Thursday, September 30, 2010

10 Ways to Decorate with Orange

Some people love the colour orange and some people don't.  I'm not a huge fan, but I have to say the colour is growing on me.  However, this being fall and everything, I thought I would put my Google fingers to work in search of some inspiring rooms decorated with orange.  It is interesting to see what colours work with orange.

Here's what I came up with - 

1)  Orange with white - The majority of rooms I found paired orange with white and sometimes touches of black, which you can see in the rooms below.  It's classic and clean and a nice way to let this bossy colour have its way. 

Martha Stewart

2) Orange with black - It is the rare bird that will brave the Hallowe'en connection and pair orange with black, but here is a lovely bathroom that uses this combo.

3) Orange with brown/beige - I would have thought orange and brown would look very 1970s but the bedroom below pulls off this combination, keeping the look fresh with all the white trim and furniture. 

This room pairs orange with beige and tan, giving a modern take on a woodsy colour combo.

4)  Orange with gray - Here are a couple of rooms that pair orange with gray.  Using gray, instead of black, avoids the Hallowe'en look but still gives the contrast of bright orange against soothing gray - a lovely combo. 

5) Orange with blue/turquoise - If you want to pair orange with something brighter than a neutral, by far the most popular choices are shades of blue.  I love the combination in the boxes of the office below.  Do you think I could keep my office tidy if it looked this cute? 

Martha Stewart

These next two photos have a very soft aqua paired with orange.

decor pad

Orange also looks amazing with a stronger blue or turquoise as you can see in the next two photos.

 HGTV Dream Home 2010 

6) Orange with green - According to my daughter Kate, you shouldn't ever use these colours together as they just scream - CARROT - but then again, we appear to have orange issues in our house.  There are surprisingly few photos with this colour combination, and fewer still of rooms that look good (well in my opinion anyway).

 Elle Decor

7). Orange with purple/pink/red - If you are contemplating these wild combinations you are definitely entering the bold room category.  I actually really like these rooms - to look at - in  a magazine.  I don't think I could ever live in a room with these bold colours, although they do look great in a little girl's room or a bathroom.  Then they are just playful and fun.  I always thought if I bought a house that had pink bathroom fixtures I would go wild and do the room in pink, orange, and red. 

Thibaut wallpaper via Bright Bold and Beautiful

Martha Stewart

8) A lot of orange - Sometimes orange takes centre stage in a room, like in the room below where all the walls are painted orange along with having orange bedding and accents.  Now that's one bold room!

 Sixx Designs via Stylehive

9)  A little bit of orange - More often, though, people prefer their orange in small doses.  This has the advantage that the orange can be changed to another colour when you get tired of it.  The orange is often as part of a pattern in stripes or florals or in accent pieces around the room like lamps, art, or the iconic orange Hermes boxes.


 Sarah Richardson 

  via A Gift Wrapped Life

10) Disposable orange - One of the easiest ways to include the colour orange is in flowers, fruit, candles, or pumpkins.   Yep, that's right, some of us just like a touch of orange that can be disposed of and we can return to our normal quiet decorating ways.


Good Housekeeping

For two days while I was writing this post I thought I only had orange in the house when we have our pumpkins and japanese lanterns out, but then I went down to the basement to say goodnight to William and low and behold what do I see - ORANGE.  Am I crazy that I forgot about this much orange.  Okay, don't answer that.  Obviously I fall in the orange with blue category (you can see other basement photos here).

So what about you - are you an orange lover or orange hater?  What colours do you like orange with?

And if you want to see some inspiration photos for other colours, check these posts out.  You can see what colours go with red in this post here.
And check here for aqua/seafoam room inspiration photos.
And here for green rooms.
And here for yellow rooms.


  1. What a great post Grace, and so timely, especially for me! Who knew I was being so "bold" with my new slipcover fabric choice! And I was surprised at how many of the orange color combos I loved in these photos, including the orange and gray and even the orange and your daughter's carrot comment though! My bedroom walls are aqua and I've hunted high and low for the perfect orange no avail...thanks for the inspiration!

    Kat :)

  2. I'm not a fan of orange but I have to say that you picked some pretty convincing photos. I think several of them could make me consider adding some touches of orange (and I mean more than just fall touches).

  3. I am an orange lover, surprise...not! There are some really great rooms in your selection, but you cracked me up when you called it a bossy colour :)

  4. Grace these photos are the best!!! I love orange. My old home in the Falls had a orange kitchen and it was a happy colour to me!
    I love every photo here and I have to view them all again I liked them so much!

    Thank you too Grace for your comments on my Kachina. This was a hard thing to deal with but having so much support helped matters.
    Pamela xo

  5. Orange ... not a colour you automatically think to decorate with. Your pictures are fabulous ... I especially love the first one with the beautiful wall colour ... and of course, the pumpkins!!!

  6. Orange would be really stepping out of my comfort zone. My mom had a lot of orange and brown back in the 70's and it is just not me. Saying that however, I really like some of the rooms you have shown. Particularly #3 with that goldy-orange quilt and the two soft aqua paired with orange. I guess hints of orange would work with me. Thanks for this, it was fun discovering.

  7. It is so easy to not see when something is right in front of you! I try really hard to be so observant and am naturally very observant and still amazed when something hides right in front of me. Great essay on orange.

  8. Orange is my 2nd favorite color (1st is red, which is close to orange). I have pops of it here and there throughout my house. I LOVE the first bedroom shot. the Deco Pad cottage ones are pretty awesome too!

  9. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

  10. beautiful! I love orange and blue! check out my blog :) Its only orange and blue color schemes welcome2gainesvegas at wordpress