Do you have an emotional response to a particular color? I do, with the color yellow. Yellow makes me think of my mom. All through my growing up years, Mom had a beautiful yellow bedroom, with soft yellow walls and yellow floral drapes. There is nothing like crawling into your mom’s bed, feeling safe and secure and loved. That’s how I feel when I see a yellow room, all warm and fuzzy inside.
Maybe that’s why I got so excited about my friends Julie and Marc’s vision for their home, one accentuated throughout with pops and splashes of yellow. Whether you prefer a shade that’s soft and buttery, or one that is as brilliant as the summer sun, this warm, happy color is an ideal accent color. Here are three tips for welcoming yellow into your home.
Create the Perfect Pairing
Yellow is a very amiable tone that makes a perfect partner for lots of different colors, from cool to warm hues. Right now, we are loving yellow paired with shades of gray, from gun metal to a dove. Julie gravitated toward a perky canary yellow. Since her tone was bright and bold, she knew she would need to focus it in a few high-impact spots throughout her home, bundling it with quieter shades of gray, cream and white. Even though yellow just makes a few appearances, saved for smaller pieces of furniture, trims and accents, it really steals the show in this room.
Gray not your thing? Yellow is also blissful with blue and grayed brown.
Yellow plays an even smaller, but just as important, role in Julie and Marc’s bedroom. Although they are few, these dollops of yellow on the bed, windows and chairs snap, crackle and pop in this serene gray and white room.
The drapes are to-die-for, with this crisp and clean medallion print that artfully straddles traditional and contemporary styling. I’m all about trim on drapes – it’s what makes custom window coverings second to none. This little flat flange in sunny yellow linen is like a ray piercing through the storm clouds.
Find an Inspiration Piece
If you’re not sure where to start when introducing yellow into your home, look for an inspiration piece. Maybe it’s a painting you love, a rug, or a fabric pattern. For Julie, inspiration for this lovely room came from this killer yellow, gray and cream fabric. She used it for the Roman shades that grace the floor-to-ceiling windows so you get a glimpse of it everywhere you turn. Once she lost her heart to this inspiration fabric, the room naturally evolved from there as she selected companion fabrics and furnishings.
As we started pulling together additional fabric that wove in our theme colors of yellow, gray and cream, Julie knew she had to have something in the kicky pattern above, in smaller doses, to create a visual spotlight on a few key pieces of furniture. It’s perfect on these matched wing backs, which transform the plain old corners of the room into arresting focal points. When the room isn’t in use, the chairs are like artwork. When she entertains, Julie can pull the chairs forward into the intimate conversation area surrounding the fireplace.
We picked up a few more exclamation points of yellow through this yellow, gray and white striped lumbar pillow on the gray and cream hound’s-tooth upholstered wing chairs in Julie and Marc’s bedroom. On their bed, a gorgeous re-envisioned floral with a sprinkling of yellow adds a little zip to this snowy white, blissful ensemble.
Create Layers of Tones
I’m not a very matchy-matchy person, so I really enjoy layering different shades of colors. Yellow comes in such a wonderful assortment, it’s a natural. Don’t be afraid to mix together tones that span the spectrum, from chartreuse to gold.
One of my favorite places to introduce a bold pattern and color is on an upholstered ottoman, like this smartly tailored tufted ottoman that serves as a coffee table and, in a pinch, added seating. Transitional fabrics like this edgy plaid are an ideal way to keep traditional décor fresh and new. It reimagines a timeless classic for today.
Another great way to bring in an accent color is through an inexpensive flat weave area rug. One of our tricks at Nell Hill’s is to layer a smaller, bolder rug on top of a larger natural fiber rug. It stretches the decorating dollars farther: The larger natural fiber rug is a great buy and allows you to get a smaller size in the accent rug.
In this cheerful bedroom, a yellow quilt mixes in with the cheerful bedding ensemble to add brilliance that doesn’t overwhelm. The yellow ceramic accent lamp, with its clean lines and full-throttle tone, doesn’t have to be turned on to make the bedside table brilliant. Lamps offer another excellent opportunity to introduce strong colors to your room.
Next Week … Don’t overlook your bathroom when styling your home. Make this small but important space every bit as beautiful as the rest of your home.
Marm saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm
The fabric and color choices are great. Can you tell us the manufacturer of the drapery fabric that is in the third picture? It has a gray medallion, sort of like a flower, with a yellow center.
Dee Rahmeh saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm
hello!!!! Well I just love the Gray and Yellow combination in all these rooms!!!
I’m not usually a gray person but these colors are just perfect together!
As always thanks for the inspiration and helping us to get out of our color box !!
franki saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm
I’ve always had a “soft spot” for yellow….particularly butter yellow and linen yellow. Sure seeing a lot of “it” on posts recently….franki
June Simpson saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm
Yellow is my delight as well. When young and poor, I had a terrible old home. During the winters, the sun shining into the yellow kitchen kept me happy. In another home, the kitchen had blue and white wall paper, so yellow was a great accent. Thank you, for showing how to use it in a variety of ways.
Lynn Williams saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 3:52 pm
Does Nell Hill’s sell the yellow and white flat weave area rug underneath the yellow ottoman? If not, can you give me the source? Thanks!
Kristie saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm
Love Love Love this post. All the rooms flow together and the yellow with the gray in all type of textures is so welcoming.
Thanks for warming me up on the very cold day in Kansas City.
Tama saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm
I love the beautiful, calming master bedroom. Just the bit of sunshine we need on these cold winter days!
Is the upholstered beds one of yours?
Charlotte Acock saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm
My kitchen used to be yellow. I think I had yellow overload! But I still have some accent pieces I use as there are yellow roses among the red, pink and peach, in the border I have throughout my home. It is a soft buttery yellow. I also have five rose gardens with yellow hybrid tea roses, among the other tea roses.
Before my hair turned grey, it was auburn and yellow was my signature color.
Mary Carol saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 5:54 pm
Oh my, reading all your stories has made me feel all bright and shiny inside – just like the color yellow! To answer a few of the questions …
Marm, we sell that fabulous fabric by the yard at Nell Hill’s. Just give us a call at 877-746-4320 and we can talk further.
Lynn, yes we have to gorgeous rug at Nell Hill’s. Call us at 877-746-4320 for all the details.
mimi tafour saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm
just love the mix of yellow with grey although it looks like a rich deep blue. love the sofa. is it grey or blue and assume it is one of your fabrics? this is a real pick-me-up on a cold winter day. thanks so muchy. what creamy yellow wall color do you recommend? to go with the grey/deep blue?
Pam saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm
I would like to update my college daughter’s bedroom. The walls are dark grey ( on the blue side) and We have white bedding. Is it possible for me to work with one of your designers to see if you have some fabric that will work with this to make pillows?
Barbara Hagan saysJanuary 27, 2014 at 8:31 pm
I have always loved yellow and all shades of it. In fact, growing up it was my favorite color. While I do love the gorgeous combinations used in Julie and Marc’s beautiful home, I don’t think I would want every room in my home in this same color combo as I think I would tire of it in a short period of time. I am very much a traditional girl and prefer a more collected/layered look rather than a “decorated theme” in my home.
Donna saysJanuary 28, 2014 at 9:40 am
Do you have the houndstooth wing back chairs in
Ana saysJanuary 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm
I really like the color combos of grey and yellow. Our bedroom is painted a goldenrod yellow from Ralph Lauren ( I know, it sounds awful) but with white curtains and a beautiful duvet and luxurious pillows in tones of grey, it all comes together! So, I totally love the yellow pops with the grey! It can look modern or very luxurious/traditional with the right accessories!
Mary Carol saysJanuary 31, 2014 at 9:33 am
Hi, All … here are some answers to your questions … 🙂
Mimi, the sofas in Julie’s living room are gray, and yes, they are from Nell Hill’s. Until Feb. 15, all our custom upholstered pieces are 20% off, and our fabric room is bursting with fabrics (lots in grays) you can pick to cover these timeless sofas.
Pam, yes, yes, yes! Our designers LOVE to work with folks on enhancing their rooms, from fabrics to accessories to floor plans. Bring us a photo and swatches and we’ll all have a blast together! If you want, call to make an appointment — 877-746-4320. You can just stop by too, if that is more convenient.
Donna, we have a wide variety of fabrics, hound’s tooth included, that you can use on any of our furniture frames. During our special order custom furniture sale, it’s all 20% off! This is a great time to get that chair! If you’d rather not order one, give us a call to see if we currently have what you’re looking for on the floor: 877-746-4320.
Lisa Fernandez saysFebruary 1, 2014 at 9:11 am
This is a wonderful post that makes us anxious for the Spring. How inviting the rooms look with that touch of color that brightens each space. Absolutely lovely.
Paula Smith saysFebruary 1, 2014 at 6:21 pm
I love the Roman Shades! Does this type of window treatment work on a French patio door? We would need to open and close them regularly.
Jayne saysFebruary 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm
Simply lovely use of the color yellow, which has always been a favorite of mine. Love the fresh new take.
spallassociates saysAugust 12, 2019 at 4:11 am
Love your post! yellow is a very popular wall paint color and to create relaxing environment you can also Incorporate yellow into more muted color schemes boosted by that little burst of brightness