One thing I love about events is how different they all end up being, especially when it comes to aesthetic and colour scheme. If you’re a serial Instagram-consumer, you know what I mean.
Some people have very structured, minimalist palettes, so their events end up being an endless expanse of white, with extremely subtle variations. On the other end of the spectrum, some people fully embrace the boho craze, with tones of magenta, tangerine and maybe some royal blue thrown in for good measure.
Whatever their style game, one thing all my clients are nervous about is making sure their palette hangs together harmoniously, and believe me, I get it. If you’re familiar with my work as an event planner in Vancouver, you know that I’m all about the details. And believe me when I say that the colour palette can enhance both the look and feel of an event.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re deciding on a colour scheme for your event.
Analogous or monochromatic colour scheme
This is a great option because your colours can be as bold or as subtle as you want. With an analogous scheme, you’re simply choosing a series of colours that sit beside each other on the colour wheel, so they’re similar – which is visually pleasing – but not variations of the same. Similarly, a monochromatic scheme involves various tints of one colour. This is very popular for minimalist events and can be a great way to use different textures as well.
Complementary colour scheme
Wanna go bold? Even the most vibrant colour palettes can use a system and this is a great way to ensure your colours have a lasting impact but don’t clash. Pick colours (as bright or as subtle as you want) that are opposite on the colour wheel (blue and orange, for example) and really bring each other out. This can be particularly striking when executed well.
Take inspiration from real life
If you prefer a less scientific approach, pay attention instead to palettes that catch your eye in your day-to-day life. It’s especially helpful to me if you snap a pic! I literally have clients that have brought me photographs or magazine clippings and said, “well, this is an ad for laundry detergent, but I love the way the soft turquoise and buttercream play off each other.” Ok maybe not literally, but you get what I mean. Cafes, art galleries, or your favourite travel destination are also great places to find colour inspiration!
Know how to structure your shades
If you’ve already picked your palette and you aren’t sure how to go about structuring it, try one of my favourite tricks, the 60/30/10 guideline. Basically, this breaks colour schemes down into three sections:
- 60 percent of a venue is comprised of walls, floors and large anchor pieces like tables or couches. This should be your dominant colour, which is what you will build your palette from.
- 30 percent can be attributed to smaller, but still impactful items, like textiles or artwork. Depending on how bold you want your palette to be, this can be a great place to add bright colours, or – if you want to stick to a more monochrome vibe – to go with a similar shade as your 60 percent but with a different texture.
- 10 percent should be dedicated to smaller details, like place settings or flowers. If you’re going with a mostly minimalist palette, this can be a great way to play around with other colours or textures.
The most important thing about choosing a colour scheme is making sure that it is a reflection of you and what makes you feel happy, at peace, or inspired. Keep that in mind, as well as some of these tips and you’ll be well on your way to being the hostess with the mostess!