I was sitting the other day in my parents yellow dining room writing this post. You probably know someone who loves a specific color and will use it pretty much everywhere in their house even if it is not always what would have looked best. Well my dear mom just loves yellow. There is nothing that will ever convince her that yellow is not a cheerful sunny and bright color. And to be quite honest she is right about it (well to a certain extent as we are about to find out). So my parent’s dining room was designed with Monet’s Giverny dining room in mind, minus the Japanese prints, the blue and white china, and the red tiles thank goodness. How do you like it? I’ve been there a couple of times but it was years ago so I don’t know if it’s the lighting or if that yellow is as acid as it looks to be. Because yes yellow can be acid and quite cool when it sits on the green side of the color wheel. As you can guess I am a little biased about yellow. Something to understand about color is it’s emotional baggage. Color provokes a physiological reaction which is the same for everyone but it also provokes an emotional one based on our memories of it. As an example a lot of my clients associate a certain type of green with hospitals and therefore dislike it. It’s very important to take this emotional response in consideration when establishing a color scheme.
Tints of yellow are perfect for living spaces or bedrooms bringing warmth without overpowering spaces meant for relaxation. Associated to white and antique distressed woods those buttery yellow bedrooms are the perfect invitation to daydreaming and breakfast in bed.
Yellow has been quite out of fashion in the past years, maybe because it was used so much in the 80’s and 90’s. But it is actually a color found in many historical homes like at the Thomas Jefferson Monticello home whose Chrome Yellow dining room dating back to 1815 was restored to it’s original color.
The bright yellow works wonderfully in those large rooms. Bright as it is it is a real energy burst and it would have been quite difficult to stand in a smaller scaled room. This certainly wasn’t a dining room you would have fallen asleep in! A modern way to play with this bold color is to use it in a graphic way in smaller quantities mixed with lots of white as in the examples below. The key to successfully doing this is to avoid any other color and to keep shapes simple. When you are decorating with such a strong color you really have to decide where you wish to put the attention, otherwise it gets too busy. Talking about yellow I wanted to mention Chartreuse. For many this color is green but when you look at the color wheel you realize that yellow is the color that changes the most with the addition of black. It changes to almost olive green. True Chartreuse is actually yellow and not green and for the little story behind it, it takes it’s name from the herbal liquor produced since the 1740’s by French monks.Chartreuse makes for an unusual background in this small apartment lending it a very strong personality.
What’s your favorite type of yellow?