Ah, yellow… The colour of sun, sand and saffron, the embodiment of summer and the happiest of hues. A yellow blind or pair of curtains are guaranteed to make you smile and bring instant warmth and light to any room but how do we choose the right shade? In our continuing series of blogs, we look at the history and characteristics of yellow, the most optimistic colour in the paint box and suggest how to use it in your home.
A scandalous past
One of the three primary colours, yellow has been popular since the 18th century but in the Victorian age it developed a controversial side. Seen as a thoroughly modern colour and a symbol of the age, it was embraced by artists and writers alike, particularly those who courted controversy. Scandalous literature would be pressed between yellow covers and newspapers of the day made much of the fact that Oscar Wilde, when arrested in London in 1895, was carrying a yellow book under his arm. Vincent Van Gogh was a great fan of yellow and Henri Matisse, in his 1924 painting ‘Interior with Phonograph’ demonstrated just how fantastic a pair of yellow curtains can look!
Yellow is the colour of value and beauty. In China, a particular egg-yolk shade was favoured by emperors and royal palaces were often marked out by their yellow roofs. In India, yellow has long had spiritual associations and is considered a symbol of peace and knowledge. And then of course there’s gold - yellow in metallic form and the most coveted object of all.