Google+ House Revivals: Y is for Wallpaper and other Yellow Things

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Y is for Wallpaper and other Yellow Things

In this weeks' alphabet meme, we are on the letter Y.  To think we're almost finished!  It's been such a pleasure to participate in this link party for the last many weeks.  To see more Y posts, visit Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

I love the color yellow.  It's warm and friendly and vibrant.  It can whisper...
...and it can shout.

It can stand on it's own, or be used to compliment or support another color.

A lot of people think they don't like yellow, but I wish they would give the color another chance.  And take a good look around them.  Chances are, they're surrounded by yellow.

Photo - Don Johnston / Getty Images, source

They may actually like things that are yellow, but be "soooo over" yellow color trends of past decades that they have dismissed an amazing color based on old experiences.

Yellow is not always an easy color to work with.  It can really overwhelm a space.  I once had a professor who told her interior design students "elephants are gray, and canaries are yellow" was a good rule of thumb when using yellow.


Of course, I had another professor who said "rule. of. thumb.  =   r.o.t."!  What I've taken from that is "go ahead and use yellow, apply good design principles, and remember that 'rules' don't always apply".

Confident artists are not afraid to use yellow.  Van Gogh's Irises is a lovely example good design principles in action, and "rules" thrown out the window. 

Yellow can make a person feel energized.  It can also make a person feel agitated.  Years ago, I painted my dining and living rooms a beautiful gold that looked like parchment paper.  I loved it.  It felt warm and welcoming and energizing.  My husband and teenage son (who have similar temperaments) felt agitated in the space.  Not a good thing.  There is so much more to color than rules or principles.  We can never forget the human factor.  Everyone's brain chemistry is a little different, and good design adapts itself to the people who will be using the space.  In my case, although the room was beautiful, it was a case of bad design because it it did not address the needs of all the users of the space. 

Truly, though, yellow is wonderful.  For some, it is best used in large doses, but for others, just a little bit will do.

 In 'The Yellow Wallpaper', the journal 
writer is haunted by the writhing images
of figures she sees in the yellow wallpaper
in the house where she is "kept" by her
well-meaning husband. image source

There is a fabulous short story, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, called "The Yellow Wallpaper", in the story, the writer is driven slowly insane by bad yellow wallpaper.  Okay, maybe it was her husband who drove her crazy, but I like to think it was the wallpaper.... You can read the story and decide for yourself, here.  Or listen to a dramatization of the story here.  Or download the audio book here.

Enjoy the color yellow. Use it in a way that makes you  happy.  And do listen to, or read the story 'The Yellow Wallpaper' (I recommend a recording of the book)!