The appeal of the traditional autumnal color palette—deep rusty reds and oranges, saffron yellows, chocolate browns—is certainly due in part to how strongly it stirs nostalgia and warmth. But lately I've been seeing some less expected, equally stirring versions of seasonal color in some of my favorite florists' work. Let's take a look at these alternative autumn palettes so you can try them out at home.
Certain combinations of colors and textures have an incredible power to evoke the emotions we associate with particular seasons. But some seasonal color palettes have become so expected, even trite, that they no longer faithfully inspire those powerful emotions. Try these ideas for how to tweak the traditional fall palette, creating that atmosphere of intimacy, nostalgia, and warmth that we associate with the season:
• Think muted. Soft, muted versions of typical seasonal colors (pale peach instead of orange, parchment-like beige instead of gold) have a relaxing, inviting effect, like a nice blanket you just want to wrap yourself in. Adopting a muted color palette is a great way to do seasonal while avoiding a "harvest" kind of look. Bouquet from Saipua.
• Use bright to accent dark. So many typical "fall bouquets" consist overwhelmingly of strong, saturated colors, with dark brown often used as an accent. But I love the idea of using dark browns in different textures as the foundation for a bouquet, with bright accents to draw the eye. Another one from Saipua.
• Don't eschew the blues. Blue is a color we often associate with spring (think forget-me-nots and the like), but dusky blues are gorgeous for fall. Blue hydrangeas, turning dark purple this time of year, are so moody and dramatic, like harbingers of the cool, cloudy weather. Bouquet from McKenzie Powell Designs.
• Pale whites and yellows. We tend to think of whites and yellows for springtime bouquets as well, but using these pale colors judiciously in fall bouquets can lend a lovely feeling of freshness that's welcome all year round. I like the combination of the pale colors with dark green in this bouquet from Studio Choo.
• Succulents for soft grays. Gray is my favorite underused fall color; it makes me think of a favorite sweater. The soft grays of the succulent palette, paired with more traditional fall colors, can add an interesting touch of coziness with a modern edge. Bridal bouquet is a recent one from my studio, photographed by the fabulous Sylvie Gil.
What are your favorite ways to put a spin on the traditional fall color palette? Please share below!
(Images: Saipua (1 and 2); McKenzie Powell Designs; Studio Choo; Sylvie Gil Photography / The Cutting Garden)