Look forward to sunny days with shades of optimism, hope and warmth

With the new year comes a new you, and what’s a better way to lift your mood than brightening up your space. As the Pantone Fashion + Home Smart Color System's Color of the Year for 2009, mimosa is the best remedy for a home in need of a boost.

"Yellow speaks to sunshine and warmth," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Carlstadt, N.J.-based Pantone Color Institute. "And people are always drawn to warmth."

Yellow can really create an illusion of sunlight, especially on walls. For smaller rooms, with little natural light, yellow can make the room seem larger than it is. This trend toward shades of yellow has been in the color forecast since last year, says Michelle Lamb, co-founder and chairman of Marketing Directions, Inc., an interior design consultancy firm based in Minneapolis.

“It's lively and cheerful, and given today's mood, we're going to see a divergence of colors between somber and bright," Lamb says. "Adding yellow to your home can really give you a sense of being trend-forward."

As a great go-with color, adding yellow to the mix isn't a large feat. "Yellow can go with just about everything, grey in particular," Eiseman says. "Yellow and purple is also outstanding and a real attention-getter." To give your home a nostalgic French-Country look, combine yellow with shades of blue.

Introducing a new tone to a home may be daunting at first, so starting off with small accents of yellow is the best leap forward. "Yellow is great in the kitchen as the color of casserole dishes or dinnerware or even linens," Eiseman says. "It's really cheerful and inviting." Glassware, toss pillows and towels in the bathroom are other ways to get a first taste of color. Yellow-patterned duvet covers and shams are also great touches for any sleeping sanctuary.

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