Are you a fan of the ever growing in popularity mustard yellow?
Me? Well, I am, and I’m not!
I’ve gone through the color mustard yellow a few times in different formats in my house, same with the color red… I’ll think I love it, fully embrace it, but then if I made too big of a commitment with it, it seems to wear me down and I don’t like it anymore.
In this post I’m going to give you 12 tips to get mustard yellow into your home… in big ways and in little ways.
1: MUSTARD YELLOW WALLS
In our old, old house, (the house wasn’t old, but it was 2 homes ago for us 😉 ) I had this deep mustard yellow on the walls of the library. Even though that would seem to be a huge commitment, it actually wasn’t too bad because there was hardly any wall space showing. There were windows and doors on 3 of the 4 walls and the one large wall without doors or windows was a floor to ceiling built-in bookcase painted white. By the time the piano and artwork was in place, there was hardly any mustard yellow showing. Just enough to sort of frame the corners of the room creating a wonderfully rich, warm library feel. I loved it in the winter, but didn’t spend much time in that room in the summer.
Still not up to the whole wall commitment?
How about only part of the wall then:
Paint part of the wall.
This is the kitchen of the little brick cottage, an antique house I renovated a few years ago. By having a light mustard yellow on only part of the walls, it creates a fresh and airy feel. (further on in this post you’ll see what this kitchen looked like before we started!!)
In the same house:
Pick strategic walls to paint.
In the dining room, adjoining the kitchen, I used a deeper shade on the bottom of the original wainscotting we discovered. The living room beyond is a medium shade of mustard yellow… so the 3 consecutive spaces, (kitchen, dining, living) repeat the flow from room-to-room.
If you’re interested in seeing the before and after of this dining room, here is the post… it was a fun renovation project on a wonderful historical house!
2: MUSTARD YELLOW CEILING
Maybe not for the faint of heart, but actually this can be a gorgeous treatment. (I’ve seen it done in a metallic gold as well, sumptuous!!)
A couple summers ago I attended a small concert at the lovely historical Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport. The view through the windows overlooked the blue ocean which seemed to highlight the yellows and golds of the room. The ceiling in this room is quite high, so the mustard yellow on it is perfect to create a warm embrace.
3: PAINT THE STAIRS MUSTARD YELLOW
The back kitchen stairs that had been covered up and forgotten about for a half century, were uncovered by us when we bought our former house. (That was 1 house ago, and it was an old house!) For a fun vintage farmhouse kitchen style I painted the risers yellow and the treads grey with a couple of stripes on one side.
4: BACKSPLASH IN MUSTARD YELLOW
To just have the backsplash in mustard yellow is a fun way to bring in a fun color without causing too much of a ruckus… especially when it’s a paintable beadboard like this. When/if you tire of the yellow, it’s an easy painting job to change it out. This backsplash was in the same kitchen as those yellow stairs.
5: PAINT A DOOR MUSTARD YELLOW
Somehow having a door a different color than any walls or trim in the house seems totally fitting… especially the front entry door.
This was the interior color we had the front entry door at that same former 100 year old house. The floors and walls in the entry were light and neutral, so I decided to kick it up a notch with a mustard yellow door for a while.
Doorbell inside mustard yellow front door entry.
Here is an affiliate link for the vintage, (but new) style doorbell. Here is the post I wrote featuring this downton abbey doorbell.
6: HISTORICAL FURNITURE INSPIRATION
Referring to classic furniture and design is always a great idea. Though I reinterpret that classic style, it gives me a base to start and be inspired from. This very old cupboard is at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and is a great example of a beautifully preserved Norwegian painted piece of furniture. What bright blues and mustard yellows!
Though in a somewhat different format, the little table top I painted with a bird in the center is certainly in-keeping with the same idea of lines of color and borders with a center motif, as well as using some bold hues of mustard and blue too.
Paint a table top with mustard yellow.
Here is a totally contemporary style of a incorporating mustard yellow on a piece of furniture:
Fun contemporary bench in mustard yellow.
This fun yellow bench was made by my dad many years ago. It was a perfect piece in the kitchen/dining room of the Maine cottage, but needed to be brightened up. I painted it this fun bold yellow and using Mod Podge, (affiliate link) added all the different striped papers on the slat back.
7: BE CAREFUL USING MUSTARD YELLOW
If you noticed, I didn’t title this post ’12 WAYS to Get Mustard Yellow into Your Home’, that was on purpose! A couple of my TIPS are what not to do. It’s easy to get excited for a new color and jump in full board embracing that color! Great, but be careful! It can be a commitment you may soon regret.
This was the ‘before’ picture of the little brick cottage’s kitchen. The yellow countertop slapped you in the face with it’s bold 1970’s statement, and I had not a second of regret to get it out when we renovated the kitchen, trying to bring it back to a feel reminiscent more of the 1880’s, when the house was built.
It’s a good rule of thumb to go with neutrals on the more expensive, somewhat permanent fixtures and do the bold color accents on more easily changeable items.
I’m a painter, so to paint a wall or door is easy to me… kitchen cabinets on the other hand are a pretty big painting job and I’d rather not be re-painting them too often. So choose wisely.
Besides being careful with the permanency of your mustard yellow infusion, I’d highly recommend you carefully consider the shade of yellow you’re using:
Be careful of the shade of mustard yellow on the walls.
I told you at the beginning how I am, and am not, a fan of mustard yellow. There are certain shades of it that seems to really grate on me, like this shade above! The restaurant was amazing… in the amazing setting of Sonoma, with the most delicious food… but the shade of yellow on the wall was hideous (to my eyes!) Yikes… I didn’t let that dampen the mood, or the delectable food I was eating, though. 🙂 (If it was in my own kitchen though, I don’t know if I could last 2 days before I’d be cracking open a paint can!)
Below are the shades of mustard yellow I’ve used in several projects:
Good shade of mustard yellow for walls.
Kind of fitting names too, right? ‘Mustard Bloom’ and ‘Dijon’!
8: ACCESSORIZE WITH MUSTARD YELLOW
One of the safest and sometimes best ways to bring in a color without too big of a commitment, is to pick it up in the accessories! You can see how the gold on the prints above the bed pull the yellows out of the quilt and emphasize that color. If I had yellow throw pillows there, that would have cinched the color accent nicely.
Even a single item in the room can succeed at making a color statement, like these two small plates placed in a prominent place speak volumes:
Even a small amount of yellow can make an impact.
The symmetry flanking both sides of the plates draws attention to them and the soft mustard yellow borders they bear.
9: BRING THE COLOR IN THROUGH THE RUG
This Boho style rug we have in the office at our current home, is full of fun colors. By emphasizing one color over the other, with the other accessories in the room is a great way to introduce a certain color scheme, and easily change it out without much fuss or expense.
10: WINDOW TREATMENTS ARE A FUN WAY TO ACCENT COLOR
There are so many beautiful fabrics available, these yellow cafe curtains in our last house were a fun way to bring in a little mustard yellow into the dining room, repeating that yellow from the kitchen backsplash.
This style of curtains I made were very simple panels, (here is a tutorial I wrote on sewing a simple panel like these. But if you don’t have a sewing machine, here is a tutorial I wrote on a no-sew version!)
Though I tend to select patterns and styles that are classic, traditional, sometimes a bit cottage-y feeling, there are so many different styles of fabric with mustard yellow, including contemporary styles.
Here are 3 super cute yellow fabrics that would be great for window treatments:
11: YELLOW IN THE GARDEN
At the cottage in Maine, the tall yellow flowers were already planted so I added a few other flowers to repeat some more shades of yellow plus added a little extra charming and useful yellow accent.
We needed some light on the path leading to the front door, and these yellow solar lanterns were just perfect for that. Here is the link (affiliate) for yellow ceramic solar lanterns.
Solar lanterns in mustard yellow.
12: PAINT YOUR HOUSE!
Okay, this is a big commitment, but I just love, love, love this shade of yellow on a house! It helps that the house is an absolutely darling house with every detail so carefully thought out and meticulously executed. This little gem sits on a narrow lot across the road from Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport, Maine.
I’ve spend many a wonderful time on that beach and have tried to capture a little of the beauty on an early morning walk one day to share with you. Here is that post featuring a short video I took on that quiet morning. Be sure to have your sound on, though the morning was quiet, the birds were singing as the waves lapped on the beach!
Are you a fan of mustard yellow now? Will you be considering incorporating it into your home, or outside your home in some way or other? We’d love to hear about it!
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