Sunny accents bring us closer to spring

By KIM COOK, For The Associated Press January 27, 2012 

Winter won't be over for a couple more months, but already the sun is climbing a little higher in the sky, and feeling a little warmer.

Early spring catalogs and shelter magazines are letting the sun in too, with a variety of yellow hues in paint, furnishings and accessories.

Yellow can be cheerful and uplifting, or mellow and warm. It plays well with all woods and most other colors, and complements a wide range of decor styles. Whether you're bold enough for egg yolk or prefer the softer, mustardy side of the hue, yellow is worth considering.

It's a color that wakes up a kitchen, and DeLonghi's recently introduced Kmix collection of brightly colored counter appliances includes an energizing yellow that's caffeine for the eyeballs.

Rachael Ray, Kitchenaid and Le Creuset have kitchenware in the hue.

And you'll find graphic print mugs and Marimekko sheet sets at Crate & Barrel with pops of yellow. The Zest margarita pitcher and glasses feature a zingy swirl of citron, and there are lemon-printed dishtowels here, too. But there also are pieces in a more muted, creamy gold -- the Georgie ceramic lamp base would work with a sleek leather desk or a floral sofa. Curry flavors the Baxter rug, and there's the Silhouette sofa in a similar tone.

Wildon Home's Rawlins powdercoated-wire accent table is a light and airy way to introduce the color, and could go indoors or out when the warmth returns.

CB2 has a low-slung glass and steel coffee table with yellow enameled wheels; a step stool in marigold; and a gorgeous round serving bowl coated on the inside in gold.

Yellow and white is a fresh, happy combination. Rizzy Home's throw pillow collection features zippy yellow floral, starburst and circle motifs; Thomas Paul's Flock rug comes in a crisp canary and white pattern. California's Kreme design studio has done both butterfly and bird motif wall coverings in that color combination, great on an accent wall or to give a small space some punch.

Michigan-based furniture maker Eric Kuczynski has designed a cool, modern, cube coffee table that he offers in a choice of glossy or matte yellow finishes. In a room with gray, navy, or black and white furniture, you've got a statement piece.

A Senegalese woven basket, great for storing stuff at the front door or in the family room, comes in an unexpected yellow graphic at West Elm.

If you're interested in trying paint, remember that yellows look more intense on the wall than most other colors. Acid yellow is great in textiles or accent pieces, but on walls it can jangle the nerves. Consider the light in a yellow room, both natural and artificial: Pale yellows in north-facing rooms can look peaked, yet soothe a sunny space. An intense, saturated yellow can overwhelm a windowless or south facing room, but make a small powder room or entry look like a jewel box.

Benjamin Moore's Vellum, Yellow Topaz and Bumble Bee are all warm, versatile shades. If you're looking for a little exuberance, take a look at Rain Slicker and Sunny Saturday from Mythic Paint. Even the names sound upbeat.

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