Decorating with Yellow: Walls, Accessories, and Accents
Yellow is the color of flowers, lemons, and sunshine, offering fresh appeal in each of its many variations. Browse these fresh ideas for decorating with yellow, and discover ways to give any room an infusion of sunny decor.
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Rise and Shine
A light-filled breakfast nook is the perfect candidate for a sweep of sunny yellow. Pairing the bright hue with rustic accents, such as the weathered wood table and feed-sack pillows gives a unique spin to the traditional color. Orange and turquoise accents add dimension to the room while Lucite chairs add a touch of modern whimsy.
Yellow Color Schemes
See how to use yellow in a color scheme.
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Patterned wallpaper featured on just one wall of this bedroom creates a dramatic focal point. Coating the rest of the walls with the same buttery hue as the wallpaper's ground color ensures the space looks vibrant yet restful. Ivory, beige, and dark wood furnishings fade into the background, allowing the accent wall to truly shine.
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Bold and Beautiful
A yellow-on-yellow lattice wallpaper makes this office space unforgettable, as does the bright pink desk and chic accessories. The vibrant colors work together because each one can be found in the fabric on the desk chair.
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Yellow as a Neutral
To make yellow read more like a neutral, use a yellow wall color with brown undertones, and pair it with sisal floor covering and natural linens. The effect will be a calming, yet not sterile space. In this living room, warm butter-colored walls are the same shade as the rug and drapes, which create a tone-on-tone background on which white accessories and lime green accents can shine.
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Sunny yellow accessories in this room make the pale blue walls feel fresh and inviting. Two similar patterns are used within the room -- one pattern in the yellow curtains and the other in the area rug. Because these patterns are both variations of squares and do not dominate the room, they combine without competing. Repeating the yellow from the curtains on the vanity stools lends continuity and cohesiveness to the space.
Perk Up with Yellow
Watch and see three ways yellow can perk up a room, in doses ranging from small to big.
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Bringing Art to Life
Elements such as stone, brass, and wood combine in this living room to make a designed space that is also livable. The vibrant yellows and greens around the room are drawn from the painting on the mantel. The birch trees in the artwork even come to life as cut logs on the hearth.
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Yellow with Flair
Vary the saturations of yellow used in a room for a look that’s sunny, but not overly bright. In this kitchen, lower cabinets in saffron are eye-catching, but the upper cabinets in a blonde oak ensure the room doesn’t become overwhelming. The backsplash tile picks up the hue of the lower cabinets and serves as a visual transition between the saturated lower cabinets and subtle uppers.
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Electric yellow is an unexpected color for a room that’s more rustic than rollicking, but the contrast between the rugged stone fireplace and traditional furnishings and the plucky wall color proves that thinking outside the color box can yield successfully unique looks. Warm undertones in the rug, fireplace stones, and furniture make sure the yellow walls don’t look completely out of place.
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Storage on Display
A trio of striking yellow bookcases adds visual appeal to a blank wall in this living room. The units not only provide a splash of playful color, but their open design creates a space that can be used for both storage and display. To create a pleasing arrangement, books are stacked both vertically and horizontally, and decorative elements are placed throughout.
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A bold, geometric area rug in sunshine yellow brings the perfect amount of pattern to this dining room, without detracting from the room’s clean, modern aesthetic. Matching white chairs and table are outfitted with nailhead trim for an upscale look. The turquoise and red chandelier adds color overhead. This added pop helps the yellow rug not feel out of place.
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Yellow glaze gives these sitting-room walls a translucent look. Dominated by the vibrant citrus-hue painting, the walls provide a sunny backdrop for a white slipcovered sofa, bookcases of prized possessions, and an immense fireplace. Yellow plaids add pattern to the window shade, rug, and chair cushion. Chipper notes of cool blue come from a smaller painting over the fireplace and a large glazed ceramic vase.
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Yellows with a twinge of red typically read as a more muted alternative to pure yellow. In this dining room, the peachy yellow walls are reminiscent of the warm rays of sunlight that hit sand on a beach, and the seaside-inspired decor captures the texture, color, and feeling of a dreamy beach. Rattan chairs and a rustic table give texture to the space and hint at a natural theme. Beach finds, such as a giant conch shell, pebbles, glass, and seaside-inspired accents, help the room feel even more organic.
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Timeless and Trendy
Here, yellow walls combine with striking indigo ikat patterns to make a space that's trendy, yet timeless. Yellow and blue is a classic color combination, but by using uncommmon shades, such as ocher and indigo, the go-to combination gets a fresh face. The rich yellow warms up the expanses of white in the dining area and make it even more welcoming.
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Whether it is the furniture-style vanity and the marble countertop or the paneled wainscoting and the tiny hexagonal floor tiles, this sunny bathroom is bathed in vintage style. The pastel yellow walls and flooring not only blend well with the vintage styling, but they also create a warm and inviting feel. Replacing some of the yellow floor tiles with white tiles adds custom detailing to the floor.
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Lemon and Chocolate
Lemon yellow accent colors bring life and vibrancy to this chocolate brown and white bedroom. Pattern comes into play with the trellis fabric on the headboard and window treatments. White bedding makes the room feel clean and uncluttered.
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Go for the Gold
In this bathroom, white beaded board and gold paint work together to form a twist on the classic cottage look. Using mustard yellow, rather than a typical cottage blue, gives the space a more masculine look. Simple accessories and minimal decor tap into the simpler side of cottage design while warmer tones in the hand towels and rug keep the space cozy, a trademark of cottage style.
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One of the best qualities of the color yellow is that it goes great with nearly every other color -- white, orange, green, pink, blue, brown. Pick one or two shades of yellow to use as accents, plus a dark neutral, and include doses of white for a balanced color palette.
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Painting this kitchen didn't stop at the walls. A lighter shade of yellow was applied to the ceiling for added visual presence as a sunny cap on this already cheery kitchen. Yellow is repeated in the tone of the light oak flooring, creating a cohesive look from floor to ceiling.
Next Slideshow Neutral Paint Colors
Neutral Paint ColorsWith tones as varied as driftwood gray and creamy latte, neutrals are anything but boring. Browse our top neutral paint color picks to find the right hue for your rooms. Plus, learn the best tricks for decorating in neutrals.Begin Slideshow »