31 Winter Color Palettes for Frosty Designs

Winter color palettes illustration

Whether you want to evoke icy wonderlands or the warm, cozy feeling of sitting by the fireplace, winter color palettes are indispensable tools for creating seasonal designs.

When used carefully, these palettes can create a range of different effects. Soft shades of blue and white can inspire a feeling of calm, and a few bursts of red or orange can offer some unexpected energy. But before you wow your audience, you need to pick the right color scheme for the job.

Check out these beautiful winter color palettes. Hex codes are included if you want to use the colors in your next design.

1. Tundra Sunrise

Tundra Sunrise color palette

Names: Blue green, Powder blue, Light blue, Floral white, Thistle
Hex Codes: #3494B7, #A5C4D6, #ACCCD8, #FFFAF4, #D3BBCB

Most winter color palettes prominently feature cooler shades. This one includes cool Blue Green, Powder Blue, and Light Blue. But it also includes two warmer hues: the warm-leaning Floral White and the pinkish Thistle.

You might not think that two colors would make much of a difference, but the subtle warmth of these two balances out what would otherwise be an icy palette. You can see that effect in the example image — the pinkish glow of the sunrise and the yellowish grasses give even this snowy picture a welcoming look.

2. Wintery Mix

Wintery Mix color palette

Names: Uranian blue, Alice blue, Seasalt, Platinum, Silver
Hex Codes: #A1DCFA, #DAEAF0, #F7F9F8, #DADADD, #BBBABC

When you think of wintery blues, you probably picture shades with a grayish cast — not bright, almost summery hues like Uranian Blue. But as you can see, when you combine Uranian Blue with more traditionally icy colors, you get a winter palette that’s a little different.

Without a bright burst like this, the combination of Alice Blue, Seasalt, Platinum, and Silver might look a bit dull and drab. With Uranian Blue in the mix, this palette might remind you of a sunny sky on a snowy day.

3. Alpine Sunrise

Alpine Sunrise color palette

Names: Moonstone, Air superiority blue, Flax, Glaucous, Pomp and power
Hex Codes: #4BA4C0, #71A5BA, #FFF299, #7672AA, #876095

Here’s something you may not have expected: a winter color palette without shades of white! But when you look at the grayish cast of Glaucous and Pomp and Power and the calm blue of Moonstone and Air Superiority Blue, it’s easy to see how this collection of colors can come together to create a wintery scene.

If you wish, you can take some inspiration from the example photo and include snowy shades of white in your own design. White can help dilute the impact of this unusually bright color collection.

4. Icicle

Icicle color palette

Names: Vista blue, Powder blue, Lavender (web), Cosmic latte, Thistle
Hex Codes: #90A8D5, #B8C6E0, #DCE2F2, #FFF8E8, #D3C9E4

What season do you associate most with pastel colors? If you’re like most people, these pale shades make you think of spring. But this collection of soft colors will work nicely in any wintery design.

If you need a subtle backdrop, try creating a simple pattern of Cosmic Latte snowflakes on a Web lavender background. You also might consider creating a color gradient with Vista blue, Powder Blue, and Web Lavender and then adding accents of Thistle and Cosmic Latte.

5. Holly and Ivy

Holly and Ivy color palette

Names: Cambridge blue, Ash gray, Honeydew, Mint cream, Cerise
Hex Codes: #90A298, #AEC3A4, #C6DECE, #F5FBF9, #CF4762

Holly might make you think of Christmas, but this pretty red and green plant is also a beautiful symbol of winter. And thanks to muted greenish shades like Cambridge Blue, Ash Gray, and Honeydew, this holly-inspired palette avoids looking artificial or garish. These shades come close to the look of frost-covered leaves, and Cerise offers a burst of red that can add interest without overwhelming your audience.

6. Window Seat

Window Seat color palette

Names: Blue (ncs), Sky blue, Alice blue, Caramel, Dim gray
Hex Codes: #1683B0, #91C9DF, #DCE9EF, #C57E4D, #726D63

When viewed without the example picture, this palette might look like an unusual blend of fall and winter shades. Caramel and Dim Gray are grounding earth tones, but as you can see in the example, Caramel’s warmth makes a great counterbalance for the cool hues of the rest of the palette.

If you’re creating a design that needs a central focal point, the example image offers some inspiration. The relative boldness of NCS Blue and Caramel makes them stand out. If you’re making a text-based design, consider creating a background of Sky Blue, Alice Blue, and Dim Gray. For the text, create a central circle or rectangle with an NCS Blue border.

7. November Frost

November Frost color palette

Names: Cinereous, Thistle, Seasalt, Lavender (web), Columbia blue
Hex Codes: #9D8488, #CFBBC0, #F9F9FB, #D7D9E5, #BFD0E7

Winter doesn’t always look like rolling, snowy hills. Sometimes, it’s a blanket of brown leaves with a thin crust of morning frost. Both Cinereous and Thistle are brownish shades that look slightly frosted. Seasalt is a strikingly cool white, and Web Lavender and Columbia Blue are similarly frosty shades of blue.

This palette also offers you a chance to create a high-contrast design. Blue is a color that pops against brown, so you can use this group of colors to create something that is both wintery and dynamic.

8. Winter Sky

Winter Sky color palette

Names: Blue (ncs), Picton blue, Process cyan, Isabelline, Jasmine
Hex Codes: #2C8BBF, #47A9D8, #48B7E4, #ECE5DF, #FFE39A

This palette’s example image shows a landscape that looks almost too beautiful to be real. The colors here are much more vivid than those of many other palettes on the list. When taken out of context, they may even look more like summer colors than winter shades.

That isn’t to say you can’t make a great wintery design with them. But because these shades might not suggest winter on their own, make sure that at least some elements of your design clearly signal a wintery focus.

For example, if your design includes snowmen or snowflakes, your audience will associate it with winter. But if you arrange the colors in an abstract pattern, your audience isn’t likely to make the connection.

9. Gingerbread

Gingerbread color palette

Names: Silver, Platinum, Anti-flash white, Light cyan, Persian orange
Hex Codes: #C7C1C3, #E9E8E9, #EEF0F3, #C7EFF8, #D39369

This color palette brings together an interesting mix. With Silver, Platinum, and Anti-Flash White, you get a quiet, grayscale palette. But the more saturated Light Cyan and Persian Orange create a vivid, high-contrast look.

So what’s the best way to bring these shades together? Much like Caramel and NCS Blue in the Window Seat palette, Light Cyan and Persian Orange are great for creating a central focal point. Silver, Platinum, and Anti-Flash White work together to build a wonderful, winter-inspired backdrop for any design you choose.

10. Winter Woods

Winter Woods color palette

Names: Non photo blue, Light blue, Alice blue, Raw umber, Viridian
Hex Codes: #8DDBF2, #AFDAE9, #E2ECF3, #865A3F, #308060

The whimsical winter cartoon above is full of color. But the dominant shades here are the icy Non-Photo Blue, Light Blue, and Alice Blue. On their own, Raw Umber and Viridian might not make you think of winter. But when they’re set in front of a blue background, they fit beautifully into frosty designs.

Raw Umber plays a particularly important role. If you’ve worked extensively with light or pale shades, you already know that light color schemes sometimes need a grounding influence. Even in small doses, this deep brown can keep a design grounded.

11. Hygge

Hygge color palette

Names: Ash gray, Columbia blue, White smoke, Bone, Khaki
Hex Codes: #B0C2C6, #C7D7DE, #F3F5F3, #E4D7C7, #BDAC9D

Hygge describes a sense of coziness and contentment, and this color palette captures it beautifully. White Smoke, Bone, and Khaki are perfect for creating layered neutral color schemes for digital designs and interior designs alike.

That said, not everyone likes to create all-neutral palettes. Ash Gray and Columbia Blue add some cool character to this palette without straying too far from its comfy, casual vibe.

12. Day’s End

Day's End color palette

Names: Tropical indigo, Mauve, Plum (web), Lavender blush, Vanilla
Hex Codes: #9577F8, #CC99FF, #F5A4F5, #FFEDF8, #FFEDBA

You might think of summer as the season of spectacular sunsets, but winter has some beautiful sunsets of its own. This color palette captures the striking yellows, pinks, and purples of a sunset. But Lavender Blush is a remarkable inclusion — it’s the same color as the pinkish light reflecting off of the snow.

Like many other light, bright color palettes, this one could benefit from a bit of grounding. The black silhouettes of the tree and the outbuildings in the image above are just enough to ground this enchanting color scheme.

13. Robin

Robin color palette

Names: Coyote, Ochre, Reseda green, Azure (web), Alice blue
Hex Codes: #7C6543, #D67101, #63835F, #D8E6E7, #E6F4FB

Seeing robins and other birds all puffed up is a highlight of winter. Robins might be commonplace, but when you look closely, you’ll find that their colors can be truly captivating!

Whether your project includes a robin or not, you’ll probably find this palette to be useful. Like some of the other winter palettes on the list, this one seems to bridge the gap between fall and winter. Coyote, Ochre, and Reseda Green are rich, earthy shades, and the warmth of Coyote and Ochre is reminiscent of autumn.

14. Snowy Stream

Snowy Stream color palette

Names: Blue gray, Argentinian blue, Anti-flash white, Timberwolf, Ash gray
Hex Codes: #5F9CE4, #66B7EF, #EBF0F4, #DADAD6, #B8D7CF

Nothing inspires a sense of adventure quite like a blue stream flowing through snowy mountains. When you take a look at this picture, you can practically feel the winter sun and the icy breeze.

This palette strikes the perfect balance between high-energy blues and soft, snowy neutrals. And depending on how much of each you use, you can dramatically shift the mood of your design. When you emphasize Blue Gray and Argentinian Blue and add accents of the other shades, you get a modern, energetic design. But if you want something a little calmer, use a backdrop of Anti-Flash White, Timberwolf, and Ash Gray.

15. Wool Sweater

Wool Sweater color palette

Names: Dun, Almond, Antique white, Ivory, Turkey red
Hex Codes: #DFC8AF, #E9D4BF, #F3E9D9, #FFFCEB, #B00000

Winter’s beauty isn’t only in snowy landscapes. Sometimes, you find it in simple things like warm sweaters and cozy knit socks. This palette’s array of warm neutrals is great for interior design, especially if you’re hoping to create a Scandinavian-style aesthetic.

Dun, Almond, Antique White, and Ivory work beautifully on their own. But as you can see in the example photo, a rich shade like Turkey Red is ideal for bringing a burst of energy.

You might find that together, these colors start to make your design a little too warm. But the example photo offers an easy fix — a touch of navy blue adds just enough coolness.

16. Sledding Day

Sledding Day color palette

Names: Tiffany blue, Light blue, Anti-flash white, Thistle, Cosmic latte
Hex Codes: #7ECDCA, #C5DEE2, #F1F7F7, #C8B8C5, #FAF3DF

This eclectic, wintery mix is perfect if you want to work with something that’s a little different from most seasonal palettes. It’s not limited to just blues and grays — Tiffany Blue is a little greenish, Thistle is a cool, dusty purple, and Cosmic Latte leans yellow.

This unlikely color combination is perfect for busy designs like the one in the example picture. As you can see, if you want to add a little more energy, you can always add splashes of red, orange, pink, green, and more!

17. Country Roads

Country Roads color palette

Names: Celestial blue, Air superiority blue, Columbia blue, Cambridge blue, Lion
Hex Codes: #5A98C0, #73A2C7, #B1C9DC, #9BB69F, #B78A67

Bare trees encrusted with ice can look positively magical. And if you look deep into an icy forest, you’ll find that it’s shadowed with blue. The picture above is a great example, and those shadows are captured beautifully by Celestial Blue, Air Superiority Blue, and Columbia Blue. And despite the name, Cambridge Blue is roughly the color of frozen grass.

18. Rustic

Rustic color palette

Names: Khaki, Timberwolf, Seasalt, Dun, Reseda green
Hex Codes: #BBA89A, #DBD4CF, #FAF8F9, #DEC8AA, #70745B

The colors of evergreen trees, weathered wood, and neutral textiles work nicely together in interiors. But if you use this distinctive palette, you don’t have to feel limited to interiors.

You might think that a mostly-neutral palette would look dull, particularly in a digital design. A design like this can be dull, but it doesn’t have to be. And as the above palette shows, it’s possible to bring together a collection of neutral colors that still has substantial variation.

Khaki is a powdery, cocoa-like brown, and Timberwolf comes close to being a cool taupe. Seasalt is a refreshing, frosty white, and Dun has a yellowish glow. Reseda Green helps break up the monotony of the neutral palette without disrupting its quaint, earthy feel.

19. Snowman

Snowman color palette

Names: Tufts blue, Vivid sky blue, Columbia blue, Anti-flash white, Folly
Hex Codes: #358AD4, #2FC9F6, #BBD2E6, #EAEFF2, #F23F57

This dynamic, winter-inspired palette has a Christmasy feel to it. That’s largely because the combination of Anti-Flash White and Folly looks a bit like a candy cane or a Santa hat. Folly adds a warm burst, but this palette’s unusual blue gradient is what really sets it apart.

The blues here run the gamut from icy to marine-inspired. Columbia Blue’s grayish cast is reminiscent of ice, and Tufts Blue has a serene, oceanic feel. As the name suggests, Vivid Sky Blue is the color of a sunny winter sky.

20. Silver and Snow

Silver and Snow color palette

Names: Feldgrau, Taupe gray, Silver, Isabelline, Engineering orange
Hex Codes: #405641, #837983, #CCCBCB, #F0EFED, #C50200

When you think of winter color palettes, you probably imagine shades of blue and white. But as this palette illustrates, gray-heavy winter palettes can be surprisingly beautiful. This one has a balanced light-dark gradient that goes from isabelline to Silver to Taupe Gray.

A design using only these three colors might run the risk of looking a bit too dull. That’s where Feldgrau and Engineering Orange come in. When these shades of green and red bookend the three gray hues, they create the perfect color scheme for wintery, Christmas-inspired landscapes and other designs.

21. Wonderland

Wonderland color palette

Names: Savoy blue, Tropical indigo, Plum (web), Jordy blue, Cornflower blue
Hex Codes: #5667B5, #A289D9, #EA9EDC, #94C2FE, #6899E1

Skies with swirls of pink and blue clouds are always beautiful. But when they happen over serene and snowy landscapes, there’s something almost otherworldly about them.

Like some of the other palettes on the list, this one might not immediately seem wintery if you look at it out of context. And Tropical Indigo, Web Plum, and Jordy Blue are pale enough that they might even make you think of spring.

But add these colors to a snowy landscape like the one above, and everything changes. If you want to create a winter design that intrigues and surprises, this is a great color palette to consider.

22. Toasted

Toasted color palette

Names: Drab dark brown, Khaki, Isabelline, Caramel, Reseda green
Hex Codes: #564A37, #A79783, #F4F3F0, #D17A3B, #868050

Here’s another palette that shows you earth tones don’t just have to be fall colors. Drab Dark Brown, Khaki, Caramel, and Reseda Green would all be quite at home in an autumnal color scheme. But when you add them as accents in a backdrop of snowy Isabelline, they’ll give any design a touch of rustic winter charm.

Of course, to keep this palette from looking too warm or autumnal, you should take a couple of precautions when working with it. Using Isabelline as a main shade is a great start. When incorporating other colors, place greater emphasis on cooler hues.

23. Pine Forest

Pine Forest color palette

Names: Viridian, Honeydew, Anti-flash white, Light blue, Ash gray
Hex Codes: #488160, #D9E8DC, #F4F8F8, #B9D6DE, #98BAB8

Looking for a cool, comforting winter palette that still includes a variety of different colors? Here’s a great choice. This palette includes a refreshing balance — Anti-Flash White sits at the center, and there are both soft and saturated versions of both blue and green. Light Honeydew blends effortlessly into darker Viridian, and Light Blue is close to being a washed-out version of Ash Gray.

As you can see in the picture, this is a palette that’s perfect for creating serene winter landscapes. But it’s also a good choice for colorblocking and abstract design. It’s not quite monochromatic, but the colors are related enough that your design will have a unified feel.

24. Rime Ice

Rime Ice color palette

Names: Alice blue, Platinum, Ash gray, Reseda green, Fire engine red
Hex Codes: #E3EBF5, #D5DADE, #9CB1A5, #637E68, #C80C1E

Holly leaves and snow have come to be emblematic of both Christmas and winter in general. And while the plant in the picture isn’t technically holly, its dark green leaves and red berries have a similar effect! The ice encrusting the leaves adds a little extra magic. Reseda Green comes close to the color of evergreen leaves, and greenish Ash Gray can add some variety to your design.

However you use this palette, make sure you don’t overdo the combination of Reseda Green and Fire Engine Red. Too much of both can quickly make any design look like a Christmas decoration. Unless that’s what you’re going for, try emphasizing the other shades and just using Fire Engine Red as an accent.

25. Night Sky

Night Sky color palette

Names: Steel blue, Jordy blue, White smoke, Wisteria, Glaucous
Hex Codes: #4184CC, #9ECAF5, #F2F0F0, #BEAEDA, #6777B1

Purple has long had a connection to the supernatural. And when you add lavender-like Wisteria and periwinkle-like Glaucous to a palette of blue and white, you transform it into something beautiful and unique.

If you want your design to have some of the mystery of the skyline in the picture, incorporating large amounts of Jordy Blue, White Smoke, and Wisteria (the softer colors in the palette) is a good idea. When you use the more saturated Steel Blue and Glaucous around the edges, you create a memorable, vignette-like effect.

26. Permafrost

Permafrost color palette

Names: Timberwolf, Platinum, White, Alice blue, Nyanza
Hex Codes: #D6D0D3, #E3E2E8, #F9FDFF, #EAF1F9, #D2DFC4

Pastels aren’t just for spring. If you want your winter-inspired design to have a serene, quieting effect, consider an overall soft palette like this one. These shades work nicely together, but because they’re so similar, they’re not the best choice for patterns or colorblocking.

These shades are ideal for creating soft, dreamy designs. But in some cases, you might find that your design needs more of a grounding force. The example picture shows you a great way to keep things grounded. Even the relatively small, dark brown detail on the woman’s sweater is enough to bring the picture into balance.

27. Squirrel

Squirrel color palette

Names: Dim gray, Silver, Platinum, Sage, Bittersweet shimmer
Hex Codes: #726862, #B4ABA5, #EBEAE6, #BDB892, #C45464

Snowy woodlands have a special allure, and this neutral-heavy color palette captures that beautifully. And thanks to the range of different saturations here, you have a few different design options. Platinum makes a great traditional background color. But if you want to do something different, consider using Dim Gray as your background. It’s dark enough to allow the other colors in the palette to stand out.

28. Scarf

Scarf color palette

Names: Beaver, Dun, Timberwolf, Alabaster, Cadet gray
Hex Codes: #A78070, #C7B8AC, #D2CAC0, #E9E1D7, #85AAB2

This palette of (mostly) closely-related colors captures the coziness of a warm wool scarf. In particular, Dun, Timberwolf, and Alabaster are warm enough to make a statement, but not so warm that they overwhelm an audience. Along with the clay-like Beaver and the refreshingly cool Cadet Gray, they make a beautiful palette for a website.

If you want your winter design to seem warm and cozy as opposed to icy and chilly, this is an excellent color scheme to consider.

29. Frozen Lake

Frozen Lake color palette

Names: Silver lake blue, Ruddy blue, Columbia blue, Cosmic latte, Vanilla
Hex Codes: #528BC0, #83A9D4, #C0D0DA, #F6F3E4, #F4E5A0

You might not be able to experience this striking vista in person. But at least you can capture its essence with this eclectic collection of colors.

This is one of the palettes that might not necessarily look wintery on its own. But Cosmic Latte is about the color of the sunset over snow, and Columbia Blue looks a little frosty. Whether you’re creating a landscape or something a little more abstract, this is certainly a palette to look at!

30. Clementines

Clementines color palette

Names: Cocoa Brown, Sunset, Khaki, Baby powder, Silver
Hex Codes: #DE7838, #F0C488, #CBB199, #F8F9F4, #A8AEAE

Citrus fruits might not seem especially related to winter. But if you’re familiar with the tradition of finding oranges in your Christmas stocking, it makes sense that shades of vivid orange might belong in a winter palette.

Of course, to stop things from looking summery, this color scheme includes icy Silver and snowy Baby Powder along with two shades of orange. It might seem like an odd mixture of colors at first. But keep in mind that orange and gray create a high-contrast, eye-catching pair. If you use even a few accents of this palette’s orange shades against Silver, you’ll give your design a sharp, modern look.

31. Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas color palette

Names: Moonstone, Sky blue, Non photo blue, Snow, Jordy blue
Hex Codes: #42B2CB, #7DC9DD, #A4DCF2, #FEFAF7, #9DBCE9

The spectacular ice formations in the example picture are difficult to forget. And while the sunlight filtering through them is remarkable, so is the array of blues found in this color palette.

With so many shades of blue, this collection of colors could easily be mistaken for a summer palette. If you want to make sure your audience connects it to winter, include a large proportion of Snow and use the other shades of blue as accent colors.

Using Winter Colors in Your Design

Winter colors are so much more than gray and white. But choosing the right palette is only part of the design process — if you want your design to work, you need to use the colors carefully. Here are some tips for successfully using your chosen color scheme.

Strike a Balance Between Light and Dark

Just like with any color scheme, you don’t want your winter design to get excessively dark (or too light). One approach to take is to start with a light backdrop and intersperse darker-colored accents. But for advertisements or other designs that need to really pop, you might consider a lighter pattern against a darker backdrop.

There’s no exact formula for how much light and how much dark you need. But this is an area where you can trust your eye. Take a step back and look at your design. Does it seem balanced? Is it creating the mood you want it to create? If so, you probably have an appropriate mix of light and dark shades.

Don’t Feel Limited to Cool Colors

Winter is the coldest season. So naturally, you might think that any and all “winter colors” are cool shades. While it’s true that any winter palette will be mostly cool, there’s nothing wrong with adding a touch of warm color.

For example, imagine a picture of a snow-covered holly bush. That’s a wintery design, right? Snow is usually a cool shade of white, and the deep green of holly leaves is of course a cool color. But red isn’t. The red holly berries keep everything in balance while adding a touch of warm, engaging color.

Consider Different Sides of Winter

As you saw above, there’s more variation in winter color palettes than you might have thought. Most people imagine colors that conjure snowy hills and frozen lakes. There’s nothing wrong with that — ice-inspired color schemes are behind some of the most beautiful winter designs!

But you also might consider the indoor side of winter — fireplaces, cozy wool socks, and warm neutral interiors. If you want to create something a bit different, these alternative palettes can work well.

Create New Worlds With Winter Palettes

Winter color palettes do more than just look pretty. In advertising, they can help customers get into the seasonal spirit. In web design, they can refresh your audience and inspire a sense of adventure. And if you’re making a design celebrating Christmas or another winter holiday, they’re useful for that, too.

Assembling the right collection of winter colors is essential if you want to create a successful design. The above color palettes are meant to inspire you, but don’t be afraid to create your own!

Find more design inspiration in this collection of 24 themed color palettes.