How to Find Color Palette Inspiration {color palette generators}

Back in June when I hosted the How to Decorate Series, the number one tip that came up time and time again was “before you begin decorating, start with some inspiration”! I could not agree more.  I always start with pictures, objects, or collections of inspiration that convey the feel, mood, and energy of the space before I pick up a paint brush or buy a swatch of fabric. One of the easiest ways to find a color palette to work within is to use colors that occur naturally in nature. (God is pretty brilliant when it comes to color combos, so I like to take my cues from the ultimate Creative Professional :).) Today I thought it might be helpful to share a few resources that I use to garner color palette inspiration.

1. Design Seeds This is your one stop shop for color palette eye-candy! The entire blog is devoted to showing gorgeous pictures and breaking down the color palette within the picture. You can even conduct a palette search to find the color combos you are craving. Here are a few of my favorites:

This is a gorgeous picture and I could see this color combination being used in a girl’s bedroom.

design seeds

I would use these colors to inspire my fabric choices and then choose paint colors from the fabric selections. Perhaps something like this.

This next picture has me craving the holidays. These jewel tones would be fabulous accent colors for winter.

design seeds

I could see these colors playing nicely in a living room on brightly colored throw pillows mixed in with some gray walls and silver metallics.

Aw, this is my favorite. This soothing color combination is understated enough to work well anywhere, but mostly I just want to snuggle with that chihuahua!

color palette

design seeds

But snuggling the cutie aside, here are some rooms that convey this color combo nicely.

2. Color Palette Generators. There are a ton of free color palette generators just a click away. All you do is upload or enter a picture’s url and out pops a bunch of coordinating colors! I’ve taken screenshots of a few to show you how the same picture can produce different results. (Sidenote tip: If you know how to do some basic coding on your blog, or are familiar with Photoshop, you can grab the color codes on these pictures, plug them in and customize your blog or photos!)

Big Huge Labs: I think this is my favorite color generator. It gives you a fab variety of hues to choose from and includes coordinating colors that aren’t always obvious in your inspiration pic.

CSS Drive: This color generator is a great tool to use if you are looking for various hues and shades to go with. This is probably my least favorite of the three, but it’s simple and not overwhelming in your color options.

I hope I’ve helped give you another decorating tool in your tool box to pull out when you’re feeling stumped on inspiration and color! Starting with a picture that grabs you and breaking down the hues and shades to work with can be a wonderful beginning to a fabulous room. Enjoy!

p.s. I’m guest posting over at Emily A. Clark’s today as part of her Now and Then series so stop by and visit!

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  1. says

    Beth, thanks for sharing these sites. Design Seeds is exactly what I need. I love decorating with colors from nature so this will be so helpful on future endeavors.

  2. says

    This was so helpful, especially that you put the design seed palette next to a real room. My mind isn’t designed to think design, and I can never translate color palettes/mood boards.

    • Beth @A to Z says

      I’m so glad it proved helpful! I think these are fab resources to use when you’re really struggling with a design direction.

  3. says

    I love this post! Particularly the point that nature provides a pretty amazing color palette. I’m always trying to get off the dime to get inspired and you provided some tools that will send me in the right direction! Thank you!


    Years ago, I made a scrapbook with a similar idea. A page with a deer, and browns and tan. A page with a dove, with grey and almost-tan. A tropical page, citrus and turquoise. Sometimes just a candy wrapper. Chocolate, of course. Helps get you inspired sometimes. Gets you to really ‘see’ colors. Thank you.

  5. says

    This is a fantastic tool! I can definitely see myself using this on a regular basis especially as I will be studying an Interior Design course early next year.

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