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Color of the Month: YELLOW

Fellow blogger and Color Consultant Rachel Perls, is back today (she checks in mid-month) to talk about the color of the month: YELLOW! Take it away, Rachel…

Yay, spring is here! I always know spring has arrived when yellow flowers begin to bloom. Yellow is one of the first colors to arrive after nature?s hibernation through winter. The daffodils are popping up all over, and the forsythia bushes are blossoming, so let’s talk about yellow…


Universally, yellow is associated with the sun. What child doesn?t color in their sun with a yellow crayon?

Cheery yellow cabinets above a red lacquered wall offer an enthusiastic welcome in this entry hall. (image via: sunset)

Yellow represents communication and creativity. It?s also joyous, expansive, and optimistic, an uplifting hue.
Just try to remain gloomy in these cleansing spaces. I dare you. (images via: Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz)

Bring in splashes of yellow through art. (Image via: Living Etc)

Yellow runs the gamut from pale, delicate cream to deep gold. It can lean more towards orange, like amber, or more towards green, like citron.

The marigold shower curtain and decorative mirror take this bathroom from ordinary to fabulous. (image via: Casa Howard)

Many societies consider yellow a sacred color, closest to heaven and enlightenment. Throughout history, numerous rulers have chosen yellow as their royal color, from the gold encrusted Ashanti of West Africa to the five legendary emperors of ancient China. In Greek mythology, yellow was the color of Apollo, god of the sun, wisdom and nobility.

For contemplation and self-reflection, encompass a space in inviting tones.

This combination of buttery yellow and cooling silvery green beckons you to come in and relax. (image via: Coastal Living Magazine)

These days, yellow and black color schemes are quite popular with designers.

An elegant entry foyer, this design by Thad Hayes takes advantage of high impact black, white and pale yellow.

Sometimes, all you need is a little punch of color to liven a space. (images via: Domino, Fox-Nahem Design, and Thad Hayes)

Dramatic and chic, the sharp contrast between light and dark colors makes furniture and accent pieces pop. (image via: Style Court)

In nature, similar colors help creatures stand out. The combination of yellow and black sends a powerful signal of warning: snakes, frogs and stinging insects use these colors to communicate that they are dangerous or poisonous. This knowledge has been deeply imprinted on us over time, and our attention to this color scheme is inescapable.

Yellow can be quite chameleon-like, depending upon the shade you chose: neutral as beige, like buttercup, or vibrant and tart, like citron.

Look at this fabulous, wild combination of fuchsia and citrusy lemon from Designer’s Guild.

Yellow can be elegant, too, in hues like saffron and yellow ochre. (image via: Cooking Light)

Here?s a more sophisticated, muted take on the color from Elitis, with deep mustard walls to set off the blue green sofa.

Wrapping you in a warm hug, yellow can be brought into a space through various materials. Paint, textiles, glass, or fresh flowers are just a few options. Wood is an often-overlooked option for incorporating color into your decor. Look for varieties with creamy yellow or honey undertones.

Light and clean, this breakfast nook from Cottage Living magazine is a cozy retreat encompassed in blonde wood.

This color combination of blue and yellow feels very Scandinavian to me. Notice the yellow undertones in the light wood, too. (image via: The Rug Company)

Don?t be afraid to mix and match your yellow tones: gold, custard, or canary. Just take a look at Stephen Shubel?s designs; he just loves his yellows, piling them one on top of another for a sunny, inviting space.

This would be considered an analogous color scheme, pairing three or four colors adjacent to one another on the color wheel.(image via: Stephen Shubel Design)

A few more examples of Stephen?s glorious ode to yellow. For a more unconventional scheme, consider something like this:

Here is a split complement, with a dominant red-violet and the two colors on either side of its complement, yellow and green. With all the warm hues, the cool green gives this palette balance. (Image via: Benjamin Moore)

So, play around with how you can incorporate yellow into your life. Use it as an accent, or envelope an entire space in it. However you use it, yellow won?t let you down!

- Rachel Perls

Thanks, Rachel! For more color-inspired posts by Ms. Perls, please visit her previous posts on Red, Blue, and Green. In May, we’ll be learning about Purple, so stay tuned. We usually do our color posts here mid month, so see you then. I’ll be back with more yellow inspiration of my own…

Posted in Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips, guest bloggers on April 13, 2007

Zara Home Inspiration in White

I wrote about Zara Home this time last year, and despite how it pains me that their home stores aren’t in the states (yet), I’m thrilled to at least catch a glimpse of their catalog online because the images are gorgeous and packed with styling ideas. Plus, there’s a lot of things I see that resemble pieces that I can find here in the states from stores and flea markets, so it’s just a matter of pulling everything together to create the relaxed, soft look that is Zara Home. It’s a little bit of the Beachy Keen and the Nurturing Naturalist combined, don’t you think? And Miss Victoria from SFGirlbyBay was right, white is too a color!

Lots of antlers, texture, shells, bird cages, painted wood floors (white-washed), white furnishings, hints of blue, white in many shades keeping the look warm vs. cool, ceramics, driftwood, flea market finds, it’s all gorgeous, isn’t it? Click on any of these images to enlarge…

This is my favorite room (below), I love everything about it. It actually reminds me of this living room in Linda Gregoriou’s home from Australian Vogue magazine. I love how they filled the fireplace with books, and this gorgeous cut out rug…

This kitchen feels so Scandinavian to me, it looks so clean and warm, which is sometimes hard to accomplish with an all white palette because too often it can read as sterile and cold.

What a gorgeous entry, it almost looks like the railing is an ornate wrought iron. Don’t we all dream of a balcony or patio like this?

(images from zara home)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips, inspiration on April 04, 2007

Inspired By Green in Salt Lake City

Yeah! decor8 reader Ellen is so inspired by the color green that she had to paint her living room in this fantastic shade… Here’s her note and photos.

“I recently bought a home in Salt Lake City and decided to paint my living room green! It’s an old home, built in 1928. The living room has a cove ceiling so in order to give the room more definition, I painted a border around the top in a green color that is 2 shades darker than the walls. I think it looks really nice next to the dark stain window framing. Just thought I’d share!” – Ellen C.

Before
(please click on these images for a larger view)
After


Ellen: The architecture of your home is stunning. I’m particularly pleased that the border was applied so amazingly straight, this is something I’m forever having problems with – even with a level! Did you use a standard level or a laser? What is the color/brand of green you used? Why did you select that color and shade? I’d love to know more about your decision to use green, it’s fun to hear how others decide on a color, it’s often such a hard choice to make while standing in the aisle of a paint store. Overwhelming to say the least. I think paint selection should be added to the most stressful life events list. 1) Divorce 2) Having children 3) Getting fired 4) Paint selection…

I have a few questions for you Ellen. Why didn’t you paint the walls up to the ceiling? What color do you plan to paint the adjacent room? What other colors do you plan to bring into the space?

(images from ellen c.)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips on March 19, 2007

Green Glorious Green!

Here’s more green to inspire you today. From bold and confident, to charming and subtle, green is a color worth exploring! And don’t miss a little secret of mine below because it may encourage some of you color shy types to stop standing along the wall and participate in the happy world of hue!

Accessories from West Elm, a painting by German artist Anenette Meurer, Amy Butler fabric, and a random living room image that I loved for many reasons – color and the floor plan (great symmetry) stand out the most for me.( You can click on any of these images for a larger view, by the way.)
Even though this rug from Angela Adams isn’t shown in the room, it’s a fresh, modern translation of all of those fantastic greens and blues from that David Hicks space, don’t you agree?

This room, designed by the great Kelley Proxmire, oozes with confidence in every way. I can imagine relaxing in this calm, spacious living area. But it’s also a bit tropical and fun. That lucite coffee table is a bit unexpected with the traditonal wood furnishings, but everything works. Notice all the plants. Don’t forget to add green the natural way, by purchasing plants for your home. I love succulents and ivy myself, they’re the hardest to kill. That’s what I look for in a plant.
Jonathan Adler knows how to have fun with color, doesn’t he? Even the ties he sports on Top Design could be made into a room. Love this bright yellow and green combo, I can’t imagine ever waking up in this room and feeling depressed. Design prozac indeed.

Chlo? Sevigny’s entryway, pictured here from a recent issue of House + Garden, incorporated the Kelly Wearstler green imperial trellis wallpaper so well. I love wild and crazy patterns in an entryway for two reasons. You give guests a major welcome – first impressions are everything – so a hallway with the wow factor means so much. Next, because you can. A pattern like this is somewhat of an exclamation point print, it screams “Look at me! Over here! Look at meeee!”, something you may not want to use on 4 walls in a living room or bedroom, but can totally get away with in a hallway, small bathroom, pantry, etc. In an entryway, this bold pattern accomplishes it’s goal. Welcome! To! My! Home!

This Wary Meyers dining room is fantastic, from the tulip table to the seat cushions, wallpaper, and that green painting… It all works. That is what I love about their portfolio, you see things working together in ways you’d never imagine putting together.

When I think about the color green, I think of versatility. When you are out in nature, green and blue and the two most dominate colors in most places, whether it be the blue sky, green grass, turquoise ocean, or the way mountains almost look blue or green from a distance. Then, you observe the colors around you in the form of shells, flowers, animals, rock, sand… Everything coordinates. You never look at a bed of flowers and think, “Oh my god, nothing matches! Dreadful!”. Colors that occur in nature are so appealing. Images above, top: Vincente Wolf and bottom: Kemble Interiors.

Look at the serene and sophisticated home of an Apartment Therapy reader. If anyone knows who this is or has the link to the original slide show, please comment with that below so I can give this lady due credit. I loved her space. Look at those velvet apple chairs. So inviting.

Now to share a little secret that may encourage those fearful of color. I was a neutrals-only girl for several years, stuck in a color rut just like some of you. How did I get out?

Let me clarify that things weren’t always this way. I didn’t grow in a color-free home, my mother loved color and even today, still uses it very well. I was actually quite the colorholic, I couldn’t get enough. At 21, I moved into an apartment and my first purchase was a pink vintage refrigerator, huge floral wallpaper for the kitchen, and hardwood flooring that I installed myself. That was the wildest kitchen ever. Scary but gorgeous. After that apartment, I slowly allowed neutrals to creep into my life for reasons unknown. Maybe it was an emotional thing. I don’t really know. But it was in my mid-20’s that I hit a major neutral phase. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. When I tried to introduce color, I fell flat, so I just didn’t use it at all. Everything was cream and khaki.

What ultimately changed my perception of color was randomly hearing someone say that the best way to bring color into the home is bring nature inside. If it works outdoors, it will work indoors. I never thought about that in my life, seemed so simple, but so true. It was then that I started small. I brought home fruit and flowers. Instead of mixing fruit in a bowl as I always had, I started to put oranges in a single bowl, lemons in a tall vase, limes arranged on a platter. I always loved to buy flowers for my office at work, but didn’t bring them home much. I changed that. I started bringing fresh flowers into my home once a week, but instead of buying a mixed bouquet, I stuck to a single color, like yellow tulips for instance. Placing fruit and flowers around my home helped me feel more comfortable about living with color again. The 21-year-old Holly with the pink refrigerator resurfaced. I was me again. Color was back!

Now I feel completely comfortable around color and I’m in a profession where I’m helping others to overcome their color fears. So start small and build, even if it’s just fruit and flowers. Look to nature. Start with green.

Posted in Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips on March 16, 2007

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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.

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