Color Palette of the Week: Old Paris

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An old Paris Metro sign inspires this week’s color palette, a contrasting but balanced mix of yellows, reds and blue-greys.


Paris, la Ville Lumière. Still the most visited tourist destination in the world. Paris is a city of layers, from its catacombs deep underground to the ultra-modern contemporary architecture, and everything in between. It’s a city of culture and history, for a long time at the centre of the Western world.

This color palette is inspired by Old Paris, or, really, early 20th century Paris, when the writers and artists of the world all flocked there to produce art, drink wine and eat croissants.

This Paris was one of steam and iron, at the forefront of modernity.

metro color palette of the week

Between bold and subtle, between warm and cold, this photo captures the essence of this period in Paris. The Art Deco lettering, the wrought iron and the typical European architecture in the background provided me with all the colors I needed for this palette.

Using “Old Paris”

Old Paris is a palette of contrasts, but also of balance. The colors of steel and iron are made more human and warm with shades of yellow and red.

A large, custom-designed bathroom would work well in this palette. You have the cool colors for water, but you also have the warm ones for contrast and comfort. The only challenge I see will be choosing which shade to feature first!

I can also see an eclectic living room in this palette. If you have antique French furniture items, all the better! They will work well in the living room I imagine. Try to imagine the living room James Joyce or Picasso would have visited during their stay in Paris. What rugs, tables and couches would it have? Adding a few retro posters–a lot of them are in these exact shades, actually–will complete the effect.

How about you? Does this palette inspire the bohemian artist in you, or does it leave you cold? Share your impressions in the comments!

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