Color Outrageous

Nothing renews the spirit, revs up a mood or revives a tired room faster than a blast of vibrant COLOR. A fresh coat of paint is probably the easiest and least expensive way to completely change the look and feel of a room. LN asked five designers to share their favorite shades with us. Here’s looking at hue, kid.

Deep Tangerine

Marianne Brown, Marianne Brown Designs

My color choices change over time, but right now I’m into tangerine. I used to hate it—now I love it. It’s such a happy, energetic color, and much more versatile and livable than you’d think. It looks fabulous with green, and you can even pair it with red. If it’s too bright for you, you can add a little brown to tone it down for instant serenity. You don’t want to overdo it; it’s probably best used as an accent color in a neutral room. Bring it in a little at a time to make sure you’re comfortable with it: start with a lamp or a vase, then do a focal wall.

Startling Orange

TJ Rinn, TJ Rinn Interior Design

Orange demands attention. It can range in hue from fire to golden yellow, from peach to tangerine. It’s a color for all seasons: bright and energetic in spring and summer, mixed with reds, yellows, crisp whites and cool greens; and warm and soothing in fall and winter when mixed with grays, browns, linen and winter white. If you use orange with reds and yellows, it’s vibrant, whimsical and fun. But it has a subtle side, too, especially when you tone it down with coppers, browns and golds. Orange is a color we all love—we just don’t know it!

Ardent Coral

Carolyn Grove, C.V. Grove Interiors

Coral is my favorite bright color. It’s happy and warm. My living room has coral walls—it creates a welcoming, exciting environment that’s perfect for entertaining guests. A coral bedroom or family room might be too much, but it’s ideal in an environment where you want to generate energy—home-team locker rooms are often painted in red- and yellow-based shades, to rev up the team.

Coral looks beautiful when paired with neutral fabrics like beige, gray, taupe and brown. Of course, so much depends on lighting when it comes to selecting a paint color. The same shade will look different in natural, halogen or canned lighting, so make sure to test your color in a variety of circumstances before you commit.


Marcia Moore, Marcia Moore Design

I love all shades of orange! It’s fun, unique and interesting, and works with every kind of decor from traditional to contemporary. I recently used it in a home office, pairing dark wood furniture with beige and brown upholstery and orange walls. We anchored it with an animal print rug, then added photos with black frames and paintings with orange accents. It was so striking. I also did a children’s playroom with traditional light blue walls. To add a little spark, we removed a closet door and painted the inside of the closet a bright, Popsicle orange. The kids loved it, and so did their parents. Orange is unexpected. People always end up saying, “I never would have thought of that—but I love it!”


Holly Blumeyer, Holly Blumeyer Interior Design Ltd.

Yellow is like instant sunshine. St. Louis winters can be so long and gray, but when you walk into a yellow room and turn on a light, your spirits go up and your energy soars. If an all-yellow room is too much for you, work it in gently by way of a faux application. Using lamb’s wool, layer pale cream paint over a yellow base. It looks like sunshine peeking through fluffy clouds. And few sights are more cheerful than lacquered yellow stripes over a matte eggshell base.