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Pick Your Palette

Hone your scheme using seasons as the teacher

ave you ever wondered why you’re attracted to certain things, while your sister can be attracted to complete others? Have you wondered why you get a lot of compliments in a specific dress, or why you struggle to find a cohesive and balanced look for yourself and your home? 

In 1942, American fashion designer Suzanne Caygill came up with a theory that a person’s coloring, personal intensity, energy, and personality can be reflected into one of the four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Every season comes with its specific energy, colors, and styles that we relate to. Figuring out what our season is can help us out in so many ways. We were all created unique — our eye color, hair color, and skin tone are uniquely ours, so it’s not surprising that everyone’s color palette is exclusive to them. Wearing colors that bring out our inherent features and energy makes us glow without much effort. You’ll notice that you constantly get positive feedback when you wear your colors.

It’s not surprising that personal style and interior design are very interrelated — a talented interior designer will make sure that the client’s space reflects their essence. In addition, some theories posit that you can be a mix of two seasons. We are complex beings, and sometimes one season alone can’t be dominant for us. If you find yourself connecting to more than one season, you may be a mix!

Here’s a synopsis of all the seasons and a glimpse into the palette world. Use these photos to clarify how they show themselves in interior design, and see if you can find yourself in one or two!

Bottom line: always go with your gut. If an item or style is lighting you up, there’s a reason for that, so trust yourself!



Summers are extremely graceful and feminine. Their colors are muted, representing how the colors of the earth during the summer are dulled by the heat of the sun.

Think of twilight and its delicate colors. Summers look great in romantic yet simple styles and are often detail-oriented and organized.

Interior: Expect a summer’s interior to feel more monochromatic, filled with soft fabrics like velvet and beautiful drapery. You usually won’t find a lot of busy prints in their home; if they do have them, they’ll be a print-like toile or a diffused print that looks more like watercolor.


Winters are dramatic and regal. They tend to be more refined, favoring a less-is-more aesthetic, and are often drawn to bold and sharp silhouettes — much like a winter landscape, where there is a stillness that demands to be looked at. Writers have an inner drama; similar to the high contrast of the white snow, dark skies, and tree barks during wintertime.

Interior: Winter’s colors are deep and sharp, so it makes sense that a winter’s home will usually have higher contrast and pops of drama. A winter’s space will look more modern and minimalistic and will have materials like marble and velvet. Winters favor materials that feel luxurious and furniture that appears stately. 



Autumns are passionate, forthright, and dynamic. Their style needs to have a sense of motion and character, much like their personality.

Expect a lot of movement in their clothing, like prints or asymmetrical lines, and heavier or structured fabrics. Think of fall leaves and the warmth that comes during the autumn season.

Interior: In an autumn’s home you’ll usually find patterns, rich colors, interesting pieces of art, vintage pieces, mixed metals, wooden furniture, and leather, to name a few. 




Springs are full of life and creativity, just like spring is a time of renewal. Springs inspire us with clear and bright colors, like the freshness of florals and their rebirth in the spring. They usually look great in prints and will always have a sense of fun in their style, since they’re unafraid to experiment with new pieces.

Interior: A spring’s space will usually have pops of color, prints, and greenery. There will always be a sense of lightness, color, and whimsy in it — nothing too serious or heavy looking. You can expect to see light wood, pops of gold, and florals.



(Originally featured in Family Room, Issue 006)

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