Color Love: Vibrant Yellow - West | South
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Adding some fresh color, with ways to use the colors of the year and the meaning behind them.

Color Love: Vibrant Yellow

color

When I first saw the new Pantone Color of the Year for 2021, I will freely admit that I was disappointed. Dull Grey? Vibrant Yellow? Together? In this economy??!?

I didn’t get it.

But after digging into the release, reading the report, and actually slowing down to focus on the why it really does make a lot of sense. So today, I’m going to share my thoughts on their choice, show you how to use it for your home, and tell you where to go to add some vibrant yellow to your life.

image of barn siding painted vibrant yellow but with weathered sections

WHY DO COLORS OF THE YEAR MATTER?

I’ve been on the inside of one of the groups that make annual color forecasts.  It’s made up of a large group of designers from all different industries and disciplines.  They bring the actual colors they’ve chosen for the next year of their products and present them to the group.  It was a privilege to have been selected to share my designs with them.

However, the important part of the presentation is the WHY.  What drew them to that color, and what conversations were they having internally about it?  What data points gave them confidence that this was the right choice for them? Does the color sell?  How do the buyers resonate with it?

The color is not a guess.  These are people who are letting themselves be affected by the cultural movement 1, 2, or 3 years before the rest of the people start thinking about it.  Because of this, it’s not magic – it’s observation.  It’s anthropology.

The gathering is an intense 3 or 4 days of conversations on the state of the entire globe’s culture.  It’s wonderfully overwhelming.  And at the end of it, you have a much clearer picture of where people’s heads are.

So it’s no coincidence that every company starts to sell the same colors at the same time.  This is because humans are humans everywhere.  We react to color in the same way, no matter who we are.  And because colors create emotion.  Using the right color for what you feel (or want to feel) can make all the difference in your happiness.

And this year, particularly when so much is hazy, and we are grasping for hope and a glimmer of happiness, these colors make so much sense.

image of vibrant yellow umbrellas

PANTONE’S VIBRANT YELLOW

Again, I’ll admit that I do not fully understand the choice to release the grey. Especially now, we are on the cusp of color palettes starting to move warmer, browner. Clients are actually asking me for NOT GREY, lately. But the yellow, it makes sense.

From the Pantone release:

image of pages from pantone swatch book showing 2021 pantone colors of the year ultimate gray and illuminating yellow

PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another, best express the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021. Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.

A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.

Which, I mean, yes, right?

VIBRANT YELLOW CURB APPEAL

A vibrant yellow such as this one can be rather intimidating when you first look at it. It is BRIGHT. It is BOLD. And it could easily overwhelm.

Which means, I am not recommending you go out and paint your entire house a vibrant yellow color. I mean, you could, of course, you do you, and it is your home. But that’s a move I would have trouble pursuing with you.

As I said, this color is BRIGHT. So my best tip for your exterior is to ground whatever you choose to accent by surrounding it with neutral colors, which fits right into the why of Pantone’s thinking. Grounded yet vibrant.

These images show how this yellow compliments a cooler grey with touches of black or a warmer tan with white accents.

A color this bright is easier to manage when you use it sparingly as an accent. Maybe that’s your front door, or shutters, or pillows on your chairs. Maybe it’s a kicky porch light or even some perennial plantings. All I’m saying is go easy, and it’ll be much more satisfying. A little surprise, instead of a huge statement…

Ideas for Vibrant Yellow Curb Appeal

round up image showing vibrant yellow curb appeal and exterior items

Sources for Vibrant Yellow Curb Appeal:

exterior light – rejuvenation
modern entry door – home depot
house numbers – dropcap studio
outdoor side table – room and board
welcome mat – west elm
metal mailbox – home depot
yellow lantana – monrovia
yellow yucca – monrovia
acapulco chair – silla acapulco

VIBRANT YELLOW PAINT COLORS

This color can be a lot to handle. And also, getting a vibrant, saturated yellow in a formula that can also stand up to the environment can be challenging to find. I’ve got six favorite vibrant yellow paint colors that are also rated for exteriors, which I’ve shared below.

Again, these are bright, bold colors! When it comes to exterior finishes for these colors, I will lean as glossy as you can get them to give them some depth. (Inside, I’d go with a velvety eggshell finish.) It’s like painting with pure sunshine!

image showing paint samples of vibrant yellow paints benjamin moore hawthorne yellow, behr solar energy, benjamin morre marblehead gold, sherwin-williams fun yellow, sherwin-williams eye catching, and farrow and ball dayroom yellow

hawthorne yellow hc-4 by benjamin moore
solar energy p310-5 by behr
marblehead gold hc-11 by benjamin moore
fun yellow sw 6908 by sherwin-williams
eye catching sw 6914 by sherwin-williams
dayroom yellow no.233 by farrow & ball

IDEAS FOR VIBRANT YELLOW INTERIORS

Much like with the exterior, a little goes a long way when using this vibrant yellow on the inside of your home. It’s really all about how much of it you bring into your space, and how you mix it with what you already have.

But let’s start with mixing it with other colors. Like we talked about for exteriors, you can mix it with neutrals in small ways, and it would be a lovely little surprise. You can also layer bright colors and patterns on top of each other and go all the way.

Yellow as an accent with neutrals:

image showing 3 groups of paint samples; top is behr sleek white, dune grass and solar energy; middle is farrow and ball elephant's breathe, pointing, and dayroom yellow; bottom is sherwin-williams urbane bronze and eye catching.

And what that looks like applied:

image showing digital rendering of a living room three times; top image with behr sleek white walls and dune grass cabinetry; middle image with farrow and ball elephant's breath walls and pointing cabinetry; bottom image with sherwin-williams urbane bronze cabinetry, walls and ceiling.

Yellow as a bright statement:

image showing digital rendering of a living room three times; top image with a yellow sofa, middle image with yellow bookcases, bottom image with yellow bookcases and yellow floral wallpaper

Yellow with other bright colors & patterns:

This color also plays really well with other bright colors as well as a bit of pattern. I love it with Lavender, Canyon Red, or even bright Sky Blue.

image of lavender wallpaper with behr seedless grape and solar energy paints; peach wallpaper with dinosaurs and farrow and ball red earth and dayroom yellow paint; lemon wallpaper with sherwin-williams jacaranda and eye catching paint

WHERE TO FIND VIBRANT YELLOW HOME ACCENTS

And finally, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite finds of this Vibrant Yellow for softgoods, tile, furniture & accessories. When you’re shopping, look for the color names lemon, acid yellow, mustard, horseradish, and gold to find this bright vibrant yellow.

round up image showing yellow bedding curtains blankets towels and pillows

Yellow Bedding, Curtains, Towels & Pillows

01 – SOLID QUILT
02 – WINDOWPANE GRID CURTAIN
03 – SOLID TOWELS
04 – PATTERNED TOWELS
05 – VELVET PILLOW
06 – VINTAGE PILLOW
07 – FLORAL BEDDING
08 – KNIT THROW

round up image of yellow patterned tile, mosaics and wall tiles

Yellow Wall Tile, Floor Tile, & Mosaic

01 – GREY & YELLOW HAND PAINTED TILE
02 – CHARCOAL & YELLOW HAND PAINTED TILE
03 – ZELLIGE TILE
04 – CERAMIC & GLASS RECTANGLE TILE
05 – HONEY ONYX TILE
06 – GLASS MOSAIC
07 – PENNY ROUND MOSAIC
08 – SQUARE WALL TILE

roundup image showing yellow seating shelving beds and storage

Yellow Sofas, Chairs, Storage & Beds

01 – VELVET DAYBED CHAISE
02 – WALNUT DINING CHAIR
03 – FILE CABINET
04 – TWIN BED
05 – STORAGE BINS
06 – STRIPED CHAIR
07 – OUTDOOR SOFA
08 – METAL BOOKCASE

roundup image showing yellow home decor, lamps, art and tableware

Yellow Lamps, Decor & Tabletop

01 – WALL HOOKS
02 – CERAMIC VASE
03 – MURANO GLASSES
04 – LIGHTNING BOLT WALL LIGHT
05 – MARBLE VASE
06 – FABRIC WALL ART
07 – LINEN NAPKINS
08 – LACQUER TRAY
09 – CERAMIC LAMP
10 – SCHOOLHOUSE CLOCK
11 – TWIST TAPER CANDLES


I truly hope this helped you bring a little sunshine into your life as we move into the new year. If you ever need help figuring out just how to accent your home with a new color, please let me know how I can help!

image for pinterest reading vibrant yellow home ideas showing a close up of a yellow flower
image for pinterest reading vibrant yellow curb appeal showing a yellow painted double door with brass hardware
image for pinterest reading vibrant yellow interior ideas showing a yellow velvet 2 seat sofa
image for pinterest reading vibrant yellow bedroom ideas with a grey tufted headboard and yellow bedding
image for pinterest reading vibrant yellow paint colors with a bucket of yellow paint with a loaded brush

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I'm Mel!

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