Now that we know we’ll have six more weeks of winter (thanks to Groundhog Phil…), we’re looking for bright happy colors to keep the dreary winter mood away—and there’s no cheerier color than orange. It’s the perfect combination of energetic red and optimistic yellow, and who can say ‘no’ to that? Orange will naturally enhance the warmth of the sun or will keep a cool room feeling cheery. And, don’t think that orange always has to be bold. In fact, we think it breaks down into three basic categories: bold, subdued and earthy.
Bold ‘true’ oranges are highly saturated with pigment and are therefore best used in small doses—think accent walls or one piece of furniture. Because the color is so bright, it can easily become overwhelming in a full room. So, it is best in moderation, where one or two glimpses of the vivid hue can take center stage against neutrals or a quiet background.
Subdued oranges, a.k.a softer tones like peaches or slightly pink salmons, keep a setting calm, making these shades perfect for entire walls or sweeping curtains. Because this color is so warm, it compliments most skin tones, making it a great choice for the bathroom or a romantically lit bedroom.
And finally, there’s earthy oranges that recall rich fall leaves and terra-cotta pots. Since these tones are derivative of natural pigments, they can look almost neutral (albeit a stimulating neutral), especially when paired with other natural colors like greens, browns or rusty reds. They make a good backdrop, one that will enhance the vibrancy of the surrounding colors.
Because orange can be tricky to decorate with, we reached out to color expert Kate Smith of Sensational Color for a few helpful tips. According to Kate, “Orange appears slightly yellower when placed next to red; it will appear more vibrant when placed next to blue and less vibrant when surrounded by bright yellow.” When picking a paint color, she said to “keep in mind that the color on a small swatch is going to be intensified when you see it on an entire wall, making it crucial to place a color sample in the room, observing it in different positions and under different lighting conditions.”
With all of this in mind, we challenged ourselves to find different ways you can infuse orange into your home. From small touches like bright clothespins to boldly painted accent walls, flip through the slideshow below for 25 paint ideas for any room in your home.
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