Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hello, yellow.

Hello, indeed.

Here we are in the middle of two wars, a financial crisis, never-ending election drama, and the wake of several catastrophic tropical storms, and then along comes yellow. Yellow, the color of ambition and optimism, a color that agrees with Annie's proclamation that "the sun'll come out tomorrow" because it is the color of the sun. The design world's sudden obsession with this color is proof of the power of colors. Each has an emotional resonance that is "colored" by culture and history.

According to The Color Scheme Bible, "Yellows are welcoming and sunny. Strong yellows are said to help the brain work better." And who couldn't use a little extra brain power these days as we try to make the best of this baffling economic situation? Another one of my favorites, Brilliant Color at Home, says "Bright yellow used in quantity is always dramatic. Claude Monet's dining room in his house at Giverny outside Paris in France, now open to the public, is a memorable example of this. In the twentieth century, a yellow room which caused a sensation was Nancy Lancaster's drawing room in London. Owner of the interior decoration firm Colefax and Fowler, she chose the color in the 1950s when England was still recovering from wartime rationing and dreariness. Walls, curtains, furnishings, even the Ukranian rug on the floor, all were yellow."

Now that's a color scheme that is not for the faint of heart. Not everyone could live with it. If you want to do an all yellow room, I recommend you enlist the help of a trained professional. Someone like me, perhaps. For the uninitiated, I would instead recommend using yellow as an accent. Think of it as the color of a highlighter marker, and use it for emphasis. Pair it with a cool shade of grey. Or think of it as an exclamation point. Just as you wouldn't want to use one at the end of every single sentence, surely you wouldn't want to use yellow for every surface in a room!

Here is a sampling of fun ways to add some yellow to your life:


1 CB2's sol console table - $299.00

2 Ikea's Herman chair - $14.99

3 CB2's overnight table lamp - $69.95

4 Target's Women's Xhilaration® Sugar Mary Jane Pumps - $19.99

5 Forever 21's Angie Jacket - $39.80

6 CB2's sol pendant lamp - $99.95

7 Ikea Trollsta sideboard - $349.00

Not only are all these items in lovely shades of yellow, but many are also relatively inexpensive. Easy on the eyes and easy on the wallet. Now that is something to smile about.

Recommended Reading

My favorite books about color:

Brilliant Color at Home

The Color Scheme Bible

anything by Tricia Guild


  1. I really love that yellow jacket

  2. I can't believe how cheap it is! I just might be able to get it.


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