16 Chic Interiors: How to Decorate with Orange Rugs and Coral Rugs

Updated August, 2016. Orange, Coral and Tangerine have recently been hits on the fashion runways in Paris, Milan and London and we even see celebrities appearing in orange. So you might think that orange is a new fashion color. But just look at the rooms from the 1960’s and 70’s by legendary decorators Billy Baldwin and David Hicks and you will see that orange rugs, coral rugs, terracotta rugs, tangerine walls, and citrus colored fabrics were just as fashionable in the 60’s and 70’s as they are today with decorators such as Jamie Drake, Mary McDonald, Katie Ridder and David Easton… The 16 stylish interiors in this post show us how to decorate with orange rugs and with the many mellower shades of orange.


Designer rugs in orange are very popular and Italian-born American chef, writer and television personality, Giada De Laurentiis walks to lunch this month in New York wearing an orange maxi dress with a slit up one side.

Italian-born American chef, writer and television personality, Giada De Laurentiis walks to lunch this month in New York wearing an orange maxi dress with a slit up one side.


Designer rugs in orange are very popular and model Erin Holland received high compliments in the media for her orange off-the-shoulder dress she wore at a July Versace fragrance launch in Sydney.

Model Erin Holland received high compliments in the media for her orange off-the-shoulder dress she wore at a July Versace fragrance launch in Sydney.


Designer rugs in orange are very popular and Kylie Jenner's $35 orange dress she wore to the Pretty Little Thing's launch gala in July sold out in 24 hours.

Kylie Jenner’s $35 orange dress she wore to the Pretty Little Thing’s launch gala in July sold out in 24 hours. Image courtesy of ELLE Magazine.



Jewel Yam and orange were forecasted to be among the top women’s fashion colors for fall 2015 and winter 2016.



Ralph Lauren Spring 2015 pairs orange with a greenish-beige.




Antonio Berardi’s Spring 2015 ready to wear compliments orange with metallics, black and bluish-red.

Orange, coral and terracotta are flattering to the human skin and to everything around. You may have noticed that when you drive through the countryside in late afternoon the scenery looks more beautiful than at midday. This is because the late afternoon sun casts an orange glow that is just as flattering to nature as it is to people.

Orange is red mixed with yellow so it is full of sunlight. If orange is used full strength it can overpower everything around it. In most of the interiors below the orange has been mellowed by adding a little yellow, white or pink to it. You will see how many different ways interior designers use orange. In many cases the orange is used on the walls or fabrics and the rug is neutral or the rug has a neutral background with orange accent colors.


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1. David Hicks was the master of mixing small and medium scale geometric patterns. The orange and black geometric rug grounds the orange canopy and orange sofa.

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2. Billy Baldwin’s timeless living room has a sublime color palette of orange, coral, dark brown, cream with pops of yellow, blue, green and pink grounded by a brown rug. Image courtesy Peakofchicblog.

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As you study the color palette in the rooms in this post, it will be helpful to keep the color wheel in mind. Notice how interior designers use colors adjacent to orange to create harmonious layering and use small amounts of colors from the opposite side of the color wheel to create pop.


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3. Cote de Texas Blog featured this beautiful room by an unknown designer. The muted orange accents in the taupe and gray Oushak rug ground the vibrant orange of the silk drape.


Meg Braff's Chinoiserie themed entrance has a stunning color palette of orange, Chinese red, white, yellow, blue and turquoise all pulled together by a neutral rug with a black border band.

4. Meg Braff’s Chinoiserie themed entrance has a stunning color palette of orange, Chinese red, white, yellow, blue and turquoise all pulled together by a neutral rug with a black border band.


Asmara Bamboo Needlepoint Rug

5. Susan Nelson‘s imaginative color composition with orange has large amounts of blue and white grounded by a green and white geometric Asmara Needlepoint rug.


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6. Melanie Elston gives traditional furniture a modern vibe by painting the walls orange and creating contrast with a purple decorative rug.


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7. Jamie Drake’s seating area shows the power of orange when used full strength. The white contemporary rug has pink, purple and lavender circles to cool down the orange a bit.


orange rugs, grey rugs, gray rugs, striped rugs, Mary McDonald

8. Mary McDonald has restricted the color palette of this living room to orange, brown, grey and white which makes the room feel calmer. The grey and white striped rug and the dark gray floor cool down the heating effect of the orange walls.


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9. Katie Ridder shows how to create pop with small amounts of orange by pairing it with colors from the opposite end of the color wheel such as green and blue and how to ground the room with a brown and white decorative rug.


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10. McMillen, Inc. President Betty Sherrill’s living room shows how even a small amount of orange can make a powerful impact as in the floral Asmara needlepoint rug.


decorator rugs, geometric rugs, Meg Braff

11. Meg Braff shows how orange can be softened by giving it a pink tone. This is a very calming color composition with pale yellow, pink, tan, turquoise and grounded by a beige geometric rug.


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12. Lisa Torbett used oranges with a lot of pink. The drapes are hand sewn from Asmara’s Barcelona needlepoint rug which is a copy of a rug owned by the legendary fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga.


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13. David Easton painted the walls with a pinkish-orange which cast a warm glow on the beige, taupe, yellow and tan color scheme. A pale Oushak rug defines the seating area.



Trend Council’s 2015 Color Forecast juxtaposes mellow shades of orange with lilac and pink.


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14. D’Aquino Monaco uses an orange with so much pink that the color could called pink with some orange mixed in. The yellow and white striped rug adds light and balances the dark red drapes.


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15. Eldon Wong’s orange-red geometric rug is paired with gold, white, dark brown, black and tan to create an inviting living room.


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16. Christina Murphy’s living is both warm and calm. The coral Oushak rug and the upholstery fabrics have energy, but they do not scream. The orange wall color has a good amount of white and some pink.


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