Decorating With Orange
“It’s one of the zippiest colors,” says San Francisco interior designer Kimberly Ayres. Orange shares the attention-grabbing effect of red without as much aggressiveness. And it has many moods: It can be calming (peach) or earthy (pumpkin). Most oranges are warm, meaning they contain red or yellow, which gives them a friendly inner glow. A red orange (like on the wall here) feels graphic, so it works well with sleek furniture; a yellow orange nicely contrasts with dark, rustic pieces. When painting walls orange, don’t use the color elsewhere in the room—stick to neutrals, like white and cream, to temper the shade. And avoid black, so as not to veer into Halloween territory.
Dark orange pieces feel especially sophisticated against rich neutrals, like gray. For a more playful, animated look, pair bright orange furniture with other bold accents, such as a hot pink chair or a turquoise table lamp.
Against a white backdrop, orange feels especially juicy and fresh. When decorating with orange accessories, vary shades slightly and mix textures (matte with shiny, rough with smooth) so the look is dimensional and powerful rather than flat.
Paints That Pop
Like a setting sun, orange exudes warmth, so it’s great for making a space with minimal natural light feel cozier. If the room gets bright light, stick to a cooler shade, like apricot. Ayres offers her top picks here.*
Carrot Stick 2016-30
“Sporty and young, it works in a playroom with turquoise accents,” says Ayres.
To buy: $36 a gallon, benjaminmoore.com for stores.
*Quick reminder: Test colors on walls before you commit.
“Warm and comforting, it reminds me of butternut squash. Gorgeous with dark green accessories.”
To buy: $85 a gallon, farrow-ball.com.
Bold Orange RLIB229
“Pretty in a dining room above white wainscoting. Match chair cushions
to the paint color.”
To buy: $34 a gallon, ralphlaurenpaint.com for stores.
Charlotte’s Locks 268
“With jewel tones like peacock blue and fuchsia, it will feel exotic—think Marrakech.”
To buy: $85 a gallon, farrow-ball.com.
Coral Gable 2003-2B
“Pair it with cobalt for a cheerful look. Or pale aqua for a serene, spalike vibe.”
To buy: $34 a gallon, valsparpaint.com for stores.
Curvy Side Table
Gives a brown leather club chair a feminine touch.
To buy: Jacque table, $699, drexelheritage.com for stores.
A cartoonlike twist on a bedside staple that’s also cool enough for the mantel.
To buy: Ceramic clock Model-1, $280, vitra.com for stores.
A step up from wicker, it’s a focal point in an otherwise basic bathroom.
To buy: Acadia wastebasket, $148, worlds-away.com.
A powerful midcentury statement (at a reasonable price).
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available, but find a similar sofa at crateandbarrel.com.
This vibrant ombré design is perfect under a wooden coffee table.
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available; for other options, go to anthropologie.com.
An old-world style gets designy in a surprising color and a glossy finish.
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available, but find a similar candelabra at hudson-boston.com.
Teardrop-shaped and clean, it brings color to a traditional room without breaking stride.
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available, but find a similar lamp at mottega.com.
Pair it with a dark pink pillow to revive a tired tan couch.
To buy: For a similar item, go to cb2.com.
Extra eclectic, thanks to the style contrast between the front and hind legs.
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available; for other styles, go to serenaandlily.com.
Wool X Bench
Dramatic and handsome at the end of a hallway, under big art.
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available.
As much for treasures as for show. Picture it on a white dresser.
To buy: Lacquer jewelry box, $78, cwonder.com.
Chunky Knit Pouf
Inexpensive and comfortable, it’s ideal for a kid’s room.
To buy: CB2 knit floor pillow, $90, cb2.com.