Orange is the New Red

When working with my clients, pretty early on I ask the question: are you a red kinda girl, an orange/coral kinda girl, or a pink kinda girl? Many women have a strong attraction to one of those three, to the exclusion of the others.  If you are not really gifted with color and design, it is pretty difficult to mix two of these three with good effect! Most of us just pick a lane. If you are a red kinda girl, you tend to stick with red for accents throughout your home. The same is true if your choice is orange or pink.

orange-01

 

This client’s bedroom didn’t seem right for her. At all. She had already made some big design changes in other parts of her home, and it seemed obvious to me she was changing lanes from red and heading towards orange/coral. The first thing that needed to change in this room was this brick fireplace and the very heavy dark cherry surround and mantel. It’s a walk-out basement, and these elements were doing nothing to lighten up the room.

DSC_5623

fireplace before

 

Red is not often a good wall color to pair with a red brick fireplace, and you can see how much more vivid the red wall color was compared to the brick and to the orange-stained concrete floor.

DSC_5626red bedroom before

Believe it or not, I knew that even with that difficult flooring material, this room could look amazing with the right changes. Some of the choices I helped her make included wall color, reworking the fireplace, specifying new chairs, arranging furniture, and hanging art. We decided on a medium blue as a backdrop for the orange and for the new bedding she chose. The shift from red to orange helped integrate the flooring into the color scheme. Wanna see the fireplace transformation first? It’s pretty dramatic – it even made it into my book! Here’s the before:

DSC_5629

before – dark and dreary

and here’s the much-improved after:

faux finish fireplace

fresh and light faux-finished fireplace by artist Heather Thompson

We loved the lines of these chairs from Ballard Designs so much that we had them custom-covered in this beautiful golden fabric that works well with the new color scheme. Did you know you can do that? Ballard will cover their upholstered furniture in your own fabric, if you like!

painted fireplace

 

fireplace makeover

This Asian-inspired dresser is from a local store that carries unique vintage pieces, and the blue in the background really sets it off.

vintage dresser

This sunburst light fixture is absolutely perfect for the new space, and hubby won’t bump his head while passing beneath it.

sunburst light fixture

In regard to the artwork for the room, my client sent me photos and dimensions of the pieces she was considering and I gave her the thumbs up or the thumbs down. Here’s the before of this side of the room:

DSC_5626

before

My client had purchased new bedding, side dressers, and a pair of fabulous lamps, but I helped her find the mirrors that hang behind the lamps and make final decisions about the art choices. She invited me back to hang the art and style the room. These orange panels really finished off the space, and are a beautiful sight to behold when she wakes up in the morning:

asian art panels

Even the orange-stained concrete floors look as though they were part of the scheme from the beginning!

Would you change from red to orange accents – or are you a red girl all the way?

 

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Pam
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Pam

Rooms with orange or rust colors make me feel angry and depressed, so I’d never use orange or rust, ever. I might use red with a more blue undertone in the dining room or den, but not in the bedroom.

Donna
Guest
Donna

Wow, the fireplace looks fabulous now! I love how the blue backdrop is so pretty with everything else and how the orange floor ties in with the furnishings now. My favorite accent are the mirrors behind the lamps. Such a great idea! I’m a red and pink girl. I just love them both. Orange is something I typically pass over. I have to admit though, that I love the look of corals with blues, aquas, greens and creams. Just gorgeous! If I had a beach home it would be fun to decorate it in those colors. My own home is… Read more »

Teri
Guest
Teri

So pretty, Kristy! I am curious about the wood fireplace. Did you find an architectural salvage place to send it to? It looks like it wants to find a new home. Maybe at my house.

Jan Bates
Guest
Jan Bates

I’ve used red as a foreground accent color in the past, and used to steer clear of all things orange, but the combination that makes me feel happy now is pink and coral together. Maybe it’s the ice cream truck memories of childhood? Somehow they are like the colors of a happy song to me….and feminine and playful at the same time! Your writing and designs are a joy Kristie!

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

Are you kidding me!!!!! I cannot believe the improvement. Job well done on both your parts!

AppleHillCottage
Guest

Every room in our cottage was done in seventies orange. I’ve just gotten rid of it– there’s no way anything more than an orange flower or two is getting back in…
Love the painted fireplace 🙂

Phyllis E
Guest
Phyllis E

What a beautiful transformation! I love the blue and coral/orange together. I love the way the burled(?) wood on the Asian-inspired bureau really plays off of the swirly colors on the concrete floor. The painted bricks on the fireplace look so much nicer than the typical painted bricks–I am very curious about what exactly was done to get such a lovely effect. On my monitor it looks like each brick is a slightly different color. Was it more of a “white- wash versus paint?” Could you do a how-to blog post about it, pretty please? (I have been contemplating whether… Read more »

Francie
Guest
Francie

Phyllis,
The duvet cover is from Pottery Barn. The pattern is Cynthia Palampore. They only have draperies in that pattern now, but you can find the bedding on eBay.

Jenny B.
Guest

It looks amazing! Orange is definitely growing on me, but I still like red best. I’ve never been a fan of pink, but it is not completely absent from my home. Looking around my living room, I see a little of all three. I would call my style colorful / eclectic / schoolhouse, and red, orange, and even a little pink can easily co-exist in that world. 🙂

Jule
Guest

The room is really nice now! I esp. like the chair with the golden fabric and the new fireplace… the photo with the cat is so cute!!!Ten years ago I decorated a lot with red ( a dark red, burgundy) in the old flat and we really liked it! When we moved to our house, we got rid of all things red (there were window panels and carpets on the stairs that we left in the flat, and the red rug was just plain old and worn) and now we have a lot of blue colors in our house, esp.… Read more »

Kelly
Guest

So much better and updated. I am definitely a pink girl- I love raspberry!

Molly
Guest
Molly

There are very few colors I wouldn’t use. Orange and red are fine with me. I’d use them more but I have two boys with autism who have sensory issues and I’ve been told to steer clear of red and of very bright colors in general as they could be overstimulating.

Rosa Plaza Dest
Guest

You really breathed life into this space! I love the wall color change to more soothing, relaxing blue complimented by the wash on the fireplace. Wonderful with bedding accents! Isn’t it wonderful how much color can change things?!

Johnna
Guest
Johnna

I love orange, and always have, but I tend to get annoyed with peaches or muted tuscans that aren’t orange enough for me. Since I also like my rooms to be relaxed and sophisticated (who doesn’t?) I’ve learned the hard way to provide lots and lots of white or light neutral, with a bit of orange here and there, so my orange can zing and have lots of quiet visual room around it to for a place to be itself. It’s still hard for me to figure out. I really enjoy the way you handle orange in your work, Kristie.… Read more »

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

I love all colors and have used every shade of red in decorating. So, I guess that makes me a red girl. However, in the new house I’ve made a real effort to use more on-trend colors and not stay stuck in my style and color choices of the past 5-10 years. The fabrics for my newly installed drapery panels are a linen blend floral and the primary color is coral, which I’m loving. I really like the idea of adding a coral accent to a green, blue, and neutral color palette, which I may do in the master bedroom.

Teresa elkinton
Guest
Teresa elkinton

Gorgeous! I have a dark kitchen that only gets indirect light. I really like orange and think it paired with the light blue is very pretty. Do wou think the white, blue, orange colors are good to a darker kitchen?