Yellow is widely considered a cheerful color, but on the flip side, it also has a reputation for being tricky to work with (particularly in the form of paint). Before you resort to muted sage kitchen cabinets or greige bedroom walls, consider Farrow & Ball’s classic take on yellow: Babouche No. 223. 

The “uncomplicated” hue, as F&B describes it, is the first of five paint colors in the British brand’s 2022 color trends forecast (Breakfast Room Green, Schoolhouse White, and Stone Blue also made the cut) and was hand-picked by color curator Joa Studholme. And while the company suggests rooms with Babouche “appear to be full of sunshine,” they’re far from the dizzying scene you’d expect. The key? Translate your paint to pattern. 

Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

Checkered floors are all the rage, and achieving the look with paint (and a stencil) is a budget-friendly alternative to laying down large slabs of colored marble or tile. The plant-filled bathroom, above, is all the proof you need: Carrying the design up onto the wall (or the tub in this case) creates a modern optical illusion that’s not so in-your-face. We’re getting spa vibes—not Big Bird—from this chic idea. 


Babouche No. 223, Farrow & Ball