Tangerine Orange Living Room

Citrus hues lend a tropical feel to this room.

Tangerine Orange
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Looking for colors to spice things up? Then go with citrus hues. That's the approach Mary Leigh took for the third version of this living room. With a final nod to the cherished painting, she incorporated all sorts of mouth-watering shades--tangerine, lemon, lime, and coconut brown--making this space festive and fun. Even the same furniture pieces take on renewed looks when coupled with this tropical palette. Also, a mix of interesting textures insert their own flair. From silk and kilim to sea grass and bamboo, these fabrics and materials weave their way into this fruit-basket makeover.

Without a doubt, the showstopper for this version is the vibrant wall color. Because of this, there's little need to go overboard with accessories. "With the walls commanding such attention, I wanted everything else to be clean," Mary Leigh explains. So she kept all the other elements--pillows, slipcovers, lamps, flooring, and accessories--simple and uncluttered.

Below the painting, clear glass lamps, topped with monogrammed box shades, allow the wall color to read through. To balance this arrangement, tall iron plant stands were placed on either side of the table. Underneath, a pair of woven reed ottomans is topped with green-and-gold striped pillows.

Throw pillows of matching tangerine and other citrus hues unify the cotton duck upholstery, while the sea grass rug provides the perfect middle ground between the neutral fabric and the darker stained wood pieces.

Mary Leigh had a plaid silk slipcover made for the slipper chair that contains all the colors used in the room. A vivid lemon yellow pillow adds a finishing touch. Remembering her vow of a clean and simple approach, she opted for no curtains. "After all," she points out, "why do extra work when the wall color speaks for itself?"

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