Every now and then a retro color comes back in favor and looks so right. This time around, it's mustard yellow — one of the warmest, most joyful hues under the sun. Popular in the 1970s, the shade has circled around once again. Back in the day, it was often seen in shag carpeting and appliances. Today, the color can be represented through decor, paint, tile, furniture, wallpaper, and throw pillows.
Sure, on the color wheel, you'll find primary yellow, but mustard yellow is a deeper shade that ranges from the color of the oh-so-popular condiment to something a bit darker like ochre. And although it might seem tricky to decorate with (after all, it's kind of the opposite of a versatile neutral), interior design experts love to sprinkle it around. The basic rule of thumb is that you can't look at yellow and not feel just a little happier. The sunny color brings a warm, jubilant vibe into any space and promises to be a mood-lifter.
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"Mustard is one of my favorite colors," exclaims Justina Blakeney. "I love it paired with pink, and magical things happen when it's paired with teal, too. Put some tropical plants in front of a mustard yellow wall and it's like being on [an] instant vacation." Emily Henderson often leans toward mustard yellow as well, saying, "I love using mustard yellow in a room. It can act as both a neutral and [a] fun pop of color. An easy, and non-committal, way is to get a mustard pillow or throw blanket. That way, it adds dimension without being too overwhelming."
If you're ready to bring this spirited shade into your own home, look no further than these 14 color ideas.
14 Mustard Yellow Color Combinations
To go slightly off-base from primary colors while still representing saturated hues in your space, consider a combination of mustard yellow and navy blue. Sporting a look that's equal parts bygone and ever-so-slightly preppy, this bedroom featured by Lauren of Rock My Style displays the surprising match. Here, mustard yellow linens play nicely with a navy-blue accent wall and white decorative touches.
2. Mustard Yellow and Cornflower Blue
For your mustard-tinged color palette, you might be daydreaming about a space that looks light, happy, and incredibly cheerful. In this case, we'll recommend pairing the yellow shade with light blue, or more specifically, cornflower blue. The blue vanity and yellow floor tile seen in this bath styled by Chelsea of Lovely Indeed look both airy and jovial.
3. Mustard Yellow and White
To give your setup a retro '70s vibe, anchor the room with seating in a dark shade of yellow, as seen in this library designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel for actress/singer Mandy Moore. When you surround a color like this with neutral hues, like white, you allow it to stand on its own while providing an airy effect. Velvet upholstery will add to the old-school charm as well.
4. Mustard Yellow and Mauve
You wouldn't think that a color like mauve, or any form of pink, would look good with mustard yellow. But as it turns out, the two are a match made in design heaven. It's an offbeat color pairing that simply works, as evidenced by this bedroom from Megan Bachmann Interiors.
5. Mustard Yellow and Black
Black is a color that pairs well with most colors and brings depth and drama to any room. In this living room, a black and white palette allows the mustard yellow sofa to shine. It's a delightfully contemporary approach that Lea Johnson chose for her office space.
6. Mustard Yellow and Emerald Green
We know what you're thinking: Combining two bold colors is a bad idea. But actually, we're totally on board with pairing two unique shades such as emerald green and mustard yellow, especially when you want to give your space one-of-a-kind distinction. Jewel of Jeweled Interiors shows us how it's done in this delightfully vibrant kids' bedroom.
7. Mustard Yellow and Light Pink
When brainstorming a color scheme, it's safe to say that mustard yellow will always serve as your main pop of color. However, if you want to add a little something extra you can always partner it with a shade that won't overwhelm, such as pale pink. For instance, we love how the yellow decor stands out alongside the light pink fireplace in this living room belonging to Emma Jane Palin.
8. Mustard Yellow and Sage Green
There are so many different shades of green, and guess what? They all go with mustard yellow! In particular, the color sage green looks spot-on when matched up with warm yellow walls, as Dabito of Old Brand New bravely demonstrated in this dining room.
9. Mustard Yellow and Cream
Here, in this living room belonging to Caroline of Burkatron, a mustard yellow accent chair next to a cream area rug, faux sheepskin throw, and a bunch of pampas grass provide a calming, timeless note. Bright white walls further reinforce the neutral color scheme, while a midcentury cabinet ties the whole vintage vibe together.
10. Mustard Yellow and Rust
Since rust and mustard yellow are both oh-so-warm and they happen to be neighbors on the color wheel, they look as if they were always meant to be paired with one another. But don't just take our word for it. Follow the lead of this sunset-inspired seating area at El Rey Court.
11. Mustard Yellow and Tan
Besides mustard yellow, another way to bring additional warmth into your space is with the color tan. Not quite taupe and not quite beige, the neutral shade will allow you the flexibility to experiment with a vibrant piece of decor in your space, like a mustard yellow sofa. Medina of Grillo Designs has the right idea.
12. Mustard Yellow and Dark Green
Like we said, any shade of green will go with mustard yellow. For instance, dark green, a favorite color among designers right now, looks shockingly flawless when paired with mustard yellow. We love the way Sarah of She Holds Dearly punctuated this bedroom with the woodsy shade, and then complemented the scheme with lush foliage to boot.
13. Mustard Yellow and Beige
From wood finishes and woven baskets to artwork and bedding, you'll find that the color beige works flawlessly with mustard yellow. In fact, that's exactly how Bonnie, Lana, and Erin of Three Birds Renovations brought so much liveliness to this bedroom without going overboard.
14. Mustard Yellow and Turquoise
If pairing mustard yellow with neutrals isn't your thing, then go big — we're thinking something in the blue-green family might be more your speed. For example, in this boho bedroom designed by Justina Blakeney, turquoise curtains and bedding look cool and refreshing with a mustard yellow backdrop. The finished result is a tropical paradise that anyone would want to start and finish their days in.
Colors That Go With Mustard Yellow
We'll say it: Mustard yellow goes with pretty much anything. But to temper the vibrant shade, while still allowing it to pop, embrace neutral hues when it comes to your decor. However, if you'd rather be bold, go with an equally daring color, such as turquoise or pink. Either way, here are a few of our favorite picks.
- Navy Blue
- Cornflower Blue
- Emerald Green
- Light Pink
- Sage Green
- Dark Green