Easy Chic With Yellow And Gray

Creating a Chic interior, to me, is as simple as doing the unexpected. Using ordinary, boring furniture arrangements, accessories, and color schemes is the last thing you should do if you want to hear raves about your home.  Today’s Inside Moves lesson is about color and how you can make a powerful Chic statement with it.  I have a brilliant color scheme in my arsenal that some of you may have seen popping up in the stores or maybe you’ve even used already; it’s a combination of yellow, black, and grays.  Simple…but it brings a HUGE payoff in the Chic department!  I’ve used this scheme in my own home and absolutely loved it!

Here are some examples of what you can do…

A Little Sunshine Hits The Spot

Some of you might be a little afraid of using bright anything in your home, especially the sunny yellows I’m talking about. Well, this photo shows an example of how you can use bright yellow to accent a low key value of gray that, in this case, is the primary color used in this room.  I love the way the designer used varying shades of yellow with the texture of the medallions to create a focal point that is quite impressive.  So, you see, yellow doesn’t have to be the dominant color for this to work.  In fact, I think it’s more interesting and delightfully Chic when used in moderation.  Just think what you could do with a can of yellow spray paint and a couple long-lost accessories in your garage.

Bring On The Intensity

Now, let’s see how different a whole lot of yellow can look.  WOW! That’s intense, but I happen to think it’s extremely Chic and well designed.  I do have one recommendation if you want to go this bright on the walls.  Do it in a room in which you need to spend a lot of time.  The visual stimulation may become too much and cause a sudden what-was-I-thinking moment.  This is a great color for sunrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, or entries…the places you visit on occasion.  Notice the addition of teal into this room; it’s co incredibly unexpected but, again, it works and gives this room the X-factor.  And, you’ve gotta love that nailhead trim on those chairs…to die for!

The First Day Of Spring

I love this one because it depicts our need to see and experience life…as we do when the first yellow crocuses pop up in early Spring. The subtlety of the flower speaks quietly but, at the same time, stimulates the imagination.  This low key pop of color is perfect for rooms that need to be more masculine (the man cave, boys room) or ones that need to provoke a sense of calm.  Because gray can be dull and boring if used without any other color, yellow is a perfect accent to liven things up a bit.  Experiment with using varying amounts of the yellow until you find the right balance for you.  And don’t forget to consider what your room is used for.

The Best Of Both Worlds

This bedroom is a perfect example of how to use yellow, gray, and touches of black for a peaceful balance. The abstract prints on the wall are soothing and yet interesting; they create harmony that is so important for a bedroom environment.  Again, we see gray as the primary background color and only touches of the sunny yellow.  In this case the colors meld together for a more artistic approach to the scheme.  I love the black accents throughout the print collage; they give it just the right amount of contrast to keep it from being washed out.  And, as cool as this wall is, you could do it in an afternoon with basic frames and some wallpaper or fabric.

I don’t think the yellow and gray scheme is going to ever be the most used in our fear-of-color society, but I do see it becoming more popular, as home decor companies are creating more products to bring it to the forefront.





Here are just a few that I’ve seen out there:

Leave it to Dwell Studios for Target to create Chic bedding that tells a story.  You can pick this coverlet up for around $70…instant sunny makeover for your bedroom.

And here is another thumbs up for Target!  Imagine one or two of these babies to liven up your living room or a drab corner.  You really need to get on Target.com and check out their wide array of home furnishings that, by the way, you don’t see in stores.  This cheery chair sells for $239 and is only available online.

This rug is one of those things that makes my heart go pitter-patter.  I love the design, the colors, basically everything about it.  It’s called Dazzle Gray Contemporary Rug and can be purchased on Amazon.com for $1,295.

Happy decorating everyone!  Stay connected for my next Inside Moves post on How To Create A Chic Bookshelf.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
About Jo-Lynne

Written by Jo-Lynne Shane, a professional lifestyle blogger, brand advocate and community manager. Named one of Nielsen’s 50 Most Influential Women in Social Media, Jo-Lynne is best known for her award-winning lifestyle blog, Musings of a Housewife, where she dishes up an assortment of food, fashion, fitness and family travel. She has been featured on Mothering.com, Southern Living Magazine, CNN.com and in Cosmopolitan Magazine. In the local sphere, Jo-Lynne facilitates the vibrant networking group Philly Social Media Moms, providing community, support and education for 200 area bloggers. Jo-Lynne lives and works from home in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband of 17 years, three lively children and one extremely spoiled shih tzu named Savannah.


  1. i ADORE dwell studios at target! and i love that bedding! wonder if it would go in my room… hummm….

  2. love this color combo – I just redid our bedroom in grey and turquoise with pops of yellow, ADORE!

  3. We recently designed our guest bedroom in the yellow and gray color scheme. I love how it turned out! We used the yellow and gray bedding by Dwell Studio for Target in our room as well. The room is fairly small, but it turned out great! You can take a look at the room here: http://livingsmallisbeautiful.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/yellow-and-gray-bedroom-update/

  4. My whole bedroom is yellow and gray with hints of black and I get comliments on it every time someone comes over. I <3 that color combo and my pillows are actually dwell studio 🙂

    • It’s such a punchy scheme that most people don’t expect. My new fave scheme is those grays with smokey blues and burnt orange! I’m a little fickle….lol.

  5. I am having trouble finding a good paint color for our living room- love the grey in the tv room.
    What color is it? Thanks so much.

    • Hi,

      This color is a medium value of grey that is more on the cool side. Try Sherwin Williams Dublin Grey (SW132) or Winter Cloud (SW1226). If cost is an issue, I love the Walmart Colorplace paints when trying to save money.

  6. Rebecca says:


    What is the shade of yellow paint in the second photo with the nailhead chairs? The yellow is the exact shade we’ve been looking for.

    Thanks, Rebecca

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Sorry, I just now saw this comment. I’m not sure of the exact paint, but there is a Sherwin Williams color that is very close. It’s Costa del Sol #sw1679. If I were you I would get several samples and paint 3 by 3 squares on the wall to see what appeals to you the most. Good Luck!

  7. How do you do the abstract prints wall? It looks easy but I need directions.

    • The abstract prints are actually cut from a roll of wallpaper. You can frame them easily in inexpensive frames. Pre-marking the wall where they will go is the best way to achieve the clean look you see in the photo. You could do this with any types of prints that have something in common like colors, shapes, themes. Good luck!