Choosing a yellow for a living room

cardwellaveJuly 22, 2010

Hello all,

I am doing my living room to look like a hotel on Mackinac Island, MI. Their color scheme uses a yellow two-toned wallpaper. I am trying to replicate this in a single paint color (my plaster walls aren't really wallpaper friendly). I tried one color already (Valspar Chickery Chick) and it was wayy too bright (like a highlighter). Here are some pics of the hotel:

Anyone know of any colors close to this...sort of a combination of the effect the two colors give?


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The June 2010 House Beautiful has an article THE BEST YELLOW. I have it here in front of me. Top designers chose their favorite. My first choice would be Christopher Peacock new cream, second would be Benjamin Moore lemon chiffon and third would be Farrow and Ball cream.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 5:22PM
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Here ya go:

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:26PM
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Thanks for the help with the photos. Those yellows almost seem too there's no yellow in them.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 10:51PM
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Here is a photo of my living room (not a very good one). Light is sort of at a minimum, the window on the left is to an enclosed porch and to the right is a doorway to the dining room which is pretty bright but this sofa window is about the only light source in the room.

Second photo is a view from the dining room (dining room paint isn't finished, by the way do you like the color?)

There is a pale yellow on the walls now and I hate it! It's so drab and dreary. Also excuse the old fashioned furniture, it was in the house when I bought it.

I was looking through a thread here and I sort of like the BM Hawthorne Yellow or BM Vellum, something in that area. Anyone have more photos of these?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 11:23PM
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I don't have photos available on hand but I have recently painted two rooms yellow. My Kitchen was painted Behr Jekyll Clubhouse, which is very similar to Yellow Cowslip 2 (also a Behr color). But my favorite is my bedroom, which is a Behr Martha Stewart color called Buttermilk Biscuit. Lowes doesn't carry MS colors, but you can ask for a sample of it, or perhaps they have the same color in the Home Depot line. It is so very soft and warm. I'll try to post pictures over the weekend.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:02AM
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So I had actually taken my valspar Chickery Chick bright pait and tried to mute it with some beige and white paint I already had. I put it on the wall and it was still not to my liking so I was all excited because I finally made the decision, the heck with the $25 I spent already, I'm going to bite the bulet and pick a new paint color. I researched HEAVILY on this forum, and determined that I'd give Benjamin Moore a shot since I had heard lots of positive about them, despite the high price tag. Went to a BM store today and looked at colors for close to a half hour, talked to the lady there (pretty helpful) and chose BM Hawthorne Yellow.

I kid you not I put it on the walls, let it dry and it is literally a dead ringer, exact match to what I had done to the bright paint with the beige and white. Nearly the exact same. I still think it's too bright...the lady suggested I can bring the can back and she'd add white...I put it on two walls and used maybe 1/6th of the can already so I don't know if I'm too far gone. This is turning out to be a nightmare.

Here's some photos, sorry for the quality.

Honestly the photos look pretty good, neutral and muted, maybe I'm just too sensitive, or the photos don't show the brightness.

I know some folks here have had experience with Hawthorne Yellow...any thoughts?

PS: The orange chair isn't necessarily staying.

Also does the yellow mesh with the blue-green dining room? Does it feel like the inside of an Easter basket?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:14PM
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It depends on how true to color your photos are, but I don't see "bright" at all. It's a lovely shade of buttery yellow on my monitor. I love Laura Ashley colors, but since it's night here I wouldn't trust picking a color from my chips. If I get a chance tomorrow before we head to the zoo I'll look at them for you. My daughter has been cracking the whip while she's home on leave and not letting me spend too much time on my computer. She's been helping me purge, which has been absolutely wonderful and awful at the same time, if you know what I mean.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 2:14AM
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I like it too, esp with the seaglass color in your DR.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 6:31AM
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I have never understood people feeling that Easter eggs were undesirable. They are beautiful spring pastels. My sister painted her home in soft pastels and I have always loved going there. Feels happy and light.

Your Hawthorne yellow looks lovely to me on my monitor, but monitors are notoriously inaccurate in reproducing color. I would live with the color on your walls for a few days and then see what you think. Also remember that your room is pretty empty of furnishings, wall art, etc and all of those will make a difference in toning down the color of the paint.

If you want a "barely there" yellow, BM Windham Cream may fill the bill.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Try Montgomery White. I recently painted my bedroom this color and the adjoining bath (Quiet Moments) is a similar color to your dining room and I love how it looks together. I was sure I was going with Hawthorne Yellow too until I painted a sample and it was too bright.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 2:06PM
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My living room is BM Weston Flax. Overall, I really like this color....painted the entry at 50% Weston Flax for a contrast and really like that too. Will try to post a photo later today-

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 2:57PM
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It looks nice in the picture, a pretty soft yellow. Is it brighter in person?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Try Jersey Cream SW color or Restoration Hardware Butter for softer creamier yellows. I agree Windham cream, Montgomery White, Philadelphia Cream, Farrow and Ball's Farrow's Cream and Ellen Kennon's Buttercream would be good choices.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:32PM
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Part of the secret to choosing a yellow for the walls is to choose one that doesn't look YELLOW! If it looks a little more tan, it will come out like a soft yellow. Hope that makes sense. I have used both RH Butter and BM Windham Cream and they are both softer yellows. Don't give up!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:45PM
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susanJ8, can you talk to me about Montgomery White? I want to paint my exterior a soft yellow and put up samples of Montgomery White and BM Cream Yellow next to each other. The MW looks kind of beige to me, but maybe that's just in contrast to the brighter Cream Yellow. Would you say in your light it has a beige cast to it?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 6:18PM
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See when I chose the Hawthorne Yellow the chip looked REALLY brown/beige. Almost too beige. Even the lady at the store thought it was pretty brown. On the walls it's pretty yellow.

I meant to take a real camera to take photos but here's a few more cell phone pics, I finished the room and I think these show the color a little better.

I'd ideally like to try another color but $25 for the Valspar paint and now $40 for the Ben Moore...I'm already $65 in the hole and if I try another Ben Moore I'm $105 in paint for one room.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 11:12PM
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Here is my living room in Weston Flax BM- entry is at 50%
Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:39AM
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BM Antique Lace (OC 104) is a beautiful soft yellow.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:53AM
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I like that color a lot...the Weston Flax. It's just a shade lighter than the Hawthorne on the strip. I think I'm going to try and live with it and if once the floors and furniture are done and I still don't like it, I'll change it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 1:44PM
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Suz - Love your Weston Flax. Let me throw another pretty yellow in the mix that is similar. It is Lowes Valspar Homestead Resort Sunwash. I think they have a line of "Homestead" colors. It actually looks like a dirty, creamy white on the paint chip and I would have never chosen if I had not seen it in person. I have it in my DR, hallway, and entry to bathroom. EVERYTHING looks good with it. Nice soft yellow - no green, lemon, peach or banana undertones.

I copied it from my DD's spare bedroom and several of my family and friends have copied the same paint. It looks good with the sun pouring in, on a cloudy day, and with artificial light. It looks gorgeous next to my Flowering Herb kitchen.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 1:56PM
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BM Antique Lace (OC 104) is a beautiful soft yellow.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 5:56PM
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A helpful way I found to get a good yellow is to use flowers for inspiration. I opted for sunflowers because they have several yellows in them. What I ended up using was Golden Finch by Ralph Lauren for our kitchen and Behr Warm Muffin for our living room and stairway. Both are warm yellows.

This is warm muffin by behr

This is Golden Finch

Inspiration plate for yellows

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 6:26PM
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