Decorating with Color: How to Brighten Your Space with Yellow

The color yellow symbolizes happiness, positivity, warmth and energy. A vibrant yellow color is wonderful for brightening up a room. Forget the do’s and don’ts about how to decorate with color – if yellow makes you happy, decorate away – you can’t go wrong decorating with yellow.

Check out these 21 ideas for decorating with yellow for a little inspiration on how to add more warmth and sunshine to any existing room.

The ultimate color combination: grey and yellow

Cool, understated grey and warm, bold yellow make a perfect pairing. Include black and white in the design plan to add contrast to your room.

A photo wall of yellow prints flows well with the graphic yellow area rug. The prints were framed with a white mat to add some contrast to the yellow art and grey walls, making the artwork “pop.” Image: ZGallerie
A restful grey bedroom gets a warm pick-me-up with the yellow throw pillow, table lamp and blanket. Image: Gold Dust Interior Design
The modern rustic dining/kitchen space would be fabulous in just grey and white. But the yellow accents add a fun and inviting feel to the room. Image: Amory Brown
This living room would feel dull without the yellow decor thoughtfully placed in all areas of the room for balance. Image: Bespoke Design

Decorating with yellow paint and wallpaper

For a quick infusion of yellow in your room, paint a wall or two in a rich yellow color. For more depth and texture, try decorating with yellow wallpaper.

The rich yellow wall looks like paint, but it’s actually wallpaper with a subtle texture to give the flat wall some depth. Image: AGSIA Design Group
The wall behind the headboard features a rich and contrasting yellow wallpaper to showcase the bed and add warmth and vibrancy to the room. Image: Luis Muñoz
The wall of the dining area in this open floor plan home was painted yellow to create a designated dining space. Image: Alair Homes
Go mod with a bold, retro yellow and white wallpaper, like the one shown. Image: Anthony Baratta

Adding yellow accents to a room

You don’t have to throw out your existing furnishings and replace them with bright yellow ones. In fact, if you’re room is already neutral and simply needs a little lift, a few affordable yellow accessories will go a long way. Go with an odd number of yellow accents. For example, add two yellow throw pillows and one yellow vase.

The area rug in the entryway is carried visually throughout the room with a few accents like a pouf ottoman, photo frame and a throw pillow. Image: Araxan Interiorismo
Yellow was used throughout the room for balance. From the bowl and lemons on the left to the curtains in the middle to the painted yellow focal wall in front of the dining space, the touches are small but make a big impact. Also notice the yellow napkins on the table. Image: Style My Room
Layering yellow onto an existing neutral room and everyday grey bedding makes it look like an integral part of the space. Image: Amsterdam Living
The warm golden yellow on the headboard carries into the beautiful silk pillows and flat sheet. Image: Zac and Zac
The yellow chairs and accessories add vibrancy to a neutral room. The room feels balanced because the chairs and throw pillows mirror each other. Image: Nobo Home

Paint your doors in a welcoming yellow

Most doors are a neutral color or occasionally red. Stand out from the crowd in your neighborhood with a bright yellow door. If your community restricts you from a colorful front door, paint the inside of the door or other interior doors in yellow.

A painted yellow barn door brightens up the rich blue room. Image: Nat Rea Photography
This fun and casual family home starts off with a bright yellow door that carries over into the dining area. Image: Chango & Co.

Decorating with yellow in the kitchen

Yellow is second only to red as one of the most complimentary colors in the kitchen. The color is bright and feels as clean as a fresh lemon.

The yellow backsplash of this Mid Century Modern kitchen is an unexpected addition to the sage and blue grey cabinets, yet the combination looks fabulous. Image: Danny Broe Architect
The odd number color accessory rule works well in this kitchen. The two yellow hanging pendants ties in with the yellow backsplash. Image: Sanctuary Kitchens and Bathrooms
A white open dining and kitchen space gets some personalization with a yellow backsplash. Image: Denise Quade

Vibrant yellow dining spaces

Create a fun and high energy look by adding yellow to your dining room. Some ways you can add yellow include:

  • a yellow pendant lamp
  • yellow table linens
  • yellow dining chairs
  • yellow walls or wall art
Steal this look for a fun and casual dining space. Yellow pineapple wallpaper and mixed and matched dining chairs give this large dining room a fresh, unique look. Image: Chango & Co.
If you rent and can’t paint your walls, hang a large piece of art in primary yellow on the wall to add color to the room. Image: GATH Interior Design

When decorating with yellow, don’t forget to bring in your sense of fun and whimsy. Choose accents with unusual details like pompoms or an interesting print. Where would you add yellow in your home? Let us know in the comments.