The colour experience All colours have a physical, emotional and psychological impact on us, that is dependent on a complex set of responses and experiences including biology, symbolism, culture, trends and our own personal experience. Colours have three main attributes, colour (hue), saturation (the purity of the colour) and value (the brightness of the colour).
Yellow can be overstimulating Yellow, at its purest saturation and with a high value, is intense and reflects a lot of light. This results in excessive stimulation of the eye that may cause fatigue and irritation. It’s true then that the use of this type of yellow, coupled with visual patterning and high brightness, may overstimulate any person, whether they are a baby or an adult. This shade is not ideal in a space such as a nursery, where a sense of tranquillity is preferred.
Finding the right shade The secret to using yellow in a baby’s nursery is both in the saturation and value of the colour, and the accents used to create harmony and balance within the room. There are thousands of yellows out there, from sunny yellow to citrus yellow, banana yellow and mellow yellow. The pastel end of yellow is ideal for a baby’s nursery, and can be harmonised with many accent colours, thereby serving the purpose of the room. If the need of the room is to make it cooler or more calming, green or blue-green would be an ideal accent. This soft grey has a restful feel.
Alternatively, if you’re intrigued yet still nervous about using yellow in your baby’s nursery, as a safe bet use it as an accent colour. By doing this you can still create a warm, happy and soothing environment without it becoming overwhelming.
Achieving the right balance Please keep in mind that yellow is so reflective, it is a chameleon-like colour that will take on the properties of what it is next to, just like white does. The light source will also affect how the shade appears. Before painting a whole wall paint a small square as a sample, or use a swatch taped up on the wall to view the shade in all types of light.
Don’t be afraid to use yellow in your baby’s nursery. When used the right way it’s a wonderfully gender-neutral colour that will give a soothing and calm feeling, together with the warmth of sunshine. When you select the shade you are happy with be mindful of the saturation, brightness and intensity of it. With the right shade of yellow used with appropriate accent colours, you will be able to create beauty and balance in the room.