Orange is a combination of red and yellow, and its color psychology is the best of both of those hues. This color helps open communication, aid in feelings of respect and personal growth, and uplift the room where it’s used.
I really enjoy red because of its depth and strength, and orange is very similar. It feels powerful and moving, though it’s tempered slightly by the yellow blended in. Orange and its various shades, like peach and coral, are great to use in rooms that are gathering spots in your home. Whether you want to improve the communication or harmony of your space, orange will help thanks to the color psychology behind the hue!
California Home Design
Color Psychology: Characteristics of Orange
Since orange is the combination of two colors, it includes traits behind the color psychology of both red and yellow. It encompasses the happiness of yellow and the energy of red. So, it’s associated with joy, optimism, determination, and confidence. Like red, it’s very attention-grabbing, but it isn’t quite as powerful or aggressive. But, like yellow, it’s uplifting and bright.
Similar to green and yellow, the different shades of orange hold vastly different psychological feelings. For example, darker oranges represent feelings of tension, pride, and over-confidence. It’s as if someone took the traits of orange and dialed them up to boost the power of the emotions.
On the other hand, light oranges have diluted the feelings that naturally occur when you see orange. For example, peach helps us feel calm in the face of tension. Lighter oranges also take the highly social feelings inherent in orange and mellow them out to help you feel open and exuberant without being totally extroverted and “in your face.”
You may also enjoy: How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color for Your Front Door
Decorating With Orange: Where to Use Orange in Your Home
Any room that you want to feel warm and inviting is great with a little orange. Because it’s a color that promotes sociability, you can decorate with it anywhere you’d like people to gather pleasantly and harmoniously. Now that you understand the color psychology of the different shades of orange, you’ll be able to decide how you want a room to feel and use the right variation of the hue.
Since the living room is meant to be lived in, you may want to add some lively orange into your room. Rugs, curtains, and throws will all help you incorporate splashes of this vibrant color without overdoing it and making your design look like it was inspired by a construction cone.
Coral in a living room would also look great. Coral’s qualities make it feel uplifting like yellow while adding some richness and a modern element.
Similar to the living room, a dining room is a great place to incorporate orange, especially when using the color psychology of the lighter shades to help with harmonious conversation. Use it in your placemats, curtains, and other accents that can be changed easily so you can mix up the mood of the room depending on the vibe you want.
A great place to harness the calming qualities of peach. You can also add a few deep orange accents to make your room feel rich. Just be sure you don’t use too much dark orange or those feelings of tension may come up. As they say, don’t go to bed angry, so don’t use too many dark orange colors that could tip the color psychology of the room into the prideful area!
A kitchen decorated with orange feels retro to me (and I am here for it when done well)! This is especially true if you use a vibrant orange in your room. Break up an all-white kitchen with funky orange tiles in your backsplash or an accent of orange in a patterned wallpaper. You could also incorporate the color (and its color psychology) into your appliances. Coral in a kitchen is bright and fresh and you can use much more of it without going overboard.
You may also enjoy: Tips for All-White Kitchens: Breaking up Monochromatic Spaces
The Best Orange Interior Design Combinations
Orange and White
Orange and white are a classic combination and will pair well with any shade of orange without clashing or washing out the depth of the shade of orange you choose to use. A warm white (think a creamy or buttery white) works especially well with orange.
Lagnappe Custom Interiors
Orange and Gray
Gray is a great foil to orange. Just make sure your chosen shade of gray doesn’t cancel out the orange. Pick a gray that is very warm or very cool. A neutral gray with a very light peach will make your room feel dull and like it doesn’t have a strong color story.
Interior Design Ideas
Orange and Blue
Any shade of orange will pair well with any shade of blue since they are complementary colors. Orange and light blue are fresh and sunny. When mixed with cobalt, you’ll get an energetic, exciting match. Orange and turquoise or teal will feel more tropical. A pairing with navy will be a little more grounded (thanks to the depth of the navy).
You may also enjoy: Color Psychology: Why You Want a Case of the Blues
Orange and Green
Orange and green together is unexpected, but fresh. Use the pigmented colors as accents in an ivory or tan room to liven up the space.
You may also enjoy: 7 Fabulous Ways to Use Green in Your Home Decor
Orange and Brown
When pairing orange and brown, use a yellow-based orange or a deeper version of the hue to pick up the color tones of the brown and avoid any clashes. Go for an apricot orange or a burnt spicy orange in this combination.
No matter which shade of orange you use or how you choose to combine it with other colors, your room will be open and inviting thanks to the color psychology of orange. Brighter oranges, like corals, are fresh and modern. You’ll most certainly find lots of coral now since it was Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year. Peach is an always-popular shade because of its calming characteristics. And deep orange is rich and warm, like a cozy fall day.