Be honest, if you could import a quick fix of sunshine into your home, wouldn’t you seize it with both hands?
Orange – the colour so associated with burning desert suns, ripe juicy fruit, and sultry, eastern settings – could just be the answer if you’re in the shivery doldrums thanks to the weather.
Colour experts credit this shade with conjuring feelings of welcome and a general sense of wellbeing, as well as encouraging creativity.
And if it doesn’t put a spring in your step, featuring this shade in your rooms will definitely enhance your decor street cred, as it’s bang on trend.
Orange evokes the fashionable retro mood of the Fifties and Sixties when it was a key player.
“Orange is a great colour for the home and can help create a warm and inviting focal point in any room,” says Angela Whittaker, showroom manager at fabric specialists JAB Anstoetz.
“It works best in a stripe, plaid or pattern design or as an accent colour paired with soft neutrals such as beige, light grey, brown or cream.”
If you want to make a statement, use it as a big block of colour, or add contrasting colours with similar undertones such as bright pink or turquoise, she advises.
“Both work amazingly beside orange shades and can help you create an interesting and exciting colour scheme. If it’s all getting too hot for comfort, simply tone down the intensity by featuring some neutrals.”
Orange’s popularity reflects our increasing courage in embracing colour in our homes, says Paula Taylor, colour specialist at wallpaper company Graham & Brown.
“After many years of decorating our homes in 50 shades of beige, cream and taupe, we’re now letting our personalities shine through in decoration,” she says.
“Orange tones bring a warm glow and welcoming ambience to any room. It’s a versatile colour, so brighten a plain white room with a neon-bright shade or create a sophisticated country look by teaming rustic browns with burnt orange.
“It’s also effective in a kitchen as it will look cheerful in morning light and relaxing and warm in the evening.”
Taylor points out encouragingly: “Using orange, even if it’s just in patterned accessories, will give the impression of colour-savvy confidence and as summer’s hottest shade it will banish an interiors winter hangover.”
Use this juicy, upbeat shade to create rooms that make you smile.
As the colour is thought to help stimulate the appetite, orange is ideal for kitchens or dining rooms, although you could be bold and use it for zingy impact as a feature wall in a bedroom.
Pattern has had just as much of a revival as colour this year, and there’s a feast of funky designed wallpapers using orange.
Horizontally striped paper adds width to a room, and Graham & Brown’s Figaro paper, £25 a roll, is a subtle combination of terracotta, soft mocha and cream stripes. It can also be hung vertically.
Designer Barbara Hulanicki’s paint range for Graham & Brown includes an orange Dragon shade, for £23 a can.
Magnet’s Spectrum kitchen includes orange in its colour choices for glass splashbacks and toughened glass panels to enliven its plain lacquered units. The kitchen starts from £450 for a 600mm single floor unit.
Feast on orange accessories. A gel dining chair, £99 from John Lewis, combines an amber orange seat with sleek chrome legs. Smell the coffee with a Limited Edition eight-cup orange Rainbow Cafetiere, £22, from La Cafetiere.
Orange is often thought of as the bright, in-your-face colour which is overbearing and loud – just what you don’t want in a relaxing sitting area.
But don’t be too hasty – any colour can have a loud side and a soft side and the shades in between can be perfect for a living area. It’s key to get the balance right, so mix a light or rich orange with pale wood, gloss white finishes and touches of grey to keep things calm.
Pick up on florals with a stylised poppy design, £18 a roll, from Graham & Brown.
Sanderson is a master at producing complementing papers and colours which can revitalise rooms. Its soft green and grey forest design Aspen wallpaper, £46 per 10m roll, available from stores such as John Lewis, is the perfect backdrop for its Tresco fabric, available in tangerine orange, £35 per metre.
Orange shutters would be a talking-point focus in a pure white room. The California Blind and Shutter Company’s bespoke plantation shutters start from £168 per square metre and come in a range of shades.
A bold piece of furniture in a striking orange, such as Rume’s Lansdowne made-to-order sofa, would lift the spirit of an entire room. A three-seater upholstered in a Tonus orange fabric, £2,920. Add decorative cushions and any room will transform from stark and formal to fun and comfortable. Rosie Felt Cushion in orange, £9.99, Dunelm Mill, or a Tropical Flowers cushion, £14.99, Cargo.
Orange, especially the burnt variety, can be used to create a warm and cosy atmosphere and is perfect for restful rooms such as bedrooms.
Apricots and pale peaches are even friendlier and more soothing, and Dulux has a juicy collection in its Tailor Made Colour range, which can be mixed in stores. It starts from £14.95 a litre.
Transform the wall behind a bed with Little Greene’s lush orange Marigold Absolute in a matt emulsion, which pairs brilliantly with its deep pink, Leather Absolute emulsion. Both are £30.50 for 2.5 litres.
Co-ordination is vital to this year’s schemes which should have a cohesive sophisticated feel, and using the colour as an accent in fabrics both patterned and plain is a winning approach.
The seashore-inspired designs in shades of blue and orange in the Resort collection from fabric specialists JAB Anstoetz are delightful and ideal for summer. Prices start from £92.90 per metre.
While you’re on the blue theme, a Twist Blue carpet, £8.99 a square metre from Carpetright, could be the perfect calming foil in an orange bedroom.
Pretty orange flowers feature amongst the blooms on the Eden bedding collection, and it starts from £70 for a double bed set from House of Fraser.
Accessorise with a tubby orange Mushroom side lamp, £65, from Beautiful Modern Thing or just wing it with Rume’s fun Plex cuckoo clock, in orange, £235.