How to Create a Cohesive Party Color Scheme

How to Create a Cohesive Party Color Scheme

posted in: Party Tips | 0

You’ve spent hours planning and creating an awesome party, so how do you get your vision to come to life before your very eyes? How do you make an impression and wow your guests?! After all the effort you put into planning your party, you should not be disappointed by the end result not turning out like you “see it” in your mind. One of the simplest ways to make a large visual impact, is to have a cohesive color scheme for your party. By using just a few coordinating colors, you can ensure that every aspect of your party feels cohesive and complete. The colors you choose can also make your party stand out from the rest—you want it to be unique, not look like everyone else’s!!

Last year, we decided to have a carnival birthday party for our daughter, Olivia. We’ll use this as an example as we work through these steps!

Here are some steps to picking a unique and cohesive color scheme for your party:

  1. Choose a main color that emotes the feeling that you want your guests to have while at the party.

In our culture, we have been trained to connect ideas with certain colors. This is a good starting point when picking a main color for your party. There is nothing wrong with flipping the script on convention and having a blue and yellow Hello Kitty party, but convention is a good place to start. It all depends on how you want your party guests to feel.

Did you know that colors have emotion? Close your eyes for a minute and imagine yourself in a room full of yellow. Yellow walls, yellow ceiling and floors, yellow flowers all around you. Now, imagine everything in that room suddenly turned red. Bam. You feel different, right? Think of what emotion you want your guests to feel when they attend your party.

Common Emotions Associated With Color:

  • Yellow-Happiness, Friendliness
  • Blue-Calm, Serenity
  • Red-Excitement, Masculinity
  • Pink-Youthful, Femininity
  • Black-Sophisticated, Glamourous
  • Brown-Rugged, Serious
  • Green-Safe, Balanced, Peaceful
  • White- Cleanliness, Purity

TIP: Think of each color as a spectrum. The lighter shade of that color will evoke the more playful side of the emotion, whereas with the darker shade, the emotion will be more serious. For example, light purple can be flirty, where a deeper shade of purple has more of a sense of romance.

For Olivia’s carnival birthday party, we chose red as our main color. Red is not only a prominent color when you think of a carnival, but it evokes a fun and festive atmosphere.



  1. Choose a coordinating color to accent the main color.

The coordinating color’s job is simply to break up the monotony of the main color. Reference the color wheel to get some ideas.


Complimentary Colors: Once you pick your main color, draw a line directly across the circle to find the complimentary color. These two colors are opposite each other, but are said to complete each other. To create a subtler look, choose the color directly to the left or right of the complimentary color.

Analogous Colors:  Look immediately to the left and right of your main color. These are analogous colors and can create a great party atmosphere!

Color Triangle: Look at your main color, count 4 colors to the right…and 4 colors to the left. These three colors create a triangle and can work really well together!


Using those three techniques, look at your color options and choose the accent color that fits your theme and that you like the best.

The complimentary color for red is blue. We chose a color in the blue family to accent the red.


  1. Choose a background color to anchor the main and accent color.

The background color is usually going to be a neutral. The 2 most popular background color choices are black or white, but you can also use other neutrals depending on your theme.

  • Black
  • White
  • Navy Blue
  • Army Green
  • Tan
  • Grey

To give a clean, bright look, I chose white as my background color for Olivia’s carnival party.


  1. Finally, choose a fun, pop color to break up the color scheme.

This color is the exclamation point to your party sentence! This is where you bring in your silvers, golds, glitters, or bright colors that would otherwise be too much for the room. These colors should be used sparingly, however, they still can provide great visual impact to your party! You can utilize the same color wheel techniques discussed above if you need some inspiration or ideas on what colors to use. Sometimes, the pop color might be black if you’ve chosen white as your background color.

To round out our carnival color scheme, we chose the color yellow as our pop color! As you can see, these colors worked fabulously together and helped create the overall atmosphere we wanted for Olivia’s birthday party!

To pull it all together, when picking items for your party, keep your color scheme in mind! You can absolutely add in other colors here and there, but keep them at a minimum and use them only in strategic places. Following these steps will ensure your party looks cohesive and your guests have the experience that you planned them to have!



Digital Invitation from Etsy Shop: LittleMsShutterbug




If you like these tips, you’ll LOVE my tips on getting people to actually RSVP for your party! Isn’t it nice to know how many people to cook for?! Haha



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