Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Colour inspiration

On Saturday morning we went to our local garden centre for breakfast. Our 'new' Dobbies has been here for nearly a year and they do an excellent deal of 2 breakfasts for £5.95 so, every now and again, we treat ourselves!

Anyhow, during the recent Blog Week (Colour Lovers, 3KCBWDAY1) I mentioned that garden centres were always a good source of inspiration for colour. I only had my phone with me in Dobbies on Saturday (hence the low picture quality) but there were so many opportunities to find different colourways that I captured a few pics and thought I would use them to show you how easy it is to find some wonderful combinations, and therefore just how useful and inspirational the garden centre can be!!!!

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Underneath each image you will see a palette of up to seven colours, all of which have come from the picture.

The first picture shows a wall on the outside entrance to the garden centre. The plants grow vertically and the whole effect is like a big living tapestry of elephants ears, heuchera, thrift and ferns. I love it and wish I could have something like this on a wall in my own garden.

These garden ornaments are colourful enough in themselves but what I was really looking at were the irridescent pastel shades in the dragonfly wings.

The beautiful deep cerise and magenta in the large metal poppies, combined with accents from the surrounding items will give you some very striking colours.

I loved these ceramic birdhouses. Their simple colours make an ideal 'calming' palette to work with - almost 'seasidey'.

Look at the hot colours of these crinkly metal mushrooms with lots of different shades in each. It would be so easy to overdo the palette choice here so I just stuck to the deeper tones.

Shiny ceramic globes with a very Morroccan palette - here I have mostly chosen the mid tones.

Aren't these violas so delicate and beautiful? I can easily imagine a granny square blanket in alternating colours chosen from this palette.

I had actually photographed this metal gazebo from underneath because of the pattern but in fact there is an interesting colourway here too with several different greys - a good set of 'cool' and masculine colours possibly?

The simplicity of seed packets in a display stand. What better way to capture lots of earthy garden vegetable colours in one go! Soup colours too, unsurprisingly!

This distressed look of this clock really caught my eye and it was quite easy to find six colours within it that went really well together, even though two of them were shades of brown.

The muted colours and red highlight used on these coathooks were what initially made me decide to do this Colour Inspiration post. I do love those sagey and olivey greens.

Now for a bit of zing with some sherbet colours. The addition of the pale blue and the grey stop the overall effect from being too overpowering.

Finally, some deeper jewel shades that still  have a bit of a kick.

I hope that looking at these pictures and the various colour choices will give you some ideas for your own Colour Inspiration.

If you have a picture that you would like to use the colours from but feel you might need some help, please don't hesitate to get in touch and I will do my best to show you how to discover your own 'palettes'.


  1. Such wonderful color studies to go with such lovely photos! Sounds like you are filled with inspiration, you should definitely start a colorwork project with one of these themes!

    1. Yes, I am hoping that one of these colour palettes will be the starting point for something quite co-ordinated and I'm quite looking forward to it!

  2. What an inspiring post! I'd love to go round a garden centre or indeed any colourful emporium with you. I feel I would see a lot of that I am sure I currently skim over. Seeing the palette of colours you have picked out beneath each pic was revelatory. I'm going to try taking some pics and pulling out the palette as you have done and see where it takes me. I must not start another granny square blanket while still finishing the previous one but those violas.... you've really started something here! Thank you so much. E x

    1. I'm so pleased that the choice of colours from each picture has shown you just what can be achieved. You do need to have a picture where most of the elements complement each other - this is why pictures of displays work so well because a lot of the work has already been done. Items from nature are excellent for the same reason and this is why the violas make such a good palette. The hard part is being able to pick out the relevant shades.

      I like the viola colours too but am also quite keen on the birdhouse and clock palettes as well. All I need now is the yarn!!!!

      Do feel free to give any of the colour choices a go. Have fun creating your own too!

      B x


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