Vail Design at Altitude column: Yellow brings energy, freshness to a home
Design at Altitude
Yellow is known to add cheeriness to a home. Thoughts of daffodils in the spring, the bold sunshine come summer and vibrant sunflowers come fall can’t help but bring a smile to your face. So with all of the loveliness of yellow found in nature, it seems natural to bring this hue indoors, where it can shine even brighter. Too much of any good thing can be too much, so go gently in the direction of your yellow dreams.
Yellow comes in many hues, from a soft, buttery yellow to bright-gold tones. Choosing the right shade can be tricky, so you should take your time to find what fits your space. A mellow yellow coordinates nicely with neutrals and grays and works in many spaces. A bright yellow makes a small space feel larger. Mustard can be welcoming or too much, so take your time and live with the color before diving right in.
Just as with any color, yellow shouldn’t control the design but augment and accent your home. Bold bursts of yellow work best as accent pieces. This doesn’t mean it can’t be bold, lively or surprising, though. A table lamp in an unexpected burst of yellow instantly brightens the room; a boldly colored side table adds cheer. If you’re not quite ready to dive in that deep, use pillows on the sofa, a bright yellow vase or throw.
The yellow cabinets in a home I designed on Martha’s Vineyard add an unexpected punch. So many homes near the ocean are done in blues and greens that it was fun to work with the client to use yellow as the bold color. I love how the beiges and neutrals play off of it.
Yellow pairs nicely with celery or kelly green. Go one step bolder and pair yellow with turquoise. I love this home in Denver designed for a young, active family. The vibrant colors reflect their playful personalities but have a grown-up, eclectic feel. The yellow ties the greens and blues together.
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Grays and yellow are a playful twist on the classic white-and-yellow combination. Off-white walls, gray sofa and yellow accents bring a quiet, understated luxury to the living room. Come fall, when we are surrounded by gold, it’s hard to say where the interior ends and the exterior takes hold.
Boost a white wall with yellow artwork. Find a unique, one-of-a-kind piece this summer at one of our many art festivals or farmers markets and display it where it brings light and optimism into your home. If you have a muted piece of art you like but feel like it might need something a little more, try adding a bold yellow frame (as long as it coordinates with the art) — unexpected but definitely not too much.
Sometimes, the golden glow of a chandelier or yellow pendant light fixture brings enough yellow into the room, especially if the walls are painted a light yellow or yellow-based white. Come winter, the room will feel glowingly warm; this summer, it will feel cheery and welcoming.
Bring the sunshine in this year with yellow, whether it’s a light lemon or bold mustard: The color will rejuvenate and bring cheer.
Andrea Georgopolis is a principal designer at Slifer Designs. She loves to bring color into design in unexpected ways.