What’s up with Orange?

Give Me Orange or Give me Death

Hey it’s a dramatic color, what can I say.

Traditional Home – November 2008

Can you think of a harder color to work with, even in the garden? I do like orange but it sure can stump a designer. It does not always play well with others.

You really need the right shade to create the right mood. From a good design use, it is a color often associated with the Southwest and Spanish architecture.

And maybe the opposite, in my humble opinion,  HGTV design. It translate well on TV so you see so much of it popping right off the screen.

Tastefully, it is a color often used as an accent rather than as a full monochromatic color scheme. The shades range from very warm yellows and peachy colors to darker burnt oranges. They can be combined with varying shades of the opposite in blue for drama. Many times the color works well with warm wood tones like oak or dark wood like mahogany or walnut. Just watch the reds.

Just an accent. Veranda September 2009

Just a faint touch with pale gray-blue. Veranda October 2009

What I want you to see above is the connection to the landscape outside. Look at the design on the fountain and see if you can get the same feel with the papered wall. The round form and intricate florals. Feeling transported abroad? Notice the color of the woodwork with the yellows and orange. Catching a theme here. Always work with your wood tones. It will give a more professional look to your design.

Elegant Homes Fall/ Winter 2009

The kitchen above just uses a bit of orange in the tile to warm up the hard surfaces in the kitchen. The cabinetry also has a very warm tone accomplishing the same thing. Blues, yellows and orange have a lot of impact in a subtle way in the tile. Check out the barrel-vaulted ceiling.  Orange subway type tile. Now that is daring and a great touch.

Veranda May/June 2010

This selection of roses and lilies make a pretty tablescape with the rustic handmade items on the antique linen tablecloth.

I saw so many designers telling you how to use it. I saw designs that really frighten me with the outrageous saturated oranges. My post today has put me on a quest. I am going to find a great use of this color if it kills me.

The way I like orange used personally speaking, is with restraint.  Mix it with white for freshness and a happy feel. Here above, if you accessorize with it, it can be swapped out when you tire of it, and you will over time. It is a difficult color that flows in and out with the temperamental trends.

And who can say it doesn’t go with an outdoor room. This fireplace is massive, but the strength of the orange fabric gives punch and holds its own against this fireplace.

House Beautiful 2010

You will be seeing more of the butterflies on Garden Walk Garden Talk. A recent trip to the Butterfly Conservatory is just the thing to brighten the winter doldrums. But it was the inspiration for this post today. Find your happy color.


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10 thoughts on “What’s up with Orange?

  1. So funny. My very first bedroom, when I was a little girl, was orange. My parents let me pick the color and I told the guy painting our apt. what I wanted and first he tried peach, then shrimp, until finally I cried “Orange! I said orange!” The poor man just couldn’t comprehend orange walls and acted as if the world would come to an end. My father finally told him to just do it. “It’s only paint,” Daddy said.

  2. I am very drawn to the color orange. But I use it as an accent color. I can’t imagine doing an entire room with the color. The barrel-vaulted ceiling is amazing…I love the wood beams! And, I could spend hours sitting in that outdoor room. I like the simplicity of the fireplace and the punch of orange color. Going to head over to GWGT now to check out your butterflies…

  3. I love it!! Especially the third image of the bedroom – love the eclectic feel of the space with the pops of color. My kitchen is the color of pumpkin pie and I love it…I painted it about 4 years ago and thought if I got tired of it, I would just repaint…it’s only paint. But I still love it after all this time. I just remodeled my back splash with 1×2 glass tiles and found one that has really nice warm tones that work with the paint but could go neutral if I ever decide to go back to vanilla! I really enjoy your new blog and look forward to seeing your collection of photos…

  4. Orange and purple, separately and in combination, are my absolute favorite flower colors in the garden, the deeper the colors the better. I grow that tall bearded iris ‘Savannah Sunset’. In 2003, I redesigned my gardens to dedicate a whole level of my terraces to just that color combination. I don’t like orange inside for clothes or furnishings–I am more of a blue/green/yellow person. Your fascinating post has given me a whole new appreciation of orange inside the house.

  5. Dear Donna, I love orange as accents with blues and rusty browns especially. It certainly can easily be overdone. Your first photo is a perfect example. The fourth and fifth photos too. Of course orange roses and butterflies are always lovely.

  6. I always thought my curtains are yellow in color but the shade is very similar to the one above. The second layer is white, so yes, the curtains do have the freshness and happy feel. My pillows are dark brown to match the wood color. I wonder how it would look in that same yellow/orange shade. I also have a huge orange salt lamp in my living room. I like the warm cozy look.

  7. I like orange in more of the orange-red range in the garden. The color seems to hold its own in our bright hot sun. Orange has made it into my home (in the past) in the colors of Morocco with yellow and deep purples.

  8. Enjoyed your orange post! I like orange inside and out, too. I have found it to be tricky in the garden. It is hard to find the right place in which it compliments other colors. I had my orange blooms too close to pink and I didn’t care for it at all. Live and learn. 🙂

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