Toddler room makeover: Yellow paint case study

by Jessie K on September 5, 2012

After an initial push from The Home Depot, I’m determined to continue my campaign to redecorate June’s room even if it kills me. You know how it goes: There is never any time. When I have time to tidy and reorder her bedroom, she needs to sleep in it. When I have time to paint, she needs me to hold the giant ball of floss she just emptied from its dispenser.

But I finally made time to cover up the former ketchup walls (see the photo above; her room used to be my office) with two coats of bluish primer in preparation for what I’ve decided will be her yellow bedroom.

Yellow is such a positive, energetic color that happens to go great with June’s fair complexion. But yellow is tricky because it is also the color of insanity (remember Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper?). Sitting in an excessively yellow room for long can literally make you feel fidgety and crazy.

I also want to be careful because her room is northward facing, and according to the bit of research of done, northward facing rooms are tricky to paint because they have the least amount of light. Bright colors can look dull and muddled, strong colors can become tomb-like. Farrow & Ball says yellow based colors are actually ideal for northward facing rooms in that they bounce around the most amount of light…provided it’s the right yellow. So how to pick the right yellow?

I’ve been playing with yellows and here are two options I’ve come up with. Though very similar, the yellow up top is Friendly Yellow and the bottom — a bit more saturated — is Optimistic Yellow, both by Sherwin-Williams. Both images were taken on a relatively overcast day at about mid-day.

I like them both a lot but wonder if they’re almost too subdued in a northward facing room. Thoughts? Suggestions? What do you think?

(See my previous paint case study here.)

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