Lemon yellow is colour as a soft wash of sunshine. And unlike its more vibrant colour cousin, Mr Happy Yellow, it can be used liberally and generously in almost any room. But, being intrinsically upbeat and gender neutral, I think it’s particularly good for kitchen/diners, play rooms and children’s bedrooms, but especially any room that faces North. Where bright yellow is a shouty burst of happiness, lemon yellow is more of a flutter of gentle warmth. Subtle and sophisticated; upbeat without being strident; soft but not saccharine. Just keep it crisp and light by mixing it with white (it can unfortunately easily veer into washed-out, the-wrong-sort-of-old-fashioned-primrose-pastel territory if not kept in check), or add a dose of contemporary chic by teaming it with pale denim blues, dove grey tones and light woods.
Five great ways to use lemon yellow at home…
1 Underfoot. A glorious rug in lemon yellow couldn’t fail to bring a smile to your face. It’s a perfect example of how toning down the yellow dial can have as much impact as it’s more vivid full-on bright colour cousin: lemon yellow is simply a touch more sophisticated. In my moodboard image, top left, the rug was custon-made by La Manufacture Cogolin for an ELLE Decoration shoot styled by Louisa Grey.
2 On your walls What could be happier than this playful paper adorning a feature wall? ‘Cow Parsley’ by Cole&Son has been around for a while, but it’s still absolutely one of the prettiest I’ve seen without being overwhelming (also most papers featuring yellow have a bunch of other colours in them too). Pale but interesting, its colour way is described as white on vintage yellow. £76/metre, available from Wallpaper Direct.
3. On the ceiling! Check out the moodboard below (middle right). Here, the Australian designers Mihaly Slocombe (@mihalyslocombe) specified a glorious yellow ceiling for a kitchen extension project; additionally carrying the colour on over a run of wall-hung cabinetry. It literally wraps the room in sunshine. Genius.
4 Of course for the ultimate speedy sunshine fix… just add flowers! This glorious bouquet of sunshine contains Toulouse Lautrec, Lemon PomPom and Catalina roses, with narcissi and mimosa. All from The Real Flower Company.