The Color Yellow Lightens and Brightens Any Room

Use the color yellow in rooms that have a northern exposure to bring in the sunshine.

Yellow and White Master BEdroom - MattandShari.comYellow.   It’s one of those colors, either you love it or you hate it.  I used to hate it, now it’s growing on me. I think it’s because I live in Florida and there is a lot of yellow down here. I’ve always liked that rich golden tone that is used in French Country style, but that pastel, wimpy version….keep it away from me!

Yellow Birds Brighten a Wreath -

Interestingly enough, as spring arrives, we see more and more yellow.  It’s the perfect spring hue.  It is in flowers, painted eggs, birds, butterflies, and more. We all know that yellow makes quite a statement for new life and is a bright cheery hue versus the somber grays of winter.

If you love yellow, now is the time to go on out and purchase those items you need to fill in your décor. Or, if you’ve been waiting to redo a room because yellow was on your mind, now is the time to get started. If either of these is true, let’s talk a little bit about what yellow will do for a room and some tips on how to use it.

Yellow Accents a Kitchen Wall - MattandShari.comYellow’s main association is of course with our sun.  Thus, yellow rooms have an instant radiance, instant warmth and instant welcome to them.  Yellow radiates happiness and joy and will easily lift your spirits.

Yellow is perfect for:

*Kitchens.  On the walls, on the cabinetry, as painted furniture, even window coverings.  Its natural capability to imbue hospitality makes it a kitchen tradition.

*A room with few windows or little natural light since it will lighten and brighten any room.

*A bedroom that receives early morning sun because the wall color will actually bask in the sunlight and create a warm, welcome to the day glow.  (Unless you like to sleep in, then avoid it)

*Downtown apartments surrounded by gray buildings and gray streets might get a lift from the use of some yellow.

*Rooms that face north (especially for those long winter months), yellow will counteract the coolness created by the cooler northern exposure.

*Interior rooms like hallways, closets, laundry rooms, etc. will brighten up immeasurably from a dose of sunny yellow.

Yellow Check on French Country Bench -

This photo is from one of my favorite catalogs, “Pierre Deux”.  I want at least one of everything in their catalog and their photograph of this bench showing yellow, blue and red used together is perfect for my next point.

Yellow pairs with many colors very well so a purely monochromatic yellow room wouldn’t be necessary to still reap the benefits of this pretty sunny hue.  For instance, if you are using a deeper yellow, make sure to match it with just as strong complimentary colors.  Deep, rich yellow is wonderful with a country blue and red, a combination seen in many French country designs.


This rich yellow also works well with a bold spring green.  In this combination they create a vibrant citrus color scheme that only gets bolder with the addition of a true orange!  Lemon, lime and orange, now that’s refreshing!  This particular bedding is taken from the CB2 catalog.  (Crate and Barrel 2)  You can find this or others like it at For me, catalogs are a great place to find color, style and accessory ideas that I can pass along to you!

Use Yellow with Blues and Lavendars -

Lighter yellows, like lemon yellow, pair nicely with periwinkle blue and white for an always fresh and crisp color combination.  Create the temperature of your choice with this combination by using more or less yellow in the scheme.

One of the boldest yellow color combinations uses yellow with its compliment on the color wheel, violet.  It’s best not to use the same saturation of each hue. Try a bold, rich yellow with a deep plum to a regal appearance.  Add a rusty orange to spice things up!

Yellow Accents Rock a Neutral Scheme -

Bold yellow is many times the star in a neutral color scheme.  I’m sure you’ve seen it used with black and white, in bathroom tiles, in kitchens, even in bold contemporary design.  The new popularity of the gray family will certainly help bring yellow to the forefront.  This is a very classic combination.  (Although I am seeing orange sneak into gray schemes where yellow was always the color of choice!)

Remember to take your color cues from a fabric, a scarf, a piece of artwork, or something that you really love and create your room scheme following the hues, the proportions of color, and the combinations that you’ve already decided strike a cord in you!

Yellow in Traditional Stripe -

I ‘ve noticed that the very same color used in combination can have an extremely different human response depending on the pattern they create.  So although we’re talking color, keep in mind that you will feel better in a room of your favorite colors if the patterns used resonate with you as well.

Soft Floral Using Yellow -

For instance, for me the above stripe is too bold and harsh, almost masculine, but the floral, using the same three colors makes me feel great!  Interesting isn’t it?

Now above is just the decorative side of yellow.  There is so much more to say!  Here’s just a little bit more about yellow and then if you are truly interested, go do a little research of your own on the wonders of every color in the spectrum!

Yellow Light to Dark -

Yellow is the one color that is never really dark.  Once it starts to get dark, it ceases to be yellow and becomes a yellow ochre or raw sienna. (As you can see happening on this Sherwin Williams yellow color strip!)  Because of this, it is a natural symbol of enlightenment and most of its traits are all positive.  However, it isn’t very popular when compared to blue or green.  Perhaps some of the reason for this is that as light reflects off of a color, it then reflects onto your skin.  And, anyone who has a yellow cast on their skin looks a bit ill.  So, I wouldn’t suggest yellow for a bathroom where you want to look your best as you’re getting ready for the day!

Yellwo Used in Packaging -

Because it can’t get dark, at its peak saturation it is almost impossible to miss.  Because of this quality, it is used by advertisers, (start noticing boxes at your grocery store) and of course, now, for emergency vehicles and certain heavy machinery.  It is somewhat a sign of warning.  Think about the animal world where yellow is on stinging insects and poisonous frogs or snakes.

Talk about a color of true inconsistency.  On one hand, the color yellow represents happiness, joy and enlightenment, on the other hand it represents cowardice, jaundice or illness…and we’ve all heard “yellowing” with age!  As with all colors, what’s important is how YOU respond to them.  If yellow is what makes you shine, use it in your home and shine on!!!!


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