The best orange paint colors

When I was 20, my friend and I painted our entire Berkeley apartment bright orange without asking our other two roommates. Needless to say, we were really thoughtful people.

It kind of looked like this, only not as cute:

An orange dream.

Orange can be tricky, right? I mean, I love it and previously rhapsodized about it here, but, let’s face it, it’s probably not the first color you lunge for at the paint store.

So to help us get a grip on the orange situation, below are 12 interior designer picks for orange paint, all by Benjamin Moore:

Designers' favorite orange paints, via #RoomLust

The idea of a “warm, dusty apricot” sounds pretty gross but in the hands of California designer Stephen Shubel, Benjamin Moore Soft Marigold looks Mediterranean in the best way:

Benjamin Moore Soft Marigold, via #RoomLust
Design by Stephen Schubel

Meanwhile, over in New York Sit-aay, designer Jamie Drake, who loves vibrant color and is also witty and charmingly authoritative, used Benjamin Moore Calypso Orange in this dining room:

Benjamin Moore Calypso Orange, via #RoomLust
Design by Jamie Drake; photo by Simon Upton

Designer Maureen Footer likes Benjamin Moore Orange Sky, one of my favorites, which she calls a “Veuve Clicquot orange.” Maureen, honey, call me if you want to get drinks sometime.

Here’s Benjamin Moore Orange Sky in a bathroom, below:

Benjamin Moore Orange Sky, via #RoomLust
Design by Thomas Roszak Architecture; photo by Hedrich Blessing

Designers Philip Gorrivan, Brian Dittmar, and Ken Fulk (the latter whom clearly has more fun than any of us and likes to post photos of his private jet on tumblr) like Benjamin Moore Electric Orange. Below Gorrivan used Electric Orange in a Toronto dining room (you can view the whole project here):

Orange dining room, via #RoomLust
Design by Philip Gorrivan

Designer Amy Lau likes Benjamin Moore Rumba Orange, but says that honestly, sweetie, she’d only use it as an accent color, in the manner of famed Mexican architect Luis Barragán:

Orange and pink room, via #RoomLust
Design by Luis Barragán

Designer Sheila Bridges, who is a bad-ass and whom I’ve loved for ages, painted the entry of her Harlem apartment Benjamin Moore Orange Blossom:

Orange paint ideas, via #RoomLust
Design by Sheila Bridges; photo by William Waldron

Notice, though, how the same color appears completely different in this photo of Bridges’ apartment, below, taken by the New York Times. (This has to do with lighting/Photoshop/general trickery but it’s also why swatching paint is so important.)

The best orange paint colors, via #RoomLust
Design by Sheila Bridges

As far as darker, more muted orange colors, Rhode Island designer John Peixinho especially likes Benjamin Moore Audubon Russet:

Paint this warm, bricky orange on the inside of a bookcase and it will add unexpected depth to a small space or make a big room seem more intimate.

Another option is Benjamin Moore Salsa Dancing, which designer Melanie Coddington used with Benjamin Moore Oatmeal in this California kitchen:

White kitchen with painted cabinets, via #RoomLust
Design by Melanie Coddington; photo by David Duncan Livingston

New York designer Matthew White used Benjamin Moore Starburst Orange to carve out a focal point in his loft. Check out those trompe l’oeil angels:

Benjamin Moore Starburst Orange, via #RoomLust
Design by Matthew White; photo by Grey Crawford

Lastly, if orange paint is too scary and you are generally non-committal, buy some “accents” and call it a day:

White bathroom with orange accents, via #RoomLust
Design by Stephen Schubel

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