What do you think of when you consider the color yellow?
For some people, “yellow” brings to mind the vibrant golden rays of the sun. For others, “yellow” evokes the buttery hue of daffodils. And still, others think of the preciousness of gold, as in the world’s most beautiful and opulent jewelry.
Chances are the associations you have are fairly positive, and that they tend to promote happiness and energy. Yellow is an energizing shade, and exposure to the color almost never fails to make one’s mood just a little bit brighter. That’s why using yellow in your home decor has the potential to be such a positive force in your life. As strong as that description may sound, colors are psychologically powerful—often much more than we realize, since they affect our subconscious mind to such a strong degree.
Yellow in your home
The psychological effects of color should be taken advantage of by anyone who has the slightest desire to fashion their home into a place that’s suited to their needs, preferences, interests, and goals. In the case of yellow, nearly everyone can benefit from this color in some form or another. After all, there are so many different shades of yellow, with different associations, looks, and psychological effects. Just think about how many different forms yellow can take: a pale and barely off-white cream color, the bright (almost acidic?) hue of lemons, sophisticated and trendy mustard shades, opulent and glittering golds, and hundreds more (just waiting to be discovered by you).
Yellow is eminently warm and welcoming. Anywhere you want to make your home feel comfortable and joyful, yellow’s warmth will help you do so. Yellow is fabulous on walls, particularly to brighten up a darker or dimmer space, and is equally wonderful as an exuberant accent to other shades. Read on to learn more about how you might benefit from incorporating yellow into your home decor.
The psychological effects of the color yellow
First off, yellow is a warm color, along with its cousins red and orange. In general, warm colors inspire strong emotions, including happiness, alertness, and comfort. (In contrast, cool colors—blue, green, etc.—tend to make those around them feel calmer.)
Additionally, yellow is associated with optimism, vitality, and a desire to grow, change and strive. All warm colors have some associations with joy, but yellow is probably the most strongly associated with pure happiness. (No surprise, then, that the famous smiley face is bright yellow!) Yellow is further associated with ideas and concepts like:
- Strong communication and interpersonal interaction
- Idealism and hope
- Spirituality and even enlightenment
- Extraversion and friendliness
- Sunlight (of course)
- Health and vitality
According to Leatrice Eiseman (1), a color specialist and executive director of the famous Pantone Color Institute, the reason yellow has such strong positive associations is that it makes us think of the sun. Eisenman points out, “Give any child a box of crayons and they reach for the yellow crayon. And invariably in the upper right-hand corner or left-hand corner will appear the ball of sun and often with the rays emanating out.” On the most basic level, the sun is the source of all life on earth. It feeds the plants that make up the essential bottom of the world’s food chains and warms the earth to make it habitable for life. It’s no wonder that the color we associate with the sun is so powerful.
Leatrice Eisenman is also a researcher, and over the last three decades her research has found that, in addition to “sunshine,” the words primarily associated with yellow are “warmth,” “cheer,” “happiness,” and “playfulness.” Eisenman herself has painted walls in the most used areas of her home a shade of yellow—it stands to reason that if someone with as much in-depth expertise in color has chosen yellow to adorn the walls of her home, it’s probably not a bad idea!
Another famous case demonstrates the benefits of yellow. Howard Kemp-Prosser (2) advocated for the use of yellow on the walls of rooms where soldiers wounded during World War I were recovering. This was part of what was called his “colour cure.” While this was an experimental treatment, and its effects were never scientifically or medically proven, it goes to show what a powerful effect yellow has been thought to have.
How can you use yellow in your home?
If you’re looking to liven up your living space, and imbue it with a sense of welcome and joy, yellow is the right choice. Here are a few ways you might use yellow in your home:
1) Anywhere you’d like to draw attention
The brightness of yellow draws attention to it, so it’s a great idea to incorporate yellow wherever you’d like your eyes (and those of your guests) to be drawn. Whether that’s covering something like your walls in yellow, using yellow on one accent wall, or just including a smaller yellow accent of some kind (e.g. a throw pillow), it’s an effective use of the color.
2) In the kitchen
Renowned impressionist painter Claude Monet is widely recognized as a genius of color, in addition to the fame of his painting ability. (If you’re having trouble recalling his work, just think of his paintings of water lilies. (3) They’re the most famous examples of his work, and also perfectly showcase his skill in the use of color.) Monet’s home at Giverny, and especially its extensive gardens, are very famous for their beauty and the skill with which they were designed and planted.
Monet’s yellow dining room at Giverny is very famous. It’s almost entirely yellow, with the exception of the floors, and brings to light how beautiful yellow can be when used in the kitchen. The beauty of this room leaves nothing more to be said when it comes to the idea of painting your kitchen yellow—so consider it!
3) Try “Gen Z Yellow”
Goodbye, Millennial Pink; hello, Gen Z Yellow! Gen Z Yellow (4) is a trendy new shade within the design world—as Apartment Therapy says, “You’re about to see this color everywhere.” (Generation Z is the generation that follows the millennial generation—definitions differ, but members of Gen Z were born starting around the year 1995 up until about 2010. The oldest members of Gen Z are around 23 now.) You may have seen this incredibly vibrant yellow on Instagram, where it’s prominently featured by influencers in part because it photographs very well.
The article describes that you can use Gen Z Yellow in a variety of ways—on whole walls, or just on a mantel or moldings; use it for bedding, or just in a bright yellow throw. Either way, this on-trend pop of color won’t disappoint.
4) Use it in a living room
As you now know, the color yellow is associated with happiness, extraversion, sociability, and optimism. What better color to have in a space devoted to socializing and entertaining? Particularly if you’re someone who frequently hosts guests, having yellow in your living room may very well make your social interactions even more enjoyable and fun. Worried about the possibility of too much yellow being overwhelming? Even if it’s not a full wall, a yellow accent wall—perhaps one in a cheerful pattern of some kind—will add that same brightness without being quite as daring or as much of a design commitment.
5) Don’t forget gold
Gold is yellow’s, metallic cousin. Anywhere you want to add a high-end, opulent, and expensive vibe, gold is the way to go. You may not have considered it, but a gold bedroom is a major, bold statement. If you’re not sure about the idea, having a glance at these fabulous examples of gold bedrooms might convince you otherwise. Gold pairs especially beautifully with rich shades of blue, with a vibrant and regal vibe (evoking beautiful jewelry, for instance) that manages to completely avoid stuffiness.
Ready to benefit from yellow in your home?
Now that you know what a joyous, energizing color yellow is, you may be ready to take the next step, by actually incorporating it into your living space. This can be a big step—deciding to paint even one room is a big investment of time and money. It can definitely be challenging to choose a particular shade of yellow—it’s a major commitment that you’ll have to spend lots of time living with in coming years.
Or wait—maybe the decision isn’t even available to you, if you’re a renter and your landlord won’t allow you to paint. That’s a disappointment, and it’s a situation that many of us face as renters. So on top of the expense limitations and limited time we all face these days, this is a pretty big obstacle on your road to a sunny and beautiful home.
Thankfully, you don’t have to paint to bring the invigorating cheer of yellow to your walls. Walls Need Love’s self-adhesive, removable wall paper is the alternative to paint that you’ve been searching for. Not only is it—of course—not permanent, and easily removed (and even reused, if you move!), it’s also incredibly simple and quick to install. That means once you’ve decided which design you like, you can have your space totally transformed in a week. (That sure sounds better than the mess, smell, effort, and expense of painting a room.) Plus, you avoid the fumes involved in painting, since Walls Need Love’s wallpaper is made with ingredients of the best possible quality, to ensure that neither you nor your family will be exposed to unhealthy and toxic chemicals. WNL has a wide variety of designs in various shades of yellow, so whatever your style, we’ve got you covered.
How to decorate a room with yellow walls
Yellow walls can energize your space and create a warm, welcoming environment. Yellow wallpaper patterns are especially inviting in the kitchen and living room and create a sunny style vibe in a child’s bedroom. You can use yellow to draw attention to specific features in your home as well.
If this sounds great, check out a few of our favorite yellow wallpaper designs:
1) Life of Lemons Removable Wallpaper
When life gives you lemons… that’s totally fine because lemons are really pretty and vibrant and are also a delicious addition to hundreds of recipes—not just lemonade, but lemon poppyseed cake, salad dressing, lemon-seasoned chicken—and the list goes on. With its food-centric motif, this wallpaper would be an ideal addition to a kitchen, and its yellow isn’t overwhelming as it’s on a white background. The gentle, watercolor style of the motif makes it an even more relaxing image, and the view of the lemons on the tree, next to their blossoms, is a pleasant reminder of our food’s natural origins.
2) Rocket Pop Removable Wallpaper
If you’re a fan of pop art and/or popsicles and/or summer—and, seriously, who isn’t a fan of at least one of those things?—this fun wallpaper may make an excellent addition to your home. It’s got a yellow background, plus the contrasting primary colors of red and blue, so it’s an ultra-vibrant option that would be especially great as an accent wall in a sunny room.
3) Victorian Peacock Removable Wallpaper
Blue and yellow are an incredible combination in virtually any context, and in this Victorian-inspired, regal design they are especially gorgeous. The pale butter yellow of this wallpaper’s background contrasts with the rich, glossy shades of blue (and some green) in each peacock’s feathers. This design would make an absolutely striking addition to just about any home.
4) Birch Birds Removable Wallpaper
The background of this nature-loving design is best described as a muted gold, and its understated vibrancy will make it a tasteful addition to just about any room. If you’d like to feel like you’re in a fairytale forest at sunset every time you enter a room, this is the ideal choice for your home.
Here are more of our favorites:
Lovely Lemons Wall Mural:
Brassia Removable Wallpaper:
F. Scott Fitzgerald Removable Wallpaper:
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