Yellow! Yellow is one color that can be deceiving in interiors, especially paint. Often times a yellow that looks cheery and inviting on a 1 inch by 3 inch paint swatch, will jump at you and make your eyes hurt when it is applied to a whole wall.
Yellow takes the most processing for our eyes to see. Oftentimes people think of yellow as a positive, uplifting color, but in actuality it has been shown that children in yellow spaces tend to cry more (may want to rethink the yellow nursery) and people on medications like anti-depressants often require higher doses. Some research also suggests that the color yellow supports our muscular efforts and ability to move (this color is often found in gyms) but people who have difficulty with motor loss, such as Parkinson’s disease, suffer even stronger symptoms when in a yellow space. Also as our age increases, our ability to enjoy the color yellow decreases, or at the very least goes from enjoying truer yellows to more of the buttery or mustard yellows in muted tones. So if you want a yellow wall, do it sooner instead of later, because later you may not like it!!
In interior spaces, yellow can make a space feel warm if it has orange undertones, but if it is an intense value of yellow it can feel abrasive and annoying. Yellow is also a color that will project itself when reflected. For example, you would not want to use an intense yellow is a bathroom where you put make up on, because it may make your complexion look more yellow. So makeup that looks natural in that room may look more like clown makeup in most other rooms. The most common mistake made with yellow is picking a yellow that is too intense, or saturated, with color. I often tell my clients that when you find a yellow you love, especially when it comes to paint, go one shade lighter and use that. It may look too pale or soft in a small form but it will intensify greatly when found in a larger form.
Currently the mustard yellows have been on a roll for quite awhile and just over this past spring, the bright, almost glowing, yellows have become popular in small amounts, especially in clothing. Most likely this trend of intense yellows will appear in interiors at some point, but will be just that, a trend that will come and more than likely go fairly quickly. So pick your placement and use of the color yellow carefully in order to end up with a cheery inviting atmosphere as opposed to a glaring, blinding one!
Written by: Stephanie Etter
About the Author:
Stephanie has an interior design degree from Sinclair University and has been a designer at Krispin’s since 2005. You may contact Stephanie at email@example.com.