Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Yellow: An Unexpected New Design Trend?

Yellow is a difficult colour. It's like the middle sister of the colour wheel: overlooked by some, left out by others, and adored by those who know just how bright, witty, colourful and uplifting it can be. It's never as popular as, say, red, or pink, or even that go-to-when-you-don't-know-what-else-to-do colour, beige. It doesn't have the gravitas of navy, or the glamour of black. And while it might be as cheerful and as light as white, it never seems to reach the same soaring levels of popularity of its pale-complexioned sister.

But all that might be about to change. Yellow, it seems, is coming out of its colour siblings' shadows. Crisp, refreshing and great as a pick-me-up, it's a colour classic that will make you as happy as egg yolks served sunny-side-up on a summer weekend. No wonder Sibella Court's just re-painted her store's front door in it!  {Image at top via – but uncertain of true source. Image below is a new addition to Jonathan Adler's home page on his website.}

"We just did a bedroom in Florida in sunshine-yellow walls. It's so eye-popping and energising. And when you wake up – wow! It's like having a glass of orange juice thrown at you!" 
– Christopher Coleman, House Beautiful.

"What I love about it is that you can't be in a bad mood around it..." – Amanda Nisbet

One of the highlights of New York Fashion Week recently was Oscar de la Renta's beautifully bright dresses, many of them in uplifting shades of yellow. This one was my favourite. Imagine it at a summer garden party in the Hamptons?

 Here are some more...

A current page from Kate Spade's blog. You can almost smell summer in the (northern hemisphere) air with these witty pix! {Via Kate Spade}

Can't find the original source but I adore this happy armchair.

A Palm Beach entrance hall dressed in the wittily named 'Showtime' by Benjamin Moore, decorated by Christopher Drake. {Via Home Beautiful}

Nancy Lancaster's famous yellow drawing room in London, which was decorated by John Fowler using numerous layers of glaze over a butter yellow paint. {Image source unknown}

Courtney and Robert Novogratz' country retreat in Massachusetts, New England. Aren't those shutters just so inviting? {Via Absolutely Beautiful Things; magazine shoot unknown}
A sweet Cecil Beaton print {via Kate Spade}

A colourful cottage with a clear love of boldness. Love those cheeky polka-dot stools! {Via Home Beautiful}

A fantastically glamorous yellow dining room belonging to Caroline Inge's father – who must be one stylish man! {Via Absolutely Beautiful Things}

A classically elegant yellow houndstooth print by Lee Jofa. Imagine this on a banquette in a kitchen?

Retro with a dash of lemon. {Via}

A favourite painting – 'Girl with the Pearl Earring' (1665), by Johannes Vermeer. Although now I can't look at this without seeing Scarlett Johansson in the film version.

 A chic little number by Coach.

A cuter-than-cute print from Freya's Art's Etsy Shop – here


  1. Our long, long hallway is the colour of Nancy Lancaster's drawing room!!!!! Just love that colour! xx

  2. I love the color yellow. Living in Minnesota, we need all the light and sunshine we can get. (I've also started writing a blog called Thirty Two Yellow Walls because that's what I have)I think people are afraid to decorate with yellow, which is too bad, because it does lift the spirit and makes one happy. Thanks for the lovely post.

  3. I love yellow paired with gray and blue. I think people are getting tired of griege and I've noticed more color being splashed on walls lately. I say about time.


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