Have you noticed how much orange there is on the high street this summer? Forget plums and greens what we’re hankering for this summer is bright juicy citrus colours.

 

orange models

 

It’s the same with interiors. Colours in interior design are influenced directly by the fashion industry so what you see on the catwalk today will be appearing on paint charts in your local DIY store – soon!

I rarely wear orange – there’s not a jot in my wardrobe, neither are their any orange pieces in my home, but the funny thing is, for years I’ve been using orange in my interior design projects. So much so, that friends and colleagues joke with me about it: “Where’s the orange . . .?”

 

chair in orange

 

Well – I have to say that I don’t usually set out thinking “. . . must include orange . . .”, orange usually presents itself to me as the obvious highlight to so many schemes. I find it to be a contemporary, fresh colour; excuse the pun, but it ads zest.

 

orange interiors

 

It’s a great counterpoint to almost any colour – picture it with shades of blue, its natural compliment: navy, cobalt, turquoise; or with black, grey or green. Against white it sings.

 

orange details

 

 ‘True’ orange is halfway between red and yellow but it’s a colour with so much more to it than that. It’s such a variable colour, from the palest peach, through coral, amber, burnt orange and umber – a colour of the earth and of nature, which is probably why it’s so versatile. Bronze Age pots were made from orange, brown and red clay; is there any sight more appealing than a Spanish square lined with trees heavy with oranges?

 

orange study

 

What I also find appealing about orange is the way that depending on the shade you use it works in any style of interior from any period. It’s been used in decoration since the 14th century and in Elizabethan times it indicated a high social standing, so was worn only by the nobility.

In Fung Shui terms it is the colour of fire, it focuses on one’s powers of concentration and ability to organise. It is also associated with ambition; in colour psychology orange is associated with a new dawn in attitude, new beginnings.

 

orange monks

 

When I see the colour orange, it makes my mouth water, it makes me smile, it brightens my day. It’s a happy, exuberant colour – not restful at all so probably best not used in its brightest forms in the bedroom. But used as an accent or a focal point it will bring a scheme to life and give it an infectious energy that’s hard to resist

 

orange slices.