Skip to content

Color Me Pretty: Lemon Yellow

Hello Friends, it is Leslie with Color Me Pretty for January. This month I have been thinking about lemon yellow since all of my little lemon trees are dripping with fruit here in southern California, however I was not sure what I wanted to pair with it for this column.

Then I saw Holly’s post on Shane Powers work (his website is here) and I got inspired to pair yellow with craft paper brown, some gray and a little black. Here is the image that sparked some creative projects in my studio…

Shane Powers

I printed it out and tacked it to my moodboard and started to think of ways that I could inject a little yellow into my life. Here is my moodboard with Shane’s work as the focus.

After posting Shane’s image on my moodboard along with other bits of inspiration, I looked to it as a visual guide to help me pull this palette in to my life. Here are a few small ways that I turned an inspiring photograph and a pretty palette into something tangible in my own home to enjoy.

Over the holidays I wrapped many of my gifts with Trader Joe’s paper grocery bags. I loved the white hand drawn looking illustrations they had printed on them. Since I have lots of these bags leftover I decided to continue using them for gift-wrap but just turned the paper around so that the holiday illustrations are no longer showing. Even if the outside of the bag may have slightly faded, the inside is that nice craft paper brown. I had fun using an opaque white ink pen to draw, stencil and write on some of the gifts.

I also used Japanese washi tape and some ribbons I had to further decorate my little packages.

I wrapped a container with the paper from the same bags and placed in some of my favorite flowers to further bring sunshine into my home. This is shown on a shelf in my crafting studio.

I decided to add this palette to my inspiration book using some fancy tapes that fit the scheme. Now I can refer to it as a jumping off point for a future project.

I even collected some things that I found in drawers and bins in my studio that fit this color scheme and stacked them on my desk to give me further inspiration.

When combined with pretty yellow fabric napkins, fresh flowers, a gray vase and a crisp white table cover this palette looks sophisticated for a patio lunch or if it’s not warm where you live, an indoor lunch with a touch of Spring.

My studio shelves were rearranged to bring in this palette. Some of the books were wrapped in the paper from the bags and labeled them to identify their contents. The “Don’t Hold Back” print is by artist Nan Lawson.

I thought it may be interesting for a few of you if I shared some of the art projects I do with my four-year-old daughter since she is often dancing around my studio when I am trying to shoot my posts. It is enjoyable for her to work in the colors I am working in and since it was all about yellow, I laid out some supplies for her to use. You can see her work above. A while ago I came across these two really interesting posts about occasionally setting palette constraints for your children in order to teach them more about color and composition. You can read more about this concept from Uniform Natural and Shin + Sons let me know what you think and if you have tried this before and with what results.

Don’t you think this color combination is a nice transition from winter into spring or even from late summer into fall? It is warm and fresh at the same time. I like working in color combination’s that I have not used before because it is a great way to understand new possibilities for projects to come. I hope you enjoyed this series.

Thank you for having me and I will see you next month. - Leslie.

Posted by decor8 in Color Inspiration, Color Me Pretty on January 24, 2011

Your comments...

  1. Radostina commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 5:26pm

    I love your posts, Leslie. They are full of good mood and inspiration for me. Thank you SO much.
    xoxo,
    radostina

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. Stacey Sheppard commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 5:30pm

    What a great post and so inspirational. I’ve never really liked yellow that much and I would never have considered using it for an interior. But having seen quite a few images lately of yellow used sparingly as an accent colour teamed with gray I have definitely changed my mind.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  3. suzanne commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 5:32pm

    very pretty….!
    may i ask, where did you get the white opaque pen? love the look of the white ink against the brown paper ….

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  4. Cassie commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 5:34pm

    Wow, there is so much in this post that I love. I love the color scheme and am really loving all the yellow. I’ve turned into a yellow seeker in the last year or so…

    So many beautiful touches! I love that little sign on your shelf that says “‘don’t hold back.” What a great message.

    Have a great week!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  5. Heidi commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 5:44pm

    Love this creative post!
    Our lemon tree here in Arizona has so many lemons on it that I have also started to use our lemons as decoration and of course begging anyone I know to take some home with them!
    Heidi´s last blog post ..Baby Boutique

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  6. Jeanee commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 5:49pm

    LOVE the giftwrap!!!
    Jeanee´s last blog post ..20 – gray is great

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  7. jenn commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 5:51pm

    I love that you featured yellow. And craft paper. Two of my favorites ever. And you’re so right … they’re warm and fresh, which is such a great combination. Especially this time of year!

    Thanks for the Monday morning inspiration :)
    jenn´s last blog post ..inspire House Color Palette

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  8. Ylva commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 6:04pm

    love all these pictures! it takes a while to get used to yellow but then … i just can’t get enough!
    /ylva

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  9. Marie commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 6:32pm

    I LOVE yellow :) Lovely inspiration! xoxo Marie
    Marie´s last blog post ..Today I´m In Love With

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  10. iam_artisan commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 6:38pm

    Oh I’ve miss your posts… That is truly a wonderful combination… :) the colors look fresh.
    April
    iam_artisan´s last blog post ..Branding- Crafty Person

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  11. Ann commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 6:40pm

    I really enjoyed this post – it certainly is a vibrant mix and match. You inspired me with your packaging techniques (love the white against kraft paper) so I’m definitely saving this into Pinterest. And what a lovely idea collaging your washi tapes like that, I need to do that pronto. :D

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  12. Ashley commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 6:41pm

    This post really drew me in, thanks so much for all the hard work you put into getting your mood across. Although I’ve never considered yellow one of my “favorite” colors, I have been very drawn to it the past couple of years, and find that it really does invigorate and energize me! I love your mood board and your organizational tools- this inspires me to get more organized with my projects! Your lemon photos also make me want a lemon tree of my very own…
    Ashley´s last blog post ..Hat for my Pops

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  13. Julie the alkaline sister commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 6:53pm

    Les it feels glorious like a grey rainy day when the sun peeks out! I also LUV how you have shown your daughters work. She will feel honored when she sees her work on decor8 and her moms column. Kids love that positive recognition of their talent. Just having their art work hung publicly in the halls at school is enough to build their creative confidence. Please show more as it inspires us to do more art with our own kids!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  14. Tracy Kunzler commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 7:05pm

    I’m usually not a big fan of yellow, but seeing it as little pops of color here and there as you have shown has turned me around. I LOVE all the package trim ideas! As always, thanks for the inspiration!
    Tracy Kunzler´s last blog post ..CHOOSE YOUR BREED Personalized Dog Print

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  15. Heather @ REOlisticRenovation commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 7:11pm

    I am absolutely obsessed with lemons and with yellow! This post is gorgeous! Thank you for putting this together.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  16. Dana Barbieri commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 7:15pm

    Beautiful Leslie. You have a great job. And you daughter is a great artist!
    xo
    Dana Barbieri´s last blog post ..Listen a word on messy

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  17. Winter commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 7:19pm

    Love the yello- it is a great color- I laughed when you said “dripping with fruit” it is -15 where I am!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  18. April commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 7:24pm

    I might start journaling everything the way you’ve laid out your inspiration book. What a beautiful way to make a palette!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  19. Mona L. Pendleton commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 7:43pm

    WOW! What stunning photos and gorgeous palette! Like a burst of sunshine :)
    Mona L. Pendleton´s last blog post ..A Friendly Valentine

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  20. Mandy of Kini Style commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 7:50pm

    Wow! I love your inspiration book. It is so organized and gorgeous. And the yellow & gray color combo is perfect for spring!
    Mandy of Kini Style´s last blog post ..Valentines Gift Guide-Boyfriends

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  21. Margot Madison commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 8:11pm

    Leslie’s posts make my stomach twirl. So talented and inspiring!
    Margot Madison´s last blog post ..A message from The Love Shop

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  22. sarah s. commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 8:15pm

    Leslie: I love the colors you have chosen this month….yellow is absolutely warm and bright and cheerful….and the pieces on your inspiration board say spring and warmth all over them….my have to go out and try some yellow flowers again….thanks for sharing

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  23. Ada @ New York commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 8:18pm

    Beautiful series Leslie! I was especially drawn to the yellow measuring tape! Funny what we spot when we simply stop and look around .. becoming more aware of our surrounding we see the beauty around us. Thanks for the yellow sunshine today .. much needed since in New York it was 6 degrees at 8am.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  24. Charlie commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 8:32pm

    Hi Leslie !
    Wishing you a very Happy New Year ! It is so nice to see you back again. the color combinations of yellow and grey is unusual but so beautiful. Thank you once again for the inspiration.
    Charlie´s last blog post ..Don’t forget to have fun

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  25. Glenda Childers commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 9:07pm

    This cold Chicago day can benefit from this beautiful infusion of lemon yellow. Hard to imagine lemon trees growing in your yard in January.
    Thanks, Leslie (and Holly).

    Fondly,
    Glenda
    Glenda Childers´s last blog post ..House Tour part five I love my kitchen

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  26. Vanessa Elizabeth commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 10:17pm

    Leslie, I love pops of cheery yellow! Especially on these very rainy January days!
    Vanessa Elizabeth´s last blog post ..winter blues

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  27. Caitlin commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 10:19pm

    This is so gorgeous and original! You did so many great things with this palette. And the cataloguing of tapes is just genius, I love it!
    Caitlin´s last blog post ..Classics

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  28. Michelle Donald commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 10:40pm

    Leslie – Everything looks gorgeous and so happy. I particularly love the present wrapped with the yellow measuring tape. It funs it up and makes me smile! Thankyou so much for sharing your inspiring creativity.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  29. Margie commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 10:43pm

    Missed you Leslie on your own site. Glad you’ re back. Gorgeous as usual.
    Just posted photographs of lemons on my site the other day which turned out quite spiffy! Hugs, Margie

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  30. Laura Gaskill commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 11:01pm

    Yay for yellow! I love this palette, it feels so refreshing and just right for January – and I love seeing your process from inspiration all the way through to finished projects, styled shelves, etc. Just beautiful as always dear Leslie! xo
    Laura Gaskill´s last blog post ..A Light-filled Brooklyn Home thoughts on open-plan living

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  31. kim commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 11:07pm

    Beautiful colours, and an amazing artwork from your daughter! I love it!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  32. Tereza commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 11:43pm

    Your vase with the yellow flowers is so nice! Thanks for sharing

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  33. Jess (Where My Heart Is) commented
    January 24th, 2011 at 11:54pm

    I have been really into yellow and brown paper lately so was thrilled to see this post. Hadn’t thought to put the 2 together – can’t wait to have a play!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  34. Amy commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 1:05am

    So pretty! I love how you used the brown paper bags and the yellow is such a great contrast! I wouldn’t want to open such a pretty package and destroy it. I really enjoy your inspiration board, what a great way to come up with color choices for your rooms!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  35. notabilia commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 1:15am

    Huzzah, Leslie! I was looking out for some Color Me Pretty inspiration.
    notabilia´s last blog post ..littleoddforest by Lynda Lye

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  36. Upscale Downhome commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 1:31am

    I’ve been noticing this color scheme of yellow, gray, black and the craft paper tan all over and have been loving it for quite some time. I just made a project using these colors, too. Thanks for the inspiration. I love the fact that you let your daughter paint while you work. I am a teacher and it’s wonderful letting them create as they wish but I can see the thought process behind limiting their choices, too.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  37. elsa commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 2:16am

    Thanks for the inspiration! My year had kicked off a little dry on the creative front, but this post has kick-started the ideas! I love the tiny glimpse I spotted bottom right on the moodboard of the hot air balloon stamped over a map. I also really like the use of the craft paper to soften and warm up the yellow.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  38. Melissa commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 8:43am

    lemons cheer me up – they are perfect for a January post! I really loved the peek into your notebook with all the little tags and fancy tapes. Love seeing other peoples notebooks!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  39. eva commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 11:41am

    I really love the touch of yellow. so inspiring and cool. love this post and hope to see more…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  40. lentie commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 11:57am

    I love those gifts with the brown paper and pretty accents

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  41. Lynda commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 3:21pm

    Hi Leslie! I love how you’ve paired the yellow with brown & gray … it keeps it from being overpowering! So bright and cheerful – especially since it’s very dreary here today. Wonderful ideas … thanks!
    Lynda´s last blog post ..Website

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  42. tiffany commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 6:20pm

    Hi Leslie, I am so impressed by your inspritation book. I find it totally…inspiring. I’ve been struggling with getting my ideas organized in an efficient and utilitarian manner. I would love to know if that technique is something that you came upon on your own, or if you learned it. Would also love to see more images of your inspiration book, if it wouldn’t be too much to ask! Thanks!
    tiffany´s last blog post ..never nevers

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  43. erin commented
    January 25th, 2011 at 8:04pm

    wow, this is gorgeous! i always tell myself that i’m going to put more time into my wrapping, but then i don’t do it. i’m officially inspired! thanks so much. :)
    erin´s last blog post ..Before &amp After- Entry Doors

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  44. Jordan - Polkadot Prints commented
    January 26th, 2011 at 3:26am

    Such gorgeous styling and photos. Definately creates some happy sunshine! The wrapped presents are gorgeous, and want a fun creative idea for the tape in your inspiration book. I might just have to borrow that!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  45. Rachel commented
    January 26th, 2011 at 5:38am

    Does anyone know the name of the yellow fabric? Or where I can buy?
    Thanks!!!!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  46. Kathryn commented
    January 26th, 2011 at 6:00am

    I love the delicate yellow butterfly!

    AND anemones are my absolute favourite flower. It was a total wild goose chase to arrange getting them in my wedding bouquet and arrangements, and the day before the wedding the flower lady called and said she got the very last blooms of the season and they didn’t work out. So now I own a bunch of silk anemones….kind of awful, kind of awesome.
    Kathryn´s last blog post ..Back in Mesa

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  47. Elisa commented
    January 26th, 2011 at 1:56pm

    i really like the potence lamp in the second pic. nice blog btw :)
    Elisa´s last blog post ..Origami-Lampe

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  48. callie marie commented
    January 26th, 2011 at 4:26pm

    so much eye candy in this post, im ready for spring! love the measuring tape wrapping “ribbon” :)
    callie marie´s last blog post ..flash forward

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  49. casapinka commented
    January 26th, 2011 at 10:44pm

    Gorgeous as usual! Really appreciate the color palette since we are snowed in yet again in New England. Lovely.
    casapinka´s last blog post ..Knitted Hat

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  50. mary jo commented
    January 26th, 2011 at 11:17pm

    So glad you’re back! I love the pop of yellow against the craft paper–it’s the best cheeriest color for this time of year.

    xo mary jo
    mary jo´s last blog post ..don oneill for theia

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  51. Carmina commented
    January 27th, 2011 at 12:48am

    Yellow looks good with everything here. One of my favorite colors. Reminds me of summer and ice cold lemonade in the afternoon! A bare wall would look good with anything in this color! Thanks for posting these photos!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  52. Chuzai Living commented
    January 27th, 2011 at 7:54am

    What a lovely post!!! I love the yellow color that pops in white and gray. It gives a warm feeling of spring approaching and it looks so cheerful. I would love to introduce some yellow into our home. I’ll keep looking for items I can add. I love how you used Trader Joe’s bag for wrapping. Since I live overseas now, I don’t get an access to Trader Joe’s (I miss it!!!), but I will try to find the similar type of bags for gifts. I will also have to look for a white pen. Thanks for the inspiring post!
    Chuzai Living´s last blog post ..Pictures Of Hoi An ☆ Vietnam Trip

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  53. Mariann Rea commented
    January 27th, 2011 at 3:11pm

    Hi, I’m new here in your blog and I love it! :D
    This post is great because I also love lemon yellow! I am a photographer and last year I was doing a project for an italian restaurant called Limoncello. All their dishes include lemons in some way. So I had to shoot lemons in my back yard and absolutely loved it. The bright yellow gave me so much energy too! :)
    I adore your moodboard and inspiration book! Fantastic!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  54. Sarah commented
    January 27th, 2011 at 11:06pm

    Thanks for this inspiring and practical post. Your mood board is divine; the cool greys really help the yellow pop!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  55. AlexisAnne commented
    January 28th, 2011 at 2:34pm

    I am in love with this color pallette. I actually sat down earlier this week and picked out some items for the office of my dreams using these colors! (minus the paper bag brown, but I might think about adding that!) thanks for the beautiful take on it. Here’s my dream office by the way:
    http://cleansmartsimple.blogspot.com/2011/01/so-much-more-to-me-than-just-office.html

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  56. Pixie commented
    January 29th, 2011 at 3:08am

    Loving that color scheme but I am TOTALLY in love with that silver tea kettle! Helloooo Mr. Tea Kettle!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  57. Claudia@stonehouselove commented
    January 29th, 2011 at 5:31am

    I don’t know how you do it but keep them coming…your images uplift me everytime…like a big dose of sunshine and a breath of fresh spring air!
    Claudia@stonehouselove´s last blog post ..i love rue

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  58. Karena commented
    January 29th, 2011 at 5:41am

    Very fun and interesting! Leslie your palette is light and refreshing with the gray countering the lemon just enough! It is so inspiring to try new concepts!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena
    Karena´s last blog post ..A Winner and an Award !!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  59. Person commented
    January 29th, 2011 at 7:14am

    I think that should be “kraft paper,” rather then “craft paper.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraft_paper

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  60. Rambles with Reese commented
    January 29th, 2011 at 7:33am

    This is a brilliant post! I love everything about it – from the yellow to the origin of the author’s inspiration. It was just so much fun to read!

    Cheers!

    Have a good weekend!
    Rambles with Reese´s last blog post ..Multifunctional Furniture

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  61. Ann Marie commented
    January 30th, 2011 at 12:53pm

    Such a lovely color scheme for the last days of winter — preparing the mood for wonderful, colorful spring! My mood is lifted already. Especially enjoy the wonderful gift wrapping ideas. Thank you for your efforts — they do not go unnoticed.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  62. claudine commented
    January 31st, 2011 at 12:18am

    this post made me think that I need to go out and treat myself to fresh flowers more often – so fresh and lovely!!
    claudine´s last blog post ..5 note card set – telephones

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  63. Kitty commented
    January 31st, 2011 at 8:32am

    So inspiring and fresh! I love the way you presented sunshine yellow, so cheerful for the cold winter!
    Kitty´s last blog post ..Lovely store finds- Muji

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  64. Lily from Birch + Bird commented
    February 1st, 2011 at 6:28am

    Simply gorgeous, as always, Leslie! This colour combination is one of our absolute favourites and the lemons make me long for summer sunshine! Thank you so much for sharing :)
    Lily from Birch + Bird´s last blog post ..Herringbone Details for the Home

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  65. mer commented
    February 1st, 2011 at 9:39pm

    love it Leslie. adorable packages as always.
    mer´s last blog post ..A little color theory for

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  66. lesli commented
    February 3rd, 2011 at 8:53am

    So pretty! Yellow makes me happy–and I love the flowers!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  67. Nini commented
    February 15th, 2011 at 7:27pm

    Lovely. Completely inspiring for my next project in my graphic design class.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  68. Esti commented
    February 24th, 2011 at 3:33pm

    I was looking for some yellow inspiration and here it is! So beautiful. I have always loved yellow and am so happy to see it being used more in decorating.
    Thanks for all the loveliness =)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  69. Niki Fulton commented
    March 2nd, 2011 at 6:51pm

    Loved the post & wonderful photos…..we havent quite got lemons on out trees here in Scotland but the days are getting much longer now and your lemons have really put me in the mood for Spring, thank you.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  70. Claire commented
    March 11th, 2011 at 9:26pm

    I would love to see your Colour inspiration book in more detail – just to see how you organize it. Im the worst at doing this and I have been trying to get more into creating colour schemes . Im excited about todays posts on byw!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  71. Tendenciosa commented
    May 20th, 2011 at 8:56pm

    Great color, so inspiring! I want a lemon tree in my backyard, here in Córdoba (Argentina), my city, they grow very well!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  72. Jan Berry commented
    January 30th, 2013 at 12:33am

    Fabulous .

      (Quote)  (Reply)

Leave a comment

Current ye@r *

CommentLuv badge

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way: Blog Boss
e-course, October 10 - November 10, 2014
Find out more about this exciting class by bloggers, for bloggers, teaching you how to blog like a boss!