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Yellow – How to Use it

Spring is well and truly in the air! Yesterday was a such a warm and sunny day, all the daffodils that have been fighting to break through were looking very perky, reminding me how yellow is the colour that signals the shedding of winter coats and looking forward to sunny days and long evenings.

Illuminating and uplifting, yellow can be used in an interior to great effect. At Velvet orange, we have used all shades of yellows and mustards to either create a statement, bold or gentle accents or even to style other elements in a room.

Here are a few tips on how to get the best out of this most welcoming of colours.


1.Using yellow as a statement on walls

A strong yellow hue looks fantastic as a backdrop to complement a room where other materials are kept simple, light and reflective.


In this property in East Molesey, we used Farrow and Ball India Yellow in the entrance hall to create impact in an entrance which was airey and spacious. Very simple styling with a bespoke antique glass mirror, console table and lamps was all that was needed to complete the effect.




In this handmade kitchen in Clapham, wallpaper by Graham and Brown was used along a wall to offset a textured and sedate variety of materials elsewhere. We used tiny yellow accents in other areas of the same room such as seen on the Tom Dixon light, the glassware that was displayed and even in the floral arrangement to pull it all together.



2. Using yellow as a statement in your furnishings

From re-upholstering chairs to commissioning bold headboards, yellow can be bought into the foreground of any space very successfully. The trick is to be brave and embrace the colour – dive in and use it dramatically, thinking about how the lighting in the room and other pieces will show it off as you want.


In this recently completed project in Wandsworth, we were working with a client for the second time. Having moved house, she wanted to re-use the pieces we had worked into her previous home and scheme, whilst ensuring the new property had a completely different look. You can see how this statement chair can be used to great effect in both a 19th century period property and a modern, architect designed space. This gentle yellow has been used in rooms where there is alot of natural light showing off the geometric pattern beautifully.




In another property we worked on in Hampton, this mustard velvet chair was installed against a dark blue wall. This room will not get too much natural light and using a dark colour on the walls and lots of dramatic lamp light stops the chair from looking washed out in the space, and creates a cosy, welcoming spot to put your feet up with a book and glass of wine.


This fantastic piece of furniture in Sri Lanka was in a hotel I was lucky enough to stay in  – the designers have used a strong colour on an organically shaped piece of furniture. Natural materials and daylight show this piece off to it’s very best. The column behind has been colour matched and works really well in an otherwise simple yet stunning interior space.



3. Using Yellow as an accent

Yellow can work really well as a punctuation in a space as part of a larger scheme and without being the main event.


We totally re-vamped this previously bland white bedroom and created a luxe, inviting space whilst working with the awkward pitched lines of the roof, and retaining the light. This mustard velvet headboard was designed and made to order, it was used to carve off an entire corner as bedspace, hugging in the bedside tables and statement lights. The rest of the room is kept sumptuous yet neutral so that the headboard is accented rather than an over arching feature. You can see how mixing metallics of various luminosity and colour work really well in this scheme, the yellow letting this happen successfully. Polished plaster paint effects using pale, silvery, pearlescent finishes helps the headboard blend with the walls.



In this client space in Clapham, a very softly textured yellow wallpaper was used purely to highlight this jaw dropping client owned artwork, we wanted to show it off as a major feature in their new space. Here, yellow and warm oranges and pinks work really well together as we have worked them into the house from front to back – the effect is stunning if you are willing to take the plunge.



In another property, we used a yellow table lamp to show off a client’s BAFTA awards – the dark blue backdrop and yellow lighting are entirely secondary to the items on these shelves but without them, the awards would not look so effective. If you have worked hard enough to be recognised for your efforts, absolutely you should want to display and take pleasure in anything like this.


4. Adding a sliver of yellow into a space 

This work works for a brightening effect to muted schemes.


This stunning client owned artwork is the main event in the corner of this room. It is full of emotion, beauty and serenity – because of this it was installed on a textured, dark wallpaper by Anthropology and yellow cushions were tucked onto nearby sofas to tie it all together. I adore this artwork and the effect created by the styling items around it.



5. Just a touch of yellow

If you love the colour but really only want to see a dash of yellow around your home, with the flexibility of changing it at will, there are all manner of ways you can take it on. From adding the tiniest slick of yellow to an otherwise simple space such as in this interior from Vogue Australia, to buying in an Orla Kiely ceramic biscuit tin or mixing and matching your picture frames (these are from Etsy).




All in all, we are great fans of this colour – we have had clients who love it too, and others who need a bit of persuading but none are ever disappointed.

Wishing you the brightest of Springs!

The Velvet Orange Team








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