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Create A Comfortable Home With the Color Yellow

Want to light up a dark room, but you don't want to install a skylight or floor-to-ceiling windows? Try a wash of gold-yellow, the deep color of natural sunlight flooding an August wheat field.

This shade of yellow, bright and bold, and will add light to even a dark room in the back of the house, and bring a little bit of summer into your home even when the temperature drops and the snow flies.

Yellow of any shade is among the most luminous of the colors, meaning it reflects back the most light. While darker colors, browns and purples and deep blues, are light misers, absorbing more light than they give back, yellow is generous, throwing almost all the light that comes to them back to the whole room.


Just one wall painted gold-yellow will brighten the whole room, and make the room seem larger. Try it in a small room that you wish were bigger, and you won't gain any square footage, but you'll at least gain the illusion of having more room.

You don't have to limit using gold-yellow on walls, however. Because there's nothing namby-pamby about this particular shade, it can stand on its own as an eye-catching statement in the center of the room, such as a gold-yellow chair placed just so, or a vase full of sunflowers on a kitchen table.

In terms of function, gold-yellow is a perfect candidate when a room's function is to help people socialize, such as in a living room, dining room, or kitchen, because gold-yellow can help bring out the extrovert in everyone.

Thinking of the second Guideline, mood, there's no doubt that gold-yellow will brighten the mood of a room. It's not right for the kind of studious contemplation necessary in a den or study, but if you want a mood that's bright and upbeat, it's an obvious choice.

The third Guideline raises the question of harmony. What harmonizes well with gold-yellow? Anything on the same side of the color wheel will work. Gold-yellow hovers somewhere between true yellow and yellow-orange, so you can complement it with greens, to pull it more toward the blue range, or with reds and oranges, to bring out its more fiery side.

Whether you use it as a small accent or a whole wall-full of color, gold-yellow will be a good strong antidote to winter blues.

–Sarah Van Arsdale      www.sheffield.edu

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