Decorating With Sunny Yellow Paint Colors

Pick the right paint color and yellow can be dramatic, daring and surprisingly debonair. Here are some of the ways color-savvy designers prove that yellow isn't always mellow in their room design.

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The room is decorated with painted furniture and antiques, and a variety of fabrics in yellow, peach and coral.

Although this yellow bedroom, designed by Sherrill Canet, belongs to a young girl, there is nothing bland or babyish about the space. The walls were glazed, then handpainted, and the ceiling is a soft peach (Benjamin Moore OC78).
"This is a sophisticated use of yellow because it is offset by a stronger color," Canet says. "The beautiful coral red of the fabrics gives the pale yellow the charge it needs to keep it from looking too sweet or too much like an infant's room. It's definitely feminine, but it doesn't scream little girl."

Explaining how she selected just the right yellow and accent colors for this room, Canet says, "All colors tend to mix if they have similar undertones. This red has a more orange-raspberry base, which blends beautifully with the warm yellow. Also, the values of the colors should be in the same range in order to stand up to each other."

But while Canet is a great fan of yellow, she cautions that it needs to be livened up and used judiciously. "Yellow is a great color if you can come up with interesting combinations with other colors," she says, "but on its own it can be tiring."

Photo by Durston Saylor

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