We’re halfway through January and omicron is hovering like an annoying sales rep that refuses to go away, hugs still aren’t happening, and, let’s face it, there’s not a lot on the horizon to look forward to. It’s as though paint companies predicted 2020 would be a trilogy, naming bright sunny shades and earthy warm tones as their colours of the year in 2021 and 2022 in a bid to capture any glee we may have left.
ecause you can’t overlook the cheeriness of sunny yellow, the unofficial colour of happiness, which seems to be cropping up everywhere. On the back of Pantone announcing Illuminating as one of its colours of the year for 2021 came a glut of designers slapping some serious sunshine onto their interiors and collections.
Kelly Wearstler’s collection of paint colours for Farrow and Ball included the lemony Citrona, and designers Marc Jacobs, Prada and interior brand Hay have been splashing their collections with vibrant yellows.
For some, yellow has been the kind of interior colour to be reviled — who wants to be surrounded by a loud, garish and sickening canary yellow that feels inappropriate for most of the year? That might have been the case in the 1980s (I do recall a kitchen the colour of boiled eggs that eventually turned my stomach), but nowadays there’s soft buttery shades and zingy hues that, applied correctly and paired with the right furniture and accessories, can immediately lift a space and a mood.
If you’re feeling brave, you might be tempted to slap some sunshine straight onto your walls, so think about the room, its use, and its orientation. A living room that has a lot of natural light might require a softer tone, such as Farrow and Ball’s India Yellow. Little Greene’s Light Gold makes for a calm entrance in any hallway, whereas a dark kitchen could benefit from Benjamin Moore’s Bold Yellow.
If yellow seems overpowering and you’re not ready for a total wall overhaul, subtle hints can work well, or try teaming it with accents of wood, black, brown or grey for a classic and contemporary look.
Retailers are jumping on fashion’s foray into yellow-brick-road territory with bright bursts of homewares. The Danish duo behind Raawii have always mixed bold shapes with equally bold colours, with their Strøm collection in freesia yellow bringing energy and shape to your home. Similarly, Danish retailer Hay’s new collection is all about joyful colours that make you think of sunny days ahead.
Apparently, searches for yellow furniture have doubled in the last few months, with yellow velvet sofas up there near the top — Marks and Spencer’s Mia marigold velvet sofa is likely to be a major seller this year and proof that homeowners are heading for big sunshine statements.
Of course, an easy and cheery way to introduce a pop of sunshine is with artwork, such as Jando Design’s Poolbeg Chimneys print in bright yellow, accessories like throws, cushions and rugs (Irish Design Shop, McNutt of Donegal, Oliver Bonas, Bloomingville), statement vases or decorative figures (Sklum, Article, Nordic Nest), and a colourful side table (Sklum, CA Design).
After the past two years, we all need a little sunshine — a colour that says optimism and new beginnings.