Ever wondered what single colour would liven up the entire downstairs of your home unlike no other? An orange living room is the secret ingredient for bringing a surge of confidence and dynamism to your decor. So vibrant it is, the effect that orange has on ambience will be felt in all of the spaces that filter from it, be it your hallway, kitchen or dining room. Here’s how to get started with one of the zestiest hues on the spectrum.
Image Credit: Goddard Littlefair, Photography by Gareth Gardner
How to Decorate a Living Room with Orange
Orange is a colour that packs a punch. It’s a brave choice, and that makes the prospect of using it nerve-wracking and even off-putting. But much of the reasoning behind that is because we’re conditioned to think that colour palettes have to be brought onto the walls – or at least onto one of them, i.e. as a feature wall. Not so. Orange living room decor can exist without a drop of orange paint touching any walls at all, focusing the colour instead on soft furnishings, accent pieces of furniture and even lighting.
Picture a blank canvas of a room with slivers of orange-tinted copper coming through, the occasional burnt orange living room accessory like throws, accessories or a rug, and one or two bursts of orange through your upholstered furniture. Suddenly, the prospect of orange becomes a warming, tantalising one rather than one that requires sunglasses.
Orange Living Room Colour Schemes & Combinations
Like any living room colour, orange has partners in crime that it works well with best of all. Work a contrast with a tonal marriage such as an orange and grey living room, or commit wholeheartedly to orange through a scheme dedicated to one of orange’s many faces.
Image Credit: Elicyon
Burnt Orange Living Room
Terracotta, tan, rust, siena – all of these tonal variations pave the way for a burnt orange living room. This is a good colour scheme option for people who love orange’s positivity, but want something richer, earthier and more understated. It’s important to layer the different types of burnt orange to give your interior depth. Try a lustrous burnt orange rug to ground your room with a deep pile that will give both light and shade as the pile moves.
Image Credit: Goddard Littlefair, Photography by Gareth Gardner
Orange and Grey Living Room
If you want to use orange alongside a neutral other than white or cream, look to tones of grey. Pale grey, mid-grey and even the darkest depictions of grey all pair perfectly with orange, but it’s the cool-toned greys that provide the most contrast to its fiery nature.
Orange and grey living room ideas can have orange as an equal-parts partner to grey with roughly 50:50 of each colour present in the room, or make orange the accent. In the South Bank Tower apartment pictured, you can see how the majority of the scheme centres on grey with a pop in the smart orange velvet sofa and the occasional accessory, such a book spine or hint of copper.
Peach Living Room
At the other end of the scale is one of orange’s softer shades – peach. Still sunny, still inviting, but mellower and more soothing, peach and tones of apricot are a good way to bring cocooning colour to a living room.
Peach is a colour that, even when on walls, won’t make your space feel wired. Depending on the specific hue chosen and the styling of the room, it can transport you to the Med or even back in time if paired with ivory and cream which bring its vintage quality to the fore.
Image Credit: Kelly Wearstler
Coral Living Room
Remembering that orange isn’t all about the warmth, coral is one of its blends that mixes in undertones of pink, which results in a colour that’s more exotic, playful and even a bit glamorous. Coral takes your mind to sunsets, tropical reefs, and all things summery. It shares orange’s intrinsic optimism but is more sensual, making it suit the tactile elements of a living room, like sofas, footstools, cushions and even curtain trims. World-leading colour institute, PANTONE, in fact selected Living Coral as its Colour of the Year for 2019, describing it as: “Living Coral emits the desired, familiar and energising aspects of colour found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent colour mesmerises the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of colour.”
Image Credit: Suna Interior Design and Hyde New Homes
Orange Living Room Furniture
Fabric, metal and wood. These are the three areas to bear in mind when creating an orange living room, because referencing colour in furniture shouldn’t be reserved to just textiles. Orange-toned woods are a prime example of how to allow wooden furniture to play its part in the palette. Less retro pine finishes, more walnut and oak, both of which can come with the orange appearing more overt in the grain. Don’t fill the room with furniture of this sort though. The best effect is when just one or two pieces of furniture are in a richly-toned wood because they will look like a collector’s piece added over time. Instead, mix timber with metal-framed pieces like copper to introduce another type of orange-hued furniture. And finally, having at least one piece of upholstery in vivid orange, from a chair to an ottoman, will make certain that all eyes are on your palette’s hero shade.
Image Credit: Helen Green Design
Orange Living Room Accessories
Orange curtains, orange rugs, orange ornaments, orange cushions – creating a colour palette is far from being all about wall colour and furniture choices. Orange living room accessories can be one of two things. Either they’re how you introduce colour to a room if the rest is kept muted, or they’re what confirms your living room colour scheme, tying it all together. Even the subtlest of details will have a big impact on this binding effect. A ribbon of orange through your rug’s weave, tassels or piping on a cushion’s border, a copper lamp base or vase, or a wash of orange in a piece of art hung from a living room wall may seem insignificant. But when they combine in one space, they present you with one continuous thread and one interrupted trail of colourful thought.
Header Image: South Bank Tower Private Apartment by Goddard Littlefair - Photography by Gareth Gardner