Color Theory for Florists: How to Use it in Your Designs

Whether we realize it or not, colors have the ability to influence our emotions and thoughts every day. From the restaurants we eat at, to the popular brands we follow on Instagram, utilizing color theory can have an impact on a company's impact on its audience. 

But it's not only for brick and mortar stores, big-name brands or the feng shui of your home. Color theory can be perfect method for our work in the wedding industry, especially as floral designers. 

What exactly is color theory?

Color theory suggests that all of the colors around us influence our moods and perception, whether or not we acknowledge its pervasiveness. For example, a color like bright red can instantly give us feelings of heat, warmth, boldness, and passion. 

The Color Wheel

In addition to the feelings we get from specific colors, we can also take advantage of combining some together in color schemes using the color wheel. Floral designers should be familiar with knowing primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and secondary colors (orange, green, purple), as well as how they can be combined to create color palettes that fit certain moods and styles. 

Within each color, there is also a range of saturation, shade, hue and ranges of color. 

Important Terms to Know

Aside from the colors within the wheel, every florist should understand the following concepts: 

Harmonious Colors
Contrasting Colors
Achromatic Color Scheme
Monochromatic Color Scheme
Polychromatic Color Scheme
Complementary Color Scheme

Once you know these colors and schemes well enough, you can integrate them into your designs in a way that is beautiful, and has the impact you're going for. 

How can florists implement color theory?

No matter how long you've been in the industry, you likely have experienced at least a handful of clients coming to you with ideas for their wedding-day vision, asking if you can help make that vision a reality. But it's not always just about how it looks; it's about how their wedding will feel, and what the mood and atmosphere will be like. 

And it becomes your job to help her achieve that feeling. With color theory, you can rest assured you'll be able to create a wedding aesthetic that fits their vision!

At the most basic level, cooler colors lend to a calm and relaxed mood, while warmer colors add liveliness and a sense of happiness. Bright colors feel fun and active, while subdued colors can feel more down to earth. 

If a client gives you a color of pale pinks and soft yellows, but you hear their vision is more of a dramatic, bolder vibe, take the colors they gave you and increase the saturation to a bright coppery gold and a deeper pink or red for a more dramatic feel! Your job is to guide your client through these simple adjustments to create the ambience they are dreaming of.