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Welcome the Sun With a Yellow Aesthetic

ABI Interiors
Image via Country Living

The warmer months signal a time of renewal, and yellow aesthetics are having a revival. Pantone even declared ‘Empire Yellow’ as part of its colour palette for the Spring/Summer New York Fashion Week 2023. It is, after all, the sunshine colour!

When artfully using yellow interior design, you can experience a boost of energy, confidence, and hope. Yellow’s colour meaning in design is positivity and happiness, so if you want to welcome this bright power into your home, read on.

To learn to use yellow in interior design, you must first dive into the art and science of colour matching.

How Do Interior Designers Choose Colours?

ABI Interiors

Some general rules exist when deciding on the perfect shades for your space.

Firstly, consider the lighting. Does the room receive ample sunlight? How much and what type of artificial lighting do you have in your space? A patch test of paint will help you see how your chosen colour changes with both types of lighting, and you may be surprised by what you find. Likewise, consider what is typical for your climate. Are you living in a tropical region with enduring bright sun, or are you residing in a cooler zone where the sun is often hidden behind clouds?

Secondly, and most importantly, what do you desire to feel when you walk into each room? Colours are powerful mood influencers. Wander through your residence and imagine your optimal state in each room. Do you want to keep your bedroom as a place of serenity? You may want to avoid loud colours like bold yellow. Instead, you can strategically place brighter hues like ‘Empire Yellow’ in the rooms commonly associated with energy, such as the kitchen.

Thirdly, use a colour wheel to discover which shades pair smoothly together and which will clash. Here, it is vital to consider the other colours you will have in your space. For the most appealing yellow aesthetic, a colour wheel will help you see what yellow colour combinations work best. Note that a painter’s colour wheel will be indicative but not predictive of a result due to the nature of the paint. Therefore, it is necessary to patch-test the paint colour.

 An excellent tip for using colour is to consider its purity — pure colours catch attention more than combined colours. Similarly, lighter colours recede while brighter colours advance. Using this principle, you can create unique focal points with yellow home decor.

Lastly, assess the size of your space. If you’re dealing with a small room, you can make it larger with the correct yellow shade. Elizabeth Graziolo, Founder of Yellow House Architects, tells Architectural Digest that “yellow walls make them feel bigger and cheerier”. Her own home’s bar area displays ‘Cheerful Yellow’ Babouche from Farrow & Ball’s Babouche.

You might see standard colours running through particular rooms, as if there is a rigid colour scheme to adhere to. For example, taupe is one of the most popular colours for a bathroom. Employing a yellow interior design may break the rules, but you may find a bold approach works to your favour. Consider what colours you genuinely love; this is your space, after all!

 Let’s explore how you can use yellow interior design in the main rooms of your home.

Yellow Bedroom:

ABI Interiors
Image via Bed Threads

As a place of rest, you may think of a yellow bedroom as too harsh to achieve a refreshing night’s sleep. However, choosing the right yellow aesthetic can create a serene and calming space. 

Consider how the natural outside light affects your bedroom. If you want a neutral, soft look, a pastel yellow aesthetic can work nicely with the morning sun to produce a warm hue that is welcoming for daytime and peaceful at night. Pair with greys and whites for a yellow colour combination for an impeccable style. In fact, Pantone declared its Colour of the Year 2021 ‘Ultimate Grey and Illuminating’, grey and yellow colours.

For the ultimate yellow aesthetic bedroom, a daffodil or other muted yellow wallpaper is a popular choice that instantly enlivens a bedroom, whether for a child or an adult. Remember, yellow is the ultimate mood booster!

Yellow Living Room:

ABI Interiors
Image via Pop and Scott

The living room is a place for family and friends to come together and share special memories. Choosing the perfect yellow aesthetic can create a warm, inviting space that inspires conversations. 

Your living room is ideal for using yellow decor, like a mustard yellow armchair or sofa. For yellow aesthetics devotees, you may enjoy layering different types of this sunny hue. You can achieve this quickly when experimenting with yellow decor. For example, you may opt for softer shades of yellow for your cushions and rug if you have a bold yellow sofa.

If yellow walls are your style, a muted or earthy-toned yellow can bring warmth to your space and inspire joy without feeling too chaotic. Think about yellow paired with grey or brown for an elegant and perfectly contrasting colour combination.

Yellow Kitchen:

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Havana House Kitchen by Studio Lala photographed by Cieran Murphy

Like the living room, a kitchen is a cherished place for family and friends to come together and is now seen as the home’s focal point. Getting the energy just right may be a matter of the correct yellow colour combination.  

Yellow may be the perfect colour for the kitchen. Inspiring joy and energy, you can turn your kitchen into the brightest room of your house, literally and figuratively. If you want to keep it subtle, consider terrazzo tiles with splashes of yellow. Otherwise, a yellow checkered backsplash, yellow cabinets or even wallpaper is a lively choice that is suitable in various shades, from earthy tones to lemon yellow. Remember to consider the other colours you have, and even what is visible outside. If you opt for yellow cabinets, the brushed nickel Modi Adjustable Cabinetry Pull is a harmonious addition.

If you’re challenging your culinary skills with new recipes, yellow kitchen accessories can uplift your confidence and bring more pleasure to the cooking process. It can be as simple as a set of bright yellow cooking utensils, or you could make a more emphatic statement with a yellow toaster, blender, and other appliances. For a statement piece that will bring a glow to your yellow kitchen, see the Solis Elysian Kitchen Mixer.

Yellow Bathroom:

ABI Interiors
Image via Bed Threads

Can the yellow aesthetic work in your bathroom? Absolutely! Green and blue are typically considered bathroom colour options for calming and grounding effects; however, a yellow bathroom can uplift your space and help brighten your mood while you get ready for your busy day.

You may enjoy getting experimental with yellow here. A modern yellow bathroom can feature bold yellow accents, perhaps even pops of neon yellow decor. Consider smaller commitments if you want to avoid painting the walls or replacing your tiles. A striped yellow shower curtain, yellow towels, or mirror could be just what you need to illuminate the space. White bathroom fixtures can perfectly complement your yellow scheme.

 White and taupe shades often rule the bathroom; adding yellow can create a pleasing visual effect that boosts your bathroom experience. For a high-end feel, consider more golden hues. Aim to use an equally muted primary hue for a yellow colour combination that is just right.

Yellow interior design is here to stay. If you’ve been cautious about using colour, remember the sunny disposition that the perfect yellow can offer you.

Enjoy our article on The 9 Most Popular Green Bathroom Ideas for more colour inspiration.


For a broad range of interior design guides, explore the rest of our home inspiration articles.


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