4 Ways To Decorate Around Yellow Interior Color Schemes

Yellow Upholstery Found In Versailles – Grand Trianon

In recent years, lemon yellow has been particularly hot in the  interior design world.  Did you know that the exterior color of houses selling the most quickly is  yellow?  Yellow enhances concentration and speeds the metabolism.  Yellow provides many of the same physiological effects as red. Yellow always has been considered an optimistic color.

Working with yellow can be challenging at times.  Yellow can look fluorescent in some lighting, so picking the right shade needs some careful consideration.  Here are 5 of the best ways to work with the color yellow that will give you a designer look:

1.  Work Around A Fabric That Speaks Volumes To You

The French are famous for designing a room around the same print.  As you can see in the photo above, this room in Versailles remains to be current, fresh and absolutely exciting.  A bright yellow print is seen in the upholstery and on the walls.  The print is broken up with white walls, and solid yellow silk upholstery that is used on the back of the chairs.  The untouched wood tables break up the combination of gilt wood, and yellow giving a balance to the room.

Don’t be afraid of buying a boat load of fabric to upholster on the walls, as well as the upholstery.  Recently I recovered a Italian venetian chest with blue and white fabric using modge podge glue.  Use the same fabric on your lampshades, and stools to tie everything together.  Fabric adds interest like nothing else.  

These Safavieh chairs have great bones!   This set  of 2 is only $392!  Paint the frames white, and gold leaf the detail at the bottom of the chair.  These chairs would look extravagant in the living room, or flanking a chest in the bedroom.

Landon Side Chairs in Cream and Black (Set of 2) $369

54 Wide Duralee Dalesford Yellow Fabric By The Yard

1. 54 Wide Premier Prints Anderson Slub Yellow White Fabric By The Yard

2. 100% Silk Dupioni Fabric – Yellow Sun By The Yard.

3. Premier Prints Barber Slub Yellow/Taupe Fabric By The Yard

4. Premier Prints Suzani Slub Yellow/White Fabric By The Yard

5. Joel Dewberry Heirloom Blockprint Blossom Dandelion Fabric By The Yard

6. Plaid Check Buttercup By Duralee Fabrics

7. Plaid Check Sunflower by Duralee Fabrics

8. Stripe Lemon by Duralee Fabrics

9. Taza Color Stripe Yellow Fabric By The Yard

10. U1711 Karen’s Joy Butterscotch Upholstery Fabric

11. Wide Nicey Jane Hello Roses Antique Gold By The Yard

12. Wide Taza Ribbon Damask Yellow Fabric By The Yard

2. Add The Extra Bling To Your Chairs

French chairs are very easy to dress up.  In fact, treat them as a work of art.  When you pay attention to the furniture in your home, and add the extra detailing, you don’t need a lot of accessories, because the furniture itself will speak volumes.

A: Gray frames work well with natural linen upholstery.  Although there are no rules to upholstering any chair, this combination just works well together

Some examples:

– A Louis XV bed is painted gray and upholstered with linen

-A Egyptian Klismos chair is distressed with gray paint, and upholstered with linen

– A beautiful Swedish sofas frame is painted in gray with matching linen.

Noir Furniture featuring linen fabric and limed wood in soft grays.

B. White painted frames can be very sexy on a chair.  White frames can easily be paired with a brighter fabrics, and then accented with furniture ormolu.

– A painted white console table holds an over-sized frame.

Lemon yellow, vermilion, cerulean Blue and Chinese red can stop you in your tracks on the right chair.

Don’t forget the details of the chair.  Gold leaf pens are perfect for hand painting the details of your french chairs with accuracy.

Krylon makes a fantastic 18 kt gold leaf pen that I used on one of my sofas.  Use it on any accent chair, sofa or console table.

This accent chair in the House of Windsor wouldn’t be the same without the hand painted gold details, although gold isn’t always the only paint choice for accent details.  In fact, this french chair features white with red.  What a fabulous combination!  This clock is painted the same color as the wall, with the details painted in white.  White, gray, gold and silver are the most practical colors used for furniture accents.

3.  Work With Shades Of Yellow In The Same Tones

One of the easiest ways of figuring out color is to work in the same color tones.  Simply put, if you have a gallon of yellow paint at home, consider pouring some of the yellow paint into a bucket and simply add white paint to the color until you reach a desired color.  The pair of colors will work perfectly together because they have the same color tones.

At your local paint store, the color swatches should be shown on a color sample card along with 4 or 5 other colors in darker or lighter hues.  Staying within the same color family will allow you to add additional accent colors flawlessly.

This Chinese Chippendale chest  is quite vibrant and exciting. Now consider the same chest against a muted light yellow or beige toned wall, and the chest changes from a whimsical effect to something more formal.  This yellow Victorian chest is the perfect example of both colors paired together.

Vibrant furniture can be exciting, but far too often many people shy away from brightly painted furniture because they enjoy antique looking furniture.  One way to achieve the antique effect, is to distress your furniture and add brown glaze. This antique corner cabinet has terrific color, yet at the same time, it also shows off the beauty of its age through the natural distressing that has taken place over time.  You CAN have the best of both worlds when glaze is applied to your furniture.

4. Use Brighter Yellow With Accessories

If you love the brighter yellows, consider adding the brighter shades in the accessories.

– Buy Bright yellow raw silk and make throw pillows for your sofas.  The brighter, more vibrant shades are often found in silk, so don’t rule out getting throw pillows made from the fabric of your choice.

– Keep in mind the right piece of furniture to paint.  The beauty of French furniture is you can get away with brighter, more vibrant paint shades than any other furniture design.  Here, we see a royal blue Louis XV designed chest with bronze hardware.  Consider your painted furniture as a way of tying together your entire color scheme.

Rooms based around white can be tremendously exciting.  ALL white color schemes don’t have to be boring.  Instead of working with the brighter shades of white, consider creams, and very light grays combined with yellow.  Customize accent tables with slabs of marbles custom fit to lay over the tops, and accessorize with bronze picture frames.  A creamy linen couch can be paired with brighter yellow pillow throws.  Here we see a light yellow painted chest from Christies combined with a soft gray accent color.

Accents With Brighter Tones Of Yellow:

1. Club Pack of 12 Yellow Dancing Orchid Artificial Flower Sprays 36″

2. Yellow Dancing Lady Silk Orchid Arrangement

3. Be Still Homewares Ikat Dot Decorative Throw Pillow Cover Yellow

4.DwellStudio Draper Stripe Citrine and Cream Runner, 8 by 10-Feet

5. Benzara 47716 Set Of 8 Decorative Lemons Decor

6. Foreside Boho Clock, Chartreuse

Mary Douglas Drysdale tells Doxa Home Blog her thoughts about the color of yellow:

“Colors from nature which wow me. yellow roses, daffodils, daisies and sun
flowers. Squash, grapefruit, lemons….Yellow is a color which is hard for many to work with it they are inexperienced. Once you have it up on the walls, the color reflects on itself so much that is has real energy. If you are thinking of using yellow, make sure to paint a large wall or at a minimum a 4 X 4 sample and look at that sample in the morning, afternoon, and with evening light. It is a color that changes (which all colors do) and the only way to know that you have the right color is to look at it in these various circumstances.

Paint colors I often specify are Benjamin Moore. My favorite Ben Moore Colors are Pale Moon OC 108, Golden Honey 297 and Sundance 2022 -50. My favorite New Color which I want to try – in my own house is Ben Moore Little Angel 318 I think that is the new yellow! Brighter, every so slightly acidic but clean and fresh, fresh, fresh. Farrow and Ball has a nice yellow which is Babouche 223.

One of the things I like most about yellow, is that it is such a warm optimistic and color. And it is a color that works everywhere, unlike other colors such as Purple or Red or Pink. Often my favorite kitchens are yellow. They always me of the wonderful kitchen and garden of Monet. It is a color which welcomes – is not the least pretentious….it is a cozy, fresh, wonderful, cheerful and elegant tone. AND yellow is wonderful in an Entry Foyer, Lining Room or Dining Room. It is a perfect color, bringing a sense of sunshine and optimism, even when it rains.”

See more of Mary Douglas Drysdale’s work on her facebook page

Check out my previous posts:

How To Decorate With Yellow For A Historical Look

Period Decorating: Neoclassical Interiors

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