Sunny side up: how to bring yellow into your home
May 21, 2018
Bold statement colours like bright yellow are great to bring in some fun, bright, contrasting colour and can instantly lift your mood. The trick is to bring in colour in an easily changeable, subtle way (if you can be subtle with bright yellow!). That way, when you want to move on, you can update your colour quickly and without major expense. This summer is all about bright yellow, so here are Decology’s top tips to bring in the sunshine…
What goes with yellow?
Bright yellow doesn’t go with everything and with the wrong colours it can look dated, rather than retro, so make sure your room (and what’s in it) can take it.
Bright yellow looks great with:
- Greys through to dark blues
- Monochrome – Black/White
- Shades of purple, lavender and hyacinth
- Softer / more muted or muddy blues
- Botanic greens – avoid lime and acid greens
- Turquoise (only as an accent colour)
- Stainless steel and chrome
Assess your room and start with a blank canvas
Look around your room and make a list of the key pieces that must stay.
Assess which aspects of your room will not go with bright yellow and decide what to do with them.
Furniture – Your main furniture pieces, such as sofa, dresser or dining table are most likely the most expensive things in your room, so make sure their colour can “take” yellow… see above.
Soft furnishings – Remove all unwanted or outdated soft furnishings, so they don’t confuse your vision.
Walls – Paint over any existing feature walls in a neutral base colour. If your walls are cream or buttermilk, paint over in white or a grey/white.
Floors – Bright yellow looks great against very light and dark wooden, laminate or tiles (also great with monochrome tiles, e.g. in a kitchen or hallway). Beware mid-brown or warm beige carpets. You could end up looking like your granny’s 70s curtains…
Bring in the sunshine
Yellow is best as an accent colour. Used wisely and with restraint it will look amazing and give your room an instant feel of summer. Overdone and you’ll quickly get very sick of it indeed! Here are the best ways to successfully introduce yellow:
Feature wall – An entirely yellow-painted room is probably best left back in the eighties, but one statement feature wall is great for giving a room some contemporary vibrancy. The best wall is your focal wall, that has your fireplace, major artwork, mirror. Paint your wall (we currently love Farrow & Ball’s Citron #74, or if you want a great fifties vintage colour, try Annie Sloan’s English Yellow Wall Paint) or use a fun yellow accent patterned wallpaper.
Rugs – A bright yellow rug looks great under a white, grey or dark blue sofa. Make sure it’s underneath the sofa legs, not just plonked in the middle of the space.
Woodwork – window frames and shutters painted yellow look great against white walls.
Soft furnishings – We’re talking cushions, throws, lamp shades and bedspreads. These are all really easy to update and relatively inexpensive. They will look great on their own or used to pick out a yellow feature wall. Best used against grey, white, black or dark blue sofas and chairs.
Artwork – Yellow accented artwork – prints or paintings will look great against neutral white, grey or black walls.
Flowers – easily the cheapest and least permanent way to bring in bright yellow. Real or faux, doesn’t matter. Bright yellow flowers instantly give a room a glorious summery feel.
Upcycle – pick a piece of furniture like a chest of drawers or side table and give it the chalk paint treatment!