Vintage Colours - Colour Palette Ideas – Leah Nikolaou

Vintage Colours - Colour Palette Ideas

The colours in a vintage colour palette can be catalogued under so many labels from eclectic, vintage, antique, retro, mid-century, Industrial, rustic, bohemian, shabby, French antique, regency to baroque.

I'm going to show you how to create your own vintage colour palettes from photographs, embroideries, vintage objects and anything old that inspires you.

When choosing a vintage colour palette whether its for a complete interior make over or 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 resources from which you draw your materials.

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

Vintage Colour Palettes

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 interspersed with accents a little bit richer albeit still dusky.

Rustic Linen Curios

2.  Pastures Plain yet Floral

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

Covet-able 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 as being the first person to use dried flowers in Embroidery, you would be spoilt for choice choosing colours from any of Olga’s hoops.  They quite often feature natural foliage as well as the more brightly coloured flowers.  I really see this piece teamed with sumptuous rich heavy velvets.

vintage colour inspiration

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

Linen colours

Leah Nikolaou is unique in creating embroideries that corporate the hues of pressed flowers in their real and printed form.  Her floral dried flower colour palettes are stunning and worth exploring!

vintage colour palette

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 really could become your new way of choosing colour!


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