Party Themes

Color Themes for Every Season

Table setting with evergreen sprigs, pinecones and ribbon on a white wood background

Color themes are a basic part of event planning. Repeating a limited number of colors across napkins, invitations, tablecloths, centerpieces and more creates an inviting sense of uniformity and sophistication, even for casual events.

If your party has a theme, color selection is often easy. Independence Day parties obviously call for red, white and blue. Graduation parties use school colors. Decorations for children’s parties are generally bold, while other parties often use more complex and subtle tones.

If a party does not have a theme, it might be more difficult to come up with a color scheme. One approach is to choose a single color, then choose one or two additional colors which work well with it. It’s best not to use all three colors equally. Choose one dominant color and use the others to lesser degrees.

If you’re having difficulty even choosing a primary color, consider taking suggestions from the seasons.


Spring is the season of returning life, and seasonal colors take their cue from fresh blooms. You might consider choosing a plant for decoration first and then working off of its colors for your color scheme.

Spring colors are bright and rich. You can include pastels, but don’t lose the brightness, and certainly stay away from muted colors that have been mixed with gray.


Summer is perhaps the most diverse in its color schemes. Like spring, it skews toward bright colors, although summer emphasizes pastels more. Summer colors often reflect warmth with shades of yellow, orange and red, but they don’t have to avoid cooler, refreshing colors either.

 autumn decor with candle, sunflower and pumpkin


Autumn colors take their cue from the changing leaves. Golds, oranges, reds and browns are the base colors for this season, and mixing them often produces the best results. The oranges should bear hints of red or brown, for example, rather than being the bright color of the fruit.


Even people who enjoy the snow welcome returning to the cozy warmth of home. Therefore, winter colors are often deep and rich, while also being muted. Evergreen is a popular example. This deep green brings color to an often stark landscape – it’s the reason evergreens have been associated with the season for just about forever. However, it’s not a bright green like grass or summer leaves.

Stay away from stark whites. The snow already provides more than enough of it. Consider ivory, light gray and other off-whites instead.

However you choose your colors, do not feel compelled to follow strict rules. These ideas (and others found throughout the internet) are merely a starting point. Often, once a single color is chosen, it becomes much easier to find accent colors. Find a color scheme that is uniquely yours to help decorate all your events.

Images copyright: saschanti17 / 123RF Stock Photo and artanika / 123RF Stock Photo

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