If you're using Vim Airline, there are many beautiful themes to pick from. But I personally like to remove the noise and use color sparingly.

This theme has status line background color and no bright highlights in normal mode. When color is used, it's minimal and only highlights some (arguably) important information.

Edit: I was recently asked by Rishabh Mehta about the details of my setup to achieve this look. Here it is:

Normal and Normal Modified Mode

Normal mode has no highlighting, no background colors. The normal mode orange is used to indicate unsaved changes.

Insert and Visual Mode

Insert mode is green for go!

Replace and Select Mode

Active and Inactive Split

Removed much of the information from the inactive pane when using splits. This keeps the focus on the active pane without adding color.

Inactive split hides most of the information, keeping focus on the active pane

Getting The Theme

I don't have a name for it yet, eventually I'll make a pull request, for now it's available for download here.

This was created by starting with an existing theme in vim-airline-themes. Download the theme file into your  your vim-airline themes folder or checkout my fork.

  • NeoVim:
    ~/.local/share/nvim/plugged/vim-airline-themes/autoload/airline/themes
  • Vim
    ~/.vim/plugged/vim-airline-themes/autoload/airline/themes
# Colors
let s:gray     = [245, '#3f4b59']
let s:darkgray = [245, '#1d1f21']
let s:golden   = [143, '#BBE67E']
let s:pink     = [131, '#F07178']
let s:blue     = [ 67, '#D4BFFF']
let s:orange   = [166, '#ffae57']
let s:outerfg  = [ 16, '#8d96a1']
let s:outerfgi = [ 16, '#2f3d4d']

" Backgrounds
let s:outerbg  = [ 16, 'NONE']
let s:innerbg  = [234, 'NONE']

" Normal mode
let s:N1 = [s:outerfg[1], s:outerbg[1], s:outerfg[0], s:gray[0]]
let s:N3 = [s:gray[1]   , s:innerbg[1], s:gray[0]   , s:innerbg[0]]

" Normal mode - modified
let s:NM1 = [s:darkgray[1], s:orange[1], s:darkgray[0], s:orange[0]]
let s:NM3 = [s:orange[1]  , s:outerbg[1], s:orange[0], s:darkgray[0]]

" Insert mode
let s:I1 = [s:darkgray[1], s:golden[1], s:outerfg[0], s:golden[0]]
let s:I3 = [s:golden[1]  , s:innerbg[1], s:golden[0], s:innerbg[0]]

" Visual mode
let s:V1 = [s:darkgray[1], s:pink[1], s:outerfg[0], s:pink[0]]
let s:V3 = [s:pink[1]    , s:innerbg[1], s:pink[0], s:innerbg[0]]

" Replace mode
let s:R1 = [s:darkgray[1], s:blue[1], s:outerfg[0], s:blue[0]]
let s:R3 = [s:blue[1], s:innerbg[1], s:blue[0], s:innerbg[0]]

" Inactive pane
let s:IA = [s:darkgray[1], s:outerbg[1], s:innerbg[0], s:innerbg[0]]
let s:IAc = [s:gray[1], s:outerbg[1], s:outerbg[0], s:outerbg[0]]

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette = {}
let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.accents = {
    \ 'red': ['#d70000', '', 160, '', '']}

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.inactive = {
    \ 'airline_a': s:IA,
    \ 'airline_b': s:IA,
    \ 'airline_c': s:IAc,
    \ 'airline_x': s:IA,
    \ 'airline_y': s:IA,
    \ 'airline_z': s:IA}

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.inactive_modified = {
    \ 'airline_a': s:IA,
    \ 'airline_b': s:IA,
    \ 'airline_c': s:NM3,
    \ 'airline_x': s:IA,
    \ 'airline_y': s:IA,
    \ 'airline_z': s:IA}

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal = {
    \ 'airline_a': s:N1,
    \ 'airline_b': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_c': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_x': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_y': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_z': s:N3}

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal_modified = {
    \ 'airline_a': s:NM1,
    \ 'airline_b': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_c': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_x': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_y': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_z': s:NM3}

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.insert = {
    \ 'airline_a': s:I1,
    \ 'airline_b': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_c': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_x': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_y': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_z': s:I3}
let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.insert_modified = {}

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.replace = {
    \ 'airline_a': s:R1,
    \ 'airline_b': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_c': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_x': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_y': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_z': s:R3}
let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.replace_modified = {}

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.visual = {
    \ 'airline_a': s:V1,
    \ 'airline_b': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_c': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_x': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_y': s:N3,
    \ 'airline_z': s:V3}
let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.visual_modified = {}

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal.airline_warning = s:NM1

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal_modified.airline_warning =
    \ g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal.airline_warning

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.insert.airline_warning =
    \ g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal.airline_warning

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.insert_modified.airline_warning =
    \ g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal.airline_warning

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.visual.airline_warning =
    \ g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal.airline_warning

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.visual_modified.airline_warning =
    \ g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal.airline_warning

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.replace.airline_warning =
    \ g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal.airline_warning

let g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.replace_modified.airline_warning =
    \ g:airline#themes#transparent#palette.normal.airline_warning


About Me

I'm a software engineer and mechanical engineer. I studied control systems at the University of California, Irvine and hold a Masters degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. My broad background helps me quickly learn, adapt and stay passionate about finding pragmatic solutions to complicated problems.