Flower Power Yellow — Retro Renovation’s 2015 Color of the Year

vintage bar stools flower power yellowAnnouncing our Color of the Year 2015: Flower Power Yellow. No other color-of-the-year organization (they are all “self proclaimed” … this is all marketing fleww flawf) would follow Harvest Gold as a color of the year with Flower Power Yellow as a color of the year. That would be  too [yellow] peas in a pod. But, I prefer to flout all “rules.” Indeed, I made this choice on a whimsy: The moment I saw the fabulous vintage bar stools in Retro Genie’s shop, I was entranced — oh beauteous yellow pleather! So Flower Power Yellow it is, for our 2015 spotlight. Ish. Because we may throw other, similar yellows — especially acid yellow muted down a tad — into our Peace-Luv-mix. And anyway, this is all just for fun — we love most all colors (nix Greige, on principal).

yellow kitchenAbove: A bus-stop yellow GE Wonder Kitchen in a gorgeous 1960 time capsule house just outside New York City. The person who decorated this entire house was immensely talented. In this room, she or he recognized that this much yellow, this saturated, would look great if treated graphically — hence the chevron wallpaper and draperies (?). Haha LOL not: I swore to never show chevrons on this blog — because they have been soooooo overdone in the mainstream design world today and moreover, because I think they’ve been poorly done — the scale is too large. But here, done in 1960: Yes!

1967-dramatic-yellow-white-black-bedroomAbove: Yes — flower power yellow is GRAPHIC. From a 1967 brochure in my personal collection. Flower power yellow may not be an “easy” color to work with, but to be sure, used deftly, it can have an amazing impact.

bedroom-american-hustleThumbnail at left: I loved the interiors in the movie American Hustle. But, the photo-use rules said that I could use the photography except to promote the movie. So here’s an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini thumbnail photo of character Sydney’s amazing acid yellow tone-on-tone bedroom. Jump my story about all the interiors in American Hustle to see fabulous Hollywood designer Judy Becker’s take on this color. Note: JeLa’s bedroom is rich with gold. Oh, the interior design in this movie!


american pie needlepoint pillow

Above: I must have needlepointed this in about 1975 or 1976. Hehe, bicentennial chic.

Burma_original_Brave

Above: Winnebago is calling the yellow in their 1966 revival model crimson-n-clover.

jubilee

Above: Want just a dash of retro sunshine for your kitchen? Buy a bottle of Jubilee (affiliate link) back on the market in 2013.

yellow-sofaI once read or heard that every room should have some yellow in it — because yellow brings the sunshine into a room. Sounds about right to me. It’s for this reason I am also a fan of golds — for their warmth. Above: The yellows in this 1954 time capsule house are less acid than Flower Power, but they are still quite saturated. This house is full of rich color — and the yellows are used so well to add a carefuly dose of brightness throughout. Photography by TK Images.

david-hicks-living-room-neutralAbove: David Hicks — one of the masters — knew how to bring the sunshine indoors. His rooms are masterpieces of design.  Photo used with permission of The Estate of David Hicks.

retro-mod-bedroomAbove: Flower power yellow plays nicely within a bittersweet orange-melon-and-light olive palette in this 1975 time capsule house. I LOVE the matchy-matchy-matchy bedspreads+ wallpaper + pinch pleats — and is the drawer front done up, too, or is it mirrored? Oh and: Orange carpet!

modern-green-palm-springs-houseAbove: The Palm Springs time capsule condo that reader Rebecca discovered, photographed, and shared. Oooooooh, this was probably in my head when I wallpapered my office…

vintage-wallpaper-crazy-quilt-35Oh, yeah, I painted the cubbies flower power yellow.

yellow bedroomJackie and Todd’s Shaggin’ Chalet has lots of flower power yellow inside — and out.
1960s-drexel-mod-bedroom-setAbove: Drexel “Plus One” furniture, circa 1970 — one of my all-time favorites. I was age 11 in 1970 — and color of this ilk are my very favorite. Peace, out!

What do you think, dear readers, of our 2015 Color of the Year?
Have you successfully integrated this color in your house — how?

Our Colors of the Year past:

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Comments

  1. midmichigan says

    Fun post, Pam. Yellow was really big from Woodstock to Disco. I painted a snowplow yellow and stuck on some of those big, hippie, flower decals and called it the “flower plower”. A bold decision to make it RRCOTY (retro renovation’s color of the year) and I like it!

  2. Janet in ME says

    Well, can’t say I have it now, but the kitchen in my 1957 ranch here in Maine has the gray tile with black trim four feet up the walls, and had yellow paint above. I was going to repaint another color but hubby likes the yellow, so it may stay! I had a lot of it in my bedroom before I got married. I had a gold, avocado green, and orange shag (yes it was a shag rug), yellow pin striped wallpaper, two yellow twin bedspreads, and lamps with yellow daisy decorated glass shades. I still have the bedspreads, four lamps, and a set of the twin sheets. I even have a wild yellow and gold flower power vinyl covered shoe box in my closet now that I bought back then. Somewhere I think I still have a heavy Wearever aluminum pot which is harvest gold and decorated. I save way too much stuff! Yes, the yellow is so cheerful, I always loved it. So hmmm, maybe we will stick with it in the kitchen, but the worn golden floor has to go!

    • Janet in ME says

      Hey, Pam and Kate. I think an upload of everyone’s yellow and flower power colored stuff would be really fun! It is supposed to be a tough winter all over the country and I think we will need some bright sunny photos to cheer us up in the next few months!

  3. Pen says

    Just painted half the kitchen in my “mid-century modest” home a bright basic yellow. (Elizabethan Yellow by Valspar) It is next to my aqua dining room where my yellow vintage dinette set resides.

    After I painted the kitchen, I was wondering if I went too deep a yellow and should have picked something a bit more pastel and buttery. It seems, from this article, I was right on trend.

    By the way, it’s really hard not to smile when standing in my kitchen now.

  4. virginia says

    The coior of our first floor and larger bathroom. This yellow with light blue tile and black tile borders in the shower and tub area. Makes me feel slightly better about having chosen it years ago. Two thirds of the room this color, including all of the ceiling. Some days I like, some I wonder what I was thinking. Yellows can pack a real punch.

    Love all these photos though — Terrific looking kitchen.

  5. Becky says

    Oh, the happy memories all this yellow brings up for me. My beloved Nana’s favorite color was yellow. She and my step-grandfather lived in a wonderful brick ranch that was painted yellow, with black shutters. Her small kitchen opened up into a breakfast area and family room/den – EVERYTHING was yellow. The walls, her kitchen cabinets, the rattan furniture (breakfast table and chairs, sofa, ottoman, a large china cabinet – all yellow. The contrast color was blue (her second favorite color was navy) – oriental rug with lots of blues in it, blue and white china in the cabinet, blue and white lamps, etc. It was such a happy room to spend time in. This is making me realize I do not have enough yellow in our apartment, it’s time to hunt for some fun retro pops of yellow to brighten things up! : )

  6. tammyCA says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who is so over seeing the current chevron craze!
    Love yellow, the happy color..the color of my house & living room walls, ‘tho a soft shade. But, recently found a bright yellow ceramic lamp at the thrift that followed me home..gotta make a statement shade for it.
    Goes along with my yellow spine Nancy Drew books.
    Flower power era was fun, optimistic..everybody had color (and the icon yellow smiley face) in clothes, home and cars. Now it’s all somber town lack of color & going for sophisticated, whatever that is suppose to be.

    • pam kueber says

      tee hee tammy C, you get double extra brownie points for reading !

      in addition, I’m now seeing lots of darkish grey with acid yellow. an immensely displeasing — “dispeptic” is the word that comes to mind — color combo. It’s because marketeers don’t know what to do with those oceans of gray. They keep trying to add colors to perk it up. How about: Get rid of it. The oceans, that is; I am not fundamentally anti-gray; although I continue to be puzzled by the mass of Americans who say that first and foremost they want “lots of light” in their homes and then proceed to put gray — a color that soaks up, rather than reflects light — on walls and floors and furniture and cabinets and countertops and… well, you get my drift. MASS MARKETING HYPNOSIS. I received a Restoration Hardware catalog last week; ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.

      *breaking my own rules rant* sort of but not really because this is aimed at marketeers.

      • Diane in CO says

        OMG, I received the same catalogue, Pam, and had the same reaction. Nothing in there appealed to me (bor-ing!) and although I love to hang onto catalogues for a while, that one went right into the recycle bin. LOL!

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        Pam, do I get brownie points for pointing out your misuse of the word “flaunt”? You “flaunt” your gorgeous turquoise kitchen and tiki attire, meaning you show them off with a flourish. But you “flaut” rules, meaning you opening disregard them. And I just noticed that the spell check on this site doesn’t allow the word “flaut,” but thinks it should be “flaunt,” so you may be forgiven for being tricked by a machine.

        I think of those automatic spell-and-grammar-correct programs the same way I do the machines at carnivals and in old diners–the ones into which you put a quarter and then try to pull out a stuffed animal with a giant claw. They are there to trick you into thinking you’ll get something (a stuffed animal, a correct word or sentence) easily, without using your brain.

  7. Alice says

    Well, I’m thrilled that it is the color of the year, since it is still the color of my Geneva kitchen! retrorenovation.com/2008/…/ideas-for-alices-yellow-geneva-kitchen/

  8. Scott says

    Great choice. I’ve been finding when you have a shade of yellow, gold, amber, or orange as one of your key colors in a room you can pull in objects from a much wider time span that otherwise might not play well together. A Lime-to-avocado range makes for a great bridge to multiple decades too.

  9. Joe Felice says

    That first kitchen is a whole lotta yellow! I don’t think school-bus yellow (aka traffic-marking yellow) will ever be the color of any year. Besides, I got lead poisoning in the ’80s while painting the fire lanes in our complex without gas mask. Heck, those were only for chemical warfare in those days. I wonder if that paint still has lead in it. Of course, at the time, there were warnings about using the paint indoors, but NOTHING about using it outdoors, where one would think there would be plenty of fresh air. Do you think I can sue? LOL It triggered 25 years of migraines. So, all you DIYers: Listen to Aunt Pam when she tells you to take precautions, or, better yet, hire the work done by professionals. The interesting thing is that I discovered this paint dries on the surface, and doesn’t soak in, so it flakes and chips off easily, and had to be redone within a year. So I tried regular old latex paint on the concrete curbs, and it actually soaked in and lasted a lot longer. So there you have it. Now onto other shades of yellow. Canary yellow was HUGE in the ’50s, and, for some reason I really like that one. (My aqua kitchen is accented with that.) Buttercup (very-muted yellow) was also in vogue. I found the colors of the ’70s to be a bit brash, but hey–why not flower-power orange while we’re at it? It went so well with the dark brown of the day.

  10. Zann Gates says

    Yessssss!!! I’ve been obsessed with screaming lemon yellow lately. Our Eichler is currently shades of sage and grey (going to change the sage to something deeper next year.) Cue screaming lemon yellow front door and panels to come! And, I have yellow touches throughout the house. 🙂

  11. Margie C. says

    The May 2014 issue of Traditional Home magazine, page 30, has an article about this kind of yellow, showing fabric swatches, paints, and decorative items in the color.

  12. Lizzy says

    omg! Granny painted the most of inside of the plantation house screaming yellow in… 1970? With lots of Lilly Pulitzer fabric, the original amazing stuff. And antique furniture in an 1815 house. And it works. Still. My father just had big parts of it repainted – the same color. So you don’t need all museum like period pieces match match to do this, just a good decorator. Lots of really old houses have layers of design trends. At our house though, there’s plenty of sun streaming in and big windows onto green. And that hideous yellow works so well!

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