Article Photo

Make your project pop with these outstanding orange-based hues

12 Apr 2021

If you’re looking for a hero hue, nothing does the trick quite like a showstopping Resene orange. In colour theory, the citrusy combination of yellow and red is considered an energetic colour that calls to mind feelings of excitement, enthusiasm and warmth. Orange is often used to draw attention, such as in traffic signs and advertising – making it the perfect choice when you want to get more eyeballs on a key architectural or design feature, inside or out.

Whether you want a little or a lot, these five favourite oranges will bring the vibrancy you’re looking for.

Resene Smoke Tree

Autumnal, fiery, volatile and dynamic are all words that apply to the magic that is Resene Smoke Tree. There is something about its slightly dusty tone that gives it a unique energy and an air of sophistication, and we’d be hard-pressed to find a better fit for a better balance to classic navy blues like Resene Midnight Express or Resene Bunting. It also works well with a classic Christmas red like Resene Pohutukawa or when offset with a cheerful bright green like Resene Anise to add a few buoyant touches to an otherwise neutral exterior.

Timber background finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash with A4 drawdown paint swatches (from left to right) in Resene Smoke Tree, Resene Rice Cake, Resene Midnight Express and Resene Mariner, tray in Resene Bunting and vase (clockwise from top centre) in Resene Grey Olive, Resene Felix, Resene Smoke Tree and Resene Bunting.

Resene Jailbreak

There’s no question that this incarcerated orange has a great ability to attract attention. Best used sparingly, Resene Jailbreak is a great way to bring a bit of boldness and vigour to an earthy grey tonal scheme. Try a touch of it alongside Resene Truffle, Resene Quarter Truffle and Resene Earthen with highlights in Resene Alabaster and offset it with a feature wall or major piece of furniture in a deep slate blue like Resene Fast Forward.

Background in Resene Truffle with A4 drawdown paint swatches (from left to right) in Resene Truffle, Resene Alabaster, Resene Fast Forward and Resene Jailbreak. Desktop organiser in Resene Alabaster with drawers in Resene Truffle and Resene Earthen.

Resene Hero

While this knocked back orange is certainly strong enough to add life to any scheme, it’s the ideal call-back colour for building a retro or mid-century modern palette. Try it with a terrific turquoise like Resene Yowza and pops of dusted pinks, yellows and blue such as Resene Cabaret, Resene Shilo, Resene Thumbs Up, Resene Chorus Line and Resene Excalibur with clean-lined modern shapes and teak furniture for an energetic throwback look.


Background in Resene Yowza, trivet in Resene Hero, coasters in (from left to right) Resene Shilo, Resene Thumbs Up and Resene Chorus Line and vases in (from left to right) Resene Cabaret, Resene Yowza and Resene Excalibur.

Resene Sunbaked

A favourite among our stylists since it made its debut on the Resene The Range fashion fandeck in 2018, Resene Sunbaked is a rich and rosy terracotta that, although bold, is restrained enough to taken from floor to ceiling. Plus, it lends itself to so many different looks. The hue is just as well suited to back today’s popular greens like Resene New Leaf and greiges like Resene Eighth Stonewashed as it is paired with pretty pastels like Resene Remember Me and Resene Dreamtime. Try it anywhere that could use a tall dose of earthy warmth.

Background in Resene Sunbaked with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Swiss Caramel, Resene Remember Me and Resene Dreamtime, bowl in Resene Remember Me, cup in Resene Dreamtime and tea light holder in Resene Swiss Caramel.

Resene Twisted Sister

The bite of orange-meets-yellow that is Resene Twisted Sister is another dynamic hue that’s very versatile. It can bring life to sombre blue-blacks like Resene Twilight Zone and gridiron grey-blues like Resene Atomic, but it also looks chic and contemporary among other poppy colours like Resene Irresistible or Resene Hive when supported by a base of yellow white like Resene Rice Cake, a leathery tan like Resene Tablelands and sunset pinks like Resene Just Dance and Resene Ethereal.

Background in Resene Rice Cake with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Tablelands, Resene Just Dance, Resene Ethereal, Resene Hive, Resene Irresistible and Resene Twisted Sister. Trivet in Resene Just Dance and artwork in Resene Just Dance, Resene Ethereal, Resene Hive, Resene Twisted Sister and Resene Tablelands.


projects Annick Larkin, Kate Alexander, Laura Lynn Johnston, Leigh Stockton

images Bryce Carleton, Melanie Jenkins