What They Didn’t Tell You About The Best Yellow Paint Colors



It is possible that almost everything I’ve been lead to believe about yellow paint colors is a lie.

And that misconception is, to be verrry careful or you’ll have a big blinding mess of YELLOW in your face.

It is true that a little dab of yellow will do ya. Or is it?

Recently, I started to  rethink this.

The other day, you guys might recall that I posted an image of William McLure’s gorgeous dining room with the bright yellow walls.

via Draper James

I’m quite mad about this room actually.

First of all, I have never painted a room this intense a yellow. In fact, there are a lot of colors I’ve never been able to use because I live in quite a conservative area and it’s an uphill battle.

No joke. A couple of years ago, I chose one of those nice sage-y historical colors for a client’s dining room with two walls of windows. When I came back a few weeks later, the color looked odd to me. I inquired. The wife sheepishly confessed that her husband thought it was too dark. And she caved in. What? ;]

You mean like the emperor thought that Mozart’s composition had “too many notes?” No, I didn’t say that, but it took a lot for me to not convey my horror. Okay, horror is a little strong a word for paint that was “cut by 50%,” whatever that means. They mixed up two quarts of the color and then put in 2 quarts of the base? I dunno. In this case, they went from sage to Crest Toothpaste.

The point is… there would be a snowfall in June before I would get to do something like William McLure’s fabulous dining room.



In defense of those who hate yellow, it is true. If you don’t use it correctly, it could create a hell of a room from which there is no escape until the guys in the white coats come to take you away.

I get it.

There’s a reason one is not supposed to look at the sun.

But let’s go back in time…

Nearly 250 years ago.

Remember this handsome dude?  He penned along with a bunch of others the Declaration of Independence and was the third president of the USA. Thomas Jefferson.


And some of you know what’s coming.

He built this magnificent home in the manner of Andrea Palladio who we discussed here.

via the clio

This drawing was done by Jefferson who obviously had keen architectural skills, in addition to being a statesman. The building of course, is Monticello.

Well, it was at that time, that someone developed a color called “Chrome Yellow.” It was all the rage–if you had the bucks to afford it. The figured out a way to make this super saturated yellow with synthetic pigments.

I read that previously, one of the ingredients for yellow pigment was cow urine. Are you kidding me???


Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732 – 1806 ), Young Girl Reading, c. 1770, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. Mellon Bruce in memory of her father, Andrew W. Mellon


Fragonard was one of the first artists to use the synthetic pigments in his celebrated painting.

And President Jefferson (before he was president)  used it in his magnificent home that he designed and had built.

Oh, how I wish there was a painting or something, but no. I couldn’t find anything.

Then, I don’t know what happened, but for quite a while, the main dining room at Monticello looked like this.

Yawn. We really should’ve stayed united with England. I mean, it’s nothing objectionable, but that’s just it. It’s utterly banal—a woosy color for a room so grand.

Well, a few years ago, they decided it was time to repaint and I’m not sure how it came about, but Ralph Lauren got involved and donated the paint and then put it in his line.

Clever guy.


And he calls it Monticello Yellow.

Makes sense. :]

And here is the beautifully restored dining room.

It makes my day when they put back stuff the way it was originally intended.

monticello yellow architrave dining room - yellow paint color

Love the plain white swag. Excellent choice.



Have to say that I rather love it.

BTW, if you are looking for a Benjamin Moore equivalent the Ralph Lauren color, please check out these two colors.



Also, please have a look at Pratt and Lambert  ALE. My fan deck is almost as old as Thomas Jefferson, so the number might have changed. Mine says 1723.

And Farrow and Ball BABOUCHE is very nice too.

It’s not easy to find rooms in this color.

But, this saturated yellow is actually a very classic color.


There have been others who’ve embraced these strong, saturated yellow paint colors.


I’m sure that many of you recognize Nancy Lancaster’s iconic room for the Colefax and Fowler show room in London. I’m not sure when she decorated this, but she bought the business in 1948, so it was probably around then. I think this particular iteration was a recreation of her original design. It appeared several years ago, in the magazine, The World of Interiors.


Ruby Lane

Above and below, two recent images of the Colefax and Fowler showroom in London. They recently moved after many years at this address.


Tim Forrest’s Blog

Another iconic English designer, Jasper Conran. It’s ironic to me, that he’s associated with contemporary designs, but his taste obviously runs otherwise. I could definitely live here!

Fabulous vignette by Nick Olsen

Another historic room with yellow walls. I so wish I could see more and also the original source. If someone knows, please let me know.

A recent room using  Benjamin Moore Sun Rays Designed by Annie Elliot of Bossy Interiors. Great name. This image appeared in Apartment Therapy.

Fabulous yellow fabric in the Chinese Pavillion at Drottningholm.

The unmistakable stamp of Miles Redd

I admire that lad’s courage. His rooms are like a garden of exotic delights.

So, let’s examine what it is that makes these saturated yellow paint colors work?


Here is a board from my paint palette collection. I thought I had shared it but couldn’t find it in my image library, so maybe not.

This is Benjamin Moore LEMON GROVE, one of the colors in the Laurel Home Paint Collection. It is by far the jazziest one, but the idea is to have a wide variety of colors.

These bright saturated yellow paint colors love white, cool tones and muted colors too. Sure, one can have some  bright tones, like Miles did. But I love the cool rich tones of old art with these bright yellow colors.


I put this image of an excerpt of my zuber screen on instagram.

Hey, I’m about 100 shy of 5,000 followers. My birthday is Tuesday, maybe you can help me reach that goal by then by following me. I am trying to post once a day. I will never take over your feed with tons of images.


And here’s the screen in my Hawthorne Yellow living room.



SUNRAYS 343 – Benjamin Moore

LEMON GROVE 363 – Benjamin Moore

SUN VALLEY 350 – Benjamin Moore

BABOUCHE Farrow and Ball


Pratt and Lambert ALE 1723 – Benjamin Moore


How do you feel about these saturated yellow paint colors?


I have to be honest. I love them in the photos, but not sure if I have the courage. Well, I would have the courage to do William’s dining room. And then the rest of the house could be mostly white.

Did anyone notice my new pin it button? I have it set to be on all the time. If you find that super annoying, I can set it to hover. That’s on desk top/tablet. On mobile, it won’t hover, but at least it’s finally THERE!  I was so happy when I got that to work! I know that a lot of you are reading the blog on your phone and now you can pin away to your heart’s content!

For those of you interested in the Super Bowl, hope the game goes well for you! I’ve never had any interest in football and don’t understand the appeal. But that’s what makes the world a more interesting place. It would be pretty dull indeed, if we all liked exactly the same things.



  • Lesli - March 12, 2017 - 9:28 AM

    I have written a design/home/art blog for 6 years and whether I post or not- the #1 read post almost every single day is a post I did a few years ago called “favorite yellows NOT called yellow” . I am convinced that yellow is the most sought after (and beloved) color at any given time, regardless of trends and that it scares the hell out of people because when it goes wrong – it can go REALLY wrong. Thanks for this great post – which helps illuminate and demystify yellow – !!! Love it!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 12, 2017 - 11:59 AM

      Hi Lesli,

      Yes! I have seen that post on pinterest and read it and your blog numerous times! Beautiful blog and graphics and reporting on paint colors. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      BTW, my paint posts are also the most popular– the whites and grays especially. ReplyCancel

  • Mariza - February 20, 2017 - 5:06 PM

    I love your blog its my go to for paint design and colour.
    I also love yellow -I did my house yellows and greens and never tired of it
    lots of white with soft blue greens and eggplant- love green with purple-
    yellow is tricky but so worth itReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 20, 2017 - 5:13 PM

      Hi Mariza,

      Thank you so much and your colors sound beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Merrilyn - February 15, 2017 - 10:28 AM

    ……..but it is WONDERFUL in an entry hall. “Smiles and laughter and happy live here.”


    • Laurel Bern - February 15, 2017 - 1:58 PM

      Hi Merrilyn,

      I have seen the first image and like it too. Alas, I could not find one that passed my strict requirements for image quality–for the blog, that is. :] Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - February 15, 2017 - 8:46 AM

    I’m with you, I love the bright yellow in photos but would most likely claw my eyes out after having it on my walls for a week or two. Also, thanks for sharing that Monticello dining room. I am probably the only designer in the country who has never been there. It’s on my bucket list though!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 15, 2017 - 10:02 AM

      Hi Linda,

      Well, then, there are two designers who’ve never been there. Let’s go!!!ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne - February 12, 2017 - 5:38 PM

    I recently discovered your blog and am loving it. Subscribed, too. I ALWAYS overthink and over research my design decisions, but I also enjoy the process. And your blog has become a fun part of it!
    When I was a teen, I picked a really bright yellow for my bedroom, and didn’t like it for long. Maybe that is why I am unsure of my design choices as an adult! I am currently working on a kitchen refresh project consisting of painting my oak cabinets white and replacing the brown/beige/orange granite on the counter AND back splash with white quartz and a tile back splash. The walls will also be repainted.
    And that brings me to my question. Clearly I am trying to make my kitchen lighter, brighter and “happier” looking. I know you don’t provide color consulting via emails or blog questions, but I was hoping you could advise on color theory that would help me. I’m probably painting the cabinets your beloved Cotton Balls or Simply White. The back splash tile I will likely select is an opaque, matte glass that is comprised of beige, pale green and light blue (sort of a beachy look). So, if I want to emphasis a sort of sunny, airy feeling and am thinking of either a greige or green for the wall color, how do I know if a green or a greige will be more likely to pull out the happy from the tile? And will darker or lighter walls lead to a more cheerful look? Once I have a better idea of what colors will work best I will of course do tests, but I don’t want to test 20 colors!
    If you cannot answer my specific questions, could you do a post that addresses this – how does a novice pull colors from tile (or fabric, art, etc) in paint to get the effect they want to achieve? Thanks for your great blog!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 12, 2017 - 7:37 PM

      Hi Adrienne,

      One thing that will help a lot is to purchase my paint and palette collection. It’s in two parts–nearly 500 pages chock full of information. The collection is 144 of the best colors, including cabinets.

      You should’ve gotten my free guide on how to select colors but if you didn’t it also comes with the paint product.

      You can read more about it here



      and also read what others are saying about it. I also discuss the overthinking issue in part I of the guide under the white section. I understand, because I used to do that too. :]


  • Merrilyn - February 10, 2017 - 10:16 AM

    Oh, so sad to have your childhood home gone forever!
    Sideline on Poplar Forest: Fall 1999 Southern Accents devoted that special issue to their Capital Design House, based on Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. I continue to save it & there is LOTS of yellow.

    • Laurel Bern - February 10, 2017 - 12:00 PM

      Hi Merrilyn,

      Well, actually, my folks built the home when I was a young adult, but I did have many, many fond memories and they bought the land because I said that they would be nuts if they didn’t. ReplyCancel

  • Merrilyn - February 8, 2017 - 9:50 AM

    I’m thrilled to have found you! I’m a newbie to your website/blog and have gone “full in” with your products. Although I’m not a designer, I am a dreamer, and with your help I am spending many happy hours learning, experimenting & having fun with my home. I am giddy with your post today, as I painted the foyer of my traditional home Martha Stewart’s “Broomstick Yellow” several years ago. With the white wainscot & trim, black front door (inside & out), antique grandfather clock and walnut parquet floor (called Monticello nevertheless), I see why it looks so fabulous! Now I know the little chair needs a leopard print cushion! Everything else is there, blue & white accents, muted paintings on the walls & I suppose I’ll call the hunter green dining room off to one side, the touch of green that’s missing…..hmmm, maybe I need a bright green vase on that hall table to bring the green in from the outside….I’ll dream on. Thank you!
    P.S. I’m a midwesterner with Virginia roots, love Monticello & everything Jefferson. People often haven’t heard of T.J.’s “getaway” home, Poplar Forest. THAT is fabulous! Everyone should check it out.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 8, 2017 - 2:01 PM

      Hi Merrilyn,

      Wow! Thank you for making my day! What a lovely comment.

      And I looked into Poplar Forest. No, I had never heard of it. But here’s what’s very interesting. My parents built a hexagonal shaped home in 1980. Hmmm… 200 years later- exactly. Only theirs was contemporary. Mom sold it a few years ago and her neighbor who bought it, tore it down. Sad for me.ReplyCancel

  • spatterware - February 7, 2017 - 12:41 PM

    About 20 years ago we put Ralph Lauren “Citrus” in the front hall. I think it’s discontinued by now, but my excellent painter got it matched in a recent re-painting. I love it every time I pass through that room, a pure yellow with no green, even when the trees outside are casting their shade through the windows.

    I laughed and cringed at the client whose husband dumbed down the sage green paint you’d applied. I think most men are rather fearful of strong colors and want something “safer.” I’ve even had some paint store clerks try to talk me out of a color I’d chosen. Unsuccessfully, I might add!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 7, 2017 - 11:30 PM

      Hi Spatterware,

      The front hall sounds very lovely!

      My favorite husband of all-time, was the one who was color-blind but insisted that two colors didn’t go together!ReplyCancel

  • Nilene Thompson Finn - February 7, 2017 - 12:15 PM

    First, let me say Happy Birthday. Hope your day is full of joy!

    Loved this post! I am drawn to sunny days and sunny colors. I could totally see doing a dining room or kitchen in a saturated yellow, especially in a traditional home. I did my old studio in BM Lemon Grove and loved it! Again, thanks for the great post. Cheers.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 7, 2017 - 11:27 PM

      Hi Nilene,

      Thanks so much for your kind wishes and hooray for Lemon Grove!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - February 7, 2017 - 12:47 AM

    I recognized that second photo right away. It was an installation at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art many years ago. I believe the walls were actually white, and the floor was light-colored wood. But the lighting in the room made it all look yellow, and in fact it sort of sucked the other colors out of everything else in the room. You could not see red or blue or green, for example, just shades of yellow and gray. It made everything monochromatic, including people’s skin and hair, which was disconcerting to experience in the moment (the photos don’t quite convey it). It was quite a strange room to be in. The artist describes it on his website: “Monofrequency lamps mounted to the ceiling of a white room emit yellow light that reduces the viewers’ spectral range to yellow and black. In reaction to the yellow environment, viewers momentarily perceive a bluish afterimage after leaving the space.” (http://olafureliasson.net/archive/artwork/WEK101676/room-for-one-colour)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 7, 2017 - 9:44 AM

      Hi Jilly,

      thank you so much for all of the information about that room.ReplyCancel

  • Betzie - February 6, 2017 - 11:01 AM

    On a grand scale I think it’s magnificent. In my house…nooooo way. That said, I have soft gold in my house. Do you use golds much? Right now my dining room is a blank slate…wallpaper of 20+ years is gone….yeahhhh! So what to do?
    Thinking all white…cotton balls or simply white. Have a traditional home…but I over analyze to the nth degree. Have red in my kitchen..love it! Otherwise I’d do red again…blue in a dining room? Or do I stick with a gold…I know you can’t tell me what to do. Lol but I do notice you love whites….east morning light only…oh the fun…great project to figure out having broke my ankle at Christmas!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2017 - 1:12 PM

      Hi Betzie,

      Sorry about the ankle.

      And yes, it’s not easy, but it helps to consider your other givens and to figure it all out in terms of total composition. For instance, what is going on the windows? Is there a rug. What is the furniture? Style, color, etc. And then the other rooms.

      Only then when you look at it in this way will it help to narrow down the choices. Otherwise, it’s like staring into the sky (away from city lights) and going “which star should I wish on?”ReplyCancel

  • Betsy OShea - February 5, 2017 - 8:20 PM

    I was always attracted to yellow BRs or LRs. My bedroom is a warm fairly bright
    Yellow w aqua blue accents and alota white. It’s a mix of BM Suntan Yellow and on same strip Cream Yellow. Very cheerful
    For those looking for a quieter toned yellow I did a clients DR in BM Keywest
    Ivory. It’s pretty juxtaposed w a LR in sagely green Gray Mirage
    Thanks for the lovel,y post Laurel. Always enjoy historical perspective too!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:09 PM

      When I see you here now Betsy after all of the brouhaha at that other place, I’m thinking, meanwhile back at the ranch… if you get my drift. haha! ReplyCancel

  • Chris - February 5, 2017 - 3:45 PM

    Laurel, you are my biggest hero…but, 99% of these yellow rooms pictured…I just have two words… NOPE and NEVER.
    Something about these electric yellow walls doesn’t jive with me. Actually they kind of make me physically a bit nauseous. It is too much. I do have yellow and blue accents in my living room, in form of yellow and blue chinoiserie, old yellow-spined books in form of old encyclopedias, and paintings with yellows and blues, but I could never do more, like bright yellow like walls, in a room.
    The only place I can maybe imagine it is in a very large and old/classic Orangerie type of room with very high ceilings, lots of white molding and very tall windows. But in a normal house? Not at all. But very a interesting post because it tests the limits of what one can handle.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:03 PM

      Hi Chris,

      I agree, in a normal house this and a LOT of colors won’t work. Or else won’t work with a lot of artifice added to make them less normal. I read that as plain.

      And except for the William’s dining room, would not live with most of this either. I like the one with the partial fireplace showing. But again, high ceilings, wainscoting, antiques, etc and it works.ReplyCancel

  • GL - February 5, 2017 - 3:38 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I think indeed you need lots of other colour and plenty of white to make such strong yellow walls look beautiful — and plenty of light.
    For yellow rooms, don’t forget the idea of a print room, with the yellow as a background to black and white, or sepia, prints. There’s a very successful one at Uppark in Sussex, and as I remember it, the yellow ground is more saturated than the impression given by the pics in this series from the National Trust. I would say perhaps F&B’s Yellow Ground n° 218, a slightly paler version of Babouche.
    And enjoy your birthday on Tuesday!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:00 PM

      Hi GL,

      I think that all yellows make a great back drop for art of all kinds. That’s a very pretty gallery!ReplyCancel

  • Holly - February 5, 2017 - 2:05 PM

    Hi Lauren. I love your blog and it’s the only one I read regularly. I know what you mean about picking the right yellow. One time I was away, my husband and father-in-law so kindly painted our bedroom a sunny yellow I picked out. When I arrived home, I entered not our bedroom, but a giant yellow school bus! What a mistake. I learned my lesson and now purchase samples of paint first.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 9:58 PM

      Hi Holly,

      Yeah, better to test, but if it’s a strong yellow, it absolutely will look terrible until the furniture, art and accessories are in.

      After all, we’re told not to look directly at the sun. :]ReplyCancel

  • Bea - February 5, 2017 - 2:05 PM

    Hi Laurel!
    Absolutely love your posts … Informative and funny! I simply can’t warm up to the idea of saturated yellows in any context. Soft buttery yellow, yes, in moderation, but not the intense hues.
    I find that saturated yellows are fast moving. Too much time in its presence can agitate and lead to nervousness. It can also make people more analytical and critical ofthemselves and others. Perhaps that’s why it’s not used in hospital or educational institutions? Just thought I’d put in my 2 cents worth!
    Colour utimately is a personal choice.
    Looking forward to future posts and Happy Birthday!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - February 5, 2017 - 1:25 PM

    Brilliant post for a brilliant color – love the history lesson (but probably would not love living with the bright yellow — it’s good in pictures though!)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 9:55 PM

      Hi Sandy,

      Thanks so much!

      I would gladly take William McLure’s dining room. But just that much in one room. ReplyCancel

  • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 1:22 PM

    Hey Guys!

    Wow! I am loving your comments today as always but can’t quite keep up just now. I have to run out for a while but I promise that I will answer every one as soon as possible.

    Thank you so much!


  • Charmaine - February 5, 2017 - 1:14 PM

    We built a coastal bungalow/farmhouse in midcoast Maine last year and went with an interior color scheme of pale yellows with white and gray, and a Hawthorne Yellow front door. My personal comfort zone for years has been either stark white or shades of gray – colors that work OK in other regions and climates – but I wanted a house that would resist the blahs of northern winter and feel subtly encouraging. It’s worked out great! Everyone loves the colors – even the painter – and I can take the interior in almost any direction I want since “what doesn’t go with sunlight?” Giving credit where credit is due, Laurel, I paid a lot of attention to this blog all last year and it really helped… not to mention that I love your writing! Thanks so much 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - February 5, 2017 - 12:53 PM

    Hi Laurel,

    Yes. Very clever guys – both Thomas and Ralph.

    Thank you for your pretty yellow post. Color is SO important. I have a friend who has one of the most enchanting houses I have ever seen. It’s a small house, not one of these huge edifices that seem to be so fashionable now. It has more of a cottage look, but bigger than what might qualify as a cottage, with beautiful Pierre Deux furniture. She has done much of the interior in bold shades of yellow and blue and it’s beautiful.

    And have a very happy birthday!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:22 PM

      Hi Lisa,

      Yes, the French Country Pierre Deux look is heavily into yellow and blue with a dash of a warm red. Very charming and a classic look too!ReplyCancel

      • Karen - February 5, 2017 - 10:32 PM

        Love true Provence yellow and blue. I visit Monet’s house in Giverny as a teen and was enchanted!ReplyCancel

  • Alice - February 5, 2017 - 12:38 PM

    Thanks so much for featuring yellow! It is one of my favorite colors and very underused I fear. For years I had my kitchen pained Restoration Hardware’s Butter and it got compliments all the time.

    I am moving into a condo in a few months and the Living Room will be done in Farrow and Ball’s Versailles wallpaper in a discontinued yellow colo(u)rway BP2612. (http://www.kentblaxill.co.uk/home/designer-wallpapers/farrow-ball-wallpaper/floral-patterns/baroque-versailles-papers/baroque-versailles-papers-bp2612?qsf=1&Option%201=&Option%202=).

    I am debating whether to have the 8 ft long hall leading to the living room painted in the darker yellow of the wallpaper–a nice lead in or too much yellow?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:18 PM

      Hi Alice,

      The paper is gorgeous. As for your query, I can’t say, as that I’m not there to see what else is going on. ReplyCancel

  • Beth - February 5, 2017 - 12:34 PM

    That’s what makes a horse race, as my brother-in-law says. I’m not only not interested in football, I dislike everything about it. It is violent, barbaric and makes heroes of many people with criminal offender leanings who make millions of dollars running headlong into other people for no other reason than money. School teachers should be paid more. I love your examples of yellow rooms, especially those filled with multitudes of decorative objects that look like a spotlight is on each one of them. I painted our son’s room yellow when he was ten. I was painting over a Crest Toothpaste Green. It took 4 coats to cover. Yellow must be very transparent, or it was in the 1970s. Perhaps the formulas are more opaque now.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:16 PM

      Hi Beth,

      Hooray! I’m not alone in my “not getting it” about football.

      Paints are a lot better now. BM Regal Select and Aura should not take more than two coats.ReplyCancel

  • Tricia Heliker - February 5, 2017 - 12:31 PM

    I read your post twice and had my paint decks next to me to reference your post and the comments where a particular color was mentioned. I’m not a big fan of yellow and the closest I’ve come to using it in my own home is on bathroom walls with a Martha Steward color called shortbread. However, after the second read I am now willing to give it consideration. Maybe I was already leaning that direction as I selected SW 6374, torchlight, for a client’s sunroom yesterday and she loved it! Your board with the lemon grove made me realize that I actually do like yellow if it is accessorized appropriately. Guess I have seen a few too many examples of yellow rooms with very little thought given to incorporating the color into the room. Happy Birthday, Laurel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:14 PM

      Hi Tricia,

      I chose Lemon Grove for one of the 40 boards precisely because I wanted the challenge of doing a more “difficult” color. And as I started working on it, kept saying to myself, this is going to be pretty wonderful. Who knew? ReplyCancel

  • Marsha - February 5, 2017 - 12:25 PM

    okay, laurel, I’m #4960, happy early birthday!
    btw, you have mad photoshop skills; your boards look very realistic. great job!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:11 PM

      Thanks so much Marsha. I use Picmonkey plus a little photo editing to get wall colors and other effects.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - February 5, 2017 - 11:41 AM

    Forgive my ignorance Laurel. I’m confused about the Monticello dining Room. In the first pictures, there are no grand arches and architectural details like there are in the later pictures. Are you just showing a different section of the room when it was remodeled? I LOVE yellow and I love your Hawthorne Yellow living room, although for me that’s probably as deep a yellow as I would use in my own home. I saw a lot of yellow in Italy, and they really know how to use yellow there, don’t they? I guess it’s all because of that Mediterranean light everything is bathed in. I have a large walk-out basement and most people around me choose darker colors for their basement. Mine has just been painted in BM Niveous with Cotton Balls ceiling and trim and it was a wonderful choice for us. (It’s the first yellow in your Paint Palette.) It gets many compliments because it’s so nice and sunny and airy. In the evening, there is a slight greenish cast to the Niveous which I also love, since green is my favorite color anyway. In Continental Europe, there are a lot of exteriors in yellow which are beautiful. I’m sure you saw those on your trip to Italy. Great post honoring the color yellow. And I wish you a very Happy Birthday !ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:10 PM

      Thanks so much Maggie. Yes, those are different views of the same room. The architecture was not altered. There are almost no photos that I could find of the room before and even the after images tend to me not up to snuff. ReplyCancel

      • Maggie - February 5, 2017 - 6:15 PM

        The Monticello room is absolutely gorgeous of course. Thanks for clarifying. Monticello is high on my list to visit !ReplyCancel

  • Marilynn - February 5, 2017 - 11:38 AM

    Pratt and Lambert used to have a paint color called Autumn Blonde that was beeeyootiful. I like a more grayed down yellow otherwise yellow reminds me of breakfast joints with their sickly yellow, it’s too early for this shiz crazy walls.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:08 PM

      Hi Marilynn,

      Yeah, the bright yellow breakfast joint is not going to look good. We need big windows, antiques, high ceilings, mouldings, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Emilia - February 5, 2017 - 11:21 AM

    Do these beautiful saturated yellows look stunning because of the high ceilings and because (as many show) they are offset with white on the lower part of the wall?

    Laurel, any recommendation for a yellow in a north facing room on the east coast (CT)? Farrow and Ball “cream” maybe?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:05 PM

      Hi Emilia,

      Sorry, but no, I can’t make recommendations without seeing the space. Too many variables.ReplyCancel

  • Joyce - February 5, 2017 - 11:12 AM

    please check out my friend Kim’s living room in San Francisco – I think she hit it right on the money with this yellow! https://kimandproper.com/blogs/kims-blog/116968772-wear-the-room-bold-yellow-living-room-as-laurie

    love your posts!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:04 PM

      Hi Joyce,

      Oh, that’s a gorgeous room and I agree. She knocked it out of the ball park!ReplyCancel

  • Laura Tyson - February 5, 2017 - 11:12 AM

    I love love love yellow. It was my beloved grandmothers favorite color. My birth flower is the Daffodil. I especially like the super bold yellows. But not one room in my home is yellow 🙁 actually they’re all white but the prevailing color hue in my house is blue. Why? Because my mother told me I look terrible in yellow years ago – and this is one of the few things I will concede that she is right about. I once found this stunning deep, golden-almost acidic yellow formal gown at Neiman Marcus but when I put it on- oyyyyy. I literally looked sick. Sigh…I have some yellow accents in my kitchen but that’s it. I guess I’m doomed to envy those who can pull it off.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:03 PM

      Hi Laura,

      Maybe it was the lighting. Everyone looks gorgeous at night in my yellow living room.

      Lighting is everything.ReplyCancel

  • Terry Lewis - February 5, 2017 - 11:02 AM

    I love that you added the, “pin it,” function! Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 1:19 PM

      Hi Terry,

      It was there on desktop and tablet but couldn’t get it to work on mobile. Long boring story. Then, I forgot about it but made it my mission last week to get it to work. It was a good week! :]ReplyCancel

  • Mirande Dupuy - February 5, 2017 - 10:57 AM

    Thought immediately of Monet’s dining room at Giverny.
    I googled it to remind myself and saw some images with a peachy wall and yellow trim instead of the all yellow that I’m used to.
    I need to research this. But I much preferred the yellow walls with yellow trim.ReplyCancel

  • Judy - February 5, 2017 - 10:55 AM

    Laurel, how would these stronger yellows hold up with Western exposure?

    I once painted a West facing room Monroe Bisque, not even close to the shades above and when the light changed in the afternoon, that room looked awful!

    May I? GO PATS!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 1:15 PM

      Hi Judy,

      Yes you may even though I don’t have the foggiest. LOL

      Well, yes Monroe Bisque is a warm beige. Not close at all. It drives me a little bonkers with the light thing because a West facing room is like an east facing room in the morning.

      But it’s also why one must look at a large sample at different times of the day and also different parts of the wall.

      I can’t really say for sure. But yes, if West facing and the sun is very strong in the afternoon and it’s a room one is using in the afternoon, that would need some careful consideration and/or some sufficient light control with window shades, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Maryellen Hodapp - February 5, 2017 - 10:49 AM

    Hi Laurel, Such an interesting post this week both aesthetically and historically. Yellow is a beautiful ,happy color and as you pointed out when it is executed appropriately it looks fabulous, I just reread one of your recent posts……you grew up in Evanston Indiana? I grew up on Long Island and I now reside in Carmel Indiana and my design practice is affiliated with the Indiana Design Center in Carmel. Wondering if you ever get back to visit your home and if you would ever consider speaking at the design center?
    My dining room is “Citrine”. I included a picture for you to see. Have a happy birthday! Maryellen

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 1:09 PM

      Hi Maryellen,

      I grew up in Evansville, but maybe that’s a typo. Although it’s a common error. Evanston is near Chicago and I’m at the other end. Carmel, is near Indy, right?

      I would consider coming to speak if they paid me. :]

      I’m phenomenally flattered at the invitation, but I haven’t been there in years. Oh, I can’t see the image however. That’s not a complete URL. But Citrine sounds beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • bfish - February 5, 2017 - 10:38 AM

    Great post Laurel! I guess I love yellow (and lots of other colors)because we painted the exterior of our wood house a saturated (but not neon) yellow. It is very happy. Then about four years ago I saw a picture of a saffron-colored bedroom and experienced an uncontrollable urge to paint our white entry hall a similar color (it’s the same color as that in your Jacob Conran example). There is a lot of white trim and we added a built in, white bookcase on one wall. I went the Miles Redd direction and used a lot of strong colors — predominately dark blue and red, also some orange. Some of the blue and white collection resides here. The wall color looks very different in day and night. I used to think having a bright yellow house exterior was enough but it turned out not to be so . . . Thanks, BarbReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 1:04 PM

      Hi Brenda,

      I bet it’s fabulous! I love blue and white porcelains with yellow! It’s such a happy marriage!ReplyCancel

  • Celeste B - February 5, 2017 - 10:29 AM

    Our living room which faces south and has 7 windows on three of its walls, is painted a bright yellow but then I sponged over it with a lighter yellow. It is always a sunny day in there even in the middle of the cold dark winter. I love going in the room to perk up.
    Our laundry room is painted Highlighter Yellow. A fun room with bright red and royal blue accents. Makes ir easier to do laundry 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 12:33 PM

      Hi Celeste,

      I looked at highlighter yellow which is definitely a saturated yellow but not the color of a hi-lighter! What an awful name! But your laundry room sounds fabulous! I should do a laundry room post. I’ve seen some that I could definitely live in! Just a little mattress, a mini fridge and microwave. That’s all I need. lol (of course, an adjoining bathroom.) :]ReplyCancel

  • susie - February 5, 2017 - 10:19 AM

    I’m afraid the yellow is a little too intense for me. I like yellow accents in March, April, May like forsythia, daffodils, tulips. I also like it in August like with sunflowers. The intense yellow might be OK in a small, dark room like a bathroom. If you go the intense yellow route, seems like you have to tone it down with black accents, dark mahogany woods, etc.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 12:31 PM

      Hi Susie,

      This is fun. I see that there are so many different views!

      I agree that the dark woods, always some black (unless you’re Miles Redd – lol. I noticed that there is no appreciable amount of black in the midst of all of that color!) I also like it best when there are healthy amounts of white, but even then there are exceptions.

  • Susan Silverman - February 5, 2017 - 10:19 AM

    I’m so not a fan of yellow and I’ve only spec’d it twice in my career (BM Vellum and Barley…they were rather pretty but mild and in a kids room). I suppose it could be done right but to me it would be like walking into a house that had roosters as accessories. Maybe I’m just a dull and boring person!

    Wishing you the happiest of birthdays with many many more to come!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 12:28 PM

      Hi Susan,

      No, not dull at all! Vellum and Barley are more gold. I’ve did the latter in a living room about 10 years ago with cream colored sofas and plain cream cotton Roman shades and it was so, so pretty!

      And thank you for your birthday wishes! ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Mc - February 5, 2017 - 10:05 AM

    I love that you’ve done this post, it’s weird timing for me to read, and I think it’s so interesting! I’m drawn to warm colors and have always liked yellow, but have never had the guts to go *quite* this yellow.

    Just last week (the reason why this post is “weird timing” for me) I had been telling a friend of mine that I felt like we are about to see goldenrod have a big moment like pink has had. I can’t pinpoint exactly why I think that, other than it’s catching my attention in more and more places? I know, I know, green is the color everyone is forward focusing on, but still… And then here comes your blog – and we all know Laurel’s word is gospel! 🙂

    P to the S, I have spent the last 3 months, no lie, trying to choose a golden yellow velvet for a pair of chairs that I’d like to have fully upholstered (legs and all). I haven’t been able to find one that has enough brown it to keep them from looking cartoonish, but I remain diligent in my search…

    *I always write you the world’s longest comments, my apologies.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 12:23 PM

      Hi Sarah,

      First of all, this is not half as long as the world’s longest and the longer the better. And believe it or not, for purely selfish reasons.

      But, it also means that people are inspired and enthusiastic and I love that too!

      I try to produce posts that readers will want to know about, but sometimes they don’t know that they want to know about something until exposed. That happens to me too and that’s how we grow as designers.

      William’s DR, obviously inspired me and I agree. I think that yellow is about to hit it big time. But of course, it has always been “in style.” It’s a true classic and so is green! But then so is blue and red…

      • Sarah Mc - February 5, 2017 - 6:31 PM

        I seriously heart you. And Happiest of Birthdays!ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:07 PM

          Thanks so much Sarah!!!

  • maureen - February 5, 2017 - 9:51 AM

    Dearest Laurel,

    Thank you for your talent, your open sharing, your humor, and all of the things you are so generously teaching “Us Out There.” As far as yellow, I have lived in dreary, gray Ohio for 30 years, and am sitting now in my 3rd yellow room…This one is a deep, brownish, mellow yellow…and I love it. Yellow brings the sunshine in…

    PS I bought a condo, (got a great deal on it), it’s gutted, and I’ve chucked the wood laminate idea after reading your blog. Just so you know, you are helping me with each and every step….MaureenReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 12:17 PM

      Hi Maureen,

      I’m always heartened when I hear that the blog is helpful. That was my aim from day one. Be super helpful and give a pleasant respite from the difficulties that life presents.

      All the best with your new home!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Nigh - February 5, 2017 - 9:44 AM


    I love this post as you can see from my website on one of my galleries called “Warm and Sunny Custom Home” that I too love to help client’s decorate with yellow.

    Recently, however, I had to help a client remove most of her yellow for staging purposes and it almost broke her heart. We ended up using warm tones of tan and off white to fill in where the strong yellow once was. Yellow to me, is warm, inviting, and goes with so many other colors like greens, brown, blue, red, pinks, and even the new color rage of grey. Thanks for reminding us how effectively this classic color can still be used.

    Happy Birthday; I love your blog.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 12:15 PM

      Hi Mary,

      Lovely home! I love the shade you used in the living room– and great example of how the touches of black give the room depth. These colors do go with everything and are what I say, just kind of there. The stronger yellows are more bossy but play nicely with the others as long as it’s allowed to make up the rules. lolReplyCancel

  • Janet Tortora - February 5, 2017 - 9:41 AM

    Discovered your blog not long ago and it immediately became my favorite. Your great sense of humor and wonderful blog photos give me much enjoyment.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:51 AM

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks so much! It makes my day to hear that!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tama Bell - February 5, 2017 - 9:40 AM

    What program do you use for your boards?ReplyCancel

  • Judith Gries - February 5, 2017 - 9:37 AM

    I love yellow! Have a yellow living room and it looks cheerful in winter and in summer also!!! Not as bright as the chrome yellows, but in some of the photos presented, it may correspond similarly.
    All of your choices, I will pin!
    Fabulous post!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:49 AM

      Hi Judith,

      Yes! My Hawthorne yellow living room is a very liveable yellow and not as saturated as the ones in the post. But the room is always sunny and warm!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Wright, Ibis Interiors - February 5, 2017 - 9:26 AM

    Hello Laurel…
    I’m a designer living in Toronto and love peeking at your post.
    Re the acidic yellow— I could never do it, but admire those who can. We all react differently to colour, and “see” it in different ways I think.
    Love, love the screen in your oh so yellow living room…but I would hang it on the wall myself!!
    Write on, and yes, happy birthday too.

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:48 AM

      Hi Suzanne,

      Before I moved, I was thinking I would hang the screen on the wall, but then it didn’t work in the room because I made some changes to my original plan.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - February 5, 2017 - 8:53 AM

    I painted my crafting room yellow, and I really love it. Cheers me up when I walk in there! When I was thinking about painting my kitchen cabinets yellow, the salesman told me the color I had chosen would be like having Big Bird in my kitchen! LOL! I went with a lighter yellow…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:46 AM

      Hi Kathy,

      Yeah… I’ve seen yellow on cabinets in kitchens and it’s a big commitment for something not easy to change. But I had a client many years ago with a gorgeous light yellow country kitchen! I didn’t do it. I hadn’t been there for a year or so, and there it was!ReplyCancel

      • Jenny - February 5, 2017 - 1:24 PM

        the best kitchen i saw when house hunting last time was painted a shade of yellow:) it was such an adorable kitchen..won me over from the first sight. fact i still remember that shade of yellow, 3 years after..very fondly too

        there was a zero lot though as they call them here..the neighbors’ wall is a couple feet from yours, as if it was a condo. i think our condo had much more privacy than that, really. yet you pay like it’s a single family home plus 3 different types of association fees. and association does nothing unlike when in condo..
        otherwise-i think we might go for that house..
        you never know what buyers like. buyers like me might like a yellow kitchen and be completely enamored with it. not to mention you can repaint, if you hate a color. not cheap, well nothing really is.
        now if you could only move the house..:) or that road..) or these neighbors..:)ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 8:31 PM

          That’s what they always say in real estate. location, location, location! :]

  • Julie - February 5, 2017 - 8:43 AM

    Love your blog.

    I wanted to share the idea of mixing 2 yellows together to get the shade to look right on the walls.

    In our case we had the Benjamin Moore paint strip, and the numbers and shades are there in a row on the chip. I *think* it was 191 and 192, but this was over 10 years ago so the colors for those numbers may have changed. In my mind based on the chip, the color I wanted to see in the space was 191. When testing, 191 was too pastel, 192 was too bright.

    I found out that the 2 colors had different paint bases. One of the colors had a pastel base, and the other had a different base. By mixing the 2 colors together in equal parts, the color looked like I wanted when on the wall. This was an older home with plaster walls.

    So to those readers who aren’t getting the color to look right, instead of watering it down by “cutting” it with pure base, try a mix-in of a fully colored paint instead.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:45 AM

      Hi Julie,

      I think that’s a great idea to mix two paints. Usually, there’s another one somewhere else– especially with BM, since they have so many fan decks!

      The colors do have the same numbers for as long as I’ve been involved with this business. (29 years!), but interestingly, according to my fan deck, 191 and 192 are both made with base 1B.ReplyCancel

      • Julie - February 7, 2017 - 8:48 PM

        Then it was maybe 192 and 193. I just kind of remember the 192.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - February 5, 2017 - 8:29 AM

    THANK YOU Laurel. This is the post I didn’t know I’d been waiting for. I’ve always loved yellow (orange and green too are favorites). I had a bright yellow kitchen on the south-east corner of my first apartment. I’d forgotten how much I loved it. Being corporate nomads, we’ve moved frequently over the years and I’d given up on strong colors thinking they were harder to sell. But by hook or by crook, I’m going to have to find a way to bring more yellow into my next (we’re on the market again) home.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:41 AM

      Hi Sarah,

      My aim is always to bring variety, not just the same old, same old. And also hi-light the classics. Glad you enjoyed and found inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Squires - February 5, 2017 - 8:26 AM

    To be honest, I am not a fan of yellow. I once had a bedroom painted in Philadelphia Cream. It was too yellow to me and drove me nuts. That said, your mood board was the yellow I liked the best in your post, followed by your living room.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:18 AM

      Hi Susan,

      I think the problem with P Cream may have been that it is trying to be yellow, but it’s really a light gold with a strong yellow undertone. So, it was probably reading a little sickly in your bedroom.

      But thank you for the compliments! I like that mood board too! It’s in my top 5 of the 40. I can’t believe I made 40 of those!ReplyCancel

  • Thea - February 5, 2017 - 8:09 AM

    I have BM “Angel Wings” (from the Dorothy Draper Collection) in my 2nd floor, west facing laundry room…It’s makes me happy and elevates an otherwise small, boring space.

    The historians from the Hammond-Harwood house in Annapolis claim that Jefferson was also inspired by this grand home and its symmetry. Check it out. A lot of the grander homes in Annapolis have unexpected super-saturated colors in their public rooms…all the better to impress people with!

    I learn so much from you, Laurel! Thanks for the eye candy, too!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Weiler - February 5, 2017 - 7:41 AM

    It’s so lovely to see color after so many white rooms! I didn’t realize how much I missed it. I love historical homes for that reason. Of course being a Virginian and being surrounded by them might have something to do with it as well. I really feel that it helps to have strong architectural details and a grand room to pull off that color.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:07 AM

      Hi Nicole,

      I love white too!!! And color. But if someone said, you must choose, it would probably be white. A white room also to me, doesn’t mean that there’s no color. But I also feel that ALL rooms need strong architectural details to really look their best. Even a contemporary room looks better with high ceilings, large windows and some traditional elements. ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - February 5, 2017 - 7:39 AM

    I love the Pin It button on every image, I vote keep it. I love these yellow rooms. you need to be brave to commit to the colors and you should feel brave in your own home. My Sunday morning with this blog brings me so much joy. Thank you Laurel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:04 AM

      Thank you Eileen! For those that don’t know, Eileen is my blogging guru and the one responsible for helping me get my act together 3.5 years ago. If you have a blog or would like to start a blog, I can’t recommend her highly enough!!! ReplyCancel

  • Amy - February 5, 2017 - 7:37 AM

    Happy birthday, Laurel!

    I am picturing all these women pulling their shiplap walls down, screaming to their spouses, “It has to be Monticello Yellow!”


    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:01 AM

      Hi Amy,

      hahahahahaha!!! “after the game honey” hahahahaha!ReplyCancel

  • SallyB - February 5, 2017 - 6:46 AM

    Just wonderful, Laurel! Lordy, how I look forward to your posts 🙂
    When we moved in several years ago, we left the family room and sun room with the original yellow color (yellow, but more golden than bright yellow). Hawthorne yellowish.
    I was not a yellow girl, but more black and white…and red…
    But after a several years of loss of my dearest ones in quick succession, the golden color warms my soul.
    We just installed cheetah carpet that pulls it together in a frisky way!
    I also created a Girl Cave with lovely creamy caramel walls that are so soothing and restful for a good night’s sleep—old sepia family portraits and my beloved blue and white–and work at my great grandfather’s roll-top desk.
    A happy girl indeed in a warm cocoon…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 11:00 AM

      Hi Sally,

      I’m so sorry for all of the losses. They do seem to go in waves. There is no doubt that color and light can be therapeutic. And your girl cave sounds gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Eva - February 5, 2017 - 6:40 AM

    Yellow is my favorite color & has been as far back as I can remember. When I was a teenager & my parents moved into a big old farmhouse, we were given the choice to paint our bedrooms any colors we wanted. I went with my two favorites…bright sunshiny yellow and orange. These two colors always make me smile. I have never understood the fear people have when it comes to painting their walls a color that is so uplifting. I have to have a bright yellow kitchen wherever I live & have made that happen in over 25 moves. I also am a true believer in color therapy & think that the science behind what each color emits is fascinating. Yellow, for me, exudes a joyfulness that other colors can’t match. Beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder though & I imagine someone who absolutely adores purple could say the same thing. I just moved (again!) & cannot wait to paint my kitchen beautiful, glorious, happy, joyful yellow!ReplyCancel

  • Maureen LoPresti - February 5, 2017 - 3:51 AM

    Thank you for discussing saturated yellows. My large kitchen/conversation area is painted BM American Cheese. Everyone loves it.. When I have mentioned that I might change it, I hear “No! Don’t do it.”ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:27 AM

      Hi Maureen,

      I saw a blog maybe 3 years ago where someone had painted their kitchen or maybe it was the play room off the kitchen American Cheese. (horrible name, IMO) and she too loved it. It did look very nice, as I recall.ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - February 5, 2017 - 3:33 AM

    Hello Laurel, Happy Birthday!

    Chrome Yellow is an impressive color, although it might be too energizing with a room one has to live in. You have to be careful when decorating with yellow–you don’t want people to be reminded of the story The Yellow Wallpaper.

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:25 AM

      Hi Jim,

      I was thinking about it when I woke up this morning. My walls in the my LR and little entry and little hall are Hawthorne yellow. I like it and especially at night. The LR glows with this warm, lovely light. But I looked at my LR this morning and thought, could I live with Chrome yellow. I agree. I think it would be great if one had a large home and like William used it and then the rest of the home was mostly blue and white. I think it would be a lot of fun. They say that yellow stimulates appetites, not that most of us need that. lol Thanks for the birthday wishes too!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 5, 2017 - 1:55 AM

    Soft yellow makes my heart go a flutter, whether it be roses, a T-shirt, an egg cup, or walls next to glossy white trim on paned windows and crown mounding. It is the perfect neutral for me, because I’ve found it goes with everything and is the perfect backdrop for anything.
    The stronger yellows are very strong and I think need other strong colors beside them. I guess that’s too much strong for me, too bold.
    Have a lovely and very Happy Birthday Laurel xoReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:22 AM

      Hi Kim,

      I always think it’s about balance. And while I think the strong needs strong, it also needs calm. That’s why I think that William’s room works so well. It has that balance and also areas of cool and calm. Plus, it’s just so, so stylish and I’m a sucker for Chinoiserie!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes too!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy - February 5, 2017 - 1:22 AM

    I do not decorate with yellow. The closest I’ve come is a soft gold pillow that I have on a blue sofa. I think the main reason I avoid yellow is because I look horrid when I try to wear it. But I’m a quilter find it interesting that I use a bit of yellow in almost all my quilts!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:20 AM

      Hi Cathy,

      I think the thing that I didn’t voice in the post which is fine because I can say it here 30 times, haha, is that for yellow to work, there needs to be a lot else going on. That doesn’t mean as busy as some of these rooms. But there needs to be a healthy dose of art and white and other colors and always, beautiful lighting.

      Also, there are cool icy bright yellows and warm ones. The ones I have here are all warm. I would stay away from the cool yellows. Yes, yellow can be cool! Like lemon ice!ReplyCancel

  • Joanna - February 5, 2017 - 12:43 AM

    I don’t think I could live with an intense yellow on my walls or even in accents. I’m afraid, personally I’m just not a fan of yellow in fashion, flowers or decor.
    Happy Birthday!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 1:01 AM

      Hi Joanna,

      That’s okay. There are some colors I’m not crazy about. But oftentimes, I find it’s contextual. And thanks for the Birthday wishes!ReplyCancel

      • Joanna - February 5, 2017 - 11:34 AM

        I’ve been thinking of yellow and when I might have had it in something. Then I remembered! Years ago, I moved into a house with a yellow front door. I was to paint it immediately upon moving in but it grew on me. It suited the house and neighbourhood, and I ended up loving it. So, even a non lover can appreciate a color in the right place.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 6:06 PM

          Hi Joanna,

          I had a few yellow doors in my collection of yellows, but felt that the post had enough as it was. But it would be great for a post on great front door colors.

  • Jenny - February 5, 2017 - 12:38 AM

    honestly-i was checking to see if your new post is up:) truly makes my day/night brighter

    i’ve read interesting things about yellow. if you’re happy-it has this power to make you even happier. but if you’re sad..seriously sad..in your period of a loss.. it might make you sadder
    it reminded me of many things i knew already about holidays. they’re the same. if you’re ok-they’ll make you happy. but if you’re deeply not..it’s a harsh time, actually.

    so yellow is a complicated color. in that regard.
    these images are beautiful
    i spent several years within very happy yellow walls. they weren’t as saturated yellow though, they were more muted sunflower
    they looked amazing in the daytime. they were definitely “day”
    colored rooms. i didn’t think once of repainting them

    but when we painted the new place i deliberately decided i need a break.
    i still have a lot a lot of yellow accents.
    and my favorite roses(i love all of them though) are tea roses. even though yellow is considered bad omen for giving flowers-it signifies that life may take you apart, put a distance between you..
    depends on a culture i guess. all this is very interesting.

    some people love yellow always though. I don’t know many, but know some. interesting-would they go for something as bold as the images, if given a chance? i should show them a couple and ask them. i pinned a lot, so there’s that:)
    the images are fabulous.
    thank you for another amazing post, Laurel!
    ps the Founding Fathers were very wise people. i think about that pretty often.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 12:59 AM

      Hi Jenny,

      I think that most of the rooms, there’s so much else going on, that the yellow almost becomes an accent. But it’s a great backdrop for other colors.

      And yeah… the founding fathers were very wise.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - February 5, 2017 - 12:31 AM

    I love yellow, I can’t do those saturated yellows but anyway. I painted the basement ceiling Benjamin Mooore Breath of Fresh Air blue because I am from the South and don’t have a porch. And worked very hard to get a yellow for the walls. They all looked greenish maybe because of blue ceiling. I live in PAC NW and choosing colors is hell in general, the light is so … absent… the yellow I ended up with I can’t remember the name but it’s not entirely satisfactory and pokes me in the eye every time I go in the basement, which is 7 times a day.
    The Chinese Pavilion wall paper is simply gorgeous.ReplyCancel

    • Catherine - February 5, 2017 - 6:24 AM

      Hi Nancy
      I know exactly what you mean about saturated yellow looking green. The further north you are, the more blue there is in natural daylight. I live in Scotland, and latitude-wise, we’re further north than Vancouver, so we need to pick out colours with a hint of red to warm them up.
      I recently tested Farrow & Ball’s Sudbury Yellow and it looked like someone had vomited on the walls – awful – as the paint colour has some green in it. F&B Dorset Cream was sooo much better. Sorry, I don’t know what the BM equivalents are – but I’m sure Laurel does!ReplyCancel

      • nancy - February 5, 2017 - 3:37 PM

        OHH, I didn’t think about effects of latitude! The lighting is so. very. different. I did get warm LEDs for lighting. I was trying to go for a “Key Westian” feel and couldn’t quite get it. In the olden days, I remember paint chips had the colors in the mix on the back. It was so easy to select a blue with no black or whatever. I thought it made it so much easier to get started. Here, where I live now, a color looks awesome in the bathroom and vomitous in the kitchen.ReplyCancel

        • Catherine - February 6, 2017 - 6:05 AM

          Ahh, that golden glow that the light has in Florida and the south of France, which makes everything and everyone look like a million dollars! If the same colour looks great in one room and horrendous in another, it’s probably due to the orientation of the room. North and west facing rooms like warmer based colours, south and east can take cooler blue, green and grey bases.

      • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 10:44 AM

        Hi Catherine,

        Yeah, Sudbury is definitely a gold. Hang on, I’ll go grab my chart, but here’s the link to it.


        I have BM yellow Bisque 220, but Coronado Cream is pretty good too. Here’s the thing that I’ve discovered. Farrow and Ball’s chips are not consistent from year to year. So, if I have a color card that’s 5 years old, some of the colors may be different from the ones now. It drives me nuts. But, it’s a good starting point, at least.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2017 - 12:56 AM

      Hi Nancy,

      You said the basement, right? It could be your lighting. If it’s a cool light, it will skew the yellow towards green.ReplyCancel