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An Orange-Obsessed Person’s Guide to Orange

Photo: Alison Carrol

Alison Carroll, who nowadays splits her time between a home in Joshua Tree and one that she and her husband and business partner, Jay, are in the final stages of renovating in Maine, can’t remember exactly when she started liking orange, but she thinks the seed might have been planted during her New Jersey childhood. “I grew up in a town adjacent to Princeton, and its colors happen to be orange and black,” says Carroll, who co-founded Wonder Valley as an olive-oil brand but has shepherded its growth into a lifestyle brand. “And my dad is a big fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, whose colors are also black and orange. I pretty much like a Halloween color palette; I think it’s wonderful.”

Her obsession is evident to anyone who knows her. “I have so many friends who will send me any orange stuff,” she says. “Like, ‘I saw these orange gardening clogs and thought of you,’ or ‘I found this vintage orange mushroom lamp, and I had to get it for you.’” They’re not wrong. In sourcing everything for their new cabin in Maine, orange has been figured prominently. The couple have been coming to Maine (Jay is from Portland originally) to cool down for the summer for about ten years and, despite feeling defeated by the amount of new eager buyers fleeing city life during the pandemic, eventually found a place in a foreclosure auction. “Our cabin is on Bailey Island in Casco Bay, which is about two miles long and about 45 minutes from Portland,” says Carroll, adding that a gorgeous cribstone bridge, built in 1928 from slabs of granite stacked Lincoln Logs style, allows for car access.