More yellow than terracotta, more brown than the classic orange.

A shade called “Burnt Orange” currently dominates the feel-good Instagram accounts and country-loving living magazines.

It is astonishing that this color of all things is so popular at the moment.

Orange, which hurts the eyes, is still associated with the 1970s by many.

Back then, shrill classics such as Pierre Paulina's fluffy armchair for Artifort, the stackable, curved plastic chair “Casalino” or the knobbly “Camaleonda” sofa by Mario Bellini * made design history.

But the color hasn't received much attention from interior design professionals since then.

And now, of all times, when the design language is characterized by restrained neutrality rather than extravagant color combinations, an orange tone is making its way back.

Vintage from 1970: "Camaleonda" by Mario Bellini

Source: Pamono

"Camaleonda" sofa by Mario Bellini, via Pamono (buy here)


The fact that orange has so far often been perceived as negative has a lot to do with color psychology and cultural peculiarities.

According to studies, in the USA the color is often associated with prison uniforms and therefore has a rather negative connotation.

However, in other cultures, especially in Southeast Asia, orange is associated with royalty or even spirituality and can evoke a positive sensation.

Color psychologists are of the opinion that people who have an urge to be recognized and who want a lively social life prefer “Burnt Orange”.

In Europe, the muted orange tone with a high proportion of brown triggers a consistently positive mood in the viewer, as it is reminiscent of quiet, autumn evenings, according to a press release by the organization "Color Psychology".


“This is a surprising revival, a zeitgeist phenomenon, so to speak.

Because many of us long for nature and feel more connected to it, ”adds Sarah Bachmair, Creative Director of the Westwing furniture online shop.

Also works as a single color accent, such as a carpet in Nobis Hotel Stockholm

Source: Design Hotels

Usually, the Pantone color institute dictates the color trends that will dominate the coming year.

In 2021, the bright yellow "Illuminating Yellow" and the neutral gray tone "Ultimate Gray" should play a major role.

So how did the dark orange become a trend instead?

Lucas Kuch, interior designer and owner of the Valuc15 interior stores in Berlin and Hamburg, says: “I noticed last year that the trend was moving towards ocher tones and terracotta, as the demand for them has risen sharply.

This is probably due, on the one hand, to the fact that earthy tones can be found in many collections, whether in fashion or interior design.

On the other hand, there are very cozy, warm and homely tones that go well with the season and the situation we are in, in which we spend a little more time at home than usual. "

In combination with white tones: “Lennon” sofa by Westwing

Source: Westwing


Modular "Lennon" sofa from Westwing (buy here)

Minimalism or splendor, what is more homely?

The hype about “Burnt Orange” picked up speed especially when it was picked up by interior bloggers.

Often you only see a bouquet of pampas grass * in a statement vase, next to it a stack of coffee table books * and all of this is arranged in a large room without curtains, in which the walls or only a few accents are kept in the trendy color .

The curtains and a pillow are enough to make a statement

Source: Made.com

"Julius" curtains made of velvet from made.com (buy here) *

“Of course, it can look great when the furnishings are very reduced, when there are only a few furnishings, such as a sofa *, a rug * and a side table in the room.

At home, however, it usually looks a little different, as very few people live in a furnishing magazine, ”says color expert Lucas Kuch.

Which colors does “Burnt Orange” go with?

Marble, walls and velvet in dark orange: the Girafe restaurant in Paris

Source: Girafe Paris / Group Noctis

“The warm, earthy tone can be wonderfully combined with wood.

Although light wood, the so-called blonde wood, is very popular right now, 'Burnt Orange' also looks special with darker wood tones, ”says Westwing furnishing expert Bachmair.

While light marble provides the desired, elegant contrast to the dark, cozy orange, especially in restaurants and bars, she advises more subtle means for your own home: “Those who like it modern combine 'burnt orange' with beige tones and gold accents. "

The color also works in small rooms

Source: Farrow & Ball / Jannik Martensen Larsen

However, if you want to intensify the pleasant effect of the orange brown, you should stick to Lucas Kuch's tips and not just work with one color.

Especially when it comes to the wall color: “I prefer to combine the color with other muted, grayish, green and blue colors.

The perfect color: “Charlotte Locks” from Farrow & Ball

Source: Farrow & Ball


Kuch continues: “The tone is a bit more daring in combination with more intense blue-green tones such as petrol and turquoise.

That can look great, especially if you set the tones apart and only paint the more intense tone on the ceiling. "

Does the sound also work in small rooms?

If you are unsure whether the walls should stay white, the furnishing experts advise you to try out the tones.

Interior designer Kuch recommends the color for all apartment sizes: “The size of the room is irrelevant for me when choosing a color.

I can understand that many people shy away from dark tones in small rooms because there is concern that it will make the room appear even smaller.

But even small rooms can look great in a darker color and develop a completely different feeling of space.

The lighting conditions are more decisive. "

As cozy as in the Wes Anderson movie "The Fantastic Mr. Fox"

Credit: pa / Everett Colle / © 20thCentFox / courtesy Everett Collection

The color expert, who will be launching his own wall paint collection with “Valuc15” in April, doesn't think much of the idea of ​​just painting one wall: “Basically, I think it's nicer to paint a room completely in one tone.

That is also my recommendation if you decide to use a dark orange. "

However, if you find the trend color too extreme for the walls and prefer to limit yourself to living accents with furniture and accessories, Sarah Bachmair recommends shades from the similar color family in order to achieve a harmonious effect: “There shades of beige, off-whites or silk matt White nuances are currently more popular than cold, pure wall paints, my choice is a light beige or sand tone. "

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