Memories of garish Harvest Gold appliances surely are one reason yellow has taken so long to make a comeback in home decor. If you haven’t given this sunny hue or its cousins a thought in say, 30 or 40 years, there are lots of shades to choose from today without going anywhere near that dreary shade of 1972.
Besides being easy on the eyes, certain shades of yellow can also read as neutrals. When the color is light and soft, it becomes a neutral that goes easily from the bath or bedroom to the office. Shades such as Benjamin Moore’s Lemon Chiffon or Ginseng Root create a backdrop suitable for a variety of decor styles.
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If you’d like to use yellow in a new way, bring it into a white kitchen. Add bright yellow linens or curtains and let them shine against white cabinets. Paint your kitchen barstools with a sunny gloss such as Pratt and Lambert’s Country Kitchen.
Mornings will be cheerier in a banquette or chairs covered with Duralee’s Zsa Zsa pattern in Canary. If you have built-ins, this would be a wonderful spot for a sunburst of yellow paint.
For a surge of color anywhere in the house, try painting a single piece of furniture in abright shade like Yolk from Benjamin Moore. Consider a lively yellow statement piece in your home office, on a foyer table or the buffet in a breakfast or dining room. Yellow paint or accent pieces also might be just what you need to perk up a dim bathroom or windowless hallway.
Elegant and understated
Yellow can also be subtle. Palest lemon can be sweet in a nursery. Pair rich medium-yellow upholstery fabrics to make a room feel decidedly French, a la the Versailles Palace.
In a white room, try medium-yellow trim for a fresh, lemony lift. Or go deep with a rich, golden hue for a masculine feel in a man cave, study or family room.
Yellow can bring other colors to life. A pairing that makes both colors look fresh is taupe and yellow. Pick up the pace in a neutral room with throw pillows in a yellow print, or add a yellow matelasse spread under a comforter. When the comforter is pulled back, there’s a light pop of sunshine underneath.
Try pairing yellow with ice blue, pale lavender or deep purple, teal, or this year’s “it” color: orchid.
Remember the decorating maxim that says it’s only color and can always be changed. Be daring with yellow.