Pantone catches up with Pamtone: Orange luv

David Hicks mod living roomPantone tangerine tangoSo reader Wendy sends me this cryptic email:



Yes, the color company Pantone just named their 2012 Color of the Year: A reddish-orange they call Tangerine Tango. And, it’s my 2011 Color of the Year — a nice, rich, vibrant Orange. Pantone rightly points out that this color marries the energy of red with the friendliness of yellow. It is one of the absolute ultimate perfecto colors for a mid century modern interiors — L0Ok, the color (close enough) was used in the very piece of art that gave a name to pop cultureDavid Hicks loved it…  it transcends 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s… For these reasons and because burnt orange is my favorite colors, that’s why I named it Retro Renovation’s very first Color of the Year. This year, you will recall, I chose Bitossi Rimini Blu — which is a terrific complement. But, hey, remember: This color choosin’ is all just for fun. Don’t pay one whit of attention to marketeers and pundits — me included… Surround yourself with the colors that sing to you! Image above: Used with permission from The Estate of David Hicks.


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    • pam kueber says

      I have a dressy corporate orange and pink outfit that I used to wear when I worked at Ford. It looked FANTASTIC and, of course, made quite a splash!

      • Annie B. says

        The most favorite dress I’ve ever owned was made for me by my mother in 1967: a trapeze dress in a hot pink, orange, and yellow voile. The color combination was the essence of swingin’ Mod mid ’60’s. Wish I still had it.

      • Susan D says

        Pink and orange were the “in” colors in the late 1960s. We had family friends that decorated their daughters’ room with hot pink, orange and yellow patterned wallpaper with some kind of bright orange fuzzy bedspreads. It was the first time that I ever saw in real life what a decorator could accomplish. I always loved that room and that color combination.

    • Ann-Marie Meyers says

      I shared an apartment with a girl for a while in the late 70’s who had done over the pink bathroom with accents of bright orange. It looked great with the pink fixtures, especially when I found some Avon products that had pink and orange packaging to set out on the counters.

  1. Ann-Marie Meyers says

    And, hyacinth, Pantone’s 2010 color of the year was MY 2009 color of the year! I had to argue with my home remodeling contractor when I wanted the trim in my master bath and master bedroom done in it. He swore I would be sorry. I had to keep reminding him it was MY house, and that not everyone wanted everything done in beige. Grrrrr.
    We have to be firm with these naysayers. We know what we like! And, most of us like color!

  2. judy h. says

    I think this color is ick! I wouldn’t decorate with it; imagine seeing it day after day after day. Most women could not wear this color successfully, definitely not for the cool-toned complexion. I might throw in a very small dot of it with home or wardrobe accessories, but it would have to be small and lean more toward the pinker side of this color.

    • pam kueber says

      Pantone’s press release talks about this as and EYE SHADOW color. Oh my. I agree it can be a difficult fashion color. I can do it in bits — because of my hazel eyes and hair that always wants to push the brown to red. However, I must disagree re decorating. This is a fabulous color to accessorize a midcentury interior. Goes great with blue, green, browns. I have done a lot of stories showcasing The Orange this year… To each her own, though: Colors are wavelengths of energy and affect each of us differently.

  3. mimi says

    That’s just a kicked up coral pink! I like it but I like coral better, I think. I couldn’t live with that color for a long time

  4. Jordanna says

    I tend to believe I can like any colour in the right amount in the right context.

    I spent a good little while trying to think of the right context for this one, though, and all I have is:

    Poppies in a botanical print
    Coral/starfish type tchotchkes in a beach house
    Art glass, backlit.
    Back panel of a bookcase filled with milk glass

    Small doses (am I a coward?). With a lot of white. In a room with white slipcovered sofas and seagrass rugs and green sea-glass I could see it being quite natural and charming.

    Its funny, I love orange, but not really THIS orange. I have to say when I pictured orange as Retro Renovation’s colour I was picturing much more a “Fiestaware tangerine” – more yellow than pink-red. I find it much easier to handle yellow-y orange.

  5. says

    I painted a garage-sale bookcase this color back in 2008, and it’s one of my favorite pieces still. Made an ordinary set of shelves something that stands out (in a good way). I don’t think I’d like a couch or walls in this color, but I really like it in small pieces of furniture, rugs, pillows, curtains. I wanted something warm and fun, and this color is certainly that.

  6. Annie B. says

    I’m still cheerleading for these colors. Think Marimekko.

    Tangerine Tango is the same color my mom called “Chinese Red” in the early 1970’s. Great accent color. I think a true aqua would be a great accent color for TT.

    (I’ve read somewhere that orange was Frank Sinatra’s favorite color.
    If it was good enough for Ol’ Blue Eyes, it’s perfect for me.)

  7. Sandy R says

    I just picked up my copy of Atomic Ranch. Check out the article starting on page 16, “Coloring Outside the Lines”. There is orange and pink and lime green, oh my! Just sayin’

  8. Alice says

    Great color – and I think you should go ahead and name a section of your blog “Pamtones” for color conversations that you ignite!

  9. says

    Hello, We have a retro renovation in progress and are landscape designers by trade. We love your web-site and all your helpful information. Above I have a link on how to apply the Tangerine Tango color to “bloomin’ plants” in your landscape. Enjoy and thank you for all of your inspiration.

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