Decorating with yellow – 20 ways to use this sunshine shade

1. Add Warmth In A North-Facing Room

When it comes to deciding where and how much of color to use if you are decorating with yellow, consider the light in the space. ‘As with any pigment, natural light will affect how your color choice looks in a room so I’d always recommend painting a sample onto the different walls in a room so you can see how it will look in different lights throughout the day,’ says Dominic Myland, owner of Myland Paints.

2. Promote Creativity With Yellow

‘Yellow is a color that people are often scared to use, but it’s a fantastic color to really lift a space and create interest and features. It reflects all lights well, and makes a room feel very warm and inviting. It’s known to induce creativity and playfulness, so it’s fantastic for craft room ideas, kitchens and children’s rooms,’ says Interior designer Francesca Rowan-Plowden.

3. Introduce Yellow In Wallpaper Prints

For a serene living space, decorate paneled walls with small print wallpaper ideas in gentle golden hues, such as this Nerissa design in yellow by Jane Churchill.

4. Choose Bright Highligts

If you want a touch of yellow then add some highlights to an otherwise neutral or cool blue scheme. Playful scale and pattern are at the heart of this project as a kids' bathroom idea by the interior design team Salvesen Graham. A yellow palette is used judiciously lining a pair of Roman blinds, with a pair of Mid-Century wall lights and a cost-effective chequerboard paint-effect floor.

5. Balance Yellow With Seasonal Colors

Yellow-painted walls are the perfect choice for creating an all-year-round living room scheme. You can achieve a seasonal balance by ensuring the living room color ideas for contrasting upholstery, soft furnishings and flooring work for the two halves of the year.

6. Choose The Right Yellow

Tones of yellow vary hugely from buttercup yellows to zingy citrus shades, and which you choose can have a real impact on the look and feel of the space so it's important to choose wisely. When decorating with yellow, ‘the secret to success is in the tone tint or shade as primary yellow is just too insistent to use in large amounts,’ explains Simon Temperell, interior design manager at Neptune.

7. Use Vibrant Yellows To Bring Joy To Everyday Spaces

‘Yellow is a color that evokes happiness and provides a sense of positivity. It is perfect for areas of the home where there is much activity and socialising, such as the kitchen and dining room, where it adds energy and vitality,’ says Andy Greenall, head of design, Paint & Paper Library.

8. Opt For An Earthy Shade To Create A Cozy Feel

Yellows that contain red undertones will bring warmth and coziness, making them ideal living room color ideas. These warmer yellows will pair beautifully with natural materials, earthy neutrals and botanical shades like olive green, but can also work well with pastel pink for a playful twist.

9. Use Bold Yellows To Create A Warm Welcome

For those less confident with color, using yellow in larger rooms and busy spaces can sometimes be overpowering, in this case consider using it in rooms used less often such as hallways and bathrooms or over small areas suggests says Nicola Harding, founder of Nicola Harding & Co.

10. Try Yellow On Woodwork

Design studio Frank & Faber ensured that the upstairs landing at the boutique hotel Number One Bruton in Somerset was joyful by using a rich yellow, an ideal to greet guests in the mornings.

11. Use Yellow To Bring A Playful Feel To Practical Spaces

If you're cautious about using yellow wall-to-wall, try limiting it to smaller areas – it can be a great way to bring a sense of fun to unexpected places as demonstrated above.

12. Use Yellow To Bring Balance To Bold Prints

If you don’t want to use yellow all over, highlight woodwork, a door or skirting boards in yellow for a splash of joy suggests Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene.

13. Introduce Warmth And Texture With Yellow Fabrics

In this kitchen by Martin Moore, mustard yellow bench cushions bring warmth and softness to the cool, streamlined space plus help to zone the social area of the room. Opting for fabrics with texture or a delicate pattern as opposed to those with a flat tone will help bring extra depth and coziness which is important in rooms like bedrooms and living rooms.

14. Use Yellow To Create A Focal Point

Opting for a bath in yellow is a great way to create a fun focal point in rooms that can easily lack personality like bathrooms, but if you're thinking of yellow bathroom ideas be sure to chose the right shade says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs.

15. Pair Yellow With Art And Antiques

If you like decorating with art and antiques in an array of colors then neutral backdrops can help bring harmony. Alternatively, if your collections are in muted colors or black and white, then a vibrant living room paint idea could be a great way to elevate them as demonstrated in this space.

16. Choose The Right Yellow For A Bedroom

Yellow bedrooms are incredibly inviting, especially at night when light levels are low; however, it's worth bearing in mind how you might feel about yellow in morning light.

'The zingier the shade, the more energized you’ll feel so consider creamier, knocked-back shades of yellow for bedrooms with punchier palettes in your kitchen and study,' advises style editor, Country Homes & Interiors, Sara Bird.

17. Use A Citrus Shade For A Modern Feel

If you love decorating with yellow but want to create a contemporary look, consider a zingy citrus shade.

18. Bring Depth By Layering Different Tones Of Yellow

When decorating with yellow, indeed any color, it's always worth layering the look of your room with more than one tone. However, while layering neutral upon neutral works wonderfully to add interest, it should always be done with caution with any bold color, where it will be overpowering. How to make this work? Combine yellows that match closely in tone, and avoid contrasting yellows, as in the space above.

19. Use Pale Colors To Brighten A Space

'Subtle and quiet, the palest hues of the yellow palette are perfect for adding a touch of color and warmth while enhancing the feeling of space. Above, a buttermilk hue is painted all over on walls and ceilings to make a vaulted room feel lifted to the skies. Deeper and richer shades of yellow are added to the mix to add warmth,' says Sara Bird.

20. Pay Attention To Details

You can create a feature out of otherwise standard shelving by painting both the shelves and walls the same color of yellow or alternatively brighten up neutral shelves with a bright shade of this cheerful color.

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