What about orange?

What about the color orange? Do you like it? I'm particularly biased. I guess it has to do with the country where I grew up: Holland. Once a year, on King's Day, the entire country turns orange. People dress in orange, eat orange pastries, drink orange beer and homes are decorated in orange. And if there's a football championship, everything becomes orange all over again. You get free orange goodies with your grocery purchases and any imaginable drink or snack comes in orange. Complete madness!

When I look around in our home I draw the conclusion that we don't own a single orange "thing", except 1 pair of scissors plus some oranges, carrots and apricots. We do have a lot of yellow and a lot of red. But we never mix the two into a bright sunny orange. Why? I guess my husband is to blame: he grew up in the 70s and has some kind of orange trauma. In one of our former homes I made us some orange curtains for the kitchen which gave a lovely warm hue to the room. He hated them so much that I took them down soon after. It's important that we both feel at home.

In art school I used to dress more colorful which provoked smiles all the time. Just like my current pink glasses do these days… Such a cliché, but I guess that's what bright colors do to people! Bruno Poirier, a French painter living in Paris, just loves wearing color and the most important color in his work is orange. I stumbled upon this video and think his dedication to one particular color is admirable. Beside the love for bright colors and paint, we also share the same birthday! Have a look for yourself:

And you? Do you like orange? Do you have any orange at home? Or maybe some neon orange accents?

first photo by me – the others are stills of the Let's Colour video about Bruno Poirier.

42 thoughts on “What about orange?

  1. I just read this now and have to say, I am a nut for colors too! Orange, green, yellow, blue, certain shades of red. I am intrigued by Bruno now. my internet at the moment is too slow to properly view the video but I will be savoring it later. ;) Interesting how your partner doesn't like orange. Fra is only upset about painting nails – toenails to be exact. I don't paint my nails but sometimes feel like it could be fun

  2. i LOVE orange! and rusts, and peach. i was a teenager in the 70's, if i have any color trauma, it's to avocado green. bleh! the school colors of the University that i and multiple generations of my family have attended are orange and white – we bleed orange ;.)

    1. Oh yeah, avocado green, another color from the 70s. Very particular indeed ;) It seems like orange is intertwined with your family history, which makes it extra special!

  3. When I was six my mom made an orange, bright orange, jumpsuit for me. It was shorts, not a pants jumpsuit. Anyway, though my mother sews better than Calvin Klein and can make anything with that sewing machine of hers, I detested being in all orange (she even bought me orange sneakers to go with the outfit), and for the next 40 years I steered clear of that color. It's weird that I did because orange is flattering on me–I have a complexion which really looks good with orange lipstick. The lipstick is the only orange item I permitted myself. I suppose I too had “orange trauma.” For the last couple of years I've relented where that color is concerned and now own two orange shirts which look smashing on me. It's mom's fault the color disgusted me for as long as it did, but boy can she sew. The moral here is moms shouldn't dress their young children in what the mom likes because if the child is old enough to know she looks like human fruit then she'll remind her mother for the next four decades, “Hey, mom, remember when you made me wear that odious orange jumpsuit that I hated?” Then, if you're like me you might also give her a spot of hell for the nasty curly perm she put in your hair so you'd look really goofy in that jumpsuit. Six years old is too young to be trifled with like that and to this day I remind her of all the crazy things she did with her human doll. : ) By the way, my mother is a fantastic person–she just got all orange and perm happy on me for some reason while I was bang in the middle of Piaget's stages of child development so I didn't handle any of her “let's make Lynn cute” shenanigans. IT TRAUMATIZED ME!

    1. Thanks Lynn for sharing your orange (and perm!) story. At least your mom knew what looked good on you color-wise. But I agree, when parents impose clothes on their kids, it can get tricky… sometimes it goes way beyond normal, like with child beauty pageants. So sad and traumatizing!

  4. 56 year old Tom, from Iowa, USA here. Orange is, and always will be – the 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner that I owned in high school. That was in 1975, and the official color was called “Vitamin C”. Everyone was wild about that color and the flat-black hood.

    Beep-beep!

    1. Wow, I can totally see why they loved it so much, Tom! The Plymouth Roadrunner is such a cool car! In the past we've had several Pontiac Trans Ams which I loved, but never in such a vibrant color like “Vitamin C”. Love it!

  5. I, too, have orange trauma from the seventies. I was ten in 1975 and it was everywhere. The ABC After School Specials were TINGED in orange. It was trendy then and it is trendy now, but now it is not being used as the major part of an overwhelming earth-tone palate. Back then everything seemed to be the colour of brownish dirt or discarded food.

    1. There's definitely been some improvement on how to use orange in our homes. A little bit more subtle and fresh ;) Does the fact that you also have an “orange trauma” mean that you also don't have any orange in your home today, GSK?

      1. Judith, I do have a little bit of orange in my home, mostly in my aquamarine bathroom as an accent color. You're right that orange is being used more subtly now, and the actual shade seems to be brighter and “pinker” than the earthy shades of the seventies. Still, better a bright orange throw pillow than bright orange wall-to-wall carpeting!

  6. A good friend of mine was a teen in the 70's and wears orange all day long!! Wow, coincidence? No wait….it's a prison jumpsuit. I'm betting that doesn't count.

  7. Orange tends to be used in advertising, because it's a highly visible color (unlike green) ..

    May be one reason why it has been popular at times ..

    I'm not a huge fan of bright, gaudy orange, but there are shades of orange that look pretty good.

  8. Still have my bright orange Tupperware pitcher and measuring spoon set I received as a wedding shower gift back in the 1980's – they are battered with much use and now they've been regulated to the aquarium supply closet: they match my beautiful goldfish! And all the orange hues of autumn are something I look forward to each year. Peach and salmon are my favorite shades of orange. Now if you were to try to install anything avocado green or harvest gold… those are my “trauma” colors, and well,one of us is going to be very regretful…

    1. Don't worry, I wouldn't do that ;) I'm more into bright and light colors. Love that your Tupperware pitcher & spoon match your goldfish now! Thanks Peach!

  9. I, too, grew up in the 1960s & early 70s. Our family room had gold walls, a tension-mount pole lamp with orange, turquoise and gold lamp shades, curtains with gold, orange, rust and brown triangles, a drab brown sofa and love seat, a large picture drawing of African dancers playing orange & brown bongo drums over the piano, and shag carpeting with a swirled pattern in gold, rust, orange and brown. I remember my little brother throwing up all over the rug and you couldn't even tell where the puke landed. I hated those colors and to this day, nothing in my house is anything earth-tone or autumn colors.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story Rita! Your family room sounds like the typical example of modern style in that era ;) except for the puke (I hope!). Definitely made me laugh!

  10. I'm betting this doesn't apply to Oklahoma State University fans in any decade – OSU fans LOVE, LIVE and BLEED Orange!

  11. A couple of years ago, my husband and I downsized, and bought a little house with an orange kitchen. Orange..like the color of the orange fruit. At first, I didn't like it, but soon, I was buying everything in orange for a kitchen I could find. I'd never had a favorite color, which my grandson (Xander) thought was weird..so one day I told him it was orange. Now, I have moved, orange is no longer my favorite color, but I don't have the heart to tell Xander my favorite color isn't orange anymore..he still gives me the orange dish, glass and place mat when he sets the table. And, yes, I am 53 this year..I grew up in the '70's!!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story Nicolette! So sweet of your grandson to dress your table spot in “your favorite color”, it shows he cares. I wouldn't mind, it's only just a color ;)

  12. I've got to say that orange is one of the hardest colors for me to look at. The only thing worse could be red. But, orange is worse, actually, because bright red almost hurts and you have to shut your eyes, but looking at orange can actually be borne.

    1. Oh really? Personally I love bright hues, but I guess it's different for everyone. What's your favorite color? Something more toned down like pale blue or mint green?

  13. I painted an accent wall in my living room a mottled peach and peachy tan…i loved it. Driving up to the house you could see in the window it almost looked like it was on fire. Odd, no one who walked in said they liked it :) I hired an interior decorator to come to my home because of a remodel and the flooring had changed, she had me paint over the lovely with something so bland now my house is depressing. But i guess it is ready to sell, when the time comes.

    1. Sounds like your house became less personal by covering up the orange wall… But if you're looking to sell your place, that's the way to go. Home staging (for better sales) is big in Europe. But if you decide to stay a little longer, just add your favorite color again, Sharon. It's only paint ;)

  14. We don't allow anything orange in the house, yard or closets. Neither do we allow Maroon. Not fond of the college or pro teams that wear those colors.

  15. Do I have orange in my home? I thought: Yes! But then I looked around and saw that there's actually not much orange besides the curtains in our living room which are actually yellow on one side and red on the other and only when the sun shines through them it becomes a nice and warm orange. My husband grew up in the 80s, so he doesn't mind ;). But it's an interesting color, I think many people either hate or love it.

    1. Like you, I love the warm hues of orange (or red+yellow) curtains. But well, I won't try it again ;) I guess you're right: you either love orange or hate it. Never realized it was such a “strong” color!

  16. Do I have orange? Judge for yourself:
    http://jamesbalston.squarespace.com/journal/2012/3/16/oranges-lemons.html

    Great post and great video. Loved it!
    Thank you my dear. Hope you are well and
    looking forward to CPH x

    1. Love those bright oranges (and red and yellow) in your home Tina! Really looking forward to CPH, it will be fun: you'll be missed. Enjoy the long bank holiday weekend!

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