When decorating a room, one of the many decisions that must be made is color. Color must be selected for the walls, furniture, accessories, window treatments, and etc. When trying to create a beautiful, put together space, color can’t simply be selected by throwing a dart at a bunch of paint samples. Various colors must be evaluated for their strengths and weakness.
One color that often seems to be described as “too” something is yellow. People will say it’s too cheerful, too bright, too powerful, too childish, too modern, too old fashioned, too country, too bold, and on and on. It’s a color that just doesn't seem to fit in. However, when used correctly, yellow can be (to quote Goldilocks) just right.
The first step to putting the color yellow to good use is understanding that there are many different shades of yellow and each has its own personality. Cream, butter, lemon, dandelion fuzz, and neon are all different shades of yellow and that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Keep this in mind about yellows:
• Shades with reddish undertones tend to be warm and welcoming
• In general, the color is uplifting and cheery
• Bright shades can bring light to otherwise dull or dark spaces
• Softer shades (think along the lines of cream) can be soothing without being depressing
When trying to pick a shade of yellow, consider:
• The size of the space
• How much light the space gets
Small rooms with little natural light can handle pops of bold, bright shades. However, rooms with large windows (especially facing lots of greenery) or large amounts of light should avoid the more dramatic shades because this color strongly reflects light and can quickly take on a garish, jarring appearance.
If yellow is going to be used as the paint color for a room, the most important thing to remember is to test the color out before committing to it. Paint small swatches on the walls and live with the color for at least 48 hours before making a final decision. Evaluate how the color looks at different times of the day in different lights.
If the selected yellow is a “fun” shade, remember that having all the walls the same bright or for lack of a better word, harsh color can fatigue the eyes and lead to headaches or irritability so break things up. Use the color to create an accent wall. Add wainscoting or a chair rail to pull in a different color. If all the walls are yellow, try layering with other colors to relieve the monotony. For instance, try bringing a lot of a more neutral color into the space in the window treatments, furniture, decorations, and etc.
For those that don’t want to or can’t paint, yellow can still be used. Remember that there are lots of color decisions to be made when decorating. Shades of yellow can be incorporated in the furniture; slipcovers aren't just for grandma’s couch anymore so go out and buy a sunshine yellow one for a burst of color in the room. Yellow can also be incorporated in accessories such as artwork. Use yellow patterned throw pillows, golden picture frames, or a soft hay colored area rug.
To sum it up:
• There are plenty of opportunities to use yellow in a room from the walls to the rug.
• Look at all the different shades of yellow available.
• When painting, test the shade before committing to it.
• Use yellow moderately.
• When using yellow, layer with other colors to avoid overdoing it.
When trying to decide on a color to use, don’t rule out yellow because it’s “too” something. Yellow can be the perfect touch to a space. Its a color that feels social and bright. Don’t be yellow; use yellow.
Article contributed by Alex on behalf of Stone Statements - Cincinnati’s granite countertop provider. Alex is an HGTV addict who loves exploring new ways to bring color and style to a space.