Posted by: jeb1 | April 13, 2011

Decorating with Yellow from Wall Street Journal


[Rita Yellow] Simon UptonHELLO, YELLOW | Bright leather upholstery adds snap to custom-made chairs in the London apartment of cosmetics executive Christine d’Ornano.

This just in: Yellow is the new red! Where designers once declared no room complete without a stroke of crimson, now it’s a flash of yellow that’s required, from the most acidic to the yolkiest tone.

This is a color that you can be bold with. Don’t rule it out for upholstery, for example, but keep it as the accent color rather than the canvas. Dining chairs in yellow leather will zing against pale gray walls. Sunny roller blinds will fill the room with warmth on even the dreariest day. California’s Raoul Textiles makes fabrics that are as bright as that West Coast sun. Their yellow is suitably named sulphur and the patterns are beautiful for pillows or a slipper chair. Madeline Weinrib’s ikat prints are also irresistible and her yellow is a ray of light. Her pillows are a good start, either alone or mixed in with other things, such as Jonathan Adler’s tapestried banana pillow.


F. Martin Ramin/WSJSaffron Mu Ikat Pillow 18 x 18 inches, $450, 

Yellow is not everyone’s favorite, so if you want to experiment before you commit, put some yellow candles in your candlesticks or fill a vase with a large bunch of mimosa or daffodils and see how it suits your space. (Though who can find anything to say against the daffodil? Not only do they pack a cheery punch but they promise the end of snow storms and the weighty, unattractive clothing that comes with them.) These sorts of things will give you the little pools of color that we so often forget to add. I am always drawn in by them when flicking through magazines and think how easy it is to do—and then completely forget to do it.

For other accents I love West Elm’s lacquered trays, which are useful in almost every room. This season they have done a soft custardy yellow. On the poolside bar this summer it will be perfect, especially filled with pretty San Pellegrino Limonata cans. Lars Bolander sells a sunflower ceramic vase that would be great turned into a lamp, particularly if you use a patterned lampshade to balance out the bold block of color. Or you can do a shade in another strong color. I find a lot of inspiration in sorbets—think mango and cassis.

Glass is a lovely way to introduce new colors. I am a massive fan of Laguna B Venetian glasses and the yellow margarita tumblers are just the most divine things. Very whimsical and light (in both weight and color), they’re ideal for lemonade or a sparkly gin and tonic with a twist of lemon, of course.

This year’s yellow is bold and bright and even a little off. What is important with yellow is the colors you put with it, and this is why I like it as an accent rather than as the main event. It does wonderful things when dropped in the middle of other palettes and even better when the other colors are a different hue. Put a milky yellow with very clear shades of blue. Or a very sharp yellow with dark purples and rusts. Yellow works the best when it challenges its surroundings. And its surroundings work better in return.

—Ms. Konig is a decorator and design writer based in New York.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: