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Follow the Yellow Brick Road (Of Design Rules)

Yellow seems pretty harmless when it’s paired with mustard or Beatles songs, but when it comes to home décor, you want to be a little careful. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not anti-yellowites or anything, but this frenetic, powerful color can have adverse effects on a room if it’s not used strategically. Here are seven yellow design rules to keep in mind when you decorate: 

Photo: West Elm

1. Avoid nurseries. Since yellow is so bright and intense, it can actually upset babies so much that they cry more. Babies tend to do that a lot anyway, so there’s no reason to shoot yourself in the foot with your nursery wall color. Go with a light blue or green instead, both of which promote calmness and sleep. On the contrary, yellow is great for your child’s playroom since it sparks creativity and imagination.

2. Aim for accents. Sometimes, less is more. Too much yellow is overpowering, but in small doses (lemon drops, if you will) it work extremely well. Consider perking up your living room sofa with a few yellow throw pillows or a set of curtains. Lighter yellows can also serve as great backdrops and backsplashes!

3. Pair it with black. There’s something extremely sleek and elegant about a yellow and black color combo. Pairing these two colors works well with things like sofa cushions, lamps and even picture frames. If you’re looking for some interior design tips for black, read: Color Theory: Black Magic.

4. Use it on your mailbox. How many red and black mailboxes do you see out there? Probably a lot. It’s the go-to color choice for this common household fixture, but it doesn’t have to be your choice! Spice up your curb appeal with a lemon-yellow mailbox. While you’re at it, why not revamp your mail organization system, too?

5. Don’t start a fight. Yellow is sort of like that super-athletic kid at school – it’s bold, strong and loves to compete with other colors. If you put yellow in a room with “big” colors such as deep red or purple, a color-confrontation may ensue. To avoid a scuffle, use yellow sparingly when there are other dominant colors around. Save it for rooms with neutral colors like gray and white.  If you’re not sure how much yellow you should use, follow the 60-30-10 rule.

6. Go beyond paint. Embarking on a paint-shopping odyssey and painting your entire entryway is one way to use yellow, but it’s not the only way! There are a number of beautiful yellow fruits that you can place around your house as accents. We’re partial to lemons because they can also be used for great things around the house, but bananas, squash and pineapples all work, too!

7. Create a garden. Yellow and black may create a stark, pleasant contrast, but pairing this sunshine color with calming blues and greens will give any room a lush, garden feel! If you happen to have blue tiles in your bathroom or kitchen, try out a few yellow bath- or tea-towels for a fresh, springtime pairing. We think you’ll be pleased with the results!

Photo: TheParisPrintShop | Etsy

Photo: West Elm

Photo: metrosofa | Etsy

Photo: Williams-Sonoma

Photo: OBJX | Etsy

Photo: TheParisPrintShop | Etsy

Photo: West Elm

Photo: deliciouspillows | Etsy

Photo: MossyJojo | Etsy

Photo: CalloohCalley | Etsy

Photo: SecretWindowMirros | Etsy

Photo: West Elm

Photo: GallivantingGirls | Etsy

Photo: ElemenOfPillows | Etsy

Photo: West Elm

Photo: West Elm

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