Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Decorating in Yellow

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A fantastic yellow staircase from a project by Ishka Designs in Paris, photo courtesy of Ishka Designs and photographer Niya Bascom

Yellow is one of the most popular colours in interiors, both traditional and contemporary.  Bright and vibrant tones are uplifting, and more muted hues provide a soft backdrop for a drawing room, bedroom, or library.  For inspiration on how to use yellow, look no further than Nancy Lancaster’s aptly titled ‘Yellow Room’ in Avery Row, Mayfair.  This iconic room was transformed by Nancy and her business partner, John Fowler, while they ran Colefax & Fowler–a household name for British interior design in the 20th century.


Nancy Lancaster’s Yellow Room in Avery Row, Mayfair, photo courtesy of @AnEnglishInterior

The stunning wall colour in the Yellow Room evokes the brightness of an egg-yolk and serves as a wonderful backdrop for a variety of designs and styles.


Nancy Lancaster’s Yellow Room in Avery Row, Mayfair for ‘Inspired Interiors,’ photo courtesy of @AnEnglishInterior

This second photograph shows the same room with a more modern approach: here, Jeremiah Goodman’s paintings of interiors for the exhibition ‘Inspired Interiors.’

Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler have recently moved from their Mayfair premises to a new showroom in Belgravia.  This new space is definitely worth a visit for anyone in the area.


A Drawing Room designed by Alidad, photo courtesy of Alidad

The interiors created by Alidad, one of Britain’s most influential designers since he launched his practice in 1985, incorporate rich, saturated colours that bring incredible warmth to the spaces.  Above is one example of one of Alidad’s drawing rooms with yellow silk damask on the walls, which brings out the golden hues of the giltwood mirror, the gilt chinoiseries on the bureau bookcase, and the yellow Siena marble insets in the fireplace.


A Drawing Room Designed by Alidad, photo courtesy of Alidad

Another view of the same room shows the incorporation of a plush velvet sofa, also in yellow, along with a large footstool similarly upholstered, which goes to show that you can  use a myriad of different hues of yellow within the same room.

So how can you incorporate yellow into your own home?  We have selected a few antique pieces from our collection that highlight the variety and beauty that yellow can bring to your interior.


A William & Mary style giltwood and gesso settee upholstered in yellow silk damask, Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection


A pair of Irish mahogany armchairs upholstered in yellow silk damask, Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection


A George III Chippendale period mahogany wing chair upholstered in yellow silk, Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection


A very fine pair of George III mahogany Gainsborough or library chairs in the manner of Ince & Mayhew upholstered in yellow silk damask, Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

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A Chinese Imperial Straight Necked Vase Lamp, Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection


A Chinese Imperial yellow straight necked vase lamp, Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection


One thought on “Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Decorating in Yellow

  1. Pingback: Across the Colour Spectrum: Decorating in Green | The Source

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