Hello Yellow: Decorating with this Charming Hue

The monotonous tragedy of magnolia has tarnished many people against using yellow in their homes. However, the spectrum of yellow actually runs from the palest of cream tones, through vibrantly acid hues, right through to the deepest rich mustards. It isn’t a colour to shy away from decorating with and its versatility allows it to be used from an accent colour for a room’s architectural features, to the foundation wall colour.

Different shades resonate with different people, but there is one thing that is certain – yellow is sure to bring an enriching harmony to your home.

Complementing shades

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In recent years yellow and grey has emerged as a firm favourite colour combination. Pale greys and sugary lemon yellows sit together perfectly as an uplifting neutral pairing and can be used in a child’s nursery or kitchen for a more contemporary look and feel. We’ve also seen a reoccurrence of dark greys and yellows being featured together, both striking in their own right, this combination definitely packs a punch. Featuring industrial greys next to yellow hues closer to the buttery end of the scale provides a grown up sophistication, but when pairing it with acid, almost neon yellows, it exudes a contemporary playfulness.

India Yellow, Mahogany, Old White

Walls painted in India Yellow, cabinet in Mahogany and ceiling and woodwork in Old White, all from Farrow & Ball


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A traditional home with a countryside aesthetic is a wonderful setting to dress up with some rustic yellow tones. Pair with warm-toned woods, traditional shelving units and classic artworks to really bring the look to life. A thick pile rug in a cream will balance out the amount of yellow on the walls and using a sympathetic white on the ceiling will prevent the contrast from looking too harsh. Think yellows that evoke thoughts of hay, ears of corn and late summer evening light.

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Walls painted in Hay from Farrow & Ball.


Yellow 6 - Rodion Kutsaev

Image credit: Rodion Kutsaev

Yellow can instantly lift the spirits and create a youthful atmosphere within a room space. A brighter will encourage a feeling of well-being and when accessorised well even the brightest of rooms can feel perfectly comfortable and not at all over-powering. Using monochrome tones, red or spring green can create a high-contrast and exhilarating space. Best suited to rooms where there is a high level of movement, such as the kitchen, this kind of punchy scheme will invigorate those who enter.


Walls and woodwork painted in Yellowcake from Farrow & Ball

Use yellow to instil fun and frivolity and use it as an expression of your positivity. Feature different tones and unusual colour combinations to make sure that the dreaded magnolia is truly wiped from our minds.

Yellow 1 - Linh Nguyen

Image credit: Linh Nguyen

Yellow 8 - Leeroy

Image credit: Leeroy


Walls and bath painted in India Yellow from Farrow & Ball

Yellow 7 - Jay Mantri

Image credit: Jay Mantri

Yellow 5 - Luke Pamer

Image credit: Luke Pamer


Floor painted in Babouche from Farrow & Ball

Yellow 4 - Daniela Cuevas

Image credit: Daniela Cuevas


Alex Coles


Growing up in the countryside and then by the coast, Alex was surrounded by the vivid hues of nature from an early age. With a keen enthusiasm for art, design and fashion and a creative flair for writing, she developed an avid interest in interior design after whiling away many hours on Pinterest. If she has a spare moment you can often find her in the garden of a country pub or off exploring The New Forest.

The Chromologist 2017 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist