The perfect pop of yellow

Yellow … it can make or break your interior design scheme. It’s the color that conjures up images of sunshine and sand on a warm Summers day, but when it comes to interior design, a little bit of this attention grabbing color goes a long way.  Here are six fabulous ways to use yellow to make your interior design scheme sing (without painting a single wall)!


Lighting – cords, shades and chandeliers.

Whilst yellow pendants shades and lampshades always pack a punch, the smallest hint of yellow can also stand out.  Look out for pendants with yellow interior shades, or bright yellow flex cords.


For an eye-catching accent of yellow, set it against complimentary shades of blue, purple and grey. Image Source: Left: Abigail Ahern’s House  via MarieClaire Maison Right: via Micasaessucasa



The smallest hint of yellow works wonders! Just this small reveal of yellow peaking out from inside the elongated, high contrast, black pendants creates a focal point in this neutral toned mid-century inspired living room.



For maximum drama and impact, choose a yellow pendant or lampshade with unusual dimensions or shape (in this case a extra tall shade). Image Source Left: Unknown  Right: Abigail Ahern


Yellow hanging light pendant

This single yellow pendant looks like a small floating sun, immediately drawing your eyes upwards to appreciate the tall ceilings in this serene and sophisticated, neutral colored living space. Image Source: via Desire to Inspire



You don’t need dark blue / grey walls for yellow to stand out.  Yellow accessories work well in crisp white interior schemes with natural wood elements. Repetition of your yellow accents (see pendant lights above) or choosing any unusual painting or wall art piece to serve as  backdrop to a yellow accessory adds even more impact. Image Source Left: via Danielle Oakey Right: Urban Outfitters


Yellow Chairs 

A single chair, a pair, or a few yellow chairs placed in a neutral toned room creates ‘magazine-quality’ design appeal.


There is much to love about this room (well, everything!) but it is the placement of the single yellow chair that makes it so much more welcoming and fun. It transforms a more serious space into one that is inviting. Image Source: via New York Times



Blue can be used with yellow to create more impact in a white room. Here, blue velvet doors visually frame the yellow chairs drawing your eyes into the room. In the second image the blue wall hanging both anchors the chairs and helps create a more dramatic focal point with the strong color contrast. Image Source Left:  Photography by Joanna Henderson Right: Photography by Louise Desrosiers



For a softer, less dramatic but ever so feminine interior combine dusty pinks with yellow and white accents. Image Source Left:  via Olivetoriel  Right: Unknown



When choosing yellow accent chairs consider the shape carefully. We love how these lines of these chairs play off the strong architectural lines of this room. Image Source: Photography by Ulrika Lundgren via New York Times


Yellow Rugs


A bright yellow geometric rug can be used to help draw your eyes into a space – in this case towards the sideboard, highlighting the eclectic accessories.  Image via MDetail 


Yellow Painted Furniture

A simple piece of old furniture or a old mirror can be turned into a focal point with a quick splash of yellow paint.


When choosing old pieces of furniture to spray paint yellow, choose pieces with a sculptural quality or interesting details as these will be further enhanced when painted yellow. Image source Left: Aticoinascensor   Right: unknown


Highlighting Architectural Features

A small alcove, a window frame or a chimney breast – if you want to highlight a specific architectural feature, try yellow.


Image Left: via A perspective of Design. Right: Photographer Angelita Bonetti via Desire to Inspire


Yellow Artwork


From this bold abstract art piece to the more refined figurative piece, you can’t go wrong with a splash of yellow in your artwork when working with a neutral color palette and white walls.  Image Source Left:  Right: Photography by Brooke Holm via


Whilst yellow may not be everyone’s preferred color choice for home interiors, you can see that when incorporated in small and clever ways, it can really make an interior design scheme pop!.

Want more yellow inspiration? Take a look at Dwell 2014 Collection or see our latest pins on Pinterest.

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Picture credits: If original sources have not been noted above please refer to our Pinterest page where you can click through to original sources.





Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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