Palm Springs style: the grown-up way to do bold colour and pattern

A sophisticated take on bright palettes and bold patterns

flower with grass and yellow wall
(Image credit: TBC)

In theory, bright colour and bold pattern seems like such a good idea. It's mood enhancing, eye-catching and a whole heap of fun. However, it's also fraught with danger. With so much going on, there's the risk of everything going garish and a bit young. Hardly surprising then, that most of us tend to opt for a much safer neutral palette. But hang on a sec. Decorating should be about taking a few risks, pushing a few boundries in order to get a great result. Look to Palm Springs style for inspiration. The Californian desert oasis has got it pretty spot on when it comes to decorating style. Created by mid-century modernists in a locale where every day is a pool day, it's hardly surprising that the prevailing decorating style is bright, breezy, decadent and frankly rather fabulous. So, rather than settle for a calming palette of grey and beige, we say take a (palm) leaf out of Sinatra, Monroe and Doris Day's books and go for glam. Here's how to get it right...

dining table withchair

(Image credit: TBC)

Soak it in sunshine
Create a sun-soaked, upbeat space by painting a wall with geometric bands of gold that mimic the sun's rays. Teaming the colour with clean-lined, elegant furniture and accessories keeps things grown up, but still fun. When in doubt, use white as your base colour to keep bright shades from overpowering.

living room with mirror and sofa

(Image credit: TBC)

Clash with dash
Nod to the era of cocktails and a swinging beat with a verdant lounging area. Leafy walls enclose the space while the shot of zebra print indicate the designer's tongue is firmly in cheek.
Buena Vista wallpaper, Havane by Caselio at Texdecor.

bedroom with cushion and lamp

(Image credit: TBC)

Pretty hot
For grown-up glamour, use flashes of feather-boa pink in sophisticated ways, set against a white background to keep things light.
Walls painted in Sexy Pink, Dulux. Lampshades in Sussex Orchid wallpaper, Designers Guild.

living area with cupboard

(Image credit: TBC)

Pattern crazyWhen in doubt, a hint of black is a failsafe way to anchor a scheme and give it extra elegance. Taske your inspration from Fifties design hero David Hicks and mix graphic pattern with bold colour to create an elegantly decadent dressing area.
Porden wallpaper, Designers Guild.

living area with sofa and plant

(Image credit: TBC)

Totally tropicalJungle prints, cane furniture and splashes of teal and jade create the ideal tropical vibe. Keep a neutral element somewhere to calm down the mood.
Walls painted in Lido Claypaint and Reading Room Claypaint, Earthborn. M&S sofa upholstered in Palma outdoor fabric, Michael Szell for Christopher Farr (cushions) and Manila, Sanderson at John Lewis (seat).

To discover more decorating tips and ideas from Livingetc, go here.



Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.