Colour in interiors ' bringing a new twist to an old trend


One of the most highly anticipated interior design shows on the UK design calendar, Decorex International is almost upon us.
Knowing the trends that season is invaluable when designing a trend-led interior. Looking back 35 years ago to 1977, when Decorex first started, the on-trend colour for home décor was orange - a warm, rust orange.
Fast forward to 2012 and the on-trend colour is once again orange. But this time it is a lively, vibrant reddish orange. Chosen by Pantone trend colour forecasters, Tangerine Tango is the colour for 2012.
This colour is definitely not for the faint hearted. This colour is bright, lively, vibrant and full of energy. Be warned, there is no rest or respite with this hue.
In 1977, The St Michael Guide to Home Design and Decorating, edited by Barbara Chandler, showed the key trend colour orange teamed with a mono tone scheme of various shades of brown and ivory. After all, brown is just a darker shade of orange. This has become quite a classic retro look along with geometric patterns and distinctive textures such as shag pile carpets and rugs.
Using colour in interiors

1977 Trend colour orange – warm, rustic orange
(The St Michael Guide To Home Design and Decorating’  © 1977 Hennerwood Publications Limited)
Trend colours which prove consistently popular can become established as a mainstream colour staple. This happened with orange in the 1970s, turquoise in the early 2000s and lime green looks set to be next.
You can tell the success of a colour trend by the number of industries that pick it up. Pantone’s Tangerine Tango appears to be one of those colours, crossing many industries from home wares, fashion, and interiors.
Following are a number of images showing how orange can be successfully incorporated into an interior scheme, whether as the primary colour or as an accent.
Using colours in interiors

Use of warm orange and geometric rug pattern creates a modern take on the retro theme
(Image: Renay Toronto)
Using colour in interiors

Another great example of bringing a 1970s colour scheme into the 21st century
Using colour in interiors
Painted walls using various orange tones to create a flowing silk effect
Using colour in interiors
Using orange to create a bright and fun, social space
Using colour in interiors
This scheme brings in orange in through accessories, making it very easy to swap out when you fall in love with the next trend colour
(Image: Charm to Harm)
It will be interesting to see which Decorex exhibitors have incorporated Tangerine Tango or perhaps another tone of orange in their colour palette. How many will you spot…
Karen Haller is one of the UK’s leading authorities in applied colour psychology. In her role as an Interiors Colour Specialist, Karen is one of the international colour experts writing the chapter on Colour In Interior Design for the book, Colour design: Theories and applications, the definitive industry reference tool. She is also on the board of Trustees of the esteemed Colour Group (GB) and on the advisory board of Color Cares, which is dedicated to changing lives through the uplifting and positive effects of colour. For more information, call +44 207 7727 4938 visit Karen's website, follow her on Twitter or check out her Facebook page.