Not simply a mouth-watering fruit, orange is the mixture of yellow with red. Just as all secondary colors inherit some traits from their primary color parents, orange blends the energy of red with the happiness of yellow to create an enthusiastic, vibrant hue.
Of course, as with all colors, the vibrancy can be easily turned up or down a notch by playing with the grey undertones and shading or tinting; it seems that orange is particularly affected by these variations. In this article, we’ll look at some of the colors that go with orange as well as why those pairings are so effective.
Orange + White
When you think of colors that go with orange, you might overlook white as a fantastic sidekick, but white and orange is a strategically restrained-yet-energized pairing. As this Blomberg small kitchen exemplifies, orange and white is a crisp, appetizing, and chic color combination. Use it in small spaces where the orange isn’t overwhelming to make the space explode with personality and style.
Orange + Yellow + Red
Maybe because it’s summertime, but this bold, larger-than-life, and energetic color trio reminds me of the joys of creamsicles and sunshine. Temper the palette with a bit of pink to add softness and strategically diffuse the energy, but don’t hesitate to turn these analogous colors into the vibrant palette of your dreams, especially as on-trend Nanoleaf wall panels.
Orange + Red
It has been said that, when it comes to the color wheel and color pairings, colors like their neighbors and love their opposites. Red and orange, as color wheel neighbors, certainly exemplify this. They are both energetic and bold, yet their subtle difference in warmth lets the colors be unique in their impact. It’s a good idea to use proportion when pairing orange with red; don’t use them equally.
Orange + Red + Mauve
Keeping the warmth of orange alive and well is important in interior design. After all, why choose a bold color like orange if you don’t want its warm energy? But one way to tone down the vibrancy is to pair a deeper orange tone with some muted versions of neighboring colors on the color wheel. Specifically, red and mauve (a sort of brownish purple) create a beautifully muted-yet-colorful palette.
Orange + Burgundy
As a warm version of purplish red, burgundy is just asking for a soul-sharing, cozy night in with companionable orange. Which is part of this duo’s charm – both colors are vibrant and confident on their own, but when they combine, they create this web of security and confidence that is hard to ignore. Pattern and saturation come into play when using such equally bold colors, so vary them accordingly.
Orange + Gray
As the color of joy and creativity, orange can’t help but make a beautiful color pairing with gray, the color of efficient practicality. The colors paired together, rather than canceling each other out, create a vibrant, down-to-earth space that fosters achievable creativity. Both colors are associated with helping a person deal with disappointment and frustration, which is a beautiful and useful backdrop to dreaming big.
Of course, colors that go with orange can sometimes be the foundation of the scheme, while orange plays the secondary accent role. This is more commonly the case with orange and grey, and it makes sense. (Because most of us don’t have spaces that scream for floor-to-ceiling orange.) Particularly in more industrial-flavored spaces, where concrete is in abundance, a slice or two of orange somewhere in the palette gives the space a much-needed zest and freshness.
Orange + Navy
As complementary colors, orange and blue will pair beautifully in virtually any home design. Whether the two colors are paired alone and comprise the entire palette, or they are simply two parts of a “patchwork” palette, they will always be grounding combination. The dark tone of navy contrasts like a kind older brother to the more youthful-feeling orange, and the pair has the best of both worlds.
Orange + Cobalt
Still complementary colors, orange and cobalt blue have a slightly different visual relationship than do orange and navy. This is mostly because of the blue, which is no shocker. Where navy is staid and careful, cobalt is excitable and enthusiastic. Those characteristics, naturally, make the color combination a perfect choice for this bent sofa, which just feels like a place to hope and dream. Cobalt paired with vibrant orange will feel much more visually impactful than cobalt paired with a pale orange.
Orange + Citrus Green
Set against a background of plenty of white, citrus-y colors (with orange at the forefront and lime green not left behind) create an instantly youthful, energetic, and fresh look. Using the palette in traditional patterns (e.g., check, plaid, stripe) helps to provide structure to colors that can easily feel wild. But, really, when you think “citrus,” you’ve got an instant spectrum of colors that go with orange.
Orange + Brown
If you’re honest, when you think of colors that go with orange, brown is the last to come to mind when you’re thinking stylistically. Which is unfortunate, because when a cool dark brown (with more blue undertones than gold or yellow ones) is paired with a cool orange (think muted, moody salmon hues), the space takes on that rare and hard-to-achieve combination of down-to-earth warmth and urban sophistication.
Orange + Black + Gold
Orange is friendly, which makes the color not an obvious choice to be paired with gold and black. But these are colors that go with orange seamlessly, probably because gold and orange share much of their color history. Warm and luxe, gold and orange take center stage in the combination, while black doesn’t hesitate to keep things real and grounded, resulting in a color palette that is both elegant and warm.