5 Citrus Paint Colors To Add a Splash of Happy to Your Home

From grapefruit to lemon yellow, juicy hues are having a growth spurt.

When it comes to color in our homes, Southerners always welcome a splash of blue or a punch of coral or a pop of electric yellow to brighten our spaces. And while neutrals are always tried-and-true comforts, brights always find a way into our homes. When lockdowns were in full swing, we understandably clung to what made us feel cozy. And—in our sudden clamor to finally make over the spaces we'd be spending so much time in—that included paint colors. Shades like muted sage and tawny neutrals quickly overtook the optimistic hues predicted by paint brands to reign supreme in 2020.

Pink Cottage Among Palm Trees in Pass Christian, MS
Dane Tashima; Styling: Page Mullins

But, somewhere along the way, optimism has made a comeback. Among all the subdued hues, a bolder trend began to emerge in the paint world: citrus. From grapefruit pinks to electric yellows, bright shades have been popping up on social media feeds and trend reports more and more. And while covering a wall in such an eye-catching shade might seem too daring for a greige enthusiast, it also boasts some juicy benefits. According to color psychology, citrusy shades like orange and yellow are believed to increase energy, cheerfulness, and—yup—even optimism. Sounds like a trend worthy of testing out (even in smaller doses). Here are some hot shades we've got our eyes on.

Bahamas foyer with coral front door
Photo: Brie Williams; Styling by Liz Strong

Blood Orange

An electric color that borders on red might seem a tad dramatic for four walls, but as an accent hue, it's a total game (and mood) changer. Try it on a front door for your most cheerful welcome ever, or paint the walls within the kitchen cabinets or pantry for an unexpected hit of happy that won't overwhelm.

Meyer Lemon

Keeping a hardworking space like a laundry room doused in boring neutrals is doing a disservice to a space with loads of potential. Instead, consider flexing your creative muscles here: As a room that won't see a ton of traffic, it's ideal for experimenting with hues that you love but that might test your decorating comfort levels. A bright yellow with a hint of orange is the perfect mood-booster (and it'll actually make separating out your whites a task worth smiling over).

Pink Cottage Screened Porch Sitting Area with Bar
Dane Tashima; Styling: Page Mullins

Grapefruit Pink

Is there anything cuter than a pink cottage? Even if you don't (or can't) bathe your exterior in this pretty hue, there's plenty you can do inside to make a statement without looking too jarring. Kitchen cabinets would be darling in a coral-like shade such as this one. Or if you prefer something that feels a tad less permanent, try painting a piece of furniture.

Fuzzy Navel

There's a reason you'll find bright orange gracing things like traffic signs and brand logos—it's an instant attention-getter. If you prefer the statement-making potential of the hue, feel free to splash the vibrant shade on a wall or kitchen island. To channel the color's energy-inducing powers without going too bold, try it as an unexpected pop behind open shelving.

Flip Your Color Scheme
Flip tradition and paint your ceiling a bright color while leaving your walls white. Bring the color down into the space with coordinating accessories like window-coverings and pillows. Photo by: Laurey W. Glenn, Styling by: Elizabeth Demos

Key Lime

Because of their association with nature, most shades of green are thought to deliver calming benefits to the home. Mixed with the pep of yellow, the color simultaneously brings tranquility and cheerfulness to a space. Try a shade like lime green in an office or bedroom—for a surprise application, skip the walls and paint the ceiling instead.

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  1. Alnasuan A. Color PsychologyAmerican Research Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. 2016:1-6.

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