Josh Brolin's 'golden' living room has reignited our love for this nostalgic color trend – it is incredibly flattering

Be inspired to decorate with yellow – the most cheerful color, guaranteed to inject warmth and creativity into any space

Josh Brolin
(Image credit: Getty Images / Joe Maher / Stringer)

American actor Josh Brolin is an enthusiastic storyteller when it comes to his cinematic career, and his home in Malibu is not different; it tells a story, a color story. 

Brolin, who shares his home with his wife Kathryn Boyd Brolin knew he wanted his living space to sing. To bring their vision to life, the couple enlisted the help of design duo Louisa Pierce and Emily Ward of Pierce & Ward. Known for their clever use of color, the pair took a nostalgic turn when they chose to turn the living room into a golden haven of grounding yellows. Mood-lifting and warm, decorating with yellow brings energy, confidence, and optimism to a space. It can be used anywhere in the home but is particularly effective in social spaces that lack light. It was a no-brainer here.

When choosing a room color idea for your home, it pays to consider which colors truly make you feel happier at home.

‘Travel is one of my biggest sources of design inspiration and visiting different places always clears my head and brings me fresh ideas,' says Sophie Ashby, founder, of Studio Ashby. 'I think a lot about the burnt yellow-orange hues of the South African landscape and after sunset how all the landscape changes,' she adds. 'For me, yellow strikes the perfect balance between zesty, invigorating energy and grounding, earthy quality.’ 

However, not all yellows are made equal. If you want to replicate Brolin's cocooning sanctuary, keep your palette warm and inviting. Ochre hues are ideal for adding a burst of intense golden warmth. A palette of mustard with deeper browns creates a well-balanced look. Rich turmeric has a Seventies feel and pairs beautifully with warm woods, as epitomized in Brolin's living room. 

‘To use yellow or ochre, you need to think of it as the “neutral” in the scheme; as a foil to set off other colors, not to overpower everything else,' informs Susan Deliss, textile designer and interior decorator. 'Avoid anything that says canary or banana and go for something that sets off the architecture or warms up a cooler space.’ 

Architect Richard Parr suggests choosing a natural palette that will enrich yellow, rather than work against it. ‘We recommend paring yellow with earthy and deep tones, from terracotta to rust, incorporating natural materials such as rich timbers and warm metals that will pick up and enhance the color.'

If you don't favor yellow room ideas but want a nostalgic feeling, shades of honey, caramel, and chocolate will bring warmth and comfort into our homes, creating cozy enveloping spaces. Browns and honey-hued colors are re-taking their rightful place in our interiors for 2024.

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Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.