Skip to content

Color Theory 101

Whether orange (a secondary color) has you at hello, or doesn’t quite attract your attention, you can’t deny the strength it has when correctly used in an room. I thought it would be fun to pull some of the pages from my color relationship notebook from a color theory class I completed a few years ago to show you a few examples of color relationships when orange is involved.

Here’s a modified triad. You are mixing various tints and tones on the color wheel in yellow-green, yellow-orange, and red-orange.

This is a complementary color scheme in orange and blue. Blue calms the intensity of orange, so there’s a nice balance here.

And this is what you’d call monotone in yellow-orange. Notice how muted and soft orange can become?

Isn’t it fascinating to see the color wheel in action? I highly suggest purchasing one (they’re around $3 at any craft or art supply store), and either taking a color theory class at your local college, or find something reliable online where you can learn the basic principles. I prefer the classroom experience myself, as you are able to receive honest critiques, which I find are essential to growth, at least for me. Plus, color theory class is more than creating binders and clipping from magazines. You have to do a lot of painting, sometimes with tears because the process can be strenuous, but in the end, 100% worth it. Here’s a little color theory intro to get you started…

(images from Holly Becker for decor8)

Posted in Color Inspiration on June 26, 2007

Crisp Citrus

Looking to add a little orange to your life? Why not browse some of your favorite stores for orange inspiration. As you can see here, orange is paired a lot with soft blues, pale greys, bright yellow or red-orange.

If you love modern, clean design, why not shop for Orange over at Design Public? I really like these whimsical rugs from Twinkle Living, both the Deer Silhouette and the Poker rug. The notNeutral Letters pillow adds a little red and orange, and the Vitra Nelson Ball Clock is such a classic, I couldn’t resist mixing it in. And what do you think about this table? It’s slowly making it’s way around the blogs, so I’m not sure how big of a hit it is with bloggers just yet, but I think the Thomas Wold Mushroom Forest coffee table adds a whimsical touch that is irresistibly cute. But the question is, would I own it? Nah. But if I had children, maybe I’d use it in a playroom. Do you feel like you can never get organized? Blu Dot D2 utility shelving is a great, affordable unit for getting your act together. And although we’ve seen it before, I’ll always have a place in my heart for the Lights Up! Weegee table lamp with the orange and red mums shade on that tripod base. I can’t help it, cute gets me everytime.

If you’re a romantic at heart, Anthropologie may be a great destination for you. I imagine a white painted cabinet embellished with orange knobs, or a bed adorned with some of their gorgeous pillows in ethnic prints. Wearing orange is always fun, too!

(images from design public and anthropologie)

Posted in Color Inspiration on June 26, 2007

Zesty on Etsy

Looking for Orange on Etsy? It’s easy! Search by color on their site, or view some of my favorite items in this zesty hue below.

All images via sellers mentioned above. :)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Color Inspiration, etsy on June 26, 2007

Color of the Month: ORANGE

Rachel Perls, our visiting color expert from Hue Consulting, is back to talk about the decor8 color of the month: Orange!

Orange Crush
By: Rachel Perls, Hue Consulting

I am so excited about this month?s color, as it happens to be my favorite hue. But I think most people have to grow to love it. This color does tend to illicit strong reactions- you?re either in the orange fan club, or most definitely not. But lately, juicy orange has made inroads into our style sensibilities, showing up more and more frequently in mainstream design, and accepted by more people as they grow to understand it.

Personally, I think that Christo?s Gates installation in Central Park in New York City acted as a catalyst for popularizing orange. (That?s yours truly, Rachel Perls, in the picture. It was amazing to see!) Image: Rachel Perls.

Any time you need to interject some warmth into a space, orange is a fantastic option. This color just radiates heat. Aren?t these Venetian plaster walls gorgeous? Image: Shoot Factory.

In the tradition of ?go big, or go home?, embracing orange in all its glory. Sunny, cheerful, sweet orange; how it makes us smile. As a secondary color, it has the drama of red, slightly toned down by the light-heartedness of yellow. Image: Sixx Design.

Or take a slightly more restrained approach, with a few star pieces stealing the show. Images: Homes and Gardens, Shoot Factory, Amy Kim on HGTV.

Orange casts a healthy glow on your skin, so using it in drapery is an excellent option. Image: Designers Guild.

The wonderful thing about orange is how versatile it is. Decorating with this hue does not mean you only have the option of bright, vivid saturated color. Think of all the other varieties that this hue comes in: terra cotta, peach, coral, rust? (based on info at Dewey Color System.)

Terra cotta is a more subdued, elegant form of orange, strong and enduring. Think autumn harvest, falling leaves, and pumpkins. Image: Sunset magazine.

Sugar & Spice! Orangy paprika is an excellent choice for a kitchen, an inviting gathering space. Fun and energizing, it?s known as an appetite stimulant. Image: GV Interiors.

Or how about softer, peachy tones? Apricot, melon, all those yummy orange colors, can be both delicious and dramatic, while still subtle. Image: William Waldron.

To test the waters of orange, bring in accent pieces to add a pop of color without too much commitment. Image: Greg Natale.

You can also use natural elements, like flowers, or ceramic pots, to achieve some orange pizzazz outside. Think about how orange is showcased in nature-splashes of color against bright green foliage, often paired with brilliant violet flowers or set off against blue sky. This pairing of warm and cool colors works every time. Images: Nasturtium by Skipthebudgie, Poppies by Mary Mactavish, Patio image via Real Estate.

So, you?re not hot for orange? Or so you think. Do you have wood floors or furniture? Wood has distinct color undertones that can range from deep burgundy to orange or gold to blonde. Surprised? People often neglect this point when selecting wood pieces. Something to think about the next time you try to mix a mahogany dresser with an ash headboard and oak end tables, right? Image: Jeff Andrews Design.

So, if you haven?t before, give orange a second look. Think of all the varieties it comes in, and see how you can incorporate this warmth and energy into your spaces. It?s sure to put a smile on your face.

Thank you Rachel for stopping in with your Orange color report! Today is all about Orange here on decor8, so I’ll be back with a few posts of my own to show you some of my favorite rooms and products in case you’re looking for a little orange inspiration today. See you soon!

Posted in Color Inspiration, guest bloggers on June 26, 2007

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way: Blog Boss
e-course, October 10 - November 10, 2014
Find out more about this exciting class by bloggers, for bloggers, teaching you how to blog like a boss!