COLOR OF THE MONTH | Desert-vibes with Orange Ochre – part 1

by Lynessa Hancock

Get ready for our new colour of the month – a colour that radiates warmth, reminds us of summer, hot sun and happiness: orange ochre


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Interestingly, in Europe – the colour orange didn’t have a name until the 16th century.

Prior to this, it was simply called yellow-red. Before the word orange came into common use in English, saffron was sometimes used to describe the deep yellow-orange colour.

This changed when Portuguese merchants brought the first orange trees to Europe from Asia, along with Sanskrit naranga, which gradually become part of several European languages: “naranja” in Spanish, “laranja” in Portuguese, and “orange” in English.





Orange is a combination of red and yellow. The colour radiates warmth, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow.

Orange is optimistic, sociable, adventurous, warm-hearted and communicates fun; expresses frivolity and playfulness, connecting us back to our inner child. It can be very attention-grabbing, hence often used in advertising. Orange, a colour often described as bright, happy and uplifting can shift at times to being too bright or overwhelming. When it comes to the colour orange it tends to be controversial; you either love it or hate it! 

Orange is the colour of bright sunsets and the fruit of the same name; from which the colour originated. When we first looked at orange, we gave it a seasonal twist; Pumpkin Orange. However orange can transcend the seasons, and this time we take inspiration from Pantone Orange Ochre in the S/S collection. A colour conveyed in the beauty of a setting sun or the refreshing taste of citrus. Orange is associated with summer, hot sun and meanings of joy, fun, freedom, expression and fascination 

Orange brings spontaneity and a positive outlook on life, keeping us motivated and helping us to look on the bright side of life. As an active colour, we respond to it with heightened emotions, increased activity, and sharper awareness of our surroundings. Orange is the colour of joy and creativity and promotes a sense of general wellness.

Colours are very significant in the ancient concept of Feng Shui where orange represents fire. In India, orange is a sacred colour. For Buddhists, orange is the colour of spirituality and peace. 


|| Discover more: How to bring Feng-Shui into your home






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Today there is a trend toward warm and earthy tones. Warm comforting hues and bright pops or colour. Designers have declared warm earth tones to be the hottest colour trend of 2021, indicating a preference to cosier hues. “There seems to be a subtle shift toward the humbler earth tones. We believe richer hues will redefine how the whole home feels—comforting, safe, and inviting.” Alongside warm earth tone colours, designers determined that 1970s aesthetics and nature-inspired patterns will be big in design this year. Designers expect the 70s – an era of bright colours and earth tones – to make a major comeback.

 “From the fashion to the earthy colour palettes to the sense of freedom and individuality, I have always found inspiration in this bohemian decade,” designer Angie Hranowsky said. “Whether it’s modern furniture or traditional details like floral and fringe, we can see these now through a more modern lens.”  Apartment therapy 




Beginning with Orange Ochre we are exploring then the boho aesthetics of the Southwestern Desert Style trend.

Boho details feature such as tribal patterns, earthy colours, Navajo inspired details, kilim/ikat, define a style that is one of the hottest decor trends now. So, it is called Southwestern or Modern Southwest style because it developed in Southwest USA, areas like Palm Springs, Joshua tree, and the desert areas around there. Actually, the trend takes inspiration from desert decor – think warm earthy hues such as terracotta, leather, exposed wood, mixed textures, Southwestern rugs – countered with clean-lined, minimal neutral details to keep it feeling fresh. Abstract shapes are a recurring theme in modern desert-style homes. Organic forms (particularly half-circles and arches) recall traditional desert architecture and weaving motifs found in desert regions. In stripped-down ‘abstract’ wall art form, they present a modern reinterpretation that blends with this style of design seamlessly.  


Joshua Tree National Park @thejoshuatreehouse  Golden Hour in Joshua Tree  @ruth__adam 


@jthtucson  / Southwestern Style via



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Source encycolorpedia 


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Orange can add warmth and vibrancy to a decorating scheme. Whilst orange paint on the wall can make a bold statement, it can also be used as a highlight colour amongst a more gentle, contemporary colour palette. You don’t need to go overboard on orange. Embrace the Desert Modern Look with a neutral backdrop, incorporating artisan textiles/textures and patterns. Bring a little burst of orange through boho details, home accessories such as cushions and rugs together with a palette of warm earth tones. Artwork, whether a tapestry, a woven design, or poster can add a dash of colour and visual interest. 

When it comes to the Modern Desert-inspired trend – it’s all about an earthy colour palette. Clay-toned earthen hues are essential and trendy, however warm whites can be just as emblematic of this trend – think White Sands National Park. Warm white walls can act as a simple background for a desert-inspired palette. Start with a base of neutrals and build from the ground up. Layer with a southwestern-style rug, floor pouf, and throw pillows. 


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