Hello sunshine: decorating with yellow, orange and all the shades of summer

10 colours that are seriously hot stuff

Summer may almost be on the horizon, but here in Blighty, that's no guarantee of cloud-free skies and endless sun. But what if you could make it summer all year round in your home? By dipping your toe in the season's greatest shades – from zesty yellow to juicy berry – you can ensure there's always a heat wave in the house whatever the weather throws at you...

dining room with yellow curtain

(Image credit: TBC)

1 Yellow
While some might say it's the colour of madness, to us, yellow is the ultimate spirit lifter. The colour of jolly sunflowers, ripe corn and juicy pineapples, it reminds us of heady summer days spilling over with fun and never fails to make us smile. If you're wary of going full-on with the shade, try a sprinkling of sunshine yellow on a wall, then pick it up in your curtains and crockery, as seen above in this dining zone, which makes a lovely wake-up call at breakfast time.

room with blue chair and curtain

(Image credit: TBC)

2. Turquoise
This is such a great colour, no wonder it's been repeated in the curtains, chair, rug, vase and even the coffee table book! The ultimate summertime blue, a shot of turquoise will give your space an invigorating hit of the Med. And chilling out on that rocker, who could fail to dream of blue skies, warm seas and a two-week break in Ibiza – even if it was snowing outside?

room with blue wall and white chair

(Image credit: TBC)

3. Mediterranean blue Med blue conjures up memories of cobalt seas and laid-back lounging. Here, whipped up with dazzling white, this striking pattern mash-up works the beach vibe to perfection. The bold blue trim on the walls, meanwhile, gives the scheme an extra kick.

dining room with white wall and red ceiling light

(Image credit: TBC)

4 Red
While scarlet is an appropriately hot colour for the season, its boldness can make it tricky to get right in a decorating scheme. But hooked up with white, it takes on an altogether lighter, fresher look that's still full of impact.

bathroom with printed wall and bathtub

(Image credit: TBC)

5. Green
From moss to lime, green is a soothing shade that overflows with a sense of lush summer adventures. An easy colour to work with in both furnishings and paints, it also looks great in a patterned wallpaper. We're particularly loving this jungle-iscious print, which gives the bathroom a totally tropical vibe that might just be the inspiration we need to book that trip to the Amazon...

washroom with purple wall and wooden platform

(Image credit: TBC)

6. Purple
Evocative of plump, ripe berries, purple is a colour that's easily digested in small doses. In this chic, bijou cloakroom, for example, the vibrant shade is teamed with antique glass, marble and rough-edged wood for a scheme that's an instant pick-me-up without being remotely overbearing.

bedroom with white wall and green curtain

(Image credit: TBC)

7. Jaffa orange
A bit like purple, orange is such a full-on colour, a little goes a long way, though we reckon it can look awesome in more daring combos. Here, it's toned down in a geometric throw and complementary rug, which gives a lovely hint of summer fun to come.

outside seating area

(Image credit: TBC)

8 Terracotta orange
Terracotta is a supremely easy shade to work with and goes with just about anything. Particularly brilliant in a laid-back garden area, it speaks of dusty red earth and hazy heat waves – and always makes us want to get out there and start digging, albeit at a leisurely pace.

wooden chair

(Image credit: TBC)

9. Brown
Not the colour of crunchy dark leaves and mushy mud, but the lighter, brighter hue of ripened wheat and dappled sand. This sun-bleached shade is a colour you don't have to lift a paintbrush to introduce into your home – pick it up in materials such as rattan, rush and wood to conjure up lazy days convening with nature.

bedroom with black and white bedding

(Image credit: TBC)

10 Black
Not many of us associate black with summer, but team it with lashing of white in light,
crisp fabrics with plenty of sheers thrown in, and it has a cool, edgy look that's very on-trend.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.