Colour Spotlight: Barcelona Orange

I’d like to take a closer look at one of my favourite colours of the moment, Barcelona Orange. It’s a hot and vibrant colour that can be used in a number of ways. As a brilliant, modern orange, it works well in a contemporary setting, but it can also be used for a retro mid-century modern look. I based it on the colour used copiously by the Impressionists, in early advertising and in 1960s decoration. You can use it with greens like Antibes or as a bold accent colour against Antoinette, Coco or Olive. Remember, a little really goes a long way!


I’ve been thinking a lot about colour and style recently, so I have been working on getting a body of drawings together that show how each colour can be combined. Sometimes a colour that may not be top of your list is exactly what is needed to make a scheme really work.

In my sketch (above), I played around with a modern-retro colour palette, using Barcelona Orange and its complementary Provence on this imaginary mid-century modern sideboard. The sideboard sits against a wall painted in Antoinette and the floors are painted in a wash of Coco, which I think brings the whole scheme together beautifully.


Photo: Red Living, Courtenay, B.C.

My Stockist Tony McCloskey of Red Living in Courtenay, BC, chose to use Barcelona Orange as the main colour in this playful project (shown above). Tony loves vintage colour and style, and this really comes across in the way he has painted and styled this space. He painted the sideboard in Barcelona Orange, introducing other colours like Arles and Primer Red, and layering the paint in watercolour-like washes. The wall is also painted in Barcelona Orange with the stencils applied in a lighter orange that he created by mixing Barcelona Orange together with English Yellow.

Melanie Anderson, The Painted Bench, Hamilton

Photo: The Painted Bench, Hamilton

Melanie Anderson, my Stockist from The Painted Bench in Hamilton went for a bohemian colour combination on this cupboard (above). For the outside, she created a soft green blue. She painted the inside in Barcelona Orange, creating a brilliant pop of contrasting colour. I love the way she hand-painted the folk motif around the outside, too.

Mélanie Paulin, Carte Blanche Upcycled Furniture and Accessories, Moncton

Photo: Carte Blanche Upcycled Furniture and Accessories, Moncton

All my colours mix together so that any colour can be achieved. If you want to try painting something in a coral colour, try starting with Barcelona Orange. I love this example from my Stockist Mélanie Paulin from Carte Blanche in Moncton. She mixed together Barcelona Orange, Arles and Emperor’s Silk to create this lovely coral colour for her “succulent garden” planter. She then used my Hands stencil along the fronts of the drawers before planting them. She kept this piece outside all summer, and simply changed the look for Christmas by replacing the succulents with cedar branches, lights and pinecones!

Written by Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan

One of the world’s most respected paint and colour experts, Annie Sloan brings decades of expertise – and plenty of style – to her hugely popular line of decorative paint, Chalk Paint™.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, Chalk Paint™ is a unique, eco-friendly, formula that sticks to just about any surface – inside and outside the home – without the need for priming or sanding. Inspired by 18th and 20th century décor and design, the range comprises over 30 decorative and historic colours, which combine well to provide an even larger colour palette. With a brand new line of stencils, fabrics, brushes, waxes to provide protection and durability to painted projects, and other finishing products, Annie’s inspirations are transforming more and more homes every day.

While growing the range, Annie also finds time to swap paintbrush for pen. Her 24 books on decorative painting, with a 25th due to come out later this year, have sold well over 2 million copies and are giving people the world over the skills and confidence to get creative.

A passionate supporter of small businesses, Annie only sells her products through independent shops. She encourages each of her tight-knit group of global Stockists to be individual and inspiring in their ventures and – like the lovers of her paints and products – to find their own Annie Sloan.

Annie trained as a fine artist and turned to decorative work after university in the mid -1970s while painting murals in houses as commissions. By 1987, Annie had written the phenomenally successful book ‘The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques’ which is considered to be the industry bible on the subject. Unable to find the paints that she wished to work with, Annie used her knowledge of colour, paint, pigments and art history and invented Chalk Paint™ in 1990.

In 2000 Annie set up a shop in Oxford to showcase Chalk Paint™, run courses, and offer interior design services. More books followed and there are now nearly 1,500 Stockists around the world, with 43 Stockists in Canada and growing, and an ever-expanding portfolio of complementary products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *