Color Magic: Yellow

Barbara Barry

Let the sunshine,
Let the sunshine in,
The sunshine in!

Is there a more cheerful or more vibrant color than yellow? Yellow is all about positivity and optimism don’t you think? More than anything, yellow is one of those colors that adds warmth to a dark space or brings a smile to a dreary day.

Pantone Yellow C

Considered the happiest color on the color spectrum, yellow is guaranteed to inspire even the least enthusiastic among us. Yellow never fails to capture our attention whether it’s a delicate pat of butter on a warm piece of bread, a bowl of lemons on a kitchen counter, a blinking traffic light, a taxi cab whizzing by, a school bus full of happy kids, or those famous golden arches, yellow beckons us to take notice.

Claude Wasserstein

Great artists like Degas and Gauguin both used varying shades of yellow in their most substantial artwork, but actually had a love-hate relationship with the color. One of my favorites Kandinsky thought that yellow radiated a spiritual warmth that was an asset to any canvas.


If you’ve ever traveled to Italy, then you know that you can’t escape the color yellow there are masses of yellow sunflowers, yellow ceramics, delicious cuisines enhanced with yellow lemons and even a beverage called Limoncello.


In interior spaces softer shades of yellow prevail but some decorators use bold yellows successfully in living rooms. A very popular accessory found in chic interiors are stacks of yellow National Geographic displayed similarly to those on the etagere above.

From Nancy Lancaster’s “buttah yellah” to the most vibrant yellow shades work best in combination with neutral colors like white, black, blue, brown, purple and red.

House Beautiful

Did you know that as we get older we should consider adding a bit of yellow to our homes because yellow is believed to activate memory and enhance our overall health and well-being? Like the Fifth Dimension once sang, Let the sunshine in!

Claude Wasserstein

Elle Decor

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