You’re About to See This Color Everywhere

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Nicole Crowder)

By now you’ve probably heard of Gen Z Yellow. We first introduced you to term late last fall, and now that Millennial Pink fatigue may be starting to set in, and Pantone’s own Ultra Violet still seems a little esoteric and dark, perhaps you’re ready to take this shade of sunshine for for a test drive?

While yellow can be a polarizing color to wear, anything on the spectrum from lemon to mustard—which is where Gen Z Yellow lies—tends to be pretty easy to work with in design. Most designers and color experts seem to agree that yellows infuse a space with optimism, energy and cheeriness, which are all good things in my book. So like other “it colors,” you can absolutely get after the Gen Z Yellow glow with your furniture, textile, accessory and decorative finish picks. Here’s how to get started.

Paint is still the cheapest, easiest way to make a big splash in a space, and true Gen Z Yellow vibes are easy to channel when you give your walls a coat of color that is spot on. Take this living area from a color-punched DC home, for example. This shade of yellow is very striking on its own, but when paired with a bold blue chair, the room feels electric. Yes, they even painted the vent cover yellow. That’s commitment.

(Image credit: Salty Canary)

Of course, there are more subtle ways of using paint. It’s always a good idea to throw some shade (literally) onto an architectural element, like the owner of this mid-century modern front door did. Yellow gives off cheery, welcoming vibes naturally, so it’s a great choice for exterior doors, shutters or window boxes. How Gen Z apropos is that cactus, too?

(Image credit: The Makerista)

You don’t have to live in a super cool Palm Springs pad to pull off Gen Z Yellow. You can paint an interior door, moldings, or even your fireplace and/or mantel area. The big advantage here, other than keeping costs down, is you can easily change it back to neutral or the next color that comes down the design pipeline without much effort.

(Image credit: Autumn Hachey)

Furniture is another obvious place to bring in Gen Z Yellow, if you’re in the market for a sofa or even accent chairs. But Gen Z Yellow upholstery (or painted wood/powder coated metal) isn’t for the faint of heart. That said, looking at blogger (and sometimes Apartment Therapy contributor!) Autumn Hachey’s office refresh, it’s impossible not to smile at that bold custom yellow velvet sofa.

(Image credit: Kemble Interiors)

If you’re generally a little color shy, you could put a softer version of the color amidst a sea of grays or beiges. This living room from Kemble Interiors is maybe the most sophisticated example of Gen Z Yellow I’ve seen. All of the cool gray tones help, as does the more muted yellow shades of the table and drapes. Point here is that Gen Z Yellow definitely skews bold and loud, but it does have a mellow side.

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Often the best way to get in on a trend, at least when it comes to decor, is through textiles because they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to change. Some of us even do this seasonally already. A bathroom is a great place that often can use a little brightening up, so why not bring in a Gen Z Yellow shower curtain, bath mat or towels? Or all three?

(Image credit: Living and Beauty)

Bedding is a little bit more of an investment, but doable. Try a Gen Z Yellow throw if you’re on a budget.

(Image credit: Jessica Brigham)

Or you could do a headboard, or a behind-the-bed focal wall with temporary wallpaper like photographer Jessica Brigham did in her Connecticut bungalow.

(Image credit: Homepolish)

And of course, Gen Z Yellow pillows are always a non-committal option, in a living room and beyond.

Want to bring a little Gen Z Yellow warmth and optimism into your home? Start with our shopping picks.

(Image credit: Kvell Home)

If there were ever a clock for today’s youth (that’s not a smartphone or Apple watch), this is it.

(Image credit: Bed Bath & Beyond)

A cute set of acacia and iron stools that you can use as seating or as side tables that are definitely on trend. You could even try them as nightstands.

(Image credit: Room & Board)

For a frame, it’s a bit of a splurge. But these sculptural guys are made in the USA of sturdy powder-coated steel in Gen Z Yellow, nonetheless. Try one alone, or a couple on a picture ledge or in a gallery wall.

(Image credit: Melitta)

You can make coffee the Gen Z way with a vintage-inspired cone and carafe set.

(Image credit: H&M)

For its 20 by 20-inch size and cute corner tassels, the price of this cotton pillow can’t be beat.

(Image credit: World Market)

Warm up a cold room with a sunshine-y accent chair.

(Image credit: Bellacor)

We’re loving the subtle coastal vibe of this wooden lamp with a bold yellow shade. It’s definitely not your typical beach house look.

(Image credit: d.stil)

Can’t give pink up just yet? Take baby steps toward Gen Z Yellow with something like this water bottle that features a rose colored straw.

(Image credit: Crate & Barrel)

If you haven’t picked your kitchen accent color yet, do give Gen Z Yellow a chance. It’s such a happy pop of color for your countertops.