From butter to lemon to dandelion yellow, browse through our gallery of yellow rooms to see how lovely the color can be.
This staircase was completed with a railing, the Biedermeier chair is covered in horsehair velvet, and the stool is Chinese. The drawings include several that the homeowners collected, and the wooden animal beneath the console table is one of dozens the homeowner picked up while on foreign assignment. Decorator Kevin Sharkey installed an 8-foot-tall mirror to create the impression of a grand double staircase. Staircases are usually great places for mirrors," he says, "as they tend to be dark, awkward spaces."
Southern Colonial Living Room
To play up her home's "warm, sunshiny spirit," this homeowner had the staid gray-green living and dining rooms painted a glossy white, which helps sunlight "hit the walls like a mirror." In the living room, she brightened a potentially drab brown couch with a playful litter of pillows in relaxing shades she calls sorbets. The sisal rug and palm plant underline "the islandy vibe we love." The family's don't-worry-be-happy philosophy is proven again with the coffee table: a rare mid-century piece with slide-out trays.
Yellow Loft Bedroom
A colorful Dutch woolen blanket hangs above a bed that was specially designed for this master bedroom. Family photos are displayed in plastic holders attached to the wall with map tacks, making it easy to change and update the array.
Yellow Seating Accent
A solar shade with a Moorish design hangs in this master bedroom.
Give plain paper lanterns a sunny makeover with tissue paper and double stick tape.
Decorative Paper Lanterns
Yellow Door Frame
An artist's seashell friezes decorate a doorway that leads from a courtyard to a living room.
An orchid greenhouse with more than 3,000 specimens is given a bright coat of yellow.
Maritime objects fill every nook and cranny in the circular Shell Museum. This collection was built over a lifetime of winter travels to warm climates.
Frames Over Yellow
This upstairs landing is lined with family photographs unified by inexpensive black frames. The lantern is a new purchase, and the settee, an heirloom, was re-covered in polished linen.
Pantry items become pop art when displayed in clear vinyl "frames" atop a yellow wall.
Solids and Patterns
This secretary and walls are painted in two close but different tropical shades, and the secretary is lined with a Popsicle-bright faux-bois paper.
Tips for Decorating with Yellow
1. A tape trim creates a bright edge on cream curtains. No sewing is required when you use a fusible web tape, such as Stitch Witchery, that binds two fabrics together. 2. Echo the trim color on the curtains by using fabric glue and a small brush to adorn a shade with matching bias tape. 3. A yellow sofa might be too much, but pillows infuse color without going overboard. Better yet are cushions with a neutral color on one side and a bright one on the other. 4. Even a simple coffee table can become an oasis of color. For a glass table, remove the top and spray-paint its underside. For a wooden or metal table, have a piece of glass cut to size, and then paint it. In either case, the result adds a luminous gleam to the living room.
White Plus Yellow
Like an hour's worth of sunlight on a gray, rainy day, a glint of yellow in a neutral room delights. Here, working together to leaven ordinary whites and creams, is a chrome-yellow Chippendale-style mirror frame -- its happy new coat of paint causing it to "jump off the wall"; some creamy yellows in the chair pillow's print; and the meltingly pale, new-minted gold of full-blown roses. Inspiring yellow details include notions, fabrics, and trimmings in silk, cotton, and rayon.
Yellow Plus Yellow
By itself, the citron yellow on this Victorian chest seemed pallid. But a rich, honeyed drawer trim -- not an obvious choice -- galvanized it. "The greater the chance you take with yellows," says Stephen Earle, "the greater the reward."
Color Plus Yellow
A butter-and-cream yellow bed skirt works best when warmed by an orange-yellow curtain stripe, and chilled, a bit, by breathy aqua walls.
Color Plus Yellow
Dandelion-yellow walls and clean white woodwork pull this room's architecture together. Crisp black-and-white engravings -- photos work, too -- and the snap of several blues combine to make yellow (almost) a neutral background.
Get the look with Martha Stewart Living Paint in Egg Yolk.
Wood Plus Yellow
Ceramic sunlight dapples the dark woods of an old chest of drawers, a Sheraton balloon-seat side chair, and paneled walls. (Careful: Those shiny porcelain surfaces are reflective. Against red or green, they'll mirror background hues.)
Serene and Natural
Color inspiration can come from many sources. In this bedroom, a screen covered with patterned wallpaper functions as a headboard and as a springboard for the room's color scheme. But rather than the more predictable pale blue of the paper's background, the wall color picks up the green-yellow shades of the vines and hummingbirds to provide a powerful contrast. A yellow lamp with a black shade adds further bold elements, while ecru and cream bedding, a blond-wood side table, and a jute rug temper the intensity of the walls, creating a balance of elements that's romantic but not predictable and feminine without being overly sweet.
American Empire mirrors take on new purpose when their battered veneer frames are patched and unified with oil paint, letting the colors and shadows of the old mirrors themselves become the center of attention.
On this daybed, opulent fabrics and a rich palette of burnt red, deep gold, and pale cream and gold create a sense of depth.
Bold Use of Color
A forthright use of color, incorporating oversize leather place mats, crisp cushion covers, and roller-shade trim, accentuates the paint hues already in place.
Combining multiple striped patterns in the same palette of yellow and ice blue gives this living room a cohesive feel.
Sometimes simple accessories in a matching color are all it takes to enliven a room, especially when it's a cheery shade such as sunflower yellow.
When used with other light colors, this classic floral crewel print looks at home in a contemporary kitchen.
Remnants of four graphic fabrics add drama when placed in metal frames and hung in a grid. When choosing fabrics, stick to bold, overscale patterns, since small florals will lose presence when viewed from afar.
Chrome-yellow velvet does more than create the trompe l'oeil effect of a gilded mirror frame. It provides the right visual temperature for a luxuriously refined room.
Utilizing a lone color scheme can be tricky; to avoid overpowering a room, seek out a color that is lively but not too bold, like this rich marigold.
This room in Martha's home at Lily Pond Lane was inspired by the colors of her collection of stuffed tarpon fish.
Buttery-hued walls and woodwork give this space at Lily Pond Lane a rich, warm glow. The ceiling is painted in a complementary shade of deep beige.
These shelves at Lily Pond Lane are painted the same color as the kitchen ceiling.
This chair, found by Martha at an antiques show, was covered in leather in the same shade as the ceiling of the room.