Cheery Yellow Living Room

The effect of tone-on-tone color can be dramatic.
Majella Chube Hamilton

All dressed up to make a classic, elegant impact is a perfect description for this same space in a decidedly different color palette. Here, the sun shines with light, bright shades of yellow and variations of ivory, chosen from distinct colors in the room's central painting, which is flanked by mirrored sconces.

"This is more of a formal atmosphere created with tone-on-tone colors," says Mary Leigh. "As you can see, lighter shades can be just as dramatic as darker ones."

With a myriad of subtle patterns and warm textures established by the draperies and green velvet slipcovers on the ottomans, the space is cozy and inviting. A bold yellow houndstooth check provides a fabric accent. The lamps on the mantel offer a touch of citrus green.

The effect of tone-on-tone colors provides a more focused space, while the combination of lighter hues blended with shades of white and ivory yields more formality.

The pale yellow walls directly tie into the dominant hue of the painting. This complementary backdrop balances the artwork's impact and emphasizes the other pieces. Similar shades are used as accents, including a chair slipcover, throw, and pillows.

Mary Leigh also brought in a strong influence of gold. It is present in the frame that leans against the mirrored wall, the window treatments, and the portrait light above the painting.

Ivory and cream, close cousins to yellow, are highlighted throughout the room--from the sofa and chair upholstery to the existing marble mantel to a variety of lampshades. Apple green velvet slipcovered ottomans add a punch of color. An element of transparency is found in the acrylic plastic coffee and side tables. The tables were selected because they visually take up very little space.

Different patterns add depth to a tone-on-tone scheme. The slipper chair is covered in a vivid yellow houndstooth print, and the club chair wears neutral cotton duck. The plush flokati rug softens the floor. All of these elements create a sophisticated atmosphere.

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