Let the sun shine in: Accent with yellow

02/19/2014 9:19 AM

02/19/2014 9:20 AM

Do you have an emotional response to a particular color? I do. 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.

Maybe that’s why I got so excited about friends Julie and Marc’s vision for their home, one accentuated throughout with pops and splashes of yellow. Whether you prefer soft and buttery or brilliant as the summer sun, this warm, happy color is an ideal accent.

Here are three tips for welcoming yellow into your home.

Find the perfect pairing

Yellow makes a perfect partner for lots of colors, from cool to warm hues. We love yellow paired with shades of gray, from gunmetal to dove. Julie gravitated toward a perky canary yellow as she began envisioning how she would decorate her reconstructed country home. Since her tone was bright and bold, she knew she would need to focus it in a few high-impact spots, bundling it with quieter shades of gray, cream and white. Even though yellow just makes just a few appearances, saved for smaller pieces of furniture, trims and accents, it really steals the show in this room, making it warm and inviting.

Yellow is also blissful with blue or grayed brown.

Yellow plays an even smaller, but just as important, role in Julie and Marc’s bedroom. of yellow on the bed, windows and chairs snap, crackle and pop in this serene gray and white room.

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 came from a 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. The room 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 this kicky pattern. Since the color and pattern are so bold, she knew this fabric had to be used in smaller doses, creating a visual spotlight on a few key pieces of furniture. It’s perfect on matched wingbacks, transforming the plain old corners of the room, which could easily be lost space, 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 a yellow, gray and white striped lumbar pillow on the gray and cream houndstooth upholstered wing chairs. On the bed, a gorgeous re-envisioned floral with a sprinkling of yellow adds a little zip to this snowy white, blissful ensemble.

Layer tones

I 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 decor 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. Layering a smaller, bolder rug on top of a larger natural fiber rug stretches decorating dollars: The larger natural fiber rug is a great buy and allows you to get a smaller size in the accent rug. This flat weave in Julie’s living room is a perfect pick because it brightens the floor space with a screen of warm yellow and cream.


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