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Just Add Orange!

Flickr user Robertspeg sent me a lovely little note a few days ago that I’d like to share with you since it gave me a few thoughts on orange that I’ll mention below. She begins, “I loved your orange post today. Orange is a color I never thought I would use in decorating. Then a couple of years ago, I found I really loved it with pink. Now I use it all the time.”


Peggy is right, orange doesn’t always “click” with everyone at first, at least until they spot it mingled with colors they do love. Eureka! A feeling of surprise sets in, orange suddenly becomes your new best friend. Peggy adds that for her, there was a certain something that she had to do to make orange click in her apartment, “I painted the walls white and now I find I use orange, blue and pink constantly. I never thought I would use such a strange color combination.” And it works, as you can clearly see from Peggy’s photos above.

Orange looks great with pink, also with blue (remember this mood board from Starlee Matz?), and of course, green and cocoa brown, too. They all work nicely together in nature, which is where a lot of designers draw their inspiration, so of course they’ll work indoors, too.

Consider the colors of the desert, the coast, a sunset, or those in your flower garden. When I see color combinations in nature that interest me, I photograph it and save for future reference, as these often inspire my own work. Even if you don’t consider yourself a shutterbug, purchase a digital camera and carry it with you at all times. Just the other day, I saw the most beautiful whitetail and I asked my husband to photograph it (I wasn’t patient enough to chase it as he was!) because it was so pretty – the gorgeous blue body combined with silvery gray wings with cocoa accents. It made me think of a room where the key color is blue, accented with gray and of course, some cocoa and silver.

Artists have looked to nature for inspiration over the centuries, so when decorating your home, look to color combinations outdoors as your guide and let them ignite your creative spark. With every photo I take, I’m stopping to “smell the roses” and it feels so good. Not only am I looking for terrific color combinations, but in the process I discover beautiful little creatures, flowers, plants, all that I may have missed otherwise.

Maybe this weekend, you can carry your camera with you and snap some photos of terrific color combinations in nature? It’s a fun study and will most definitely fire up your imagination. You’ll be surprised to see what you find. :)

(images from robertspeg)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Color Inspiration, inspiration, walls on June 29, 2007

Orange Cottage by Civility Design

Once upon a time, there was a little cottage… with funky chandeliers and the brightest orange walls you’ve ever seen in your life! Seriously, these rooms blow “cottage charm” out of the window, there isn’t a single cabbage rose pattern to be found! How did I come across this place? I didn’t. These images arrived via email and my immediate reaction was a jaw-dropping “Wow!”. When I pulled together my most recent trend piece for HGTV on Cane, Don and Jaymes at Civility Design supplied the quotes needed for that article and we’ve been in touch ever since, they’re based in Chicago and have a glorious online portfolio if you’re like to check it out. From what Don tells me, after reading all the recent color posts about orange here on decor8, he was inspired to share with decor8 readers a glimpse into a vintage cottage designed using orange and kelly green as the dominant colors. Ready?

Here’s what Don has to say about the project, “We incorporated a great deal of custom pieces from tile, to fabric, to chairs to even cruelty-free, resin-antler chandeliers we custom made in ‘Hermes’ Orange!”

“The chandeliers we made for the kitchen, even in their Orange Color, read as ‘red’…to the point where we have received requests for them from all over the world because people have thought they were large pieces of coral, made into chandeliers.” – Don Raney
“All photos are from the same remodel/project we designed; a vintage cottage reinterpreted with period-appropriate materials but with a modern twist. Fun Fun Fun – and beautiful, all at the same time.” – Don Raney


What do you think about that cottage space? I love all the bold accents and how these designers didn’t let the word cottage deter their vision at all. Great job!

Related posts: 6/14 Cane

(images from civility design)

Posted in bathroom, Color Inspiration, designers, kitchen on June 29, 2007

How about orange…

Loving all this orange? There’s even a blogger obsessed with this zesty hue. Meet Chicago-based graphic designer Jessica Jones right here.


Want to see a “real home” infused with this invigorating color? Remember the the mini peek we had of Jonathan Lo’s California home back in August 2006? Click here to view the post.

(images from how about orange and happy mundane)

Posted in Color Inspiration on June 27, 2007

Orange Interiors

When looking for great rooms online to inspire your next decorating project, why not turn to the magazines and designers that you love. Living Etc., Domino, House Beautiful, David Hicks, and many others top my list. Here are a few of my favorites, in orange, of course. ;)

via: Parker Palm Springs, guest room designed by Jonathan Adler.

via: Living Etc.

And here are some vintage Heywood Wakefield chairs in orange that I found at the Brimfield show back in May. What do you think of these? Wild, huh!?

And for more orange inspiration today, visit my flickr set: Orange! You can click on any image to see the full view, and if you’re a flickr member, you can add any of them to your faves if you see something you like.

{I’m off for the afternoon to see Morrissey in concert (swoon!) with my friend Paris. It’s our ritual, we see him together whenever he’s in town, and tonight he happens to be over at Harbor Lights. I’m so excited, I’m a huge Morrissey fan! See you tomorrow!}

Posted in Color Inspiration, inspiration on June 26, 2007

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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.

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