Let the sunshine in the house with bright yellows

Undated Handout Photo of Ochre & Natural check wallpaper, �15 a roll; Elissia floral printed eyelet curtains, from �40; Elissia rug from �95; Ochre & Natural check bed set, two pack, from �27, Next. See PA Feature INTERIORS Yellow. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature INTERIORS Yellow.
Undated Handout Photo of Ochre & Natural check wallpaper, �15 a roll; Elissia floral printed eyelet curtains, from �40; Elissia rug from �95; Ochre & Natural check bed set, two pack, from �27, Next. See PA Feature INTERIORS Yellow. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature INTERIORS Yellow.

We’re all suffering from a lack of sunshine. And while there’s no magic wand to change the murky outlook, you can set the forecast to ‘sunny’ by embracing the trend for yellow.

“After a prolonged period of cold, wintry weather, no other colour brings such an instant injection of warmth and sun to the home than carefully chosen shades of yellow,” says Rishi Subeathar, founder of eico, the environmentally-friendly paint specialists.

If you’re wedded to neutrals and even the thought of yellow has you wincing and reaching for your sunglasses (a Crown Paints survey found 35% of us are scared of using any kind of colour in our homes), it could be time to overturn your colour prejudice.

“It’s true that yellow needs to be used with care so that it doesn’t overwhelm, or look as though you’ve covered a room in custard!” acknowledges Subeathar.

“But all its shades are mood-enhancing, from sunflower brights to softer buttery pastels. There’s a yellow shade to suit most discerning tastes and interiors.”

Yellows can be the perfect solution for dark hallways or small, light-deprived rooms, says Rebecca Thompson, colour and design manager for Dulux.

“Yellow, known for its optimism, has always been a popular shade and is associated with being clear, bright and uplifting,” she says.

“It reflects warmth, is said to encourage inspiration and expression, and is the perfect shade to energise while still being sophisticated.”

Yellow shake-up

Making a statement in a room with a splash of yellow is one of the easiest ways to create a chic, modern setting.

“Paint a feature wall in a bold, bright citrus and then balance its intensity by using grey-based neutrals or subtle whites on the other walls,” suggests Subeathar.

“If that’s too daring for your taste, simply use a deep yellow shade for alcoves to conjure depth and richness.”

Alternatively, welcome spring and make an impact with a Daffodil wall mural, £79-£199, Digetex Home. It features giant yellow blooms on a white background, and a blind in the same design starts from £119.

Once you’ve established a zingy yellow backdrop, you could go one step further and pull the look together with furniture and accessories in complementary shades.

Sunshine buys: Eico’s paint collection features vivid yellow shades including Miro, Haldi and Lemon, starting from £13.75 per litre.

If you’re a fan of wallpaper, Next’s Ochre and Natural check wallpaper, £15 a roll, in pale yellow and grey is both subtle and stylish.

For a seating show-stopper look no further than Ikea’s Stockholm swivel chair, £250, in a canary yellow Sandbacka shade.

Marks & Spencer’s Emmett loveseat in Kingsley lime, £399, is just as striking.

Banish winter blues with Next accessories: an Ochre Felt sunflower cushion, £15, a ‘Good Day Sunshine’ cushion, £14, and ‘Smile’ decoration – a yellow-painted wooden word on a plinth, £10. Add a finishing touch on a wall with a ‘Fill Me With Sunshine’ art print, £49.95, Iapetus.

Mellow yellow

Traditional settings benefit from more subtle yellow tones from sand through to gold which add warmth and elegance.

“Soft buttery yellows are more in sympathy with the decor style of a period or country home and will conjure a restful and peaceful atmosphere set against ivory, beige or dark wood furnishings,” says Subeathar.

“If you have existing soft furnishings, blinds or curtains in yellow, use these as the basis on which to choose your paint shade, so that they complement each other and really pull the room together.”

Consider shade choice carefully, he advises, as yellow can change in varying lights.

“Use a tester pot and paint a piece of board and display it in different areas in a room, and study it at different times of the day. Yellows when applied can often seem brighter than they seem in the paint tin.”

Sunshine buys: A pale primrose could suit a traditional room, and Dulux has a Wild Primrose which teams well with Malt Chocolate or Absolute White, in its Dulux Paint Mixing range, £14.89 a litre.

There’s a Downton-style period charm about the Arthouse Vintage Fleurette Wallpaper, £17.98, B&Q, available in yellow.

Laura Ashley, a byword for country house style, has a yellow floral Hydrangea range featuring Hydrangea camomile wallpaper, £25.20 a roll, and a matching silk fabric, from £31.50 per metre.

Well-dressed windows always impress and Clarke & Clarke’s Venetian Silks, from £58 a metre, come in burnished yellows and golds.

Yellow magic

Turning up the heat indoors needn’t mean altering the thermostat – simply add touches of punchy yellow.

“Yellow can cover a wide range of shades from soft yellow and creams through to bright and bold daffodil or sunflower tones and the sharp acid yellows, and all will have impact,” says Lee Clarke, head designer at Clarke & Clarke.

“The shades work particularly well in kitchens and breakfast rooms, especially those sunflower shades. Yellow can be paired with black monochromes or bold purples for a more dramatic statement in a bedroom.”

Sunshine buys: Shutters transform a room, especially if they’re painted in a bold shade. The California Company has Privacy Slat Shutters available in a range of colours, from £186.06 per square metre.

Jazz up a kitchen with a set of Pantone mugs in custard yellow, £10 each, and an Eames House of Cards birchwood Numbers Tray, £30, Whitbread Wilkinson.

Bright lightshades can instantly change the atmosphere of a room, and Bizz Egg Lanterns in Yellow & White, £49, Gong, have a sunny glow.

Yellow is the ideal background for floral patterns and a Butterfly Blurr Cushion, £85, Rume, is stunning. If you can afford to splurge, a Delphine Harlequin Loren Chair, £695, Alexander & Pearl, is a beauty.

Yellow sources

Alexander & Pearl: 020 8508 0411/www.alexanderandpearl.co.uk. B&Q: 0845 850 0175/www.diy.com. Clarke & Clarke: 0170 6242 010/www.clarke-clarke.co.uk. Digetex Home: www.digetexhome.com.Dulux: 0844 4817 817/dulux.co.uk. Eico: www.eico.co.uk. Gong: 020 7370 7176/www.gong.co.uk. Iapetus: 0168 4566 929/www.iapetus.co.uk. Ikea: www.ikea.com. Laura Ashley: 0871 2302 301/www.lauraashley.com. Marks & Spencer: 0845 302 1234/www.marksandspencer.com. Next: 0844 844 8000/www.next.co.uk. Rume: www.rume.co.uk. Whitbreak Wilkinson: 020 7922 1444/www.w2products.com