Yellow is the color of sunshine and activity. It’s associated with the day-light, and the onset of spring conjuring images of daffodils, forsythia, and branches bare save for early flowers and the sap green promise of canopies of leaves – all themes that work spectacularly in rooms infused with yellow. In short, yellow conveys the promise of long awaited renewal.
As with any color it’s important to define your comfort zone, which if you think about it, probably varies from room to room in your living space. I grew up visiting my Italian Grandma. Her sunny yellow kitchen with windows dressed in simple Swiss dot sheers, and left open to warm summer breezes was the hub of family connectivity and beckoned with smells of her amazing Italian cuisine.
Drawing on your personal color relationships from fond memories is one great way to evoke the sense of well-being in any room. But grandma’s lively yellow walls albeit associated with good vibes might tend to inhibit a sense of restfulness in a bedroom. That may not be true for you – color is personal! Shuffle your memories and their personal aesthetic into categories of your rooms and their function when you design.
Monet understood that although lovely, yellow needs to be tamed in zones where rest is the function
The amount of red or blue a shade of yellow contains defines your design outcome. Shades of yellows with undertones of red feel warm and inviting, and are perfect selections for repurposing large pieces of furniture, and paint on walls. Yellows influenced by blue can actually feel cold and metallic, but with sparing use in accessories can contribute balance and interest to a space that prominently features warm yellow tones. As discussed, because yellow is a color associated with activity, paler shades, and buttery yellows can both function as neutrals. Yellows function particularly well beside neutrals and gold accents because you are creating and analogous color palette. If you really love yellow in the bedroom, try re-doing dominating casegoods (dressers, free-standing closets, etc) and mix with modern glass lighting to create interest and contrast.
I LOVE yellow sofas! If you’re single (and don’t have cats) a yellow upholstered sofa is to die for. But don’t change your design for the kids – try a yellow leather sofa instead. Yes, micro-suede is washable – but its surface is a magnet for pet hair, and pets are magnets for dirt. Care free design looks great and simplifies living!
With yellow, a little goes a long way. Know your comfort zone before you spend a penny! If you don’t love leather or vinyl (also easy-clean) then darker upholstery forgives the kids and pets who are also a part of your family. Bring your yellow in instead with pillows, lighting, a focal wall, real florals (fake flowers take a star away from any design) like blooming branches, tulips, and gerber daisies (available at most grocery stores year round) and flower vases. Dandelions add a terrific shot of canary yellow, and your neighbors will thank your kids for rounding them up weekly!