Orange – the Energetic Color
Lively, fun and vivacious, orange is a combination of the brightness and intensity of yellow, and the richness of red. There’s nothing remotely shy about vivid orange — it’s a hue that will always get noticed in room decor.
As hue with such high impact, using orange for pops of color is one way to go.
Bright Bursts of Orange
From Côté Sud, this room in the south of France has pops of orange against an all white interior with a black accent wall. Très chic.
Bold orange accents enliven this modern and open great room. The entry wall is made of red-orange Japanese plaster. (From Luxe. Photo: Matthew Millman.)
A bright orange rug picks up the orange of the lamps and accent pillows for a trio of accents in this all white modern living room. (Photo: Wayne Cable. From Luxe.)
In the living room of her Ojai, California, home, designer Kathryn M. Ireland has used selections from her fabric collection, enlivening the space with a mix of patterns and orange tones. (From House Beautiful. Photo: Victoria Pearson.)
One of two burnt-orange of columns leading to an airy sunroom, the tempered orange is a lively touch of color against creamy white walls. Designer: Jennifer Garrigues. (Photo by Troy Campbell.)
An orange accent wall brightens an open entry area by designer Jay Jeffers. (Photo by Matthew Milman.)
Designer Matthew White painted a portion of an entry wall in Benjamin Moore’s Starburst Orange (2010-30). The red-orange color contrasts with the 19th-century plaster bust of Homer and the intaglio console. (From Elle Decor. Photo: Grey Crawford.)
A duo of red-orange Chinese chests brightly punctuate a room decorated in shades of taupe. Designer: David Michael Miller. (From Luxe. Photo: Bill Timmerman.)
In a multipurpose guest room and study, the red-orange accents of the lacquered nesting tables, as well as the leather armchair, add needed accents of bright color against the brown-toned grasscloth walls. (From Cottage Living. Photo: Robbie Caponetto and Roger Foley.)
In a ‘contrasty’ bedroom, vibrant red-orange pillows add a pop of high-impact color. (From Coastal Living. P: Laura Moss.)
Orange becomes less pronounced:
A bright orange console is less pronounced against a mustard-toned wall in this dining room with a European flair by Jamie Drake. (From Drake Design Associates.)
Red-orange accent pillows brighten this earthy-toned space with a vast prairie and mountain view. (From Luxe. Photo: Matthew Millman.)
A guest bedroom by designer Roger Thomas has an orange accent wall and a colcha-embroidery throw — both adding bright accent to the neutral-toned space. (Photo: Grey Crawford.)
Orange, Subdued a Bit
The living room of designer Livia Rebecchini’s Roman palazzo apartment is accented with pumpkin – a subdued version of orange. (From Architectural Digest. Photo: Francesco Lagnese.)
Orange curtains in a softened orange add a punch of color to this dining room with an antique armoire. The designer: Ann Holden. (From Southern Accents. Photo: William Waldron.)
An earthy pumpkin tone dresses the headboards in this guest bedroom, contrasting with charcoal gray and the sky-blue stripes on the wall. (From Coastal Living. Photo: Lisa Romerein.)
Schemes with Orange
Orange accents, combined with other colors, add to the color scheme possibilities.
In East Hampton, New York, NR Design Studio combined tones of buttercup yellow with a pop of bright orange accents for a sunny living room. (From Luxe. Photo: Nick Johnson.)
Orange mixes with tangerine and hot pink for a fun look. White walls with bold black accents provide a strong neutral foundation for the bold accents.
An orange sofa brightens this sitting area with traditional style elements. Pale apricot walls, a soft green accent pillow and blue in the carpet create an pleasing scheme.
Bright red-orange dining chairs sit on a slightly bluish leaning light-green rug, making up a tweaked direct complimentary scheme. (This and the previous two images are from Better Homes & Gardens.)
Designer Tobi Fairley has complemented orange with soft blues and greens in this showhouse room. (From Traditional Home. Photo: Nancy Nolan.)
In this bright and lively dining room by Jamie Drake, orange walls are the backdrop for bright blue chairs and table top accents. The wall color is Benjamin Moore’s Calypso Orange (2015-30). (Image from Elle Decor. Photo: Simon Upton.)
I did reverse my focus of orange as the accent color in that last room image, where bright orange became the background instead of the accent color. The room is so fun I wanted to include it. Walls this intense can be a bit too much for some. You’ll probably know if you’re someone who’d prefer to stick with orange as pops of accent color.
“Orange is the happiest color,” Frank Sinatra is quoted as saying. Orange was apparently his favorite color and showed up in his clothes and his homes.