Yellow Paint Colors
Find a happy medium for your room with these yellow paint colors -- whether it's maple gold, cheery sunflower, or soft buttercream. Plus, learn the best ways to achieve a specific look with these cozy and bright yellow rooms.
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Sunflower Yellow Paint Colors
Cozy up with these hues drenched in a summer color palette with hints of nature. If you are planning to paint a room unfamiliar with daylight, these tones might make all the difference, according to designer Sara Tuttle: "Not all colors can warm up a room that doesn't get a ton of natural light like these yellows can," she says.
But don't let its summery inspiration fool you. "Yellow is beautiful because it's seasonless," Tuttle says. "It sets the tone for a warm, cozy room."
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Buttercream Yellow Paint Colors
With colors so delicious you could eat them, the lighter end of the yellow color spectrum tends to be for anyone looking for a color that won’t overpower. “Stay really pale on the walls so the yellow gives the room more of an overall feeling than a statement,” says designer Sara Gilbane.
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Maple Gold Yellow Paint Colors
Go to the richer side of yellow with these maple gold hues. Golden yellows are classic, fresh, and cozy. But they're also one of the trickiest colors to get right, says New York City designer Marlaina Teich. She says to use a pillow, area rug -- anything that will be in the finished room -- to home in on your paint choice. If a hue doesn't coordinate with the item, move on.
Perk Up with Yellow
If you have a room that needs a little life, try yellow. Watch and learn some of our favorite ways to use this sunny hue.
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Here Comes the Sun
Yellow on yellow on yellow! If that’s your dream, mix up the strength of the hue in the pieces and textures around the room to avoid the monochromatic doldrums. Plus, if your room comes equipped with any sort of view of the outside world, your wall color choice will shine. Yellow walls work best in a room with a lot of natural light, Gilbane says. Dark rooms can make yellow look dingy.
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Painting cupboards and cabinets can take a kitchen from blah to wow in a few coats of paint. Choose a fun color and commit it to a kitchen island or piece of furniture waiting to make a statement in your home -- an idea that works especially well if using a neutral shade with just enough attitude.
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Wake up an all-white bathroom with a warm yellow hue. If you're matching a paint color to an existing feature, such as tile or an upholstered piece, resist matching colors perfectly. "It makes your room feel flat and one-dimensional," says Sara Gilbane. "Go two shades lighter or darker."
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Even the palest of yellows can brighten up a room. In this bedroom, yellow takes a step back and lets bright pastel hues shine. A crisp white on the walls may have caused the peppy hues to read as electric, rather than sweet, but the slightly yellow tinge ensures the room is sunny, not stark. When looking for the right yellow, it's important to pick the right base first.
Stay away from white-based yellows -- they can turn out chalky and cold, Sara Tuttle says. Her rule of thumb: Stick with ocher and brown undertones.
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Yellow and blue almost always hit a decorating homerun, especially in rooms where you may start or end your day, such as a breakfast nook. Maximize this color opportunity and add in a few hot orange or red accents and fabrics. It’ll be a primary palette you can live with for years.
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Layer It In
"Don't be afraid to layer in other yellows throughout a room even if you have yellow walls," Sara Tuttle says. Look to nature, where a mix of shades creates pleasing landscapes. In this living room, golden yellow finds a fresh companion in sky blue and grass green.
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Tap into the modern side of yellow by pairing an electric hue with black and white accents and pops of color in the same intensity of your yellow. The result is a fun, fresh look with plenty of personality.
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Complete the Scheme
"I like yellows that have subtle reddish or brown undertones," Marlaina says, because they’re more compatible with other colors. Here, honey yellow compliments the wood and helps the green accents to sing.
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Another tip to getting the most out of your yellow paint color is moving beyond your walls and onto the ceiling. "Whenever I can, I try to put a hint of the wall color on the ceiling," Marlaina says. "It makes the room feel more complete. The color will look darker on the ceiling, so cut it by 50 percent."
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Take a risk and go to the extremes with the tried-and-true yellow-and-blue color palette. Start with the palest of yellows and run to the opposite end of the saturation spectrum with indigo blue. For an extra dose of drama, sprinkle in glossy black accents.
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If electric lemon hues spark modern looks, and buttery yellows embue a relaxed, cottage vibes, then yellow-orange ochers and goldenrods are the go-to yellow hues for elegant spaces. In this living room, rich browns and pops of graceful fuchsia complete the strong, rich palette.