The Flower Color Guide

“It’s always the thought of a color that leads and inspires us.”

–Darroch & Michael Putnam

Words by Darroch & Michael Putnam

Color is the aspect that most defines our work at Putnam & Putnam, whether it’s for arranging flowers or creating large-scale oral installations. We love color, and we think it creates the best visual stories.

We create our floral designs from intuition. Color is a narrative, and we let the color of flowers guide us, layering with them for depth. We use all colors, from dustier antique shades to vibrant saturated varieties. We use flowers and foliage as well as other elements such as fruit and vines to give our arrangements a sense of looseness and an old-world feeling—although we’re very “flower-heavy” rather than “greens-heavy”.

Michael has the most sophisticated eye for color, developed since his childhood in southern California, growing up appreciating flowers and gardens, then further advanced when he was studying interior design and working in that field. Darroch comes to his knowledge of color through his career as a photographer.

We start our designs with a color in mind, and then we pour through the flower market on West 28th Street in New York City, where we live, in early morning searches to find all the flowers that will help tell our color story that day. It’s always the thought of a color that leads and inspires us, and this is the book we wish we’d had to help guide us when we started Putnam & Putnam in 2014.