Yellow can take us to the feeling of sunshine, smiles, happiness, hope and joy, as it did for the characters when it led them on the path to the Wizard of Oz.
Before going into detail about the color yellow and how you can incorporate it into your decorating, I want to let you know that it is much easier to decorate when you have a definite idea of the mood you want to create and then develop the design and colors of the room around that mood. With that in mind, if you want a cheery environment, feel free to incorporate the color yellow in your décor.
The many sides of yellow
Sonu Mathew, Benjamin Moore’s senior interior designer, states that “yellow has always represented a sense of optimism, and the world seems to be gradually turning the corner on recessionary times.” This is one of the reasons why Benjamin Moore is calling out Lemon Sorbet (2019-60) as the 2013 Color of the Year.
Yellow is luminous and warm. When we think of yellow we feel cheered and comforted like the rays of the sun. The English word for yellow is derived primarily from the Indo-European “ghelwo,” or “to gleam.” Inspiration for yellow names comes from sources such as animals, vegetables, fruits, and minerals: lemonade, nuggets of gold, canary and yellow squash. Further names come from the flowers of spring such as: buttercups, daffodils, daisies, tulips and sunflowers, just to name a few.
The golden glow
Dr. Max Luscher, one of the early scientists who studied the psychology of color, states that: “After white, yellow is the color that most strongly reflects the light…” For this reason, yellow is an excellent color to draw the eye to an area where attention is needed or to highlight a focal point. This color is great for an accent wall but can work well as a color for accent pieces such as a piece of furniture, pillows, vases or lamps. Depending on the shade or saturation of the color, yellow can be used for an entire room.
This is the room where yellow is sublime. The golden, buttery or custard tones is suggestive of deliciousness. Both Benjamin Moore’s light goldy yellow of “Fresh Butter” (290) and Sherwin Williams’s “Butter Up” (6681), which is a soft, mid-toned yellow, would make excellent colors for the kitchen. For added richness, pair the yellow with rich blues, greens, purples and reds.
Living rooms and bedrooms
Golden yellows can create a luxurious and elegant feel without being stiff and formal. Create a monochromatic palette of various shades of yellow. Start with a deep, rich gold tone of Benjamin Moore’s “Pan for Gold” (181) paired with an almost creamy white of “Goldtone” (176) for the ceiling. To add depth, bring in small accents of apricot, coral and blue. Include gilded metallic mirrors, picture frames and lamp bases to bring in bling.
Casual living rooms and family rooms
Yellow is now being used in living spaces for the whole family. It is a perfect color to combine with others. Try a light yellow such as Pratt & Lambert’s “Italian Straw” (11-2) combined with a sage green of “Woodgate” (11-32), and red such as “Vibrant Red” (4-12).
Yellow is a fun color for kids’ rooms. It evokes pleasure and gives warmth to a room. Go with the colors of yellow, green, blue and red. For yellow, I suggest Benjamin Moore’s “Good Morning Sunshine” (326). To accompany that yellow, try a middle-toned green of “Leprechaun Green” (557), a bright blue of “Nova Scotia Blue” (796), and a red of “Ryan Red” (1314).
Exteriors and front doors
Yellow is the perfect inviting color for the exterior of your home. Whether you use just a spot of color for the front door, such as Sherwin Williams’s golden yellow of “Torchlight” (6374) or for the entire outside of your home, such as Benjamin Moore’s warm tone of “Fennel Seed” (1101), your home will have instant “curb appeal.” However, be careful not to select a dark shade of yellow for the exterior walls of your home; it will fade from the sun.
If your favorite color is yellow, you are very original, imaginative, creative, artistic, often spiritual, and highly intuitive. You are a reliable friend and usually have a sunny disposition.
Shoshanah Siegel provides color consulting as well as space planning, remodeling, upgrading and staging through her firm Your Color Diva. She can be contacted at (562) 427-0440 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. More of Siegel’s writing may be found at thebright.com .