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Colour Pyschology : Yellow

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Colour Psychology series - the uplifting power of yellow


Walls : Buttercup (2154-30). Woodwork : Decorator's White (OC-149). Table : Willow Creek (1468).


Colour is an extremely powerful communication tool, one that affects us to our core without us even realising. Colour psychology is the notion that we subconsciously associate colours with feelings and moods. It's a topic that we've only really scratched the surface of, but one that is highly fascinating as we dig in to how it impacts our emotions and even our decision making.

The impact of colour is highly prominent in our homes. When looking for design inspiration, we are subtly guided in our choices by colour psychology; everything from the bigger decisions such as paint and furniture through to the finishing touches.

Wall : Chestertown Buff (HC-9). Panelling : Atrium White (OC-145). Bench : Gray Cashmere (2138-60).

We lean towards colours to help signify the energy of the room; often favouring calming colours for our bedrooms and bathrooms, and more vibrant colours for our kitchens or living rooms. And there is no better way to set the intention for a room than the paint we choose.

Yellow is a colour that is typically associated with happiness, creativity, and optimism; and its clear why searches for "yellow paint" have remained a top design trend search on Pinterest. Yellow is known throughout history for evoking a feeling of warmth and a connection to the sun.

With that in mind, we can see how introducing yellow paint into your home provides an instant boost of energy and positivity. It's a vibrant colour which can really bring a room to life, particularly in spaces that receive a good amount of natural light from the sun. Yellow is also a distinctly warming, welcoming colour; making it well suited to your hallways, living rooms and kitchens making guests instantly feel at home and comfortable.

Accent wall : Banana Yellow (2022-40). Walls and ceiling : Paper White (OC-55).

So how can we introduce yellow into our homes? Yellow works really well as both an accent colour and as a base tone for the entire room, so whether you prefer mustard tones or muted pastel hues, you really are spoilt for choice.

As an accent colour, yellow injects vitality into any room, making the room feel more energised; and even the smallest splash of a bright and bold yellow can bring a feeling of zest to the space. We'd recommend incorporating yellows into rooms where you want to boost creativity and positivity, such as a playroom or home office. Why not punctuate a plain wall with a brightly painted alcove or a shelving unit. For a cohesive look, opt for accessories and artwork with complementary yellow hues to pull the room together.

Accent wall : Sunflower (2019-30).  Walls, woodwork and cabinets : White Heron (OC-57).
Walls : Gettysburg Gray HC-107). Woodwork : Icicle (OC-60). Dresser frame and bottom drawer :
Bright Yellow (2022-30).  Second Drawer from the Bottom: Banana Yellow (2022-40).
Second Drawer from the Top: Sundance (2022-50). Top Drawers: Light Yellow (2022-60).
Left wall : Gray Owl (OC-52). Right wall : Metropolitan (AF-690). Ceiling : White Heron (OC-57). Doors : Marblehead Gold (HC-11)

On the other end of the scale, using a vibrant yellow on all four walls is a very bold choice. If you're looking for a sunny disposition for the entire room, you may be better off using a more subtle shade of yellow. Muted yellow harnesses all the energising benefits of the colour in a much less intense way, resulting in a look that is more welcoming and calming. It's a much softer look, and so looks best when matched with pared-back accessories and furniture. Take inspiration from the heat of the Mediterranean with rustic wooden furniture and flashes of white accessories to really make the room feel fresh.

Accent wall : Pale Moon (OC-108). Left wall and ceiling : Collector's Item (AF-45). Woodwork : Morning Dew (OC-140)
Walls :  Soleil (AF-330). Mantel, ceiling and woodwork : Mascarpone (AF-20).

And if you're feeling bold, why not go for the ultimate statement with a yellow front door? It's an instant way to make anyone feel welcome and relaxed as they enter your home, as well as being an instant mood-booster before you even step foot in the house.

Door : English Scone (from the Aura Grand Entrance palette)
Cladding and railings : White Heron (OC-57). Woodwork : Metropolitan (AF-690). Door : Marblehead Gold (HC-11). 

So, whether you prefer bright and bold or more subtle and calming, yellow offers a vibrant and mood-boosting energy to your home. There's no doubt that this energising colour will remain popular as we discover new ways to incorporate it in our homes and lives.

If you're not sure where to start, or for more inspiration on how to use yellow at home, take a look at our handy Colour Families guide here

Walls : Paper White (OC-55). Woodwork : White Heron (OC-57). Cabinets : Marblehead Gold (HC-11).

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