When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, many people opt to change the world, embark on a new, healthy way of life, and/or possibly break old habits. Not me, I just try to embrace things in the design world that I previously despised. For example, six years ago I found muted color to be sleep-inducing and oh-so-safe. Flash-forward to my current portfolio and a person is certain to find muted greys and blues making up half of my body of work. This year, I have decided to stock my bag of tricks with yellow. “So what? Who cares?” you ask? Well, yellow is one color I’ve avoided altogether, simply because I find it kinda-sorta nuclear and impossible to work with.
In order to start playing with this sunny tone, I’ve tacked two tear sheets of yellow done right up on my inspiration board. One by my friend Tobi Fairley and the other by my friend-slash-fellow-Atlanta-resident, Lee Kleinhelter. For anyone else who’s avoided yellow to escape being blinded by the light, take a look at these successful doozies. Now get your sunglasses on and have a happy new year.
Tobi Fairley is a master with color. Whether it’s walls, furniture, artwork or accessories, it’s easy to spot a Tobi Fairley room mostly because of her ability to update traditional interiors with nontraditional hues.
In this living room, the overall color scheme is muted blue-grey; however, from the contemporary art to the silk throw pillows to the patterned area rug, yellow is the room’s overall motif. As far as what I learn from Tobi, it’s all about sticking with classic lines, then making them modern with pattern and unexpected tones.
Something I take away from the interiors of Lee Kleinhelter is her successful, noncommital use of saturated color; her spaces are vibrant but the color isn’t necessarily on the walls or even the upholstery. Most people [I assume] would look at this room and label it “The Yellow Room”; however, it’s pretty much all white/cream. Just a few jolts of bold yellow in easily removable elements, including window coverings and a sprayed paint finish on dining room chair frames, pack major color-popping punch — without creating an oh-my-God-my-retinas-are-on-fire situation. NOTE: Lee is very small, very gorgeous, very funny and, like me, she is obsessed with all things Real Housewives and Rachel Zoe. This is even more reason to like her.
Okay, anyone else scared of yellow?