Mellow Yellow

Colour Guide


Colour Scheme
Refreshing, vibrant, confident, lively, welcoming, stimulating

Key Textures
Wool, velvet, cotton, chrome, graphic


It’s been a bit of a crazy week. I did my talk yesterday on Creating Luxury in Interiors so I’ve spent the last few days going over and over images and copy. It got me thinking, interiors, like the one shown above, are an extension of our personality. They give us an insight into what makes us tick. The phrase a picture is worth a thousand wordsaptly describes the amount of information we absorb when looking at them. Images explain so much more than colour and composition they convey a feeling, some make your heart rate increase slightly and others can put you in a zen like state. So before you start looking at paint samples, stand your room and ask yourself ‘what do I want to do in this room? How do I want it to make me feel?’ As the ultimate luxury in life is to create a space that makes you feel like a king or queen.

The graphic triptych on the wall echoes the square pattern of the rug along with the rectangular bordered cushions on the sofa. The composition of the room is symmetrical with a pair of chairs in the foreground mirrored by the pair of table lamps on the console. You often see the varying shades of white and taupes in a room schemes but not yellows or greens. These are two colours often difficult to use at the best of times.

This is the perfect image for me to briefly explain a term I call the ‘triangular method of placement’. Mentally draw a line from the chair on the left, continue till you touch the lamp shades and the artwork then do the same on the other side. Then imagine a line that runs along the bottom of the image left to right, from  armchair leg to the opposite side. Can you see the triangle? This composition is symmetrical but it’s the same principle if it’s an asymmetrical composition. By nature your eye is drawn to the middle of the triangle, which in this image also happens to be the largest item, so you instinctively gravitate towards it. It’s a method used regularly in stores to entice you into buying things you shouldn’t (well that’s my excuse for buying the Lindt chocolates). By using this triangle method you will create a visual balance.

White appears on the ceiling, wall, sofa and lamp shades and equals 57% of the overall colour scheme. The contrast of white up against the yellow is fresh, crisp and clean.

Two types of chrome finishes have been used. The highly reflective donut shaped coffee table (the ultimate nightmare for photographers. Can you see the gentleman in black in the middle?) and the urn like matt finished lamp bases. With all the major furniture in the room being square, the round table is a welcome relief to the square edges.

The neutral tone of the 10% mushroom coloured velvet armchairs allows the accent colours – yellow and green – to dominate.

I love the 8% moss green detailing on the sofa. It’s a brilliant way to define the line of the sofa and adds another layer of texture to the room. This colour also occurs in the rug totalling 8%.

5% bright yellow radiants from the artwork and the swirly patterned cushions. It’s important to note the layers of pattern used in this room-solid blocks, swirls, graphic lines and squares – all together add texture to the interior.

Also at 5% you have mustard tone in the rug. Naturally yellow isn’t a colour you would use in such varying shades but as this shows, placed in the right location and on the right item it can work.

Like the assorted tones of yellow you also have the alternating tones of green. Apart from the moss green you also have 1% apple green and 1% lime.

Again, the 1% grey faux fur throw is another neutral colour and has the same function in the overall scheme as the chairs. With hints of the brown in the fabric it ties in the armchairs.

The marine blue coloured book is worth mentioning as I don’t think it’s there by accident. Cover it with your little finger and you can see the scheme coordinates just a bit too comfortably. This hint of blue gives another dimension to the scheme. Should you use this colour palette yourself, you could replace the book with any item, the key is colour and size.

TIP: The colour of faux fur throws can be deceiving. What looks silvery grey or charcoal  may in fact contain touches of brown which could affect your scheme. Ask for samples or check the stores return policies before you buy and check the colour in natural light if possible. The colour can change dramatically with movement of the pile.

TIP:  Books can add a quick bash of colour. If you can’t find the right colour book cover or paint it!


*The colour on screen is not a true representation of actual colour