Pondering over pastels 5: pastel oranges

Orange is one of those colours that people are afraid to use in the home as we often see it in a more bright and saturated shade – in which case you have to be a lover to dare decorating with it. However, the softer pastel shades of orange are less dizzying and can bring in all the warmth in which it is celebrated for but without being too bold or shocking! Take a look at some of the ideas below for how to use a softer shade of this hue in a warm and laid-back environment.

Our first look for today is like a traditional Mediterranean style bedroom where our soft orange takes to the walls in a tamed terracotta hue. When using orange in décor you may wish to use a wood flooring with a medium tone; this will have less contrast than a darker finish but for the purpose of the bedroom it can be easier on the eye and generally more 'relaxed'.

Even as a pastel, orange can be a statement colour and might need to be domesticated with cream or white ceilings and woodwork. It can be difficult to work orange into a room with a lot of wooden furniture due to many woods having orange undertones – why not use other natural materials for your main furniture pieces such as a wrought iron poster bed and delicate side tables?

Furthermore, bronze looks fantastic with soft oranges and can be brought in with accessories and hardware such as curtain poles and sculptural pieces. If you have a reasonable size window and you like the idea of using pastel orange in a traditional style of décor then a window seat is a beautiful addition where you can add a selection of block colour cushions in soft terracotta to match the walls, a soft brown, coral and perhaps even a rich blue for that Mediterranean feel. Ground the space and keep your orange shade in good company with large area rugs in brown and/or beige, use anti slip matting if placing rugs on tiled floors.

For bedding, either take your brown as the dominant colour or use cream duvet cover sets for a lighter alternative – either way, dress your bed in cushions similar to those used by the window seat. Do use wall art and mirrors to break up the vastness of your orange and choose dark woods or bronze for contrast.

With all this talk of soft terracotta, we couldn't pass on some advice for using it in the kitchen – even when used within an essentially modern design, it can bring a touch of Southern Europe's warmer climes and country charm! In reality, the use of a pastel orange for painting cabinetry is very similar to using a light wood with orange undertone – it will end up looking light and airy yet warm and welcoming with walls painted white and butcher block counter tops. It will look good for longer if you use it with modern appliances in stainless steel and contemporary tab top voile curtains in a classic white.

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