“Let’s Talk Color” Orange-Hot, Juicy, & Delicious!

by John Berenson on July 17, 2009 · 1 comment

in Color

orange mustang orange hair Over a year ago, if anyone had said to me you will be writing about orange as a color to use in decorating, I would have looked at them as if they needed their head examined. Well, I should always remember what a wonderful professor at FIT in New York told me while in design school (he was a retired designer that worked for the well renown firm of Dorothy Draper). He said; ” the sign of a good designer is one that can work with color, and all colors are beautiful. You just have to know how to put them together properly”. So it goes for orange.

orange dining room forsythe parkI first felt the positive effect orange had on me while on a road trip we took in June of ’08 heading back from Florida to Boston, we stopped in Savannah. I had never been and always heard so much about it, and I must admit, aside from seeing the historic beauty and antique shops, I really wanted to try Paula Dean’s restaurant…The Lady & Sons. We stayed at a fabulous Boutique Hotel, the Mansion at Forsyth Park. From the moment we checked in, I was totally taken by it’s exciting and creative decor. I can only best describe it as a mix of edgy modern meets La Belle Epoque. There was so much to look at between the art, opulent antiques, and vivid use of color, that I just wanted to keep exploring to see what was around the next corner.

It was here, in their refreshing restaurant/dining room that I started to really enjoy orange again! Yes, orange, in it’s most vivid and pure hue. Boldly displayed on highly lacquered Rococo French inspired carved chests dispersed around a room with crisp white moldings, chocolate stained wood floors and a wonderful, modern orange crushed glass tiered chandelier. It opened my senses visually and my appetite. I felt warm, refreshed, and happy.

orange tulipsOrange is a color that evokes strong emotion, you love it or you hate it. Often misunderstood and “poo-poo’d” over the last couple of decades in the world of design there have been cyclical resurgences of it in many interpretations. But not until the last couple of years has it been seen as proud and pure as it has now. It is worn proudly in fashion, and is popping in and up everywhere in the home furnishings market. I am enjoying it on a few projects this year and happy to see clients whom I never thought would have it in their home, emerging on splashes of accents, art and occasional pieces.

As in food, the zestiness of orange can appeal to our senses and wake them up like no other color can. It’s the orangesdesigner’s shot of vitamin “C”. Think of it now as a great mixer, as in food and even beverages, it is a great enhancer.

In home decor, try “Navel Orange” teamed up with “Hot Pink” a color combo that was hot in the 70’s. Mix in a bit of “Lemon Yellow” or cool in down with “Apple Green”. Other colors to compliment or tone it beautifully are “Blueberry” or “Chocolate”. The combinations are endless given it’s amazing knack to work so well with other colors.

Not only is orange great in it’s purist form, but also watered down to softer tones. Take a nice orange sherbet velvet I recently saw at the Kravet/FDO showrooms in the Boston Design Center. This is a great spot to stop off for some color inspiration. The new colors being featured on furnishings were cozy “Flannel Greys” with yummy creamy accents of “Orange Sherbet”. It brought me back to my younger days giving me a more perky and exhilarated feeling.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kev July 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I love orange too.

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