Colourful hue: say hello to yellow

Kathleen looks at the different options available when choosing yellow paint, from pastel to daring

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Yellow is a tricky decorating colour, and one I’ve always shied away from. Daring and bright by nature, even a small pop of yellow in an interior will stand out and make a statement.

But, with the recent resurgence of the ‘mustard’ trend and Pantone’s introduction of the new colour ‘Minion’, happy yellow shades seem to be back on the books. In this post, I’ll be looking at the variety of different shades available to match your level of bold-colour bravery.


Perhaps the most popular shade of yellow at the moment, mustard surged into style in late 2013 and has stuck around since.

Reminiscent of hip Scandinavian-inspired interiors, and evoking a little industrial eclecticism, mustard is a versatile colour. Due to it being of a more warm, muted tone, containing a little red in comparison to an ‘acid yellow’, it works well with a variety of neutral colours; think grey, black, whites and some shades of blue.

Mustard also looks fantastic with natural materials such as distressed woods, exposed brick or polished concrete.


Mini Moderns Environmentally Responsible Paint in Mustard, priced from £30 for 2.5l, Mini Moderns


‘Lemon yellow’, despite the name, is a much paler shade than mustard. A member of the pastel shades family, it offers a gentle way to brighten up an interior.

This soft shade isn’t as eye catching or overwhelming as many other yellows, making it the perfect addition to a period-style property, possibly complimented with other pastel colours.

Lemon yellow is a pale colour, and helps to maximise the feeling of space within a naturally lit room.


Walls in Lemon Mivvi Absolute Matt Emulsion by Little Greene, priced £37 for 2.5l


Sunshine yellow is possibly the closest to primary yellow on the colour wheel. Unlike mustard or lemon yellow, this shade is much bolder and can be a little dominating when used generously across a large room.

By contrast, it can actually make a smaller room appear bigger; for example a compact box room can become a cheerful and bright space thanks to its upbeat tone.


Walls in Dayroom Yellow No.233, unit in Lulworth Blue No.89, Cinder Rose No.246, Breakfast Room Green No.81 and Blazer No.279 in Modern Emulsion from Farrow & Ball, priced from £38 for 2.5l


Produced by Pantone in honour of a certain burbling creature, ‘Minion yellow’ is the freshest sunny shade to hit the market.

Not for the faint of heart, Minion certainly packs a punch, and would create a courageous statement when used in the home.

Perhaps best kept to a feature wall or colourful accents, Minion is a fun colour that offers scope for experimentation.


Dresser painted in English Yellow chalk paint by Annie Sloan, £18.95 for 1 litre