Sociable yellow is a colour that makes us feel happy, warm and gregarious. Yellow glows and is light-reflecting, which makes it a very useful colour for rooms with a northerly aspect where its effect is one of the true colours and carries with it all the positive qualities of brilliance and light. Symbolically, yellow is associated with intellect, understanding and knowledge. Buddhist monks wear saffron yellow robes as a sign of their spiritual enlightenment. Yellow is strongly affected by the colours used alongside it – with black it is at its most luminous; with violet it looks hard; with orange it appears purer, and with green radiates life and energy.
Yellow and blue can be an uncomfortable combination unless the shade of blue is softened with grey. Red and yellow are celebratory colours, full of fun and very bold. Use yellow in a large kitchen where meals are prepared and serves – you will be guaranteed a lively atmosphere and good conversation at meal times. In a playroom it will encourage generosity and good behaviour, and in a work room it will encourage imagination, creativity and communication.
Sunshine yellow radiates warmth, confidence and goodwill. This effect id intensified and energised by a glossy reflective surface. Pale primrose yellow has a soft feminine character. Deep mustard yellow is heavy and rich, a match for powerful colours like scarlet and purple. Creamy custard yellow goes with everything - it is comforting, warm, friendly and unchallenging. Lemon yellow has a hint of sharp green in it, and brilliance but no warmth. Its coolness can impact an air of sophistication, especially when used with black.
Decorating a room yellow is like sending out an ‘open house’ invitation. It is very reflective and on a bright day will infuse a room with yellow light. Earthy yellow is warm and looks good in a farmhouse setting or a sophisticated living room, while primrose yellow is fresh and suits a light, airy contemporary style. Citrus yellow is the coolest shade with a lime green cast. It is sharp as a lemon and works well with bold contrasts. Each yellow is unique but all are convivial.