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From the Resene colour choices booklet

Happy, fun, sassy, playful, optimistic and energetic. Orange is such an irrepressibly cheerful colour that it makes most of us smile.

Using orange

Wall in Resene Rumour Has It (try Resene Alert Tan for another option).

Some people are not so keen on its in-your-face exuberance, but orange as an interior colour is very useful, particularly in burnt or terracotta tones, like Resene Fire. Because orange is such a strong colour, it has often been reserved for use as an accent for feature walls and splashbacks. But there are many ways to include its brightness in your home.

From peach to pumpkin

Orange is a hugely adaptable colour: it starts at soft peach, like Resene Porsche, then ranges through coral, melon to carrot, then goes on to deeper shades of terracotta and rust. It transcends the seasons, too. In its pale bright form, like Resene Consuela, it’s a peppy spring and summer shade, but turn it pumpkin and it becomes quite autumnal and wintry.

Orange looks great with all forms of blue – turquoise, teal, ice-blue, true blue, slate blue – as blue sits opposite orange on the colour wheel. As with any scheme based on the use of complementary colours, make sure you get the saturation and balance of colours right.

Orange has a cool retro appeal that goes with mid-century-style interiors. It’s also a good colour to use in children’s rooms if you don’t want to fall into the unisex stereotypes of pink or blue. Make sure you tone it down a little though, or orange’s stimulating power will keep the kiddies awake.

You can go all out in the kitchen though, where orange’s warmth can be channelled to create a inviting social space. Avoid orange in hot sunny rooms as it may make the room seem unbearably warm.

Wall in Resene Whizz Bang.

Try these colour combos

  • Burnt orange and teal for a sophisticated take on a retro scheme
  • Orange and charcoal for urban edginess
  • Pale pumpkin and icy blue
  • Bright orange and hot pink for something racy and fun
  • A two-tone orange scheme of soft golden orange and deep gingery orange
  • Terracotta and rust tones for rustic or ethnic interiors

Positive – Orange is warm, passionate, sensual and fun. The brighter shades are cheerful and tend to stimulate the appetite, making them ideal for kitchens and dining rooms, where they also create a comfortable, cosy atmosphere.

Negative – Feelings of deprivation, most likely when orange is combined with black. Frustration, immaturity and lack of intellectual values.


Download a PDF of this article

Resene colour choices booklet
Choose colour with confidence and creativity

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