Insta-inspiration: Clare Nicolson’s spring palettes

Printmaker, stylist and curator of one hot Instagram account, Clare Nicolson serves up sunny slices of life that make you do a double take. From her graphic artworks to her commercial shoots, to photos of inspiring sights taken on her travels, her Instagram provides a snapshot of her working life – and presents a colour palette that is inspiring us for spring. Pinks, nudes and blushes mix with baby blues and citrus yellows, often on surprising items, from bottles of bleach to tomatoes. We caught up with Clare to ask her more about her spring style, and how her love of colour has evolved.

clare nicolson

clare nicolson instagram

Your work looks really joyful! Can you tell us a bit about it?

I’m always trying to play with different colour combinations. I have my favourites – like green and pink or peachy tones but I like to try to experiment with new colour groupings. It’s always fun when I’m given a great brief from a client that challenges me to work with colour in a new way. 

clare nicolson

Do you use colour differently as a designer, stylist, and Instagramer?

The way I use colour as a stylist varies depending on the brief and client. But thankfully most people want to work with me because of my love of colour so I get to explore a new palette and different colour combinations with every job. The colours I use for a particular job will usually influence what I Instagram that day/week. 

clare nicolson

clare nicolson instagram

Colour is obviously very important to every strand of your work. What combinations are currently catching your eye?

I’ve always loved working with lots of colour, especially bright and bold shades. But over the last few years I’ve really enjoyed introducing a more pastel palette to my work. I’m really loving chalky earth tones like terracottas and blush pink at the moment. And these colours paired with deep indigo blues are a stunning combination.

colourful cleaning bottles

clare nicolson

Your Instagram has a really distinctive colour palette too – how do you select what goes on there? What sort of image tends to appeal to you?

I don’t tend to plan my Instagram too much, although I try not to post too many images of a similar colour in a row. I like to keep images quite minimal with big blocks of colour.

clare nicolson

Is your house colourfully decorated?

I have lots of colourful props and sets that I store at home so there are lots of pops of colour everywhere. We’re just about to move to a new flat and so I’m having so much fun planning colour palettes and decor for the new space. 

clare nicolson

Follow Clare on Instagram @Clarenicolson, or visit her website to see more work and her online store.

Ros Anderson


Ros Anderson is an interiors journalist and blogger who has worked for The Guardian, Elle Decoration, Ideal Home and many more. In 2009 she co-founded cult interiors blog My Friend's House with Jill Macnair, as a place to write about design in a more honest, spontaneous and humorous way.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist