• Tell Your Friends

A few weeks ago, I trekked from my temporary home in New York City to Florida for an event at Epcot. After several attempts to inquire as to all that Orlando had to offer, I was quickly corrected by the locals that Disney parks are part of a city called Lake Buena Vista. Hours later, I found myself on a stage presenting one of my HGTV.com projects on creating a mobile container garden.

brian patrick flynn mobile container garden

As a TV producer, my job is to have three backup plans for every great idea should it fall flat. Overall, my job is to ensure content keeps viewers/readers/audiences both informed and engaged. For the sake of not losing the audience to their iPhones, I turned the focus onto the crowd thinking to myself “I wonder if I ask them their likes and dislikes about design and decorating whether they’ll actually tell me.” And did they ever.

While a half dozen topics sparked amazing, albeit fun and light, debate, color was the one I found the most fascinating. Here’s a rundown on the colors people seemed to dislike most, along with my attempt to show how, when done right, these colors can be breathtaking. PS Next time you go to Walt Disney World or Epcot, impress the locals by asking them “Do you live here in Lake Buena Vista?” You may end up with free mouse ears.

First up? Orange.

Decorating With Orange

Decorating With Orange

Decorating With Orange

Above all other colors, orange took home the medal for Most-Hated Color. What sucks most about this, particularly for me, is that about 30% of my portfolio sports this Vitamin C-spectacular hue. In an attempt to win them over, I mentioned how all shades of orange once to live on my black list until I started using it simply in accent pieces. As these three images above by designers Jeffrey Bilhuber, Leslie Klotz and Chad Eisner from House Beautiful demonstrate, orange is a gender-neutral color that instantly adds energy to any room, even if it’s simply with a throw blanket. Okay, I totally get the idea that a room painted high gloss tangerine can be hard to take; however, small doses of orange can work wonders in otherwise muted rooms.

Decorating With Brown

Decorating With Brown

Decorating With Brown

Coming in at a close second was brown. And just to fill you in on my feelings, brown is the color I’m most likely to use when I decorate. I get the notion that most naysayers think it’s dark, masculine and often associated with being muddy. Well, um, just don’t use a dark, muddy shade of brown; instead, shoot for elegant, neutral and classic.

In the dining room above by Jonathan Berger from House Beautiful, there’s no sign of the color being dark. Instead, it serves as a mediator between the femme pinks and the boyish blues. Next, a living room by David DeMattel proves that the right brown, when paired with neutrals, can be classic and elegant with no cliched association to hyper-masculinity. Last, I used a brown in a master bedroom as a backdrop for layering grays and burnt oranges, resulting in an earth-tone-fest that was both sleepy and sexy.

Decorating With Lime Green

Decorating With Lime Green

Decorating With Lime Green

In third place was lime green—which is kinda fascinating since orange, brown and lime green is a timeless color combo. Of the three colors, I get why lime green makes the list; it can be totally Romper Room-ish when done incorrectly. Similar to a wild tiger, lime green needs to be tamed if you wanna live with it indoors.

The first image, a living room by designer Christina Murphy, shows how lime can be bold and dominant but toned down with tons of white. Next, a sunroom by designer Andrew Flesher sports layered limes seen in upholstery; the different tones placed next to one another seem to make them less lime-y and more mossy. Last, a kitchen by Jonathan Adler shows that just a few small bursts of graphic lime-green prints can instantly add pizazz to an otherwise calm, white-and-silver color scheme.

Now that we’ve discussed the three not-so-favorites from folks at Epcot, what colors do you detest most and why?

40 Responses

  1. Kelli says:

    Color is such an interesting thing. I love how the trends change. I remember a few years ago when everyone seemed to be painting an accent wall in chocolate brown!

    I personally love all colors when arranged well. I think you have to have a vision for what you want the space to feel like, otherwise it will just wind up as a mess. I've been focusing more on color psychology too. Color generates emotion, so I plan to use energizing colors, like orange, yellow, and green in my studio where I need to be inspired with creativity <a href="http://(http://www.ahappyplacecalledhome.com/home/2011/4/29/a-studio-that-inspires.html)” target=”_blank”>(http://www.ahappyplacecalledhome.com/home/2011/4/29/a-studio-that-inspires.html).

  2. rebekah says:

    this is the funniest thing ever! those are my FAVORITE colors!! my whole house is in those – with spots of grey here and there and i think its gorgeous!! but then i think all the pictures you showing here are beautiful too!

  3. grmaszn says:

    I like nearly all colors. I personally find that strong colors are too strong for me ("pure" green, red, blue, etc) and actually hurt my eyes. However, in small doses and flashes in a room, they are wonderful. I think the only color i really don't care for is mauve. Used to love it, but it was overdone and I'm not over it yet. I am almost over the avocado and turquoise of the 60's, but too much makes me nervous and edgy

  4. peonyandthistle says:

    These are fantastic examples of how fab these colours can look! Well done!

  5. seashell17 says:

    I am a So Cal native.I agree hate grey,orange, purple,brown,gold.Would never use them.Love white,blue,green,and beige it reminds me of beautiful beach sand I grew up on.

  6. Lisa says:

    This is hilarious! I actually came to the HGTV website today SPECIFICALLY to look for pictures of bedrooms with orange accents. I have a spare bedroom with pale blue walls that I wish to spark up with ORANGE. I can't believe this color is the "most hated"! LOL! Thanks for the validating blog!

  7. Jim says:

    I hate white, beige, taupe and gray. Neutral color has ruined the world of design. White woodwork and trim should be illegal

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    blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  9. otsoeacp says:

    They could be a good looking, wonderful otsoeacp.

  10. I needed to thank you for this great read!!
    I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I’ve got you saved as
    a favorite to check out new things you post…

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