Color Theory in Floristry

Applying the Color Wheel and Harmonies In Floral Design

Red symbolizes love and passion. Yellow rouses happy and bubbly vibes. White and blue evoke feelings of calm and serenity. In almost all visual art forms, the proper use of colors is vital in creating pieces. Floral design is no different! Using color theory is the first step in designing stunning floral arrangements.

Before this, we explored the origins and styles of different flower arrangements. Now, we'll take up the basics of color and design in the art of floristry. We'll go much deeper into easy concepts like ROYGBIV. From there, we'll go over more complex principles of color combination. Here's the simple rundown of the color theory that every florist in the industry needs!

Floral Color Wheel

Depending on how you want to use them, colors can be soft and subtle, bright and lively, or quiet and serious. But whatever combination you use, it's useful to refer to the color wheel! This will help your floral pieces look more pleasant and gorgeous. There are three basic terms in color theory: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary colors are the three key parts of the color wheel - red, yellow, and blue. These are the only colors that aren't created from the mixture of other colors. Secondary colors are blends of any two primary colors. Orange is the mix of red and yellow. Green is the mix of yellow and blue. Purple is the mix of blue and red. Tertiary colors are combinations of any primary color with any secondary color. Red orange, yellow orange, red violet, blue violet (indigo), and blue green (teal), are examples of this.

Color Styles You Need To Know To Design Harmonious Arrangements

It's essential to use the color wheel in proper and unique ways. It can help speed up the process of selecting flowers, foliage and accessories. With this, you can create delightful, harmonious arrangements and decoration with ease. There are a million and one ways to mix your colors and styles to go with the theme and occasion! To kick off your fresh flow of ideas, you can follow these four basic color harmonies. (Tip: Keep that color wheel in sight for an easy focus point with these combinations.).

Complementary.

These are pairs of colors right across from each other on the color wheel. Examples include red and green, yellow and violet, and blue and orange. They create an interesting palette due to their clear contrast to each other. This is best for forming intense or bright floral arrangements!

Analogous.

These schemes consist of three colors beside each other on the wheel. It creates the two most prevalent divisions of colors: warm (red, orange, and yellow) and cool (blue, green, purple). Florists match these color harmonies to different themes! Whether for somber moods or exciting motifs, they mix well to develop a flowing look.

Monochromatic.

On a tight budget? These arrangements are light on the pocket but pleasing to the eye! Simple yet exquisite, they suit any theme or occasion with ease. Known as "greenery", they add the grace of nature's touch to any arrangement.

Triadic.

This scheme uses three colors in equal distance from each other on the color wheel. In floral arrangements, this appears in bundles of the primaries and secondaries. Florists often opt for subtler or lighter shades of the triad. They also go with a mix of deep and soft shades for a pleasing, balanced aesthetic. Want a more detailed guide on making floral designs for specific containers or occasions? Check out our two-part series on how to create floral arrangements!


Read all about Flower Ornaments in our next article.