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Photo courtesy of @lzoatkinson

An Interior Designer’s Guide: Colors That Go With Orange

This exuberant shade is more sophisticated than you think.
Roxanne Robinson Dec 27, 2021
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A punchline from a corny childhood knock-knock joke played queried, "Orange you glad to see me." This vibrant hue that blends red's power and yellow cheerfulness is hand's down the most welcome color in your home when it comes to a sophisticated accent color. Nest Casa founder Sara Colombo attests that she opened her Florida-based uber high-end home design store in the fifteen years that the color is by far the most popular. "It's by far the best selling color for us," she maintains.

But homes aren't the only place to incorporate the lively hue. When Edgardo Osorio, founder of Aquazurra, opened his first store location in Capri this summer, the color played a significant role in the design. Marking the eleventh store for the supersexy luxury shoe brand, each store draws upon the location. Considering its relationship to the sea — Osorio named the brand for his favorite island and the clear blue waters that surround it — this outpost pairs a delicate aqua with vibrant deep orange inspired by sea coral. Centerstage, the inspiration becomes literal with a large piece of ceramic coral as a focal point in the inviting boutique designed by Marie-Jean Oudejans. Orange appears as lines on the floor, trim on the velvet settee and shelving units, and as the complimentary pattern color in the Capri-inspired ceiling design. The cheerful color fits the famous island. As Osorio puts it, "I feel I'm living la dolce vita when I'm back in my happy place: Capri."

Fashion is not immune to the lure of an orange accent, either. Brand advisor, stylist, and content creator Ann Caruso recently posted her favorite classic men's shirt, a blue-and-white-striped Brooks Brothers shirt a few sizes too big. She paired it with a favorite Hermès scarf — in orange, naturally. Having bought the scarf in 1990, which in orange she says made her happy, the fashion expert has used the scarf and other orange accents in her wardrobe since. "I like orange in my Hermès scarf but also a crocodile belt, handbag, or clutch, and in little ballet flats. I still have a pair from a long time ago, and they are hard to find today," she offered, adding, "My favorite color to pair it with is luggage brown in accessories. Leather with orange trim on it or with a scarf tied on it is beautiful. I like it paired with khaki green for fall, but I also love a blue and white combo."

When Lorenzo Atkinson, an e-commerce marketing coordinator at Proenza Schouler discovered his 600-square foot studio apartment, the 1905 classic brownstone architecture inthe  Bed-Stuy building sealed the deal according to an article in Domino. The beloved home magazine writes it was a New Year’s resolution to start collecting art that turned the charming space into an art gallery, which helped him embrace color. In the article, he said, “Art sets the tone for everything that I have.” he says. “Prior to collecting art, I didn’t enjoy color in so many ways.” Collected works from Black artists such as Theresa Chromati (@theresachromati), Brittney Leeanne Williams, and Devin N. Morris featured vibrant primary colors heavy on blue, red, and green. Atkinson painted each side of his fireplace a different color; orange on the left and navy on the right to play against the art. An orange settee adds another pop of the bright hue to highlight the colorful artwork.

One adage that applies to orange is a go-big or go-home philosophy, as seen in this post from @decor67, which displays a European-style palazzo with an intricately carved wood ceiling. The burnt orange walls play nicely with the warm wood tones of the ceiling decor. A turquoise touch dots a neutral palette throughout the floor and furniture on a painting canvas, further complimenting the orange.

Naturally blue as the color wheel’s complementary color, it is one of the most popular colors to go with orange. Designer Pierre Yoyanovitch plays with that concept with these coordinating armchairs in a Parisian salon. This dining room, created by Julie Hillman Designs, explores a more traditional style mixed with modern leanings. Case in point the pale blue upholstered seating set against chrome base dining table and two large orange tableaus flanking the mantle. A blue-tiled pool by Salva Lopez reflects an orange stucco building in its waters.

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Photo courtesy of @juliehillmandesign
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Photo courtesy of @salvalopez

Perhaps a bit unexpected is pink, considering both shades derive from red. But pink and orange is one commanding color combo. Textiles maker Dedar Milano offers a new material called chapeau inspired by traditional coats and hats made from woven felt. Here a rainbow of seat pads is placed on modern rustic orange with pink, creating a standout hue duo.

This hand-painted silk wallpaper from Degournay, the wallpaper company that needs no introduction, in two shades of orange and pop of yellow rests amongst a plethora of color in this salon. The room features a yellow oedipe sofa, Golran’s garden of Eden rug, and most striking the flower coffee table whose green ‘petal’ makes the room’s impact come together.

Orange is a go-to shade for giving beige and other neutrals a boost. The artwork – especially the Keith Haring piece – and other decors in this living room by Julie Hillman Designs provide the space a color treat to break up its sleek yet somber neutral color palette. Yoyanovitch uses charcoal grey to anchor walls in this dining area. Dedar Milano offers orange in raffia-effect jacquard, made into drapes that reside next to a textured bare geometric design wall.

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Photo courtesy of @dedarmilano
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Photo courtesy of @pierre.yovanovitch
Roxanne Robinson
Roxanne Robinson is an award-winning Paris-based American journalist covering luxury and fashion industries with over 25 years of experience. I spent over 18 years at WWD, covering sportswear, accessories and fine jewelry. My career witnessed the shift from print media to the digital age. I gained expert knowledge of the design world, wholesale and retail markets as well as the marketing that supports them. I met endless creatives and business people who create luxury from inception to POS with the consumer. My work has appeared in Forbes.com, BoF, The Hollywood Reporter, CRFashionbook.com, The Jewelry Journal as well in-house publications and websites at Bally, Pomellato, Au Depart and Editorialist.com among others.
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