Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hello Yellow! Painting Your Rooms in Yellow

Some say that there is no cheerier color than yellow. Yellow is the color of the sun, lemon, sunflowers, butter, and all things bright and happy. Varying intensities of yellow can take on different styles;  buttery-yellow in a country cottage, bright and slightly acidic in a mid-century modern. 

Like anything else, the color yellow can be used strategically in moderation to brighten up a room or to emphasize positives in d├ęcor. Small doses of bright yellows added to rooms add punch, catch the eye, and make rooms feel lively. Believed to strengthen overall well-being, the lively characteristics of yellow will work for the atmosphere of the house when used in moderation. Trepidated? Proceed but practice restraint. A shy lemon yellow on a tiny paint chip can suddenly turn taxi-cab on the wall. Buy a test quart and try it before proceeding.

Such a strong color can tend to dominate a space, so when repainting consider all the other elements in the room such as floors and furniture and trim. Yellow walls look best with trims in pure or pale, creamy white. Also as it is a warm color, adjust the intensity you pick with the amount of light and warmth the room is already receiving.

Here, some bright ideas.

The past is looking bright! President Thomas Jefferson's dining room at his 1769 Monticello home near Charlottesville, Virginia,  was repainted in a yellow so bright it suddenly looks hip and modern.
Photo credit above: www.elledecor.com

Bright buttery yellow make the shell collection pop. Popular during the 80's and 90's, these sunny yellows have their roots in 1820's England.

Try: Farrow & Ball 'Dayroom Yellow' No. 233

Below: Paeonia Wallpaper, www.anthropologie.com
Photo credit left: www.marthastewart.com

It's just a touch, but the yellow on this door is brazen and unexpected. Very bright yellows increase in intensity when applied on large areas, so use sparingly. 

Try: Benjamin Moore 'Sun Porch' 
Photo credits: Right, www.marthastewart.com, Below, www.countryliving.com


Entryway/foyer passages are brief, so here you can afford lots of drama. 
Try: Farrow & Ball 'Babouche' No. 223

To sun-drench a living room in warmth. This yellow will bring eternal spring to any space.
Try: Benjamin Moore 'Dalila'

This yellow can  make a kitchen seem larger. (Bonus: Researchers say yellow boosts metabolism!)
Try: Ralph Lauren 'Goldfinch' No. VM 30

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