Yellow, the colour of happiness

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Did you know yellow symbolizes happiness and optimism? It’s no wonder, then, that post-pandemic, more designers and design enthusiasts are choosing to decorate with yellow. Could it be a subliminal nod to a hopeful future? After all, different colours have long been known to be powerful mood influencers.

Think of how you feel when you cut into a fresh Meyer lemon, see a towering row of sunflowers, or take in an epic sunset. It’s an instant blast of dopamine for your body.

Summer, sunshine and smiles

Confession time. I’m obsessed with the yellow colour spectrum. From the softest butter yellow to a deep rich ochre (which happens to be one of the oldest known natural pigments) and every shade in between, I appreciate its adaptability and ability to instantly brighten up a space to make it feel more inviting and cheerful. Yellow is associated with sunshine and summer and brings a sense of warmth and positivity into any room. Its versatility enables it to be paired with a wide range of other hues (for example, lavender, pink and a neutral light gray), making it a popular choice for adding hits of colour or creating vibrant colour schemes. As designer Michelle Berwick of Michelle Berwick Design aptly puts it: “Yellow is a very strong colour that can make a huge impact on your overall design. So, use it wisely and intentionally.”

According to Sharon Grech, a Benjamin Moore colour and design expert, yellow has potential in any room, yet its intensity should be carefully considered. She recommends reserving a vibrant shade for accents or areas that are infrequently used, such as a laundry room and hallway, or as a striking door colour. This way, you can infuse a pop of energy and personality without overwhelming the space or disrupting the serene atmosphere of your main living areas. And, when it comes to amping up yellow and giving it serious design cred, Grech recommends pairing it with bright white and black accents for graphic contrast.

The right hue for you

What about choosing the right shade for your home? Grech has some sage advice. “I highly recommend first testing out your yellow selections on the wall with paint samples. In a small paint chip, yellow can be very deceiving and most often is more vibrant than it appears. Once you brush out a big amount, you will have a much better sense of the intensity.”

Experience the transformative power of yellow. Let this magical hue visually enhance the atmosphere and turn your home into a sanctuary of happiness and positivity.

  1. Breakfast nook in hawthorne yellow HC-4, a classic and top-selling Benjamin Moore paint colour that is a popular choice for interior and exterior paint projects.
  2. Designer Michelle Berwick painted her client’s bathroom door yellow. Although it’s only one element in an otherwise neutral space, it has a massive impact.
  3. Linen blend duvet cover set in light yellow. From $124. hm.com
  4. Square cement tile in bumblebee and warm white. $10 per sq. ft. geontile.com
  5. Nursery dresser in sundance by Benjamin Moore. benjaminmoore.ca
  6. Phoebe chair with metal legs in dijon. From $974. westelm.ca
  7. Le Creuset nectar collection. From $145. williams-sonoma.ca
Sara Duck
Sara Duck

With over 15 years' experience as a magazine editor, writer and content creator, Sara brings her passion for design and decor to our pages each issue. @bysaraduck

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