Lifestyle

House of orange

Collector Val Wheatley of Walloon has a ’60s and ’70s retro collection of all things orange.
Collector Val Wheatley of Walloon has a ’60s and ’70s retro collection of all things orange. David Nielsen

IT'S vibrant, creative, lively and retro - these are the reasons Val Wheatley gives when asked why she has collected hundreds of orange items.

The Walloon woman has indulged her passion for the classic retro colour by dedicating a room to an extensive collection of orange bric-a-brac, furniture, clothing and toys.

The room is a paradise for fans of the '60s and '70s, packed with fondue sets, telephones, lamps, vases, crockery and dining sets - which, of course, are all bright orange.

Ms Wheatley, who also collects teapots, said she had invested a lot of money in her hobby.

"It would be thousands, and what I spend per item varies from a couple of dollars to hundreds," she said.

"I also receive a lot of orange things from friends as gifts."

She said her friends' support had led her to get serious about the collection.

"I started with orange cups three or four years ago, and I wanted to keep it small so people didn't think I was mad, but I got a lot of encouragement and now it looks great," she laughed

Ms Wheatley said the colour evoked memories of "hippies" and her childhood.

"Orange was very popular in the '60s and '70s," she said.

"Some of the pieces here I grew up with, like that study lamp I used in the '70s, but a lot of it I find in op shops."

"I was born in the early '50s and it was a really big thing to break away from the conservatism from that era and embrace bright colours."

She said guests to the room had similar nostalgic reactions.

"This room inspires a lot of memories in people. Everyone walks in and their jaws drop, whether you see an item you grew up with or your parents grew up with," Ms Wheatley said.

She hoped the colour's small revival would grow.

"It just went out of fashion, but it's getting more popular with bright clothing and retro coming back in," Ms Wheatley said.

"With orange you're guaranteed to stand out and be noticed."

Ms Wheatley insisted her collection was not complete, and said she hoped to find more items at op shops and the coming Brisbane Vintage Fashion Fair.

She will join the team from Ipswich's Vintage Advantage at the fair, which runs from Friday, March 9, to Saturday, March 10.

Ms Wheatley hopes to open her collections to the public later in the year.

Topics:  collector, colour, home and decorating, orange


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Backpacker tax: Cut it in half or scrap it?

Janelle Saffin and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Joel Fitzgibbon discuss the proposed backpacker tax outside Janelle’s office.

Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon: Backpacker tax should be scrapped.

Family’s faith in Evans Head restored after van theft

Hayden Mallia and Kerrie Mann, of Evans Head, had their van stolen with everything in it after moving from Melbourne.

Their van containing all their valued possessions was stolen

Clarence brigades fired up over safety

EASY: Sjaak Ankersmit, of Shark Creek, learns how to use the fire hose at Yamba Fire Station.

Grafton FIre Brigade opened its doors to the community

Latest deals and offers

FitzSimons brings Republic mission to Northern Rivers today

THE Australian Republican Movement’s National Chair Peter FitzSimons AM will be speaking in Lismore and Ballina today as part of the ARM’s grassroots campaign.

Backpacker tax: Cut it in half or scrap it?

Janelle Saffin and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Joel Fitzgibbon discuss the proposed backpacker tax outside Janelle’s office.

Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon: Backpacker tax should be scrapped.

Family’s faith in Evans Head restored after van theft

Hayden Mallia and Kerrie Mann, of Evans Head, had their van stolen with everything in it after moving from Melbourne.

Their van containing all their valued possessions was stolen

Clarence brigades fired up over safety

EASY: Sjaak Ankersmit, of Shark Creek, learns how to use the fire hose at Yamba Fire Station.

Grafton FIre Brigade opened its doors to the community

Lismore stables hack big numbers

Kimberly Webb of Willow Vale, Gold Coast participating in the Northern NSW Hack Championship, Lismore showground.

More than 300 horses stretched the Lismore Showgrounds

Revealed: Five easy ways to lose weight

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend fruit as part of a healthy, five-food group diet.

Which diets work and which ones don't?

Vanessa from the Northern Rivers, Vivid queen of Sydney

LOCAL LADY: Tobin Saunders as the outgoing Vanessa Wagner.

BALLINA-based gender illusionist Vanessa Wagner at Vivid

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest