This is an article I wrote that was just published in Alberta Home recently. I have re-printed it (with the yellow paint chips so you can see them) here so you can read it!
The Secrets to Decorating with Yellow!
Want to bring some happy optimism into your home this year? The right shade of yellow might be the solution! Here are 5 ways to make it easier and less stressful to choose a yellow for your interior:
1. Most colours get twice as bright on the walls. This is especially true when selecting yellows. In the colour wheel, yellow is the first hue the eye can see; it’s simply the brightest. This is why a bright yellow stripe combined with a black one is used to signify caution on concrete columns in a parkade, for example. If you have already chosen a yellow that is too clean and bright to begin with–like BM 2050-50 Mellow Yellow–going a few shades lighter on the chip will not help.
I had one client say to me “I am ALWAYS surprised when I see the little 2 x 2 chip on the walls, it’s never what I thought it would be”. If you actually want the colour you end up with on your walls to look more like butter, the yellow must be muddied or toned down a few shades to a yellow like 2154-50 Straw, by Benjamin Moore before it will achieve the result you are expecting.
2. Yellows can be used in any room in your house; however, even clients that love yellow have found it to be overwhelming when used as the primary wall colour in a home. Painting your entry, hallways, living room, kitchen, all the same shade of yellow even if it’s a soft shade can be too stimulating.
Anytime I have been called to specify colour in an, all-yellow home, (with a client that loves yellow) they have asked for other colours to break up the existing yellow, still keeping it in some rooms.
3. The reason black and white is usually shown with a yellow as vibrant as this sofa from IKEA is because adding another colour, dictates that the second colour be just as strong and clean which keeps the look too young. The secret to achieving this ‘glam’ look, (without creating a bumblebee effect) is to use black more sparingly than white. Introducing graphic toss cushions from Bo Concept, black framed artwork, a zebra skin, an upholstered white chair inside a black frame, a mirrored or white console table, and bar stools from Kristalia, is the way to pull this look together while keeping it sophisticated.
4. If buying a yellow sofa is too much of a commitment for you, simply buy 3 of the attached vases for impact! Fill them with simple greenery and line them up on your mantle or on a console behind a sofa! Add some toss cushions and a throw in the same tones that will make you feel happy every time you walk into the room!
5. Having trouble deciding where to begin? Any room where you’d like to introduce warmth, energy and sunshine is a good place to start.
Maria Killam is a member of the International Association of Colour Consultants, a partner with Benjamin Moore’s Painting & Decorating Services. In addition to running her own colour and design firm in North Vancouver, she teaches colour theory at Vancouver Community College. For more colour inspiration and advice, www.colourmehappyblog.blogspot.com.
Why is it so hard to choose Yellow?