Spring Color Palette Tips: Choosing Colors Based on Nature

Sustainably Inspired

Spring is finally in the air, which means it’s time to freshen up your home decor! A great way to do that is by using a spring color palette. So get ready to add a little bit of spring fever to your décor as I share some of my favorite spring colors and tips on using them in your home.

What is the Color for Spring

Whether it’s the sparkling purple lilacs, vibrant yellow forsythias, breathtakingly blue hydrangeas, or rich pink rhododendrons, there is something genuinely magical about spring color palettes. As soon as the first signs of color appear, I know that warmer days are just around the corner. There’s nothing quite like the happiness that comes from seeing those first few spring blossoms. It reminds us that no matter how long winter may last, spring will always come eventually. And that’s something to look forward to every year.

Spring Color Palette Tips_Jen Dorsey_Studio

Spring Color Combinations

Lilac Purple

  • The lilac hex code is #C8A2C8
  • Lilacs symbolize confidence and spirituality 
  • The color lilac means being unconventional, outgoing, and sociable.  
  • The color lilac was first recorded in England in 1755.

The short spring in New England is a reminder to enjoy the lilacs. With their unique, intoxicating fragrance, these pale purple flowers bloom for about two weeks between the end of April and May. There’s nothing better than walking by one of these hearty shrubs or adding a bouquet of these fragrant flowers to any room in your home. 

Lilacs are native to southeastern Europe and Asia, only introduced in the U.S. in the 17th century. However, this flower also has roots in Greek mythology. According to the myth, Pan, the god of fields and forests, fell in love with the nymph Syringa. She ultimately turned herself into a lilac shrub to escape Pan’s advances. Although Pan didn’t find Syringa, he did discover the shrub and made the first panpipe from some of its reeds. 

There are many lovely lilac color combinations you might use in your spring color palette. This serene, pastel shade pairs wonderfully with bright yellow, burn orange, royal blue, eggplant, fuchsia, and teal, and this hue works equally well with soft neutrals like white, gray, and taupe.  

Spring Color Palette_Forsythia Yellow_Jen Dorsey Studio

Forsythia Yellow

  • The forsythia hex code is #ffc801
  • Forsythia symbolizes hope, spring, sun, and anticipation,
  • The color yellow means happiness, warmth, sunshine, and caution.
  • Yellow is one of the oldest colors, (An image of a horse colored with yellow in the cave of Lascaux is estimated to be 17,300 years old.)
  • Yellow is the most visible color on the spectrum. 

Forsythia bushes look like giant balls of golden sunshine warming the landscape in early spring after a long winter. This iconic harbinger of spring boasts bursting blooms of delicate yellow flowers from mid-March to mid-April. Most importantly, these low-maintenance, fast-growing shrubs guarantee that you’ll enjoy this bright shade year after year. 

In New England, weather lore also states, “three snows after the forsythias bloom .” So after spotting these yellow flowers, it’s a warning not to swap the snow shovels for rakes. And having lived in New England for many years, I think this claim is more fact than folklore!  

Forsythia yellow can be matched with hues, including pink, purple, indigo, green, violet, pink, and brown. It is striking alongside blue, its complementary color on the color wheel, and white, black, and gray. Imagine the ways it can complement the other spring colors in your palette!

Hydrangea Blue_Spring Color Palette_Jen Dorsey Studio

Hydrangea Blue

  • The hydrangea hex code is #849bcc
  • Hydrangeas symbolize apology, gratitude, forgiveness, and understanding.
  • The color hydrangea blue (light blue) means health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
  • Blue hydrangeas need to be grown in acidic soil (ph of 5.5 or lower).

Hydrangeas are the quintessential New England flower. These beautiful, blue blooms can be spotted bobbing over picket fences and lining sandy beach paths from early spring to late autumn Vases overflowing with the whimsical and elegant blossoms are, likewise, a seasonal-decorating staple. 

Check out The Cape Code Hydrangea Festival. This annual 10-day event in July benefits local charities and allows you to tour private gardens. You can also visit the Chatham Bars Inn, which has about 4,000 hydrangea bushes.  

Hortensia, which means “from the garden” in Latin, is another name for hydrangea. The French Botanist Philibert Commerson first used this term in 1771. He may have chosen to name the flower after a mistress, a female astronomer, or Hortense de Nassau, the daughter of Prince Nassau. 

Hydrangea blue looks great with yellow, pink, dark blue, purple, and green. Other options for your spring color palette include white, grey, and black. Spring Color Palette_Jen Dorsey_Studios_Rhododendron Pin

Rhododendron Pink (Fuchsia)

  • The fuchsia hex code is #FF00FF
  • Rhododendrons symbolize good vibes, positive energy, goodwill, love, and friendship. 
  • The color fuchsia means uniqueness, confidence, dependability, and fun-loving. 
  • Rhododendrons have been around since the dinosaurs – over 60 million years.
  • The color fuchsia is named after the color of the flower of the fuchsia plant. French botanist Charles Plumer named the fuchsia plant in honor of 16th-century German botanist Leonard Fuchs.    

The rhododendron’s fragrant fuchsia flowers color the New England landscape from late March to late June. I’m always thankful for these brilliant blooms that burst even before the leaves appear on the trees. For me, it’s a gentle reminder from Mother Nature to be patient and know that all the spring and summer plants will appear in due time.   

Check out the Arnold Arboretum in Boston to see over 550 species of rhododendrons. The Arnold Arboretum is also the oldest in North America.   

The rhododendron commonly colled azalea, means rose tree in Greek. It is the national flower of Nepal and Switzerland, the state flower of West Virginia, and the official flower of Washington D.C. Some even believe that Rhode Island got its name when the Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazzano saw these plants on the many islands off the state and was reminded of the Isle of Rhodes. But unfortunately, the true story is that Rhode Island was named “Roodt Eylandt” (Red Island) by Dutch explorer Adrain Block.  

This warm, purplish shade of pink pairs well with yellow, red, green, orange, blue, and turquoise. Likewise, this hue is a winning combination for your spring color palette with black, white, gray, and beige. 

Green Grass_Spring Color Palette_Jen Dorsey Studio

Green Grass

  • The grass hex code is #348C3. (There is a Green Grass hex code (#7CFC00), but I think it is too yellowish-green.
  • Grass symbolizes connection, growth, health, and healing.
  • The color green means nature, health, harmony, growth, prosperity, and energy.
  • Green is a verb. Nowadays, there is lots of information on going green and living a greener life.
  • Green is the fourth color of the rainbow.  
  • Grasses make up about 26% of the plant life on earth.  
  • The most popular species of grass in New England is Kentucky Bluegrass.

Green grass covering bucolic, rolling hillsides or suburban backyards means spring has sprung. And Mother Nature’s rollout of this green carpet immediately energizes the season. The many verdant views, after all, give the green light for activities from backyard cookouts to gardening.

The four grass species in New England are Kentucky Bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, and turf-type tall fescue. There is no Hungry Grass in New England, and that’s a good thing. This Irish myth claims that if you stand on a patch of Hungry Grass you will immediately become hungry and weary and may even die. 

Since green is at the center of the color wheel, it works with both warm and cool hues. Try it with everything on your spring color palette from yellow, red, orange, blue, purple, violet, and pink to neutrals. 

Spring Color

If you’re looking for a way to inject some springtime spirit into your living space, take a look at our collection of decorative pieces. We’ve got everything from colorful vases and bowls to playful animal figurines – all designed with natural hues in mind and sustainably inspired and beautifully designed. So why not shop the Studio today and add some springtime cheer to your home?