Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sunshine yellow drove us mad

"It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw--not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things." 
~~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

#21 in an occasional series of repressed 70's memories that turn out to be true.

Too much of a good thing?  After all, the 70s weren't all brown, no matter how much we have shaded the memory so.  The refrigerator was green, the toilet was blue, and more times than not, an entire room would be sunshine yellow.  Usually the kitchen.

All the better to seeeee you with.

Yellow was supposed to be Happy, Bright, Inspiring.  Yellow was the Happy Face; Yellow was this guy.  --->
And for a long time, we believed it.

Current thinking has it (and current thinking may also be quackery, but hear me out) "Yellow is also the most fatiguing to the eye due to the high amount of light that is reflected....Yellow can also create feelings of frustration and anger. While it is considered a cheerful color, people are more likely to lose their tempers in yellow rooms and babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms.....Since yellow is the most visible color, it is also the most attention-getting color."  Have we found Culprit Zero of the Me Decade?

Another source adds, "Be careful with yellow as some stronger shades can enhance feelings of emotional distress. "  That shade would most likely be Sunshine.

Scary Evidence of Yellow Gone Wrong

1. Plaid 
"The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing." (Gilman)

2. Vinyl

3. Needlecrafts

4.  Furniture.                         
Beans or Air
The 2nd one might also be a gummy bear.


6.  Appliances.  This ad correctly identifies the appliance color as Harvest Gold, and it is slightly darker than Sunshine.  But it was too brilliant to resist. 
7.  "The World's Fastest Soft Drink"
The soda no one needed attempted to compete with Mountain Dew, and to train you to chug.  The 80s are comin at ya!  (see refrigerator ad) 

9.  The Pacer.  No one is waving at you, friend.  They are haling you.

10.  Also a bit of a cheat.  Because this is Lemon.  And so is he.   


  1. No #8? Either you've gone mad or I have.

  2. So the yellow counter tops in our kitchen are the reason I was a depressed child?! Whew. Glad we solved that one. This definitely explains why my brother would enter the kitchen on school mornings, go directly to the light switch and turn off the lights with a growl.

  3. #5 made laugh the loudest!! (More perfect because no explanation is needed.)

    GREAT post!!!

  4. for the family who drinks. sounds like christmas.

  5. Great post. I have actually been thinking about yellow these days, and it's good to hear the "current thinking." It makes sense to me... :)

  6. Guess that means you didn't (don't) like my yellow/white kitchen either. Still it's a lot better than the turqouis (sp) and white that it was! Plus it still has some "brown" appliances!! :o) M


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