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Orange, Yellow and Brown... and their common ground




Hello reader! How is your week going? Are you ready to get back to a fall routine yet? OR, are you one that doesn't even have to consider seasonal changes at this time in your life? Whether or not you have to start looking for school clothes, dormroom furniture or classroom donations; one this is certain. Soon, you will notice the colors around you starting to change. Leaves will change color and begin to fall. The sun will take longer to rise and shorter to set. You will pull out a sweatshirt and pull up your seasonal flowers. And, you'll start to see pumpkins arriving at the local grocery store and weekend fruit markets. All the signs that indicate the fall season is on its way.


Personally, I adore the fall season. I welcome all that it has to offer and am more than happy to make the shift from summer to fall. It is a really easy time of year in that it feels "quieter"; less noisy and brings a sense of calm to my psyche. Even when my kids were young and I was the one shopping for school clothes etc., the return of fall meant a huge opportunity to focus on things like decorating projects or allowed for quiet time. I remember that the return of the school year meant that it was necessary to have a routine again and it brought a sense of order that summer didn't require.


Anyway, this is the last post in the "color" series, at least for now. Being a color enthusiast, I am certain I'll write again on color. But, for now, let's address the three remaining colors: orange, yellow and brown. Of the three, orange and brown are on the warm end of the color spectrum. Brown is the undertone of orange and orange is derived from the combination of red and yellow. I bring yellow into this because it is ubiquitous among the colors of fall. Yellow has a white undertone but can have varying tones when brown is added to it. Think of sunflowers; this color is a deep yellow and to get that shade you would add brown to yellow. Not being a real huge fan of the color orange, who doesn't have pumpkins somewhere in the decorating scheme during the fall? The color orange is so omnipresent throughout the fall season; if you think about it, September to the end of November is a long running opportunity for the color orange to have its "moment". So even if you are not a fan of orange, or brown (or any of those other common fall colors), you most certainly include this color in your designs as a nod to the fall holiday festivities.


Previously I offered a back story in my life with the color brown. But, to refresh a bit, the color brown is the undertone of the warm colors on the color wheel. It is as strong in color "weight" as black, and can be used as the alternative to black. And both black and brown are considered neutrals. So, for instance, our living room uses the color brown as the neutral and various other color hues as accents. One of our guest bedrooms includes black as the neutral with blue and red as the accent colors.


Lastly, I would say that these three colors: brown, orange and yellow are a nice trio of colors to integrate into your interiors, if you like them, for starters. And then, consider how much of each you want to use in the room. I use loose math when I try to balance colors in a room. But, I would choose one color as the dominate, another as a secondary and third as the accent or pop of color. For example, my living room has a brown sofa, brown tables and bookcase. Then, I have two blue/cream chairs. Then, I have light blue lamps. The drapes are a cream background with a brown and blue floral design. So the "weight" starts with heavy brown and ends with lighter blue. Varying weights of color keeps the room from feeling "heavy" and the eye can "travel" around the room. This may sound more complicated and need more clarification, but I will have to make room for that detail in a future post. The point is to have varying degrees of color; not all the same amounts of each color. I hope that makes sense.


The following are a few hues I think are attractive to add to your decor. However, I offer only one paint company, Benjamine Moore, to make it easy for you to see a nice hue that represents brown, orange and yellow as we consider FALL colors:

  • Dixon Brown

  • English Ochre

  • Damask Gold

These are from Benjamin Moores Williamsburg collection. Remember these as a guide, not definitive or exhaustive. Each paint company has great offerings. But, these let you walk into the store and grab a card sample to use if you are working up a wreath etc. and you want a reference.


Thank you so much for reading. Have a great start to a new month. Until next time, cheers!...Jeanine




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