Vintage Colours - Colour Palette Ideas – Leah Nikolaou

Vintage Colours - Colour Palette Ideas

A vintage palette's colours can be eclectic, vintage, antique, retro, mid-century, industrial, rustic, bohemian, shabby, French antique, regency or baroque. I show you how to create vintage colour palettes from anything old that inspires you.

vintage colour palette taken from framed pressed flower

When choosing a vintage colour palette, whether for a complete interior makeover or an accent piece like a rug, it's straightforward to take colour inspiration from a single source, regardless of which vintage category it falls into. See, that's the beauty of vintage; anything goes! There are no ties to colours that have achieved accolades for being the 'colour of the year.' The only limits bestowed upon you are the limitations of your imagination or the resources from which you draw your materials.

Finding inspiration in a photograph of vintage treasures or the colours of a vintage dress can be super inspiring. When you look through pictures, look at them from a colour perspective. Think about how the photograph and its colours make you feel. The moods the colours evoke are so powerful.

6 Vintage Colour Palettes Using Florals

Here are some colour ideas that I've put together using old photographs of my textile work:

1. The Rustic Linen Cupboard

Ethereal tones of stacked French linen intersperse richer tones and duskier hues.

Rustic Linen Curios

2. Pastures Plain yet Floral

It is defined by fresh and balancing botanical greens with a tiny hint of muted floral.

Floral Colour palette

3. Ephemeral Florals

A prescription of punchy traditional rose hues and flowery tonic.

Floral Watercolour Paintings On Postcards

4. A Game Of Tones

Play with this smorgasbord of bourbon biscuit, Caramac, rich tea, and party rings colours.

Mood Board Caramel and buiscuit tones

5. The Old Haberdashery

A covetable stash of classic vintage pastels that will never go out of fashion.

Pastel vintage buttons - interior palette

6. Flower Press

Colours of fading textural viola and blush threads and fabrics.

Linen Fabric colour board

Finding Colour Palette Ideas 

Here are some ideas for where to find inspiration for vintage colour palettes:

Embroidery Designs

Olga Prinku is known for being the first person to use dried flowers in Embroidery, and you are spoilt for choice when choosing colours from any of Olga's hoops. They often feature natural foliage as well as more brightly coloured flowers. I see this piece teamed with sumptuous rich, heavy velvets.

vintage colour inspiration

Nicki Franklin is a maverick at creating embroideries in muted, soft colours. Her embroideries are exquisite and filled to the brim for me with nostalgia! She is a designer to explore when searching for soft linen colour palettes.

Linen colours

Leah Nikolaou is unique in creating embroideries that incorporate pressed flowers' hues in their natural and printed form. Her floral, dried flower colour palettes are stunning and worth exploring!

colour palette and flower art in frame

Vintage Stores

Vintage Magazines

  • Vintage Home magazine by Country Living is a treasure trove of vintage colour inspiration
  • Daphne's Diary vintage lifestyle and craft inspiration

So, no more wondering how to create a beautiful vintage colour palette! Give this method a go because it could become your new way of choosing a colour!


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