Orange Accents (and Why They Work)



Orange is an interesting color. It can be warm and enthusiastically eye-catching yet also mature and stabilizing. As with most colors, the tones and hues of orange carry with them a wide variety of emotion and aura. The versatile color is successful in traditional spaces and modern spaces and eclectic spaces and every space in between. How can that be? What is it about orange that pulls us in? Because it does. Pull us in, I mean. Let’s check out a few examples of orange accents in different spaces and discuss!


This residence is the epitome of modern. Linear, modular, and minimalistic architecture is paired neatly with neutral colors everywhere…with the exception of that fantastic pumpkin-hued door. While the house may seem a little devoid of character by itself, that door changes everything, promising personality and fun. Importantly, the minimal flat door is crafted to match the style of the rest of the exterior, but it’s warm and welcoming because of the stand-out color.


This large, vaulted-ceiling room is spacious and airy and would be almost too airy if not for the orange accent wall. The wall visually defines a cozy ceiling height, which is important for inhabitants to feel comfortable and significant. Completely and utterly unadorned, this wall – this color – IS the artwork. Throw pillows spread bits of the color around the space as well, which works in this white/neutral palette. All around, the space incorporates great pieces and interesting textures and shapes, but the color orange brings it down to earth and provides a well-rounded sense of balance.


Orange cabinetry is sleek and modern and perfect for a kitchen. Again, paired with white (or vapor, if that could be a color), the orange here is visually crisp, vibrant, and healthy. Like eating vegetables with your eyes. It manages to harmonize the wood tones of the floor with the sleek steel of the appliances and cabinetry, standing out but not overpowering. Orange is successful here in large part because of the clean, contemporary lines – there is nothing extra to detract from (or to compete with) the color itself as an emphasis.


Orange produces inviting furniture. Here, the color of the chair ties into the singular art piece, and they both enhance each other in the white-with-black space. The chic curve of the orange chair’s arms is the first curve we see in viewing this space, but upon closer inspection, that same curve is repeated elsewhere, via artwork and pottery. I love the blend of straight lines and curves, and how the orange chair exemplifies and highlights both.


Although orange is used here more than what is typical for an accent, the space works because of the great details and overall muted color palette. Pattern is brought in with the inlaid furnishings; I would have liked to see a subtle print on the orange throw pillows to break up the solid chunkiness of the bedding/headboard area. This orange is a perfect color choice here because it brightens up and shoos away any type of blah-ness from this carefully neutral color palette.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.


Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on January 18th, 2013

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