Let the Sunshine In

Few colors are more cheerful than yellow. Evoking daffodils and summertime, this hue is bright and happy. Creating an entirely yellow room or including this color as an accent adds a sense of freshness to your home.

As you're designing, factors such as color palette, saturation, decor styles, and mood play a vital role. Use these quick tips as your guide to confidently decorating with yellow.

Yellow Color Schemes

Yellow and Analogous Colors

When choosing yellow decor, consider hues close to each other on the color wheel. This combination is called an analogous color scheme. When paired with shades like mustard and canary, green, orange and other colors that go with yellow create a soothing and cohesive feel.

6 piece king sized brown canopy bedroom set

Analogous palettes make an exceptional choice for bedrooms. These spaces should feel inviting and serene. While contrasting colors are stimulating with a big visual impact, the terracotta orange, mahogany brown, and pale sunflower in this design are similar enough to let your eye relax.

plush 2 piece emerald living room seating set

In this glamorous Hollywood-style living room, a rich emerald furniture set is the focal point. By introducing soft yellow art and accessories, the layout achieves balance. The gold chair, pillows and wall frames soften bolder greens in the room without reducing their drama.

All Yellow

A monochromatic palette uses tints and tones of a single color to create harmony in your interior. Although all-yellow living rooms are uncommon, a completely gray, beige, or brown space often deploys muted yellow accents.

beige 7 piece upholstered living room set

In the room above, beige furnishings get a boost from yellow pillows, blankets, photo frames and florals. Pale lemon attracts little attention while providing a hint of visual interest.

Yellow Complementary Colors

What colors go with yellow? Hues across from yellow on the color wheel, like purple, are another option. A versatile, complementary palette can produce eye-catching contrast or a subtle, sophisticated look depending on the shades you pick.

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Fun and playful, a blend of lilac and chartreuse is ideal for a kids room. Even with vibrant walls and bedding, the decorator keeps this purple and yellow room balanced by including white furniture. Adding neutrals is essential with complementary pairings to prevent the two dominant colors from clashing.

upholstered 5 piece queen sized bedroom set

The luxurious and grown-up bedroom pictured uses richer shades of the same complementary colors for an elegant effect. Muted gold and deep plum demand less from the eye, working together to evoke an opulent atmosphere for lounging. Adding extra yellow decor, like this pillow, is an easy way to give the hue a bit more presence.

Using Yellow like a Designer

Consider Saturation

full sized 5 piece bookcase bedroom set

Incorporating saturated colors is a simple trick to make your accent hues stand out. In the example bedroom, yellow blankets and wall decals pack a big punch. These undiluted hues would be the first thing you notice in a neutral room. However, the primary colors red and blue draw equal attention and develop the space's comic book theme.

Lighten the Mood

natural colored 7 piece living room set

Full of energy, bright yellow decor gives off an optimistic and joyful vibe. This color mirrors the effect of natural sunlight, making it perfect for a cheerful sunroom such as this one. Consider a vivid yellow outdoor stool or a printed curtain to enhance any space.

Silver and Gold

gray 3 piece sectional seating set

Decorators who have less experience with using yellow may want to try the classic pairing of silver and gold. Gray is cool and calming, while yellow is warm and stimulating. Put them together, and it's a match that works every time. This contrast provides subtle visual interest to the yellow living room above.

Yellow in Any Style

Classic Refinement

king sized 5 piece cherry panel bedroom set

Vivid yellow is a rare choice for traditional decorating, but the hue can be useful in classic interiors. In the yellow bedroom pictured, daffodil curtains and bedding harmonize beautifully with the warm, reddish tone of the cherry bed set. Royal gold is also a natural complement to the grand detailing of this furniture collection.

Modern Details

contemporary black 5 piece dining room set

Contemporary spaces are always open to a pop of color, which makes bold yellow decor a favorite in modern design. For example, using yellow strategically establishes a strong centerpiece in a dining room.

Surrounded by shades of gray, the vases on this table form a focal point that draws the eye directly to the middle of the room. To make yellow a more dominant presence, swapping out black seats for yellow barstools would be an easy fix.

Set the Gold Standard

Decorating with yellow is one of the simplest ways to introduce some character into your home. Experiment with a variety of tones to set the mood for a sunny playroom, a welcoming den or a sophisticated entryway. With a little knowledge about colors that go with yellow and a sense of adventure, the sky's the limit on what you can create.