When it comes to mid-century modern interior design, there are a few colors that can make as big a difference as orange. Orange rugs and orange fabrics can add zip and warmth to the spare angular lines of mid-century modern furniture. Even in soft shades, orange does not act like a pastel, but has an inherent funkiness and edge. The six rooms below show how you can create very different looks by pairing orange rugs with such colors as aqua, yellow, blue, beige, charcoal and silver. Each pairing of orange with another color produces a different atmosphere and feeling tone. These rooms will help you come up with ideas for designing your own fabulous interior by mixing mid-century modern and orange rugs with different styles and colors.
Create Drama with Orange, Yellow, Aqua and Dark Green
This mid-century living room by Bryn Alexandra uses an orange oriental rug to create a fiery contrast with dark green walls, aqua pillows and yellow drapes. Photo courtesy of Bryn Alexandra.
The room combines a mix of styles from the ‘50s and ‘60s with an unexpected palette of colors and patterns. The room’s vibrant energy comes from the pops of colors that is created when you juxtapose warm colors against cool colors such as the warm yellow drapes against the dark green walls, and the bright aqua pillows against the orange rug. Despite the many bright colors the room feels harmonious because the rug and the painting include many of the colors used in the room and serve as visual aids in unifying all the colors into a coherent composition.
There are many resonances between the colors that help tie the room together, for example, the yellow drapes pick up the yellow in the rug and the aqua pillows pick up the aqua in the modern painting which also has a lighter shade of orange which connects with the rug and a dark green that picks up the wall color.
Create Energy with Orange, Blue and Striped Patterns
This funky 1970s influenced library in designer Gabhan O’Keeffe’s Moscow Dacha mixes orange and blue – complementary opposites on the color wheel – with a healthy dose of linear patterns in the intricately patterned orange rug, heavy stone coffee table, and striped sofa cushions and accent pillows. Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest.
Create Calmness with Orange, Beige and Black
This modern, natural open floor plan space by Charles Todd Helton combines clean lines and floor-to-ceiling windows with stone accents and wood tones. Image courtesy Charles Todd Helton.
The rich greenery outside gives the space even more of an outdoorsy, natural feel. A vibrant orange rug anchors a comfortable conversation area dominated by a huge L-shaped sectional creamy-beige sofa. The bold pairing is complemented by leopard-print stools and comfortable, modern armchairs in dark brown. Crisp contrast is created with splashes of charcoal colors throughout the open plan space- in the side-board, glass coffee table, window frames and ceiling beams.
Create Sophistication with Orange, Charcoal and Black
This bold dining room uses a beige and coral Oushak rug to anchor dramatic, charcoal grey walls that highlight framed black-and-white photography and an ornate traditional, cream stone fireplace. Photo courtesy of annesage.com.
This dining room shows how beautiful and classic orange looks when paired with charcoal and black. The coral and orange accents in the rug connect with the handsome chair upholstered in orange leather with trimmed with brass nail heads. The orange in the rug and the chair makes the clean black lines of the modern dining table and the Chinoiserie dining chairs stand out. Another key to the beauty of this room is the contrast created with white, silver and grey. The rug has a silver-grey background which connects with the silver pattern in the Chinoiserie dining chairs, the cream of the traditional fireplace and the white of the framed photographs.
Go Stately with Orange and Silver
A cream, gold and orange Oushak rug and a silvery ceiling ramps up the energy in this stately dining room. Photo courtesy of Houzz
This dining room puts a large, dramatic 10-person traditional dining table and chairs atop a boldly patterned orange Oushak rug for enormous visual impact. The rug complements dark orange drapes and a silvery ceiling that add brightness and chic style to the room. Mirrored walls on either side of the garden view window expand the space. The lush green of the garden contrasts with the dark orange drapes and the orange of the rug. The dark wood tones of the dining table, chairs and side boards create a stately look that is also warm and inviting. Cream chair seats and backs connect with the cream and beige tones in the rug.
Get Romantic with Peaches and White
This airy pool room by Mabley Handler Interiors for the 2010 Hampton Designer Show house uses a peach and cream geometric rug to anchor white armchairs and peach and white geometric wall covering. Image courtesy Mabley Handler Interior Design.
The combination of peach and white creates a romantic summery atmosphere which is accentuated by placing the rug on a white floor and painting the ceiling white as well. Blue accents in the three paintings and in the birdcage create cool contrast against the warm peach tones. The warm wood tones of the planters and the coffee table contrast with the greens in the tall topiaries.
If you’re looking for a way to turn up the charm in a mid-century room, color choices are key – an orange rug paired with the appropriate accent colors can balance the room’s clean lines and bring vibrant energy and a chic look. Play around with shades – darker or pastel shades of orange and see what other colors you like to use with orange. As these five rooms show, you can create very different moods and looks with orange rugs depending on the style of the orange rug and the colors you choose to use with it.