How to Actually Use that Old Color Wheel You Have

September 8, 2014

When creating color schemes in floral arrangements, your home, and your dress, how do you create a presentation that is favorable to the eye?

When we meet a new person, eat at a new restaurant,  or visit someone’s apartment for the first time, we filter all we see into a first impression. Colors subtly influence our mood and perception whether we acknowledge its pervasiveness or not.

According to recent studies, people tend to cringe at outfits in clashing colors, but equally hate matchy-matchy ensembles.

color theory and the color wheel

Color Theory and the Color Wheel may explain why certain color combinations tend to be more appealing to the average human eye. Here are a few tips on how to color coordinate with the help of the color wheel:

  • Neutral colors enhance other colors. For example, white flowers are sometimes placed in a vivid bouquet to create contrast.
  • Analogous colors usually look good together. On the color wheel, these colors are placed next to each other for easy reference.
  • Try using one color and one neutral when assembling an outfit or design. Warm neutrals are especially pleasing on the eye when paired with other colors. Patterns also look best with neutrals.
  • Try limiting 3 colors per outfit once you master the one color and one neutral ensemble.
Floral Centerpiece

Some centerpieces we threw together for an upcoming wedding. Notice how the limited color palette maximizes the look!

Here are some color pairings that may be best avoided, unless you are feeling particularly daring:

  • Complementary colors usually don’t look good together. These colors are directly across from one another on the color wheel. Orange and blue don’t usually go together, and neither do red and green unless it’s Christmas. But never say never….
Chicago succulent delivery
  • Don’t go overboard with pastels unless it’s Easter or for a baby.
  • Other combos you may want to generally avoid include black & navy, white & green, black & brown,  brown & grey, and bright colors and grey.

These are not restrictions- just recommendations. That being said, color aesthetics  are a means of self-expression, and no one knows how to do that better than you, so go crazy.

Here is a just one example of Flowers for Dreams using color theory in new and inventive ways to zoom past the cookie-cutter floral designs of yesteryear:

complementary colors

To purchase a bouquet like the ones pictured above, visit our website.