If you've been shopping recently, you may have already noticed merchandise areas that are now dedicated to orange and black color schemes. Decorations, racks of fanciful costumes and bins of sugary candy are displayed for all to see. Not only do Americans love to welcome fall, but we also love to celebrate Halloween. In fact, each year we spend more and more on this fun holiday. In 2011, 70 percent of the shoppers in the United States spent more than $7 billion preparing for the festivities, and a significant portion of that amount went to purchasing traditional orange and black decorations.
Orange is the color of pumpkins, bonfires, candles and changing leaves, and it dominates this holiday. When Irish immigrants first introduced Halloween, they used potatoes and turnips. Americans, however, quickly switched to bigger fruit to carve and decorate. A plump pumpkin makes the perfect jack-o-lantern. Orange is recognized as a color of strength and endurance. It reflects both the hard work of the fall harvest and the beauty of nature's fall decor.
Orange is also a great year-round decorating color. Like red, it is an instant, energizing attention-grabber, but it is friendlier and less aggressive than red. A peachy orange actually has a calming effect, and brownish orange presents a warm, earthy glow. Red-orange feels modern and sleek. It is a perfect offset for graphics and geometric patterns, chrome and leather furniture, and clean white walls. Add some yellow to orange, and it instantly becomes more rustic. Traditional or dark country furnishings are an excellent accompaniment.
Orange is such an agreeable color that you can let it take center stage in your home or limit it to one wall or a few accents. The choice is entirely up to you. Paint an entire room orange for a powerful impact, or choose one wall as a focal point. For a temporary or seasonal look, add a bright orange throw or some pillows, a curtain, a chair or a bookshelf, and a bouquet of flowers.
Black is the other popular Halloween color. Darkness, death, black cats, cauldrons, witches and vampires are always cloaked in this ominous shade. Aside from sports teams, no other modern occasion calls for a black-and-orange color scheme. However, black has always been a decorating staple. It is especially valuable as an accent. Consider the possibility of gray walls with orange furniture and carefully placed black accessories. A play room done in orange, lime-green and black will be full of life and energy. Orange and black also work well with turquoise, tan and certain shades of green.
In recent years, a few colors other than orange and black have been added to Halloween themes. Green-skinned monsters are popular with youngsters. White ghosts are friendly "spooks." Red blood dripping from vampire lips and on crazed zombies is also a best-seller. Expect to see magical purple ribbons on witches' hats too. Combining these colors in various shades can create interesting Halloween decorations. Whether you choose to decorate for your annual party or to add some longer-lasting flavor to a room in your home, the colors of Halloween offer a variety of interesting possibilities.
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