With the new year around the corner, the possibility of new beginnings always feels like the color green to me. Green brings to mind the promise of spring with its life and growth, as well as the vitality of the evergreens that gracefully stand strong all through the winter…I’m sure there’s a deep metaphor in there somewhere?!. In any case,
green is nature’s neutral.
If green had a report card it would say “plays well with others”. Green is such a versatile color it is no wonder it is so enduringly popular in interiors.
There are greens that evoke less pleasant associations, of course…hospital green for instance…the color of hospital scrubs and, inexplicably, a lot of institutional walls. Hospitals only add insult to injury by throwing fluorescent lights into the mix. THAT combination would make any sensible person run screaming the other direction…but I digress. Let’s get back to the PRETTY greens!
Evergreen,, sage, seafoam, grass green , forest green, kiwi, lime, spring green, celadon, jade…the shades of green are endless - so how do you choose which one(s) to use in your decor?? Let me just say that nearly any shade of ANY color can be used successfully SOMEWHERE in some proportion.
Our perception of color is so dependent on so many other factors; the natural light in the room, the other colors in the room, the light bulbs and lampshades you choose (PLEASE don’t choose fluorescent…) that certain colors will sing and certain ones will ‘swear’, as a friend of mine used to say, depending on the conditions. As always, I urge you to select your paint colors in the space you will be using them. Please don’t select them just from a picture in a magazine or online, or even from a paint chip whilst standing in the paint store. It will not look the same in your house. THIS POST has more tips on the do’s and don’t of paint selection.
Green Painted Walls
Green can evoke a variety of moods depending on the shade and the circumstances…A deep green can be warm and cozy like this gorgeous library/office/guest room from Stephanie Stokes. Artwork, particularly botanicals, looks fabulous against a green backdrop. More of Stephanie’s work can be see in her book Elegant Rooms that Work: Fantasy and Function in Interior Design available HERE
Animal prints also work well with saturated greens as shown here with the antelope carpet in this grass green lacquered library in a Blue Ridge Mountain retreat in North Carolina by architect D. Stanley Dixon and interior designer Heather Dewberry.
Green is a natural (no pun intended) with wicker, bamboo, and woven woods and grasses. The bamboo desk in the Palm Beach family room below is perfect paired with the Lewiville Green walls. which the designer describes as being the color of “a very ripe avocado”.
The kiwi colored walls are the perfect backdrop for this grid of botanicals and rich wood furniture in this Florida dining room by the enormously talented Ashley Whittaker.
Not all “green” rooms are obviously green. Khaki with just a hint of green was the ideal color in this master suite. The starting point for this room was the oriental rug and we found the perfect fabric in the silk and linen woven used on the windows - the client fell in love with the pale apricot, green and cream watery floral. Varying shades of green in furnishings, accessories and paint were the perfect complement to accent these foundational patterns.
We chose a soft sage green for a fresh look in this master bath with its sage and gray marble mosaic tile floor. A wrought iron vanity stool echoes the leaded glass pattern in the cabinetry and interior windows.
Shop the look. Here are some accessories that look great in green rooms. Click on each image for details.
Of course it is quite possible to have a predominately green room without painting the walls green. This cottage living room is a perfect example. It feels fresh precisely because of the abundance of green furniture and fabrics set against a neutral textured backdrop of sisal and grasscloth. A mix of textures, stripes, plaids, and florals all play happily together united by their ranging shades of grassy green. You can read the whole Bee Cottage story in the charming book, The Bee Cottage Story: How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness by Frances Shultz available HERE.
With a strong warm color on the walls, the green furnishings in this room play a balancing role. Moss green chenille on the sofa and hunter green leather club chairs peacefully coexist, tied together with throw and pillow fabrics, drapery trim, and the variety of shades in the carpet we selected.
Shop the look. Below are some well priced performance fabrics available by the yard. Click on each image for details.
Wallcovering is another lovely option for introducing green into your rooms. From geometric patterns to botanicals and Chinoiserie there are green wallpapers to suit every style.
This stunning dining room in a Southampton house decorated by Bunny Williams, is anchored by 19th century handpainted Chinese wallpaper panels
A petit patterned green wallpaper with matching custom lampshades and draperies sets a soothing background for this green and blue bedroom featuring gorgeous millwork, intricate painted furniture, and a striking botanical rug.
This tiny home office in Brooklyn is elevated with a leafy wallpaper from Zoffany and a sky colored ceiling.
Walllpaper is trending in bathrooms again, as seen in this glam Florida bathroom remodel. This spa green peacock wallpaper absolutely MAKES this room! Julie did the remodel as part of the 6 week One Room Challenge this fall and you can read all about the process HERE on her blog, or see more pics of the finished product HERE.
Shop the look. Here are some green wallpapers that would add flair to any number of spaces. Click on each image for more information.
Green Painted Cabinetry or Millwork
Another very effective way to use green in your decor is to paint the millwork or cabinetry green. This gorgeous spruce green cabinetry is stunning. The dark cabinetry is set in contrast to an abundance of white on walls, tile, and countertops.
The cabinetry and millwork in this charming Southampton pantry sports a celery green paint. and a black and white checkerboard marble floor
There are so many great shades of green paint, from sagey pale gray blue greens like healing aloe to taupe tinted grey greens like killarney and pale yellow greens like greenmount silk. Limesickle is my go to color for a mid tone yellow green that works in almost any space. The deeper tones look great in a finish with a bit of sheen to reflect some light - beware though, the higher gloss the finish, the more it will highlight any imperfections on a flat surface.
Here are 8 great green paint options from Benjamin Moore
Wishing you a Beautiful New Year!
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