This is how to use yellow paint to re-energize your rooms in an instant, according to Farrow & Ball color experts

Create an uplifting feel in your home with these stylish yellow color schemes

yellow hallway, bright yellow kitchen, dark yellow bedroom
(Image credit: Future, Farrow & Ball, Farrow & Ball)

One of the most vibrant colors, yellow is a go-to hue for creating spaces that feel uplifting and energizing. However, decorating with this saturated color can more often than not feel daunting, especially for those who favor pared-back home decor. 

While it's true that this happy color often commands attention and makes a loud statement, you shouldn't be deterred from using it, even if you're not a maximalist. In addition to classic sunshine yellows, there are also more subtle variations of this hue that can be less daunting to embrace in your home decor in order to re-energize your space (something we are all very keen to do at this time of year). 

According to Farrow & Ball color experts, there are lots of ways to embrace decorating with yellow in your paint ideas, allowing you to benefit from its mood-boosting qualities. Whether you want to channel a highly saturated yellow to make a bold statement or instead create a far more pared-back yellow room, keep reading to learn Farrow & Ball's top three recommended yellow paints, as well as expert advice on secondary colors to pair with them. 

1. Create a subtle yellow hallway

hallway with archway and bookshelves

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you prefer pared-back colors but still want to bring some yellow into your home, opt for Farrow & Ball's Hay. 'This has a slight underlying green tone so it’s never too shouty,' explains Patrick O'Donnell, color expert at Farrow & Ball, who recommends using this paint color on the walls for a yellow hallway.

'To give it some contemporary edge, if you've got railings or spindles on a staircase, paint in the lovely Card Room Green, they just work really well together.' To finish the color scheme, choose Farrow & Ball's James White as a third color, which Patrick explains 'just plays really nicely to the balance of the green and yellow.'

Image of Patrick O’Donnell
Patrick O’Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell is Farrow & Ball's color consultant & brand ambassador and has been with the brand since 2012. Patrick works with designers in the UK and North America, helping to bring their projects alive with the iconic, F&B color palette.

2. Embrace a sunshine yellow kitchen

yellow kitchen

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

For a much bolder approach to decorating with yellow, opt for Farrow & Ball's Babouche, an incredibly uplifting sunshine shade of yellow, which works especially well in a small kitchen. 'If you’ve got a tiny kitchen and units below eye line, Babouche is just brilliant,' explains Patrick.

However, since Babouche is such a saturated hue, Patrick advises keeping other elements of the yellow kitchen understated by pairing it with Farrow & Ball's School House White: 'So woodwork in School House White in the appropriate finish and then ceilings and walls also in School House White,' he explains. 'Just that little pop of sunshine yellow.'

3. Opt for a cozy yellow bedroom

yellow bedroom with blue headboard and eclectic decor

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

For a yellow paint that feels uplifting yet slightly more cozy and grown up than sunshine yellows, Farrow & Ball's Cane is a great choice, especially for a yellow bedroom. 'Now this isn’t kind of a true yellow, it’s more kind of caramel but really elegant, incredibly cozy, and comes into its own when drenched in sunlight, but brings warmth when it’s slightly miserable,' explains Patrick.

To decorate around this rich paint color, Patrick recommends using Off-White. 'And then if you want to bring an accent, Tanners Brown, or any chocolate color will work a treat,' he suggests. 

While yellow can understandably feel like a scary commitment in your home decor ideas, there are lots of less traditional yellows that make it easy to integrate throughout your home. From creating a cozy bedroom to an energizing kitchen, these paint ideas ensure your yellow schemes feel stylish and liveable. 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.