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How the Color Yellow Can Help You Achieve a Cheerful Space

It's captivating and can liven up even the smallest of nooks

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Photography: Miguel Nacianceno | Michael Angelo Chua (Main Photos)

When it comes to finalizing a home’s color palette, we always take into consideration our favorite colors, what looks easy on the eyes, and the combinations we see in our pegs. While many prefer the sense of calm neutrals add to a space, there are those who make bold choices and incorporate striking hues into the final look. The color yellow, known for the positivity and cheerfulness it brings, is often used as an accent color in many homes—big or small. “Yellow can instantly brighten up a space. It boosts one’s mood as it is a cheerful and very energetic color. Yellow is also very eye-catching and makes for a good accent or secondary color,” says interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila. If this color choice has been on your radar and you’d like to use it in your space, here are tips to help you get started:

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Choose the right shade of yellow you’ll work with.


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Vera suggests picking one that reflects your personality and that appeals to you the most. “There is no right or wrong choice, just make sure to use the color in moderation. Yellow shades can vary from vivid and lively, to delicate and lacy. A few favorite Pantone shades include Yellow Iris, Primrose, Custard, and Pear Sorbet,” she explains.

RL Tip: Save the colors above as reference when you visit the hardware store. Compare swatches, consult with the attendants, and don’t hesitate to ask questions until you find the shade that suits your space best.

Consider where you’ll use the color.

According to color psychology, yellow is known to bring warmth, it can stimulate the appetite, and can even aid in digestion. We’re sure you’ve noticed that many homeowners often use it in the kitchen, dining areas, and breakfast nooks. It’s also a good color choice if you’re revamping the hallway and powder room. “Avoid using bright yellow in bedrooms, in a baby’s room, and in kids’ playrooms. The sunny color can keep you up at night and in turn cause anxiety, leaving you irritable in the morning. If you really want to use it in your personal space, apply yellow accents sparsely in bedrooms,” suggests Vera.

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Take note of your yellow-to-neutral color proportions.

According to the designer, too much use of yellow can have its downside as well. “Make sure you assign primary, secondary, and accent colors. It is best paired with white or gray to balance off the richness in color. Other color combinations you can try include yellow and blue for a coastal feel or yellow and green for a charming, summery vibe,” Vera shares.

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Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila is one of Real Living’s Style Spotters. She’s also one of our go-to makeover designers. Do you have questions or concerns about your home's layout, furniture, and color scheme? Send your questions to reallivingonline[at]gmail.com with the subject: Expert Advice. We might answer and feature your queries online.

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