Yellow is a fire color that is easy to gentle down, both by lightening the shade and by pairing it with pastels. If you love to use yellow in your home, sunshine, canary and lemon yellow can all brighten a space without creating a lot of visual stimulation.

sunshine, canary, lemon wall art

Sunshine Yellow

Sunshine yellow is a beautifully balanced, bright yellow. Because there is a tiny bit of blue in the mix, your risk of contrast is not as great as it will be if you use canary.

Because sunshine yellow has a bit of blue to tone it down, you can pair this with contrasting tones and still get a nice balance.

sunshine yellow wall art under lights

For example, sunshine yellow can be nicely paired with blue, purple, and mauve.

Should you choose to tone down the yellow or stretch it with a bit of white, avoid mixing it with any white called bright.

Most whites have a bit of yellow, but bright white contains a bit of blue. You could end up with a green that doesn’t meet your expectations at all.

Sunshine yellow is lovely in child-friendly spaces because it pairs beautifully with pastels. Next to pink, lavender, green and blue, this color sparkles.

Depending on the age of your child and your repainting habits, you can start with a pale yellow and bright pastels, then age up a child’s room by adding cobalt blue or smoky purple linens.

Curiously, you can also pair this color with rusts and browns. While it may be a bit of a jolt next to a red or berry, richer colors in the brown family can work beautifully with a sunshine yellow.

This is a color that can quickly become overpowering. Unless it’s your “wake up and get moving!” room, avoid using this color exclusively in your office or your bathroom. Fire colors can quickly become overpowering and small spaces are at risk.

RGB: 241, 234, 12
HEX: #F1EA0C

sunshine yellow wall art above a desk

Canary Yellow

Canary yellow is the boldest color on this list. It’s that blue number of 0 that lets us know that canary yellow, despite the delicacy of the bird it’s named after, is not messing around.

canary yellow wall art under lights

Fans of green will find plenty of ways to use canary yellow.

From olive to sage to moss green, canary yellow works.

These tones are a 90-degree angle to yellow on the color wheel and most any variety of green will coordinate well.

As soon as you drift into blue-greens, including cyan, aqua, and teal, you will start to build contrast. However, small bursts of canary yellow can create a beautifully eye-catching space when you pair it with blue. Do take care when pairing this yellow with blue that you take care with gray tones.

Canary yellow will completely overpower blues that have a bit of fading or contain gray.

Painting a whole wall canary yellow may take courage. To make sure it’s the right color for the light in your home, invest in a couple of blank canvases from your local craft store and cover them in the color.

Move the canvas around the room to make sure that this color will suit the room without over-energizing the space.

You can turn this color into a bright accent with the right fabric. Because most upholstery fabrics that contain yellow feature child-friendly patterns, you may do better looking for curtain and cushion fabric that features canary yellow at your local quilting store.

These bright cottons can easily be turned into a simple pair of café curtains or soft, comfy pillows for your sofa. To avoid sun-fading, consider lining the curtains with unbleached linen.

RGB: 255, 239, 0
HEX: #FFEF00

canary yellow wall art above a desk

Lemon Yellow

Lemon yellow is a beautiful, soft color that can be used in nearly any room in your home. Pair it with purple and green for a nursery.

Pair it with a deep, pine green for your living room. As long as it works in the light, this shade works with many other colors in your home.

Designers the world over use the color wheel to create contrasts or to combine pairings. Colors that are side by side will nearly always work but as a foil for something big or bright. Colors that are on opposite sides of the wheel create contrast, which can be visually exciting in small doses.

lemon yellow wall art under lights

Finally, colors at right angles to one another can be fun to coordinate.

For example, olive green and mauve may not work side by side, but if you put them against a lemon yellow background, they will behave better.

Lemon is a beautifully balanced color. Red and green are nearly matched and the blue content is almost half of these two numbers.

You will have to work hard to come up with a contrast to this shade. It is important to take a careful look at your lighting when working with lemon, however.

Modern LED bulbs tend to be slightly blue. While the formulation of lemon yellow won’t go to battle with blue, a blue light will take the shine off your yellow space.

Avoid lights that include words like bright or daylight. Instead, look for bulbs that feature descriptions like warm or rosy.

Consider also backing off the use of overhead lighting. A pale yellow room will have a glow even in the twilight. Check your space to see if you can use hanging lamps and table lamps to create small pools of light in your yellow room.

As you become more accustomed to this style of lighting, look for ways to pair your lights with mirrors so your darker spaces are still given a bit of glow.

RGB: 255, 243, 109
HEX: #FFF36D

lemon yellow wall art above a desk

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