Where do you find color inspiration? One of my favorite, endless sources of inspiration is Flickr, along with useful search tools created by independent developers. Among these is Jim Bumgardner's Colr Pickr. Move the slider, pick a color, and voilà – a collection of images drawn from the photo sharing site!
The resulting images are modest in number, but they include any photos uploaded to Flickr, not just Creative Commons ones like most other color search tools. Clicking on each thumbnail takes you to the Flickr page.
In addition to the general color search, there are specialized Colr Pickrs, such as Flowers, Macro, Textures, and Urban Decay. Pictured above are the results of a Doors and Windows search, which could be especially fun to play with if you're thinking of doing some house painting!
I often find inspiration in nature while developing a color palette for a design project. I keep an ever evolving image library which I draw from when developing a concept. I love to surround myself with the beauty of these images, and to use them as a guide while exploring possiblilities and appropriate solutions with a client.
If you're like me, you probably have links, folders, or even blogs devoted to images culled from design sites, Flickr, and your last vacation. Why not use these images as inspiration for your next FLOR carpet or room design? It's easy – and even a little addictive – with the help of online color palette generators. Just find or upload a photo and it instantly creates a palette based on the colors in the image. You can then use your new palette to choose carpet, paint, textiles, and more. Here are some good (and free!) tools:
- Big Huge Labs – Using the Color Palette Generator, upload a photo or choose one from Flickr or Facebook to create a set of 15 color swatches.
- Color Hunter – Upload a photo or enter an image URL to generate two palettes of five colors (vibrant and dull), or explore palettes made by other users.
- COLOURlovers – This site's PHOTOCOPA tool is the most sophisticated of the bunch. Enter an image URL or search for a photo on Flickr to generate and customize six different palettes (bright, muted, analogous, chance, dark, light).
- DeGraeve – The interface is rather simple, but if you want a quick way to generate two palettes (dull and vibrant) from an image URL, this is it.
It's worth playing around with more than one tool, as each one may create a slightly different palette(s). Have fun and let me know if there are any other good sites that I missed!
Recently I mentioned COLOURlovers in a post about online color palette generators, but this site actually offers much, much more. If you’re smitten with color, palettes, patterns, and trends, it’s a fantastic place to find inspiration and share your own creations with an international online community. Last time I checked, COLOURlovers members (all 398,593+ of them) had created 3,014,849 colors, 1,289,226 palettes and 1,035,379 patterns and counting – that’s a lot of love!
Here are some of the fun ways to use COLOURlovers…
- Browse and Search – Need some inspiration for your bedroom redesign? Explore the new and archived colors, palettes, and patterns created by community members.
- Create – Design (and share, if you wish) your own colors, patterns, and palettes using the site’s sophisticated yet easy to use tools.
- Community – Follow users whose creations you admire, participate in forums and groups, and peruse the blog for more inspiration.
- Channels – In the Home channel, you can view interior design color trends, explore home-focused colors, and chat with other users for advice.
- Trends – Check out color trends from interior looks, street fashion, web design, and more.