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Amy Balsters smiles as she holds a bouquet of field flowers to reference how to find floral color palette inspiration beyond the color wheel.


Amy Balsters

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Finding Floral Color Palette Inspiration Beyond the Color Wheel

Do you ever get tired of using the same floral color palettes over and over again? If so, how do you go about creating a new floral color palette? 

I know that color can be so dang scary to approach, not to mention tricky and defeating when it doesn’t work out. Maybe thoughts like this have crossed your mind:

“I just keep designing the same thing OVER and OVER, but I am scared to try something new.”

“I feel like my clients just ask for the same ol’ thing over and over again.”

“I am bored/uninspired and want to showcase some new arrangements, but I don’t know how to get unstuck.”

Does that sound familiar? I’m right there with you; I have felt ALL these things and more! Because of that, I want to pass along a few thoughts and tips that have helped me find new floral color palette inspiration.

Find new floral color palette inspiration by changing up your usual routine

Putting together a floral color palette doesn’t mean always following classic rules or pulling out your trusty color wheel, hoping some inspiration strikes. While tools like a color wheel can be great for getting a basic understanding of what colors would work well together, I’ve found that I prefer to get my inspiration from the world around me. 

Before you begin trying to create a new floral color palette, start here: 

Get quiet. I don’t necessarily mean verbally, but put more of your focus on becoming mentally quiet. Give yourself a moment to pause and turn off the noise from everything else going on in your life.

We often operate merely out of habit, and that’s okay (and sometimes needed) for running an efficient, streamlined business. However, when you’re feeling stuck, it may be time to get out of your normal routine and find some inspiration. My process for how I create floral color palettes is a perfect example of that.

#1: Go for a drive and explore your surroundings

My first suggestion is about opening our eyes to what is happening right in front of us versus getting stuck in our heads. 

I have often discovered some of the most exciting color combinations by simply driving around and observing what I see. For example, I may see a wall of flowers and shrubbery and notice that another vine or bloom is peaking through the hedge. It usually isn’t a combination I would have initially styled together, but a situation where nature has worked its magic for an awesome result. Voila! A unique floral color palette is born.

Bonus: I recommend creating a new photo album on your phone called “Floral Color Palettes.” If you can safely take a quick picture when you find an inspiring view, you can add it to that folder. Then, whenever you’re feeling a bit stuck or uninspired,  you can scroll back through this album of real-life ideas. It’s like a tangible Pinterest board of your own experiences…how cool is that?!

#2: Learn to look out for interesting landscapes

We can find interesting landscapes even in the midst of the mundane parts of life if we train ourselves to look for them. There can be great color combinations at doctor’s offices, restaurants, highway medians, and more. Think plums, vibrant greens and the muted orange of a fading berry, etc. Looking at the way the colors in these settings are laid out can totally inspire a floral color palette. 

Also, don’t dismiss the humble. Sometimes the most unique color combinations come from things we wouldn’t consider beautiful. Maybe it’s an abandoned parking lot with crazy weeds and a flower or two growing up through the weeds, or the yellowing of leaves when they start dying. Be open to anything, because you never know what could lead to the discovery of new floral color palettes.

#3: Create a floral color palette off of a single flower

Lastly, take some time to focus on one single flower. It’s easy to see that nature is beautifully designed already and can hold so much inspiration for us.

If you look at one single orchid, bearded iris, hellebore, etc., examine the tints, tones, and shades of that flower. Pay attention to little details on the petals themselves, like the unique complementary colors that are contained within a single petal of a lisianthus. Additionally, don’t forget to look at the stem, pollen, and leaf colors for more ideas on how nature blends color.

It’s truly so cool how nature often automatically creates a strong, yet harmonious color contrast that we can build a floral color palette from!

Related: Bouquet Bootcamp® Hands On Experience

The bottom line is that floral color palette inspiration is all around us

Admittedly, I’ve been smitten with nature since I was a little thing and am unashamedly still overly-excitable when it comes to all things plants, flowers, and trees. In fact, I may or may not have almost run myself off the road trying to see something magnificent blooming. Jokes aside, choosing this more intentional practice of looking to my surroundings for inspiration has opened my eyes to see new floral color palettes all the time! (Furthermore, it’s a great way to redeem my drives while sitting in traffic…ugh, cursed big city living!)

If we learn to look for it, there is inspiration literally all around us. It’s not just in cool design books, color wheel rules, pictures on Pinterest, and from the work of other florists. Rather, we can find tons of floral color palette inspiration in this big, gorgeous world we get to live in!

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