Since we've been seeing bold, neutral hues in the most enviable interiors lately, we decided to ask Abbe Fenimore of Studio Ten 25 and Caitlin Murray of Black Lacquer Design how to design with mustard yellow at home.
As it turns out, mustard yellow is the unsung hero (and the great stabilizer) of the rainbow, bringing balance to every space it enters. It brings warmth to an all-white room while it tones down the playful vibes of a colorful space filled with pastels. In addition, it can add the perfect dose of contrast to a room dominated by earth-toned neutrals.
To see the transformative potential of mustard yellow, scroll through the photos and the designer tips below. Even if you don't have a redesign on your calendar, you'll be able to get your daily fix of décor inspiration, as well as a new color crush.
Try Mixing Colors
"When I want something a bit more playful and fun, mixing teal with mustard yellow is always a win," Fenimore says. You can go all-in by putting a mustard-hued piece of furniture against a fresh, light blue wallpaper, or do it with a bit more subtly and introduce blue decorative objects or artwork, as done in the modern farmhouse kitchen above. We love how the sofa looks with the light gray paint on the ceilings, the glossy white subway tiles, and the dark dining set.
Go With a Neutral Canvas
"[It's] such a romantic, fearless pop of color when it's used on a white, neutral canvas," Murray says. In an earth-toned space like the one above, mustard yellow adds the final touch to lighten the mood. But aside from breaking up the color scheme and making it more visually unique, it also warms things up, which makes it feel homey and livable. And all it took was a throw blanket draped over the sofa to make a stylish (and cozy) statement.
Consider a Muted Shade
If you're color-shy but want to experiment with mustard yellow, opt for a more muted shade, like the one in the bedroom above. It looks gorgeous with the retro emerald green sconces, and it complements the wall art above the bed, making it understated but intriguing.
Bring in Navy
Though mustard yellow will pair well with just about any color scheme, there are a few colors that make the perfect bold statement. Fenimore says, "Navy is one of my favorite colors to mix in with mustard yellow for a rich and sophisticated feel." She also suggests bringing in a grayer blue as a secondary color. This study also makes sure to include shiny gold accent pieces to keep the color scheme from looking dull.
Use in Small Doses
Murray also recommends using mustard yellow in smaller doses. "You don't want to overuse the color in any one room or it loses the charm it carries in smaller doses," she says. We love that this open-plan living room opts for one bold piece, but it doesn't overdo it on smaller decorative items to match. Using a large rug like this one will introduce just as much color as painting a wall, but it also brings in more dimension. And though some shades of mustard yellow are closer to brown hues, you can also find great pieces that have lighter undertones to break up your space.
Consider Your Art
One of the easiest ways to introduce a pop of color—without investing in items like a club chair or committing to painting an entire wall—is to opt for a mustard yellow abstract painting. We love how it's leaning effortlessly against the bar counter for a perfectly undone aesthetic. It dresses up the exposed beams and the painted brick wall without looking overly formal. Plus, Fenimore warns that mustard yellow can look a bit muddy if paired with other moody neutrals, so using it in a bright-white space is a good way to avoid that.
Add More Yellow
If you're not afraid to go bold, consider using mustard yellow as your base, and then add in brighter shades of yellow like butter or marigold. This combination pairs well with wood and earth tones. Add in some fresh greenery, and you're set.
Your color palette becomes extra-luxe when you incorporate jewel tones. Mustard yellow combines with teal to make this room feel sumptuous and rich. Brightly colored artwork and patterned textiles add contrast.