Color of the Month: YELLOW

Fellow blogger and Color Consultant Rachel Perls, is back today (she checks in mid-month) to talk about the color of the month: YELLOW! Take it away, Rachel...

Yay, spring is here! I always know spring has arrived when yellow flowers begin to bloom. Yellow is one of the first colors to arrive after nature?s hibernation through winter. The daffodils are popping up all over, and the forsythia bushes are blossoming, so let's talk about yellow...


Universally, yellow is associated with the sun. What child doesn?t color in their sun with a yellow crayon?

Cheery yellow cabinets above a red lacquered wall offer an enthusiastic welcome in this entry hall. (image via: sunset)

Yellow represents communication and creativity. It?s also joyous, expansive, and optimistic, an uplifting hue.
Just try to remain gloomy in these cleansing spaces. I dare you. (images via: Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz)

Bring in splashes of yellow through art. (Image via: Living Etc)

Yellow runs the gamut from pale, delicate cream to deep gold. It can lean more towards orange, like amber, or more towards green, like citron.

The marigold shower curtain and decorative mirror take this bathroom from ordinary to fabulous. (image via: Casa Howard)

Many societies consider yellow a sacred color, closest to heaven and enlightenment. Throughout history, numerous rulers have chosen yellow as their royal color, from the gold encrusted Ashanti of West Africa to the five legendary emperors of ancient China. In Greek mythology, yellow was the color of Apollo, god of the sun, wisdom and nobility.

For contemplation and self-reflection, encompass a space in inviting tones.

This combination of buttery yellow and cooling silvery green beckons you to come in and relax. (image via: Coastal Living Magazine)

These days, yellow and black color schemes are quite popular with designers.

An elegant entry foyer, this design by Thad Hayes takes advantage of high impact black, white and pale yellow.

Sometimes, all you need is a little punch of color to liven a space. (images via: Domino, Fox-Nahem Design, and Thad Hayes)

Dramatic and chic, the sharp contrast between light and dark colors makes furniture and accent pieces pop. (image via: Style Court)

In nature, similar colors help creatures stand out. The combination of yellow and black sends a powerful signal of warning: snakes, frogs and stinging insects use these colors to communicate that they are dangerous or poisonous. This knowledge has been deeply imprinted on us over time, and our attention to this color scheme is inescapable.

Yellow can be quite chameleon-like, depending upon the shade you chose: neutral as beige, like buttercup, or vibrant and tart, like citron.

Look at this fabulous, wild combination of fuchsia and citrusy lemon from Designer's Guild.

Yellow can be elegant, too, in hues like saffron and yellow ochre. (image via: Cooking Light)

Here?s a more sophisticated, muted take on the color from Elitis, with deep mustard walls to set off the blue green sofa.

Wrapping you in a warm hug, yellow can be brought into a space through various materials. Paint, textiles, glass, or fresh flowers are just a few options. Wood is an often-overlooked option for incorporating color into your decor. Look for varieties with creamy yellow or honey undertones.

Light and clean, this breakfast nook from Cottage Living magazine is a cozy retreat encompassed in blonde wood.

This color combination of blue and yellow feels very Scandinavian to me. Notice the yellow undertones in the light wood, too. (image via: The Rug Company)

Don?t be afraid to mix and match your yellow tones: gold, custard, or canary. Just take a look at Stephen Shubel?s designs; he just loves his yellows, piling them one on top of another for a sunny, inviting space.

This would be considered an analogous color scheme, pairing three or four colors adjacent to one another on the color wheel.(image via: Stephen Shubel Design)

A few more examples of Stephen?s glorious ode to yellow. For a more unconventional scheme, consider something like this:

Here is a split complement, with a dominant red-violet and the two colors on either side of its complement, yellow and green. With all the warm hues, the cool green gives this palette balance. (Image via: Benjamin Moore)

So, play around with how you can incorporate yellow into your life. Use it as an accent, or envelope an entire space in it. However you use it, yellow won?t let you down!

- Rachel Perls

Thanks, Rachel! For more color-inspired posts by Ms. Perls, please visit her previous posts on Red, Blue, and Green. In May, we'll be learning about Purple, so stay tuned. We usually do our color posts here mid month, so see you then. I'll be back with more yellow inspiration of my own...