Summer’s long days and warm evenings mean that more of us are out and about when the sun sets — and what a colorful show the sky can put on for us then. Many artists look to nature for inspiration, and we also can look there for unexpected color combinations to re-create indoors. Be inspired by these decorating ideas brought to you by the pinks, oranges and yellows of summer’s evening skies.


The Office of Charles de Lisle, original photo on Houzz


Two-tone walls. This dipped effect captures the gentle pink haze of the early evening sky. To create the look, mask off your wall all the way around and paint it in two shades of the same color.

The usual approach is to use the darker, “heavier” tone on the bottom and the lighter one at the top. Here, though, it’s the other way around, mimicking the paler tones of the summer sunset at the horizon line. It works because the color is balanced by the black-framed artwork that goes all the way to the baseboard, the dark wood furniture and the deeper orangey-yellow shade of the throw on the bed.


Dulux Amazing Space, original photo on Houzz


Go further with blending. This bolder version captures summer’s colors with a blend from golden yellows running into rose hues and sun-bleached pinks.

To get the best blended effect, use a wide brush or a paint roller. Paint a section of the wall until you hit the spot where you want the next color to merge. Then paint the next area in your second shade, allowing both colors to blend where they meet. Keep the edge where the colors meet uneven with crisscross and diagonal strokes to join the shades. For the perfect finish, blend again with a roller, going lightly over the blended area for a more graduated effect.


Jessica Lagrange Interiors, original photo on Houzz


Add subtle accents. Dabble in sunset tones via a piece of furniture or smaller accessories. Here, a dusky-pink sofa, orange throw pillows and a warm orange rug create a sunset-like layer, while the crisp white wall behind keeps the room feeling fresh and bright.


London Garden Designer, original photo on Houzz


Echo sunset shades outside … If you enjoy watching the sun go down from your garden, set up a comfortable seating area with plump cushions that reflect the shades of the fiery predusk sky. During the day, it’s a bold and fun look, while at sunset, it’s beautifully harmonious.

… and in nature itself. Choose plants for your garden that echo the tones of the sunset. This purple-pink Japanese maple looks radiant peeking through a Cor-Ten steel wall. This alloy, also known as weathering steel, is designed so that you don’t need to paint it. It’s perfect for the garden and provides a striking rust effect.

Revamp Your Patio Before Summer’s End


Benjamin Moore, original photo on Houzz


Capture a particular sunset. Just as artists are inspired by nature, you can filter that down and be more specific when it comes to your home decor. Look through your favorite summer vacation photos — is there a particular image that holds dear memories? There are worse places to start when it comes to creating a color scheme.

Introduce twilight blues. Navy is a popular color choice right now. However, instead of seeing it as a softer, more livable alternative to absolute black, imagine its role in a sunset when night falls, along with the other colors such a scene suggests. You could match it with pale pink or lilac — the color of fluffy dusk clouds — as shown here. Or perhaps go for burnished-orange and pinkish-red accents. Grab camera at dusk and take some snapshots to help you coordinate your colors.

7 Striking Summer Color Combos for Your Outdoor Room


Greenauer Design Group, original photo on Houzz


Think about pattern. Pink and orange make a statement in prints and patterns too, as we can see in this cheerful bedroom scheme.

Create a Horizon of Color Behind Your Bed

More: Guides to working with orange and pink