Gorgeous shades of yellow have become increasingly popular in home décor accents and whole room colors.

But while yellow is having a moment, many shades of it can be challenging to use successfully.

Where to use it

A recent report by Zillow Digs found that homes with white-painted kitchens sell for $1,400 less than homes with yellow kitchens. If yellow walls seem like too big a leap, use yellow for upholstery and pillows or kitchen cabinets.

Yellow is catching on for entries and hallways, introducing sunshine in a space with little natural light.

Use yellow in spaces you want to make look larger.

A warm yellow can energize a space, while still feeling relaxing.

Use yellows in accents, as well.

Choosing a shade

Yellow is one of those colors that is hard to get just right. A room that is too yellow can be overwhelming. Sometimes introducing blue or green or even a lavender shade will cool it down.

If you’re a fan of citrus or primrose yellows, the look can be fashion forward and pair nicely with gray or blue shades.

Interior designers say pale yellow can be a wonderful ground color for extravagantly colored prints, while buttery shades add a warm glow and make spaces feel cozy. In rooms with a lot of natural sunlight, a neutral yellow like cornsilk will offer the optimistic energy that characterizes yellow.


No shade of yellow is impossible to use, but do choose with care. If you'll be painting walls yellow, test out a shade and view it throughout the day to see how it changes in different types of natural light and with different lamps.

You might have to live with a sample of a bright, lemon yellow for a few weeks to make sure it's something you want long-term. Yet going with paler yellows isn't always a safer bet. Designers say if it is too pale and the room it is in is relatively dark or gets cool, north-facing light, the color will look dingy rather than cheerful or calming.

Contrast can also help — pairing with a cooler color, and not making it the only color in a room.

So take time to choose shades that delight you.