Decorating with Yellow | Midwest Living

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Decorating with Yellow

Yellow signals cheer and freshness, like early spring daffodils. It can brighten any room and lend a soft sunny aura or a make a bold color statement.
  • Sense of fun

    Yellow (Benjamin Moore Traditional Yellow, No. 170) sets a fun tone in this Michigan lake house. Vintage collections and furnishings in shades of deep red and turquoise blue blend harmoniously in a primary color scheme (red, yellow and blue). Distribute your primary color throughout the room for balance, as these homeowners have done with the yellow ottoman and throw pillows.

  • Delicious yellow

    This happy hue is a natural choice for rooms where people gather and dine, like the kitchen. Paired with zesty orange or lime and white cabinets, yellow is one of the most popular color schemes for kitchens.

  • Calm escape

    A pale yellow palette (Benjamin Moore  345 Winter Sunshine) soothes a guest room in this Michigan home.

  • Powerful yellow

    Paired with black-and-white accents, bright yellow (Sherwin-Williams SW6688 Solaria) looks sophisticated in this modern Minnesota living room. Strong wall colors call for strong accent colors, including the hot pink seen here.

  • Hint of yellow

    A pale yellow adds to the bright feeling in this sunlit room without being overwhelming. When using a pastel tint like this, stick with other colors of similar intensities or values. Here, pale blue is a perfect accent; anything darker would stand out too much.

  • Zesty yellow

    This color of yellow might be too much for a master bedroom, but in a guest bedroom it looks joyful and welcoming. The strong color pairs well with crisp whites and a touch of muted sage green. Strong colors are the only “star” needed in a room, so keep accessorizes and other colors to a minimum.


  • Golden glow

    Gold tones, such as saffron, are next to yellow on the color wheel, and give a room a little more seriousness while still offering warmth. In this dining room, the dark wood floors and furniture and white table linens don’t distract from the stenciled gold walls (#1A13-4 Buttercorn Behr Premium Plus). In the evening, this color gives a golden glow to dining.

  • Cheery yellow

    Because of yellow’s association with cheerfulness and the sun, it’s the perfect color to use in dreary climates, north-facing rooms or windowless spaces, such as this tiny den. 

  • Playful yellow

    Lavender, one of yellow's complementary colors, nicely accents the soft yellow (#28B-1P Gladsome) in this girl’s room.

  • More about decorating with colors

    See a color you like? Most home improvement stores are happy to mix colors if you show them a picture or a fabric sample you're trying to match. They're also usually able to match discontinued colors. Remember that colors can look different depending on factors such as light and the size of your room—plus colors can look different on a computer screen or a printed sample. Always buy a small container first and try the shade out before painting the entire room. Get more color inspiration by browsing any of our slideshows below.

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