As we all know, colors can affect our moods. So wouldn’t it be great to include a color into your design scheme that actually increased your creativity and made you more productive? There is one hue that will definitely get the job done… well, at least get you in the right frame of mind. You’ll have to do the rest: orange. As it’s a derivative of red, it also hold some of red’s powers; like the ability to increase energy levels and stimulate appetite. The other half of orange is yellow, which is associated with sunshine, laughter and fun. You don’t have to jump right in and go crazy with color. As you’ll see below there are lot’s of ways to combine orange with other hues. Obviously, a lot depends on your personal creative process. For instance, if you’re a person who needs to have everything in order before you can settle in and get creative you might want to start with a soothing base of calm colors, like pale shades of blue, gray and cream.
Using Orange in Your Design Scheme
This living room, by Jonathan Adler (below), is a great example. It’s basically a very neutral palette of cream and white and then orange and black are added in to shake things up (he always likes to shake things up).
Orange is made up of a combination of red and yellow, so much of orange’s power will come from the combination’s dominant hue, for instance reddish-orange, or yellow-orange. If you use orange in your design scheme, you’ll create an environment that’s warm and energizing at the same time, Of course, much of the effect will depend on the intensity of the hue. The more saturated the color, the stronger the effect.
People who like orange are curious, and curiosity is always a good thing when you are trying to increase your creativity. After all, creativity comes from exploring your options. Personally, as much as I love being creative, I wouldn’t want to spend much time in a room that was vibrant orange. But there are ways to harness the power of orange with out going into overload.
You could tone it down by adding white, which will bring you to a soft shade of peach. This was a hugely popular color in the 80′s. Did I just give away my age there? Back then it was combined with aqua, it’s natural compliment on the color wheel. On the other hand, if you add black, you’ll end up with various shades of brown. To me, the most successful combination would combine both pale tints and dark shades of orange. As I mentioned, blue is orange’s natural compliment, but I also love orange combined with purple or pink.
I love, love, love this room by Jamie Drake (above). He obviously pulled the colors of the room out of that gorgeous rug and very cleverly placed the most intense shade of orange on the dining room wall (which is one way to make sure everyone cleans their plate). For the rest of the room, he used a very light hand as far as orange goes. Notice that he’s got a healthy dose of blue (to cool things down) pale purple and pink as well, which all look terrific when combined with orange.
Unfortunately, I don’t know who designed this beautiful bedroom (if you do please let me know so I can give proper credit). For the most part it’s a neutral color scheme except for the bold orange wall. The accent colors are turquoise and aqua.
Two marine shapes I find absolutely fascinating are jellyfish and octopi. So, I couldn’t resist adding this room (above) designed by Cristi Halcombe. She’s got a warm gray envelope and uses pops of vibrant orange as her accent color to beautiful effect. I also love the toile curtains with the lattice rug – fabulous! As these rooms prove, the only time you need to be cautious when using orange is when you’re driving (caution traffic signs and such). So, go for it and let your creativity shine!
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