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January 13, 2012 > Real Rooms for Real People

Real Rooms for Real People

Decorating with Orange

Did you know that Pantone selected Tangerine Tango-a vibrant, deep orange color-as the color for 2012? According to Pantone, Tangerine Tango gives us "the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward." If you haven't already noticed splashes of orange in home furnishings as well as in fashion and consumer products, you definitely will be seeing items like toasters, purses and accent furniture in the very near future. Orange is an optimistic and energetic color and can very successfully be incorporated into your decor. Adding orange will bring new life, vitality, and vigor to your space.

While painting an entire room in Tangerine Tango might seem too bold for most people's palettes, a smattering of orange in accessories might just do the trick. Try an arrangement of ceramic vases on a mantel or dining table, or some punchy new throw pillows, or a new set of dishes.

Reupholster your dining chairs or that bench in your entryway in a printed fabric with lots of orange. Or paint the ceiling in your powder room-what a statement!

Orange comes in a wide variety of tints, tones and shades so don't think bright orange is your only option. Members of the orange family include: Apricot, Salmon, Rust, Brick, Persimmon, Pumpkin, Cantaloupe, Peach and many others. For a harmonious color scheme, look to the color wheel. Combine yellow-orange (like a Mandarin orange) with yellow and yellow-green (like pear or celery). This is a great color scheme for a kitchen and adjacent family room. Imagine buttery yellow walls, with green, yellow and orange printed dining chairs and window valances; a pear green sofa, tangerine colored dishes and green placemats and napkins. How cheerful and inviting!

To create a complementary color scheme, pair orange with blue. Imagine a navy blue sofa with copper-topped tables and a patterned area rug in shades of rust, blue, tan and cream. An accent wall in a deep rusty red tone would add a very warm touch. Use browns to ground an orange room-for example-add a brown leather chair or ottoman to this scenario, and use an espresso finish dining table in the kitchen scenario above.

If you work from home, try painting your home office (at least one wall) in orange; its energy will help you get your work done!

Anna Jacoby of Anna Jacoby Interiors is a local interior designer. Send your design questions to her at Call or fax her at 510-490-0379 or visit

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