How to Design with Orange

How to Design with Orange

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Dwell's favorite homes featuring orange hues all show that the secret to using this often-avoided color is a balance of neutral tones and plenty of natural light.

Modern home with Living Room, Wood Burning Fireplace, Chair, Sofa, Pendant Lighting, and End Tables. In the living room of a remodel in Seattle, the fireplace was powder-coated orange to complement the vintage furnishings. The sofa is from Design Within Reach; the coffee table is by Alexander Girard for Knoll. A pair of undated paintings by Arthur L. Kaye hang on a wall painted in a Benjamin Moore hue custom matched to the outside of the window frames. The triangular nesting tables are a vintage find. “They’re always billed as ‘guitar pick tables,’” resident Sally Julien says. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

In a renovated mid-century home in Washington, the living room's fireplace has been powder-coated orange to complement the vintage finds, which include a test bomb discovered at an antiques mall.

Modern home with Kitchen, White Cabinet, and Colorful Cabinet. To keep vases, dishes, and small appliances handy but off the countertop, Sawatzky designed two niches within a wall of deep cabinets. Inset outlets supply power; butcher block lines all sides; and Plexiglas doors provide hits of bright orange. Plastic World, a local dealer, custom-cut the Plexiglas for the storage cubby which sits beneath a photo by artist Chris Curreri. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

An old Toronto storefront was converted into a home-studio, where pops of color invigorate an otherwise muted space. In the kitchen, two niches within a wall of cabinets were designed to keep vases, dishes, and small appliances handy but off the countertop. Local dealer Plastic World custom-cut the cubbies' Plexiglas doors, which provide hints of vivid orange.

Modern home with Living Room, Chair, and Rug Floor. “I want everything to have a sense of place,” says Adler. “To me Shelter Island is a rustic, relaxed place.” Oatmeal grass cloth wallpaper, a Talitha rug, and Whitaker chair and ottoman, all by Adler, and vintage artwork instill the interior with a comfortable retro quality. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

The interior of Jonathan Adler and Simon Donnan's Shelter Island vacation home is decorated with a combination of vintage finds and Adler's own designs, which include the Oatmeal grass cloth wallpaper and a bright orange Whitaker chair and ottoman.

Modern home with Living Room, Bench, Concrete Floor, Recessed Lighting, and Ceiling Lighting. The sunken family room is enlivened by Alvarez-Calderón’s addition of fabrics from Designers Guild and glossy paint. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

In a corner of a concrete home in Lima, steps leading down to a family room are energized by a coat of glossy orange paint.

Modern home with Garage. The parcel was practically inaccessible. It was situated 20 feet beyond where the road dead-ended at a curb and lay another 20 feet below street grade. The plot lacked municipal hookups and plummeted down the hill at a 50-percent slope. But the neighboring property had caught Edmonds’s eye: Just beyond the steep pitch was the P-Patch community garden in which she and Hale had been growing salad greens for years. “We’d carry a trowel and bike over from our old apartment,” Edmonds remembers fondly. “It was our escape.” Photo  of How to Design with Orange

One family in Seattle, Washington, looked past a sloping landscape and instead saw the opportunity to build their dream home. Resembling a modern day metal treehouse, the Hale and Edmonds residence is nestled within the edges of a wooded park. The house's exterior of paneled grey is perfectly balanced against the accent of the orange frame, proving that there's a chance for subtlety with the bright color.

Modern home with Living Room, Concrete Floor, Sofa, and Recessed Lighting. The Mikado 2 sofa by Hans Hopfer for Roche Bobois is a bright and cheery centerpiece in the otherwise sedate living room. The nubby wool Photon rug from Design Within Reach warms up the expanse of concrete. The framed drawing is by the Los Angeles–based artist Daniel Brice. Huge sliding doors open the house to the outdoors and virtually double the Burtons' living space. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

This ultra modern prefab home in Ukiah, California, was designed by Marmol Radziner. While the overall color scheme consists mostly of white and grey, the pops of color by way of furniture complement the contemporary design. One piece in particular is the Mikado 2 sofa by Hans Hopfer for Roche Bobois acting as the focal point of the living room. The brightness of the orange is matched by the natural lighting via sliding doors and is paired with a wool Photon rug from Design Within Reach for extra dimension.

Modern home with Exterior, Apartment Building Type, and Flat RoofLine. Bob Krone and Paula van Dijk go for a walk while Lucas and Jillis Noordhoek lounge on the grass. Their parents, Jacquelien and Cees Noordhoek, chat farther to the right. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

This eye-catching villa in the Netherlands, designed by Next Architects, proves that you can go big and go home as well. While some homes feature hints of color, the Villa van Vijven structure garners well-deserved attention thanks to its warm orange facade that is meant to mimic the tiled rooftops of Holland's country buildings. Moreover, the villa's horizontal plane echoes the flatness of the lush green landscape. The orange of the exterior also carries over into the communal entrance beneath the building, offset by natural elements such as stones adjacent to the entryway.

An orange door and metal grille make for a warm, if industrial, contrast to the stones and plants on the patio. They also weather well, something critical in a place where the climate leads to a palpable sense of decay. Photo  of How to Design with Orange modern home

This home designed by Djuhara + Djuhara Architects in Jakarta, Indonesia, brings a tropical air to the East with orange accent walls to balance the wood-paneled exterior. The color accents of the Wisnu residence extend to an orange door leading to the patio, contrasting the metal screen and natural stones. This truly minimal and eco-chic home defies normative of Jakarta suburbs with its open feel and abundance of natural light.

Modern home with Outdoor. At one end of the space, which is topped by a barrel ceiling, a hammock offers a tantalizingly cozy place to nap. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

This Spanish delight in the middle of Barcelona, was renovated to give the 18th-century flat a modern appeal. While keeping rustic features such as the stone walls and exposed beams as a nod to the home's Roman-era origins, the festive Spanish tiles lining the floors and walls of the library make way for bright furniture pieces throughout the residence. The house boasts a stunning lap pool with a wood-burning fireplace as well as a cozy outdoor space featuring a barrel ceiling and hammock, with orange and fuchsia pillows in perfect harmony with the home's white walls.

Modern home with Bedroom, Bed, and Table Lighting. The orange his-and-hers lamps in the bedroom came from Högner's sister's childhood bedroom. "My sister prefers new things," said Högner. "But my dad can't throw anything out. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

Furniture designer Christane Högner found inspiration in Belgian street style for her family's two-bedroom apartment in Brussels. The home, an eclectic mix of high and low finds, offers hints of color as seen here in the bedroom. White chairs serving as nightstands are paired with the orange lamps to mirror the throw pillows atop a set of white bedding to add a fun Creamsicle effect to the room.

To say that Jeff Wardell and Claudia Sagan's apartment is truly unique would certainly be an understatement. Their 3,200-square-foot San Francisco abode, formerly a Chinese laundry and tooth-powder factory, holds onto its industrial roots with a tangerine-toned shipping container in the middle of the couple's living room. The container serves dual purposes as a guest bedroom, housing a Pat Carson–designed Murphy bed, and home office with the glass wall transforming from opaque to clear with a flick of a switch. Photo  of How to Design with Orange modern home

To say that Jeff Wardell and Claudia Sagan's apartment is truly unique would certainly be an understatement. Their 3,200-square-foot San Francisco abode, formerly a Chinese laundry and tooth-powder factory, holds onto its industrial roots with a tangerine-toned shipping container in the middle of the couple's living room. The container serves dual purposes as a guest bedroom, housing a Pat Carson–designed Murphy bed, and home office with the glass wall transforming from opaque to clear with a flick of a switch.

Modern home with Office, Concrete Floor, and Desk. Jacobson lowers a panel of the CSS to expose a series of neatly-kept cubbyholes. The orange piece in the corner is a Lagardo Tackett design for Architectural Pottery. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

Architect Michael Lee designed Matt Jacobson's minimalist Southern California house to reflect the breezy lifestyle of its setting in Manhattan Beach. Boasting plenty of wood balanced with clean whites and concrete, the renovation takes beach-side living to a contemporary level. Sitting in the corner opposite of a muted peach-colored desk chair is an orange Lagardo Tackett for Architectural Pottery side table-like piece, providing a warm greeting to the entryway of the bathroom.

Grist and Goldberg wanted an open kitchen so their guests could gather around a beautiful space without feeling cramped in a tiny room. Goldberg instantly fell in love with an Ann Sacks glass tile backsplash that Samaha and Hart showed the couple during the design process, but she wasn't willing to spend $100 per square foot on the product. Instead, Goldberg had their contractor make three panels of cement board that would fit in the backsplash space and she and a friend spent their evenings gluing on glass tiles that she purchased online. When they finished, the contractor came back, installed the panels, and Goldberg filled in the gaps. Outside, chairs from Ikea and an Inox table from DWR provide a space to sit on the deck.

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Sharon Risedorph Photo  of How to Design with Orange modern home

Barnaby Grist and Ellen Goldberg bring to their Noe Valley home the epitome of business in the front, and party in the back with a renovation by Architect Bassel Samaha of Samaha + Hart Architecture. The facade of the San Francisco abode still retains its Victorian charm but the rest of the home is completely revamped with a modern facelift. The multi-tiered structure is a solid cloud of white and glass that optimize the house's airy flow and stream of natural light. The minimalist open kitchen displays a silver glass tile backsplash while simultaneously drawing attention to the Inox table from DWR and tangerine Ikea chairs on the deck.

Modern home with Exterior and Shipping Container Building Type. While shopping for containers, Hill was instantly drawn to this one’s existing blue color and chose to buy it and leave it as is. Poteet added floor-to-ceiling sliding doors to allow light in, as well as a cantilevered overhang to shade a window on the left side, which houses a small garden storage area. Photo  of How to Design with Orange

Designers with a great eye know that orange and navy blue are a perfect combination since they are complements of each other on the color wheel. Case in point: Architect Jim Poteet helped Stacey Hill turn an empty steel shipping container into a playhouse, garden retreat, and guesthouse in San Antonio, Texas. The structure's navy blue exterior and floor-to-ceiling glass doors fully maximize the richness of the orange-hued outdoor furniture.