How Yellow And I Became Friends

Lately I’ve been looking around my house and realizing that somewhere along the way I gradually started adding yellow stuff into the decorative mix. It wasn’t part of any plan; for the longest time, in fact, it seemed like everything I had was black, red, taupe, or green, and I was fine with that. Those are good, honorable colors in my opinion. Dependable. Easy to work with.

But one day about five years ago, I found a lamp in a thrift store that caught my eye. It was yellow. And while I couldn’t think of one other yellow anything in my whole house, I thought it might be a nice pop of color against our living room walls. So I bought it for ten American dollars. And I have loved it to pieces.

And then, I don’t know, about three years later, I ran across this painting. The yellow in it made me smile, so I bought it and hung it in our foyer. No strategy, no plan – it was just something that I liked.

Not too long after that I was at an estate sale in my hometown and saw a sofa that could only be described as muted gold. But I thought it was kicky and fun, perfect for our playroom, and the price was right. So I brought it home.

And then I topped it off with a $25 painting from who-knows-where – a painting that, as I’ve mentioned before, is so bad that it’s fabulous (at least according to my friend Ben).

Listen. Every room needs a little bit of 70s in it. And if the 70s shows up with some questionable gold flowers, then maybe we should all embrace our inner Brady and run with it.

This vase, which is technically more lime green than yellow, came next. I was powerless to resist it when it called my name in Home Goods.

And speaking of powerless in the Home Goods…

…well, the big yellow ottoman immediately captured my heart when I saw it this past summer.

That “it” refers to the ottoman, by the way, and not to my heart. Because I imagine that it would be a little weird to see my heart in the Home Goods, though there’s not a doubt in my mind that they would display it beautifully. Maybe on an easel right there in the middle of the serving pieces.


Big yellow ottoman led to new pillows for my living room.

(I know. Chevrons and birds. It’s a lot of trendy. But the pillows make me smile, and that is really my only decorative criteria, as evidenced by the fact that I have a very large dark brown and gold painting from the 70s in our playroom.)

So. After five years of gradually getting to know the yellow, I think that it’s safe to say that yellow and I have developed a friendship. We started slow, but we’ve gained momentum.

We may even exchange presents this Christmas.

What about you? Do you like to decorate little by little? Or are you a major overhaul person? Do you gradually bring in a new color, or are you full-out, full-on from the second that a new color catches your fancy? Do you like change in your house (you may have picked up on the fact that I tend to err on the side of YES, I WOULD LIKE SOME CHANGE, PLEASE), or would you be perfectly content to live with the same furniture and accessories for the next twenty years?

As you can see, I am very curious.

The yellow and I will eagerly awaiting your answers.

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  1. Terrie Cash says:

    I love yellow in more of a muted earth tone. I love it so much, I have all the walls in my house painted the muted earth tone yellow except the bedrooms and bathrooms. The reason I love this color so much is it can be matched up with greens, reds, many blues, browns, and white. All my light fixtures and knobs on doors and cabinetry just look expensive with yellow tones. Since yellow is my main friend, I don’t have to make too many major changes to make it look like I did.

    To answer your question, I am content to live with the same fixtures and accessories of the next 20 plus years since it has taken me that long to find what I really like. My husband retired from the military a few years back and we were on a very tight budget for years. There wasn’t any extra money to spend on me exploring what I liked and didn’t like. I did find out more of what I didn’t like which has helped me to find what I love.

    Love all your postings. I hope when we all get to heaven I get to spend time just laughing with you. You always make me smile.

  2. Rock on, yellow. Rock on.

  3. Orange and I have recently become besties. I can’t get enough of it. It’s now trickled into my wardrobe and frankly, I just need to get a hold of myself.

  4. Oh My Stars, we just moved our TV to a different room and rearranged the furniture.
    The Hubs can no longer function.
    Bless his heart he’s a mess.
    Just wait till I start painting the furniture!! (I have big winter plans for some dark wood pieces)
    LOVE to decorate.

  5. I love you and your yellow. “I Saw My Heart in the Home Goods” would make an excellent country song : )

  6. I love bright, eclectic decor. It seems like you and I may have similar styles (although mine is less sophisticated ;))! I decorate in what I like to call “San Antonio style” or bright Mexican-inspired mixes that complement each other but don’t match. In our living, for instance, we’ve got a nice normal brown couch and espresso end tables, but then also a red bench with yellow stars, red ottomans, a chair with owls on it, and a green chair with a Guatemalan quilt on the back. But somehow it all works because the art on the walls ties it together. My husband doesn’t really care much and we are still in the poor, money scrimping stage of our lives (will we ever not be?), so I don’t buy much new. Instead I have slowly built up this collection one piece at a time over the years and I love it.

  7. Ug the decorating is making me the crazy! We moved into a house built in 1966. And decorated in 1966. And left since 1966. We’ve just painted or removed 1966 wallpaper in massive quantities. And now I have nice huge bits of real estate on my walls that are blank. And neutrally painted. And I have no idea what to put on them or how to afford it or how to convince my husband that we really do like it. (And my third grade teacher would absolutely die if she saw how many sentences I just started with the word and!)

  8. Oh…I do love some yellow! Wearing yellow pants today, as a matter of fact! And just ordered myself a yellow sofa for the new house. Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving!

  9. I like being surrounded by things that have a meaning or a memory attached. I have one piece from each Grandma (a metal bread safe and a bureau) that are in our family room. And most of the things on the walls have some kind of significance too. Or at least a great buying story — two wooden Roman chairs from a rummage sale!! that were only $10!! with cute cushions on them from Target!! — etc. And I don’t buy things often unless they’re thrifted . . . 1 income family + 2 adoptions in the past 5 years = no decorating budget. :)

  10. I decorate bit by bit. Due to the recent drought here in Texas, my grove of money trees went into shock, so there’s not much cash for decorating. Anyway, I love me some yellow. And I’m pretty fickle about my furnishings. I can’t live with something for too long — I want to change things up.

  11. Yellow….yum. On the decorating issue, I can never seem to actually make up my mind about what I want. I talk myself in and out of stuff all the time, usually ending up going home empty handed. Which might be why we’ve lived in our house 15 years and I still haven’t hung any window treatments in the living room or dining room. I think I might need some therapy.

  12. My decor is (as described by my mother the Southern traditionalist) “eclectic early American attic or basement” – translation: free discards from family and friends along with some yard sale finds (and yes, what the neighbors have set out for the trash!). It’s a lot of wood intermeshed with dark reds and greens (year-round Christmas) which if you look at it just right does match (translation: squinty-eyed with head tilted and the lights dimmed)…but it fits our budget and a houseful of boys and I like it and I especially like telling “its’ story” whenever someone asks about it! (because as my best friend says “your stuff is fun – everything has a story!”)

  13. Do you know that yellow is the first color your eye is drawn to when you enter a room? I love it, too! It makes me smile.
    I have absolutely no decorating sense. I either like something, or I don’t.
    I would love to be able to afford to gut a whole room and start over with fresh paint and all new furnishings, but on my budget, it’s one piece at a time. For example, we started work on our living room several years ago. Year One, we painted the walls and trim, and purchased a new sofa and (2) chairs. Year Two, we installed new carpet and bought new lamps. Year Three, we purchased (2) matching bookcases. Next up, a media cabinet.

  14. When we moved into our current home 3 years ago, my husband took all of our wall hangings and just put them “where they fit”. So now our decoration is the style “completely random”. I plan to change each room after I paint, which hopefully I’ll be motivated to do soon.

  15. I don’t have the time, money, or vision to do anything but decorate little by little. I typically try to stay in a certain color scheme (reds, browns, earthy) and buy only things that I really love and have a place for, so it works out. But, like you, I’ve had a color creep into my house – orange. That’s a color I would never have planned to use, but now I’m embracing it because the orange makes all the red not so offensive. It’s a color miracle.

  16. I have to think about something long and hard before I’ll change it. I like pops of color against a neutral background. Right now most of the house is an earth-toned yellow with pops of red, but I’m strongly considering moving to a dove gray (which also works with the red) since we are changing our creamy-tan carpet to a tile floor that looks like distressed wood. I guess painting and tiling would be considered a big change…

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Yellow makes me nervous. haha Goldish is rather calming to me. My fave color is olive green and I try to not have everything olive green. I like subdued colors. I inherited most of my furnishings ( antiques ) from my mother and her mother. I try to branch out , but I have fear. lol So in answer to your question , I dip my toes slowly into the color springs. I always said I could never have RED in my home… yet with rose tones I’ve leaned in a little further. That’s as daring as I can get. I admire your embracing yellow. : ) But my personality DEMANDS subdued tones.

  18. I love it. Feels comfy and cozy and it is welcoming. Like the sunshine.

  19. Oh Sophie – Little by little is how I roll and it gets the job done and lets it “grow on you.” I so adore yellow too and it is everywhere – my kitchen, living room, master bedroom and bathroom…for the past 5 years. The yellow paint in my living room changes with the sun during the day and I LOVE that. (It is Benjamin Moore’s Desert Tan – but not tan a’tall.) My bedroom is more of a mustard and it is paired with my all time favorite red (a barn red).

    I do love yellow, it is so soothing and peaceful, and I love the way my little 2 1/2 year old grandson says, “Lellow, Gwan Jan.”

    Or as my mother-in-law would say, “yeller.”

    Love you lady :)