Vancouver Colour Consultant: My Take on Pantone’s Colour of 2012: Tangerine Tango

I almost missed posting this story as I’m about to run out to a couple designer parties tonight and I heard about it at The Decorologist first! Then ‘From Caroline’ wrote a post where she also announced the colour of the year but also mentioned that my takeaway from the annual CMG Conference in September was about orange moving to a tangerine shade.

Image via Apartment Therapy

It’s interesting to see the progression of colours from 2008. The gray trend really arrived on the scene in 2009 so it’s no surprise then that yellow, turquoise, honeysuckle and now Tangerine, followed. All clean and crisp colours that work well with gray, black and white.

The LA Times says that Pantone describes the color as a “vivacious, enticing hue,” “a provocative go-getter” that’s “a bit exotic, but in a very friendly, non-threatening way” and “a spirited reddish orange. . . sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive.”

I was relieved to see this fun interpretation of the colour and also to see that there was no reference to it being a “necessary relief from the woe’s of the economy, etc.” as was mentioned in past years.


As I’ve said in prior posts, I don’t think the swing back to colours of the 50s and 60s has anything to do with the economy; it’s just the natural ebb and flow of colour trends moving from dark (brown trend) to light (gray/white trend).  After all, we’ve been looking at earth tones for 20 years and we’re done!

I say bring on the happy colours, now you don’t need an excuse!

What do you think? Yay or Nay.

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Related posts:

My take on Pantone’s Colour of the Year; Honeysuckle

Danger: How you Know you’ve Fallen for a Trend

2012 Colour Trends for Fashion and Interior Design



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  1. I feel like Goldilocks. The dark, brown tones were too depressing for me and I felt like screaming out, “Where’s the color!” But the shades that are out now are just too vibrant for my home (though some of them make it to my wardrobe). I guess I would say that I prefer colors that are muted than Pantone’s color of the year for the last four years, but that remain colors, not neutrals.

  2. The color was called mandarin orange in 1974 when I carpeted our house in a gorgeous plush carpet of that shade. The walls were white, and most furniture was white or camel with navy accents. I remember it as one of my prettiest of our 11 houses.

  3. I love the colour wear it all the time!
    This past summer I finally had our open plan living/dining/kitchen/entrance walls painted in a beautiful orange. [Gingerbread 222-6 Pittsburgh paints Voice of Colour series]

    I was a bit nervous about the selection, as one wall is 14 feet high and goes across the entire depth of the house, so it is a big splash of colour. Due to the ceiling height I had to hire an expensive painter, I am afraid of ladders, normally I do all my own painting.

    But as soon as he had rolled on the first bits I knew I had made the right choice, it is absolutely gorgeous!

    I painted one wall of my very first apartment, way back in 1975, a beautiful deep orange. I moved out of there in 1979 and have missed the colour ever since. I did the grey thing in the 1980s ; I didn’t know orange was back in fashion, I was just tired of too light walls.

  4. I say MAYBE…but probably wouldn’t specify this color except in small doses or perhaps in a pool house or outdoor space…IF you are drawn to orange-reds. Trends come and go and tend to lean more classic design and colors and use the new looks in areas that can be changed when one tires of it. Enjoy reading your blog. I also love an all white kitchen. Now to convince clients that white cabinets are a good thing! Patti

  5. Had this very same color on my living room walls when I first got married. Hated the furniture and used the orange to distract anyone visiting. It worked – everyone commented on the walls when they came in the room. Still love the color! Except it is red-orange in my book. Fancy names never did it for me as an artist.