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Designers’ Favorite Spring Colors

Designers show us the luscious palettes they've created for spring

Produced by Rebecca Christian and Clara Haneberg
  • “I'm loving happy doses of yellow lately,” says designer Taylor Borsari of Taylor Borsari Inc. “When used sparingly and in the right places, it can instantly brighten a room and is a perfect spring color to draw you out of winter gloom. I prefer it as an accent for more impact balanced by other cheerful colors like turquoise, pink and coral.”

  • Iris Blue

    “The freshness of the spring air is truly a welcome delight after the winter,” says Katie Lydon of Katie Lydon Interiors. “We love layering neutral tones and accenting them by fresh colors, such as blues and greens. In this living room a base of neutral textures is set against a yellow veil of Venetian plaster and enlivened by shades of iris blue in the drapery, artwork, and area rug.”

    See a close-up on the next slide. 

  • Sitting Area

    “The subtle variations of the green onyx coffee table top complete the palette," designer Katie Lydon says of this close-up of the sitting area shown in the previous slide. 

  • Misty Morning

    Designer Heather Garrett of Heather Garrett Design says, “Spring is the time to roll out the palette of misty mornings and budding trees! A fresh range of creamy white, cool gray, and foamy green is so versatile. It can pin together the moody charcoals and browns of late winter with the coming citrusy vibrancy of summer.”

  • Pillow Talk

    “Springtime always opens the opportunity to bring in light, colorful fabrics and textures. I love mixing patterns and focusing on fun pops. Layering with textures always adds an inviting element. Use spring colors in accessories like pillows, which are easy to switch out from spring to fall,” says Ginger Brewton of Ginger Brewton Interiors.

    See a pavilion Ginger designed on the next slide.

    Photograph: Denman Bennett

  • Luminous Luncheon

    Ginger Brewton designed this light, fresh and inviting pavilion for alfresco dining.

    Photograph: Denman Bennett

  • Off-Green and Aubergine

    “The Pantone 2013 color of the year is emerald green, but I prefer using softer, ‘off-greens’ in my work,” says designer Andrew Maier. “The right green—be it a  boggy, mossy green, or a fresh leaf green—can make a space feel fresh and tied in to nature, which makes sense for spring. A wonderful foil for green is aubergine or plum. Green and plum can be very sophisticated. I love them.”

    This porch design was part of the Orchard Hill Designers Showhouse at Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, New York. 

    Photograph: Missy Maier

  • Fresh and Breezy

    Designer Kristin Rocke of K. Rocke Design comments, “One of my favorite colors for spring is daffodil yellow. Yellow is the embodiment of sunshine itself. I love it paired with gray, which cools and grounds the yellow and heavy doses of white for a fresh clean palette. You can layer it with floras in grapefruit orangey-pinks, orange, fuchsia and purple blues.”

    Photograph: Adam Finkle

  • Fresh and Breezy

    “When spring comes,” designer Frances Merrill of Reath Design says, “I want to be outside in the breeze. With the swirling feather wallpaper and the desk looking over the garden, this office comes pretty close. The white beaded African ottoman, cream sheepskin, and linen daybed create a calm feel while the blues in the antique rug pick up on the freshness of the wallpaper.”  

    Photograph: Teri Lyn Fisher

  • Bluebells

    Designer Summer Thornton of Summer Thornton Design says, “My favorite spring memory is the sight of bluebells that bloom in the woods behind my childhood home. So every springtime I'm yearning for pops of blue in my home. One of my favorite blues is a classic powder blue—not too bright, not too dull, but just enough pop to brighten your day.”

  • Pinky Red with Vivid Turquoise

    "While many people associate spring with pastel colors,” says designer Jennifer Flanders of Jennifer Flanders, Inc., I think that any colors that make you feel happy and uplifted can be considered spring-like in their own right. I typically favor more saturated hues, as can be seen in this playful yet sophisticated bedroom that I designed for my two daughters.

    “For this color scheme, I combined a pinky-red with a vivid turquoise to create a fresh, fun look. The off-white carpet brings an overall lightness to the room and balances out the sharper colors. There is an airiness to this room that makes me feel alive when I look at it—in much the same way that spring does!"

    See more from this home.

    See more decorating tips from Jennifer Flanders.

  • Citrus with Green and Peach

    "The citrusy palette in this room just screams spring to me,” says designer Tobi Fairley of Tobi Fairley Interior Design.Tobi is known for enthusiastically spinning the color wheel. She says, “I varied the depths of the green and peach shades that appear throughout the design, and it makes for a fresh yet glamorous result."

    See more from Tobi Fairley on the next slide.

  • Spring Forward

    “The theme for this showhouse room was Spring Forward, and I wanted to show how fresh and springy doesn’t have to go beachy,” says designer Tobi Fairley. This palette is elegant and restrained, with the emerald lamps providing a burst of drama. Their transparency and sleek shape keeps the room from feeling heavy and keeps things in the springtime mood.”

  • Gorgeous Greens and Pinks

    In the foyer of this apartment in Chicago, London-based designer Samantha Todhunter grounded the spring-has-spung greens and pinks of a lively wall covering with a console in chocolate lacquer by Jonathan Adler.  “I wanted to make a little jewel box,” Samantha says. “I see a lot of beige and low-key colors—that’s a standard easygoing look. But color always makes me smile.”

    See more from this apartment here.

  • Buttery Yellow with Green

    Buttery yellow, cream, and green create an inviting sitting area in this room by Jan Showers, who is known for her sophisticated applications of color. Fringe on the lampshade and chair add to the softness of the puddling drapes.

    See design and decorating tips from Jan Showers here.


  • Purple and Green

    Spring goes bright here with saturated garden hues in this room by designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd. Eileen likes to create studies in contrast, not only in colors but in dark and light, soft and hard.

    See design and decorating tips from Eileen Kathryn Boyd here.

  • Soft But Not Saccharine Pastels

    Pastels are synonymous with spring. This living room by designer Jack Fhillips sings the blues with confidence. But pastels can be overly sweet, warns Jack. "You have to test them to discover the one that reads sophisticated and not silly. A great blue in Florida could be dull and deadly in New York."

    See more from this slideshows on pastels in showhouses here.

  • Cool Lavender with Vibrant Accents

    “The hint of hot colors paired with the coolness of lavender says spring to me,” Julie Goldman of J. Latter Design comments. “Spring is always about fresh, clear colors dotting the landscape—and the melting away of the season past. In this room, we kept the background "neutral" with a cool lavender and amped it up with the vibrant, more saturated accessories. The blend of the antique chair with the freshness of the ikat window treatments really signals the transition from old to new, which is what spring is about, after all.”

    Photo by Kerri McCaffety

  • Still Craving Color?

    Browse this classic Greek Revival house in Bellport, New York, designed by the king of color, designer Jamie Drake.