Not quite a neutral and not yet a statement color, earthy shades of orange are popping up in homes everywhere. See why this nature-inspired color is taking over the interior design world.

By Hannah Bruneman
June 14, 2019
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In a time where it seems every kitchen, bathroom, and living room is white, we’re happy to see some color sneak back into homes. This year, burnt orange is one shade taking center stage. Some call it terracotta and others refer to it as amber, but there’s no denying the popularity behind this warm hue. Not quite as loud as tangerine or neutral like tan, burnt orange is the happy-medium color we’ve been looking for.

Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trend expert and judge on NBC’s Making It, says the happy shade of orange embodies connecting nature and finding inspiration in what’s real. “As the popularity of mythical creatures like unicorns and mermaids started to dwindle, I think shoppers craved something real,” says Isom Johnson.

And getting real seems to be the theme of recent years. With the growing wellness movement, consumers have turned their focus to natural products, a parallel found in the use of nature-inspired home decor.

Dayna predicted the popularity of terracotta back in December when she declared it as Etsy’s 2019 color of the year. Since then, Etsy has seen more than 198,000 searches for burnt orange products. Whether a throw pillow or a vintage pottery vase, muted orange decor is definitely making its way into our homes.

Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager of PPG paint, claims the color satisfies customers’ cravings for energy and happiness in their homes. Unlike red, which can be dominating in a room, oranges can have multiple personalities. Some are punchy and fun while other, softer hues, such as terracotta, act more as a neutral.

“We see burnt oranges being used in kitchens paired with trending navy and dark green cabinets,” says Schlotter. “Burnt oranges are also trending in bedding and can be paired with blue walls in bedrooms to create a calming, restful space.”

We love seeing how terracotta plays out in different rooms and decorating styles; its versatility no doubt has an influence on its popularity. Not only was it once a staple in midcentury-modern decor, but as the minimalism trend slows down, Dayna predicts the rise of even more desert-inspired colors paired with bold prints.

Thanks to its adaptability, we don't see this color going away anytime soon. So if you’re digging the clay-like hue, don’t be afraid to pick up a burnt orange pillow or even a gallon of paint and get to work redecorating.

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