Decorating with Yellow: Walls, Accessories, and Accents

traditional living room with yellow accents and painting
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.

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 on the traditional color. Orange and turquoise accents add dimension to the room while Lucite chairs add a touch of modern whimsy.

Complementary Colors

If you’re looking for yellow bedroom decorating ideas with extra zing, pair yellow with purple. Yes, purple. The two colors are opposites on the color wheel and are complementary colors. When paired, these hues create contrast in the most beautiful way. To pull off the look, stick to muted and rich tones, and keep the tones consistent. In this bedroom, the same goldenrod yellow colors the wallpaper, bedspread, pillows, and ottomans. Touches of plum purple accent the bedding.

The Right Combo

What colors go well with yellow walls? The answer is almost anything. For a no-fail combo, opt for golden yellow, coral, and baby blue. Incorporate a few stronger yellow elements to bring out the yellow tones in super pale walls. Baby blue adds a touch of cool freshness, and coral offers a bit of feminine boldness.

Electric Yellow

Believe it or not, neon yellow can actually be taken up a notch. When paired with graphic black-and-white patterns, the combo becomes an electrifying duo. In this modern bedroom, hexagon wallpaper plays off the energizing yellow bedspread. The color palette is kept tight, and the wallpaper covers only one wall to ensure the energy doesn’t become overwhelming.

Yellow Made Elegant

While decorating with yellow is usually the realm of cottage-style spaces, the hue can take an elegant turn when used on sumptuous materials and in constrained doses. In this living room, silk pillows color a pretty daybed. The color travels to a pair of agate chunk lamps and abstract painting overhead.

Mostly Sunny

Gray almost always tops the list of colors that go with yellow. Cool gray tempers yellow to create a nuanced, balanced palette. While this color combination is popular, a unique application ensures a room’s design is anything but ordinary. Here, yellow medallion wallpaper pairs with gray trim and a concrete gray sink. Warm wood tones on the ceiling, mirror, and sink base draw out the golden tones of the wallpaper pattern, while black-and-white flooring round out the cool tones.

A yellow room can project a sunny look or a rich decadent vibe. See how to decorate in yellow and how to incorporate yellow into a room's color scheme and get inspired to use this versatile hue in your home's decor.

Yellow Color Schemes

See how to use yellow in a color scheme.

Scene-Stealer

Patterned wallpaper featured on just one wall of this yellow 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.

Bold and Beautiful

A yellow-on-yellow lattice wallpaper makes this office space unforgettable. Paired with a bright pink desk and chic accessories, the overall look nods to tropical locales. The vibrant colors work together because each one can be found in the fabric on the desk chair.

Yellow as a Neutral

If you’re wondering how to decorate a room with yellow walls, approach yellow as a neutral. Select 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. Pale yellow walls in this living room are the same shade as the rug and drapes, which create a tone-on-tone background. White accessories and lime green accents shine against the “neutral” backdrop.

Fresh Feeling

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.

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 golden yellow 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.

Yellow with Flair

When decorating with yellow, vary the saturations 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.

Pleasantly Surprised

The colors that go well with yellow walls depend on the overall look you are hoping to achieve. Here, 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.

If your rooms are looking a little drab, give yellow a go! Here's how to perk up a room with shades of yellow and brighten up your decor.

Perk Up with Yellow

Watch and see three ways yellow can perk up a room, in doses ranging from small to big.

 

Storage on Display

A trio of striking yellow bookcases adds visual appeal to a blank wall in this living room. The units provide a splash of playful color, and 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.

Partially Sunny

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 feeling out of place, as does repeating the yellow from the rug on the trim of the drapes.

Glazed Look

Decorating with yellow walls in a living room is one way to bring instant cheer. Here, 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, displays 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.

Beachy Retreat

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.

Timeless and Trendy

If you have yellow walls, the color of curtains you choose can set the tone for the rest of the room. 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.

Vintage Chic

This sunny bathroom is bathed in vintage style thanks to the furniture-style vanity, the marble countertop, the paneled wainscoting, and the tiny hexagonal floor tiles. The pastel yellow walls and flooring not only blend well with the vintage styling, but also create a warm and inviting feel. Replacing some of the yellow floor tiles with white tiles adds custom detailing to the floor.

Lemon and Chocolate

Lemon yellow accents 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. Sticking with a consistent shade of yellow helps ensure the design doesn’t sway into overwhelming territory.

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.

Mix and Match Colors

The colors that go with yellow is a virtually endless list. One of the best qualities of yellow is that it goes great with nearly every other color—white, orange, green, pink, blue, brown. To build the perfect yellow color scheme, pick one or two shades of yellow to use as accents, plus a dark neutral and doses of white for a balanced color palette.

Top-to-Bottom Yellow

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 the already cheery kitchen. Yellow is repeated in the tone of the light oak flooring, creating a cohesive look from floor to ceiling.

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