.

Us: How much accent colour should you add in?

JT: I usually recommend 2 or 3 accent colours used in a scheme for a relaxed and balanced feel. There are many exceptions to this, however, for a standard scheme for a home it’s a good jumping-off point.

You can, for example, have a strong use of one colour, like indigo throughout a room, balanced with whites and neutrals, for a striking effect. That said, adding in perhaps some green or yellow-based colours will add balance to your scheme.

As a rule, 60% neutral background, 30% contrast and 10% accent colour works well in any given space

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Images sourced L to R: pantone.com and elledecor.com

How do you find working with colour? And what do you think of the Pantone spring hues? Are you a fan? Tell us. We’d love to hear from you.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.