Go Bananas: 18 Ways to Decorate With Yellow
Yellow. It’s sunny, cheerful, full of life, and just all around happy. So when you use it on your interiors, chances are you’ll be bringing some of these attributes into your home. Wrap your walls with it, upholster your chairs, or use it sparingly in your artwork. Whether you’re looking to make a bold, vibrant statement or evoke an understated warmth, yellow is a sure-fire stop on the color wheel. Take a look at these 18 spaces that have us going bananas over all things yellow.
The award for chicest pool house I’ve ever seen goes to designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd, who turned to lovely mix of yellow and purple in this space she designed as part of a past Hamptons Showhouse. Her sunny choices for the wallcovering and window treatments will make you want to dive right in.
I first came across this image because I’m obsessed with Living Pattern, who was excited via Twitter to see her Monstera watercolor hanging in a guest house makeover by designer Dabito. But my new obsession is the yellow sofa he used. What guest wouldn’t want to stay here? It’s just the jolt of color the room needed to feel alive casually pulled together.
And speaking of Dabito, he’s been hard at work redesigning his dining room and documenting it on his blog Old Brand New. He used Farrow & Ball’s Babouche shade of paint to create a dramatic contrast to the white paint beneath the chair rail. The bold choice makes the dining room rich and glamorous compared to the ho-hum before photos.
In this enviable breakfast area, the shade of yellow is much more muted but still quite impactful. Massucco Warner Miller used a pale yellow for the breakfast area’s banquette and the kitchen’s pendants. They keep the spaces light and airy while still giving them a bit of oomph.
This bold, graphic wallpaper that designer Amanda Nisbet used here (Sigourney in Yellow on White by China Seas) is everything! Such a great way to enliven easily forgotten spaces like a stairway and landing—something that shouldn’t happen since this part of the house sees so much traffic.
This sweet desk vignette by designer Lindsey Coral Harper has yellow covered in the chair’s seat cushion, the window shade’s trim and the lamp base. Anything to make a workspace more enticing and joyful is a winner in my book. (And don’t think I didn’t notice Mr. Snail!)
How adorable is this yellow striped canopy from Country Living? Okay, so it’s mostly adorable because of the cute little puppy underneath it, but still, the bright awning makes me think of a circus or carnival and turns this bedroom into a fun and cheerful spot to rest and rejuvenate.
With such a strong, bright color, the owner of this dining room in Madrid made the right decision to use the color on only an accent wall. And with the popsicle artwork, I’d always wish it were dinner time.
Sometimes all it takes is a little yellow via an uplifting phrase to get you started off on having a good day, and there’s no better spot for that then your bathroom (where you start your day!). Even if it is backwards.
Cortney and Robert Novogratz are a husband-and-wife design duo who wanted to create a bright, cheery escape for themselves in the country home in New England, and I think this oversize yellow painting was a good start. (And check out the exterior—the shutters are painted yellow and the couple added yellow striped curtains to the entrance—cheerful indeed!)
Sometimes our interior doors are neglected, but they can add as much pop to your room as the walls, furniture and accessories. These doors, from Elle Norway via The Vintage Home, add just the right amount of modern drama to this space while highlighting the more traditional millwork.
Even though this kitchen already has a lot of great natural light filtering in, painting the cabinets yellow enhances the brightness of the room. The pendants are a fun complement to the cabinetry and the black and white wallpaper and furniture balance the boldness. (Image from Colorama via Apartment Therapy.)
Now that’s a dining room if I’ve ever seen one! Tobi Fairley is obviously, and thankfully, not afraid of color. Through these bold chartreuse chairs, the chevron patterned rug, the floral turquoise wallpaper, and even the hint of both of these colors in the artwork, she proves that there’s no such thing as too much of anything.
I personally think that yellow painting is pretty killer. The pineapple-y shade grabs your attention among the muted palette of the rest of the space but without overpowering or feeling uninvited. Nate Berkus calls this one of the most fun installations his firm has ever had, and I can see why!
Yellow chair: check. Yellow lamp shade: check. Yellow artwork frame: check. One of my favorite aspects of design is the sightline into another space from the space you’re actually in. The jolts of yellow in the various pieces that make up this desk vignette draw your eye and summon you into the room by 2 Michaels.
A yellow and gold coffee table? Yes, please! Design firm Tilton Fenwick injected vibrant bursts of yellow here and in the accent pillows on the sofa, which parlay nicely with the aqua velvet armchair. They’re saturated hues without oversaturating the living room.
Implementing color through curtains and pillows is a great approach, since they’re easy enough to switch out seasonally or whenever you might be ready for the next hue. (Though of course I’d be able to live happily ever after in a Barrie Benson interior without changing a thing.)