Show the Yellow Card

We’re all suffering from a lack of sunshine. And while there’s no magic wand to change the murky outlook, you can set the forecast to ‘sunny’ by embracing the brightest trend on the decor horizon - yellow.

We’re all suffering from a lack of sunshine. And while there’s no magic wand to change the murky outlook, you can set the forecast to ‘sunny’ by embracing the brightest trend on the decor horizon - yellow.

Warm, golden sandy tones, reminiscent of sun-drenched beaches, through to vibrant canary shades can’t fail to banish the gloom and bring light and cheer to dull rooms.

“After a prolonged period of cold, wintry weather, no other colour brings such an instant injection of warmth and sun to the home than carefully chosen shades of yellow,” says Rishi Subeathar, founder of eico, the environmentally-friendly paint specialists.

If you’re wedded to neutrals and even the thought of yellow has you wincing and reaching for your sunglasses (a Crown Paints survey found 35% of us are scared of using any kind of colour in our homes), it could be time to overturn your colour prejudice.

“It’s true that yellow needs to be used with care so that it doesn’t overwhelm, or look as though you’ve covered a room in custard!” acknowledges Subeathar.

“But all its shades are mood-enhancing, from sunflower brights to softer buttery pastels.

There’s a yellow shade to suit most discerning tastes and interiors.”

Yellows can be the perfect solution for dark hallways or small, light-deprived rooms, says Rebecca Thompson, colour and design manager for Dulux.

“Yellow, known for its optimism, has always been a popular shade and is associated with being clear, bright and uplifting,” she says.

“It reflects warmth, is said to encourage inspiration and expression, and is the perfect shade to energise while still being sophisticated.

” So follow the experts’ advice on using the power of yellow to create sunny rooms in your home.

Yellow shake-up

Making a statement in a room with a splash of yellow is one of the easiest ways to create a chic, modern setting.

“Paint a feature wall in a bold, bright citrus and then balance its intensity by using grey-based neutrals or subtle whites on the other walls,” suggests Subeathar.

“If that’s too daring for your taste, simply use a deep yellow shade for alcoves to conjure depth and richness.”

Mellow yellow

Traditional settings benefit from more subtle yellow tones - from sand through to gold - which add warmth and elegance.

“Soft buttery yellows are more in sympathy with the decor style of a period or country home and will conjure a restful and peaceful atmosphere set against ivory, beige or dark wood furnishings,” says Subeathar.

“If you have existing soft furnishings, blinds or curtains in yellow, use these as the basis on which to choose your paint shade, so that they complement each other and really pull the room together.”

Consider your shade choice carefully, he advises, as yellow can change in varying lights. “Use a tester pot and paint a piece of board and display it in different areas in a room, and study it at different times of the day. Yellows when applied can often seem brighter than they seem in the paint tin.”

Yellow magic

Turning up the heat indoors needn’t mean altering the thermostat - simply add touches of punchy yellow to inject some sizzling energy throughout the house.

“Yellow can cover a wide range of shades from soft yellow and creams through to bright and bold daffodil or sunflower tones and the sharp acid yellows, and all will have impact,” says Lee Clarke, head designer at Clarke & Clarke.

“The shades work particularly well in kitchens and breakfast rooms, especially those sunflower shades.

Yellow can be paired with black monochromes or bold purples for a more dramatic statement in a bedroom.”