Thanks for putting up the info on yellow/gold.  [see http://yournestdesign.blogspot.com/2011/01/exploring-wall-color-warm-tones.html ]
However, I am as confused as ever! For example, BJ's Hawthorne Yellow looks like one color in your photo (lovely light amber) and another color in a magazine photo I have (strong primal yellow). And just when I thought maybe that was the color I was looking for.
I'm really frustrated! I've been at this for over six months. I decided on yellow or gold because I live in Chicago, and as you so aptly pointed out, moods are affected by dark days (or walls). I don't get the current trend towards grey for that reason. Heaven help us if everyone is living in a grey world.
Could you give me a bit of advice?

First, what makes gold? If you take yellow, what color would you add to it to make gold? Like a 14K gold color?
I don't want to go yellow as in kitchen, have a green undertone, or lean toward dull tannish yellow. And I am looking for medium saturation, not light or strong.
My two rooms (LR/DR) have traditional cherry furniture (Drexel), sage green Dupioni drapes, and oriental rugs. The LR rug is a magnolia pattern, gold with rust/sage/rose design, and the DR rug is bright and burnt orange, blue, etc Hebriz pattern.
I had finally chosen SW colors Ambitious Amber and Honey Blush, but hate to throw more money into paint samples (I've got a half dozen already). Chips don't match samples and vise versa. I tried SW's virtual color thing downloading my own pictures. It's godawful!
Any suggestions to help me out of this dilemma would be appreciated. At 75, this will probably be my last paint change and I want it to be right.
Best, Anne

Dear Anne:

Color can be so confusing!  And depending on light, flash from a camera and time of day, it can look completely different in photos - and in your home.  It is also affected by the size of the room and the height of the ceiling.  Smaller rooms with lower ceilings will make your color more intense than the alternative.  In addition, yellow intensifies inside a room.  It is wise to go a couple of shades lighter on the paint strip - even if it looks too light on the sample, the effect it will have when on 4 walls can be twice as intense in color as your small sample.

I do like Hawthorne Yellow, though and it isn't a strong primal yellow - here are several photos - all with the same mellow yellow color.  It is a nice mellow color but not peachy like the SW colors you mentioned above.

Hawthorne Yellow [Benjamin Moore] Southern Living

Hawthorne Yellow [Benjamin Moore]

Benjamin Moore - Hawthorne Yellow

Pottery Barn [Hawthorne Yellow / Benjamin Moore]

Although it shows some orangey tones in these last two photos, I think the truer version is the color in the top photos.

I also like Dunn Edwards Tortilla and Golden Gate in the gold range:

Dunn Edwards Golden Gate

Dunn Edwards Tortilla
Gold is a more neutral tone of yellow - it has more brown and black and the yellow pigment is less saturated.  Of course there are strong golds too, but for the most part it is a softer and more neutral version of the warm yellows.  When choosing a yellow or gold, look at the darkest color on the paint strip.  You should be able to see if it has a green undertone, or an orange undertone.  Those with a true yellow tone and and orange tone will glow in the evening and be warm and sunny in the morning.  Here are some examples of Gold.

Honey Wheat (Benjamin Moore)

Weston Flax (Benjamin Moore)

Decatur Buff (Benjamin Moore)

 I am also suggesting a couple of more colors here, that are tried and true:

Whole Wheat (Sherwin Williams)

Whole Wheat (Sherwin Williams)

Concord Ivory (Benjamin Moore)

Sundance (Benjamin Moore)

Of course the only true test is in your own home and on your own walls - seeing it in your light, with your wood tones and furnishings.  Tester pots are available at most paint and home improvement stores and are much less expensive than buying a quart of paint. 

Good luck on your selection!  Let me know how it turns out!


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