The Color of Nature
Green, the color most associated with nature, has also been found to be the most popular color for interiors. The warmest of the cool colors – it’s the yellow component that gives green its warm leaning – green is also cool and calming – the blue component. Green for room color palettes is especially versatile. It’s a color that combines well with other colors. With all the variations of green to choose from, it’s a color that works as well for creating a variety of ‘moods’ or looks.
We’re accustomed, in nature, to seeing green as a background for the bright hues of flowers, a feature that can be translated into home interiors. For our home’s walls we can choose green paint colors that range from blue-greens to yellow greens; from very pale minty greens to deep forest greens. Green color schemes, for most, are pleasing to the eye.
Are you thinking of using green for the walls in any of the rooms you’re decorating? Then take a deep breath, pause for a moment, and think about how you want to feel in the space. Choose a soft, cool green if you want to feel relaxed in the room. Choose a yellow-green to energize, brighten a room. The rooms below can provide ideas for using green in your decor.
Jeffrey Bilhuber, in a farmhouse in Pennslvania, used a variety of colors throughout the home. In the family room, and in the sunroom, the designer has used muted greens. There’s a lushness to these green hues:
(Source for images: House Beautiful. Photographer: Julian Wass)
Designed by Jill Dienst, the guest bedroom in an American Colonial style home uses soft tones of green — the perfect color accompaniment to the antique painted furniture pieces:
(Jill Dienst of Dienst + Dotter Scandinavian Antiques in New York. From Martha Stewart.)
In a sunroom that exudes charm, designer Kathy Bush has used fabrics with green tones set against flooring of reclaimed lumber. The chair sports a green striped fabric (“Porter” from Pindler & Pindler; the curtains are “Ajmir” by Manuel Canovas (at Cowtan & Tout). Complementary soft red accents liven the space.
(From Traditional Home. Photo: Luca Trovato.)
The bookshelves in a Spanish-style home, designed by Madeline Stuart, are painted Donald Kaufman DKC-11, a soft and soothing mossy green. The carpet contains hues of livelier yellowish-green for contrast. The use of reddish accents results in a complementary color scheme.
(From Traditional Home. Photo: Werner Straube.)
Classically designed by Jill Morris, the family room below has collections of old globes and scientific instruments. The rustic walls, painted a mellow green, provide an appropriate background.
(Photo by Chuck Baker. Image from House Beautiful.)
The walls of this room by Todd Hase are painted Benjamin Moore Terrapin Green. The olive green color syncs with the room’s style.
(From Elle Decor. Photo: Roger Davies.)
Designer Julio Quiñones uses a muted green in the bedroom below. The cabinetry and walls in the second room are a bright olive cast of green.
(You can see more interiors by Julio Quiñones at the designer’s website.)
In a Lake Forest Showcase House, Lake Forest, Illinois, Designer Lawrence Boeder used a lime green theme in a sunroom with soaring ceilings. The draperies, a giraffe print fabric (“Masai Mara” from Lee Jofa) add a sense of fun to the bright space.
(Photographer: Edmund Barr. Image from Traditional Home.)
Yellow-green walls, combined with bright green-leaning blue or turquoise accents, is a great room scheme as you can see in the corner of this bedroom by designer Tony Fornabaio.
(From Elle Decor. Photo: William Waldron.)
Oh So Pretty
Certainly on its own green is not as ‘pretty as pink’, but soft green paint colors are perfect backdrops for achieving becoming décor. Light green combined with accents of pink tones is particularly ‘pretty’.
In this bedroom designer Katie Ridder has used Benjamin Moore Soothing Green (535), a clear, pastel green, for the wall color. Accents of rich, rosy pink are especially lively against the green background.
(Image source: House Beautiful. Photo: Eric Piasecki.)
Designer Camille Saum employed green hues in her charming abode. Walls of muted bluish-green pair with fabrics in shades of limey citrine. The silk drapery in the sitting area is an elegant touch. In the dining area the pink bouquet adds the perfect accent.
(Image source: Home & Design. Photo: Lydia Cutter.)
A delicately elegant living room by designer Charlotte Moss uses soft green walls to set off the muted tones of furnishings and wall art. Charlotte Moss has been quoted as saying that her favorite green is Farrow&Ball Vert de Terre. Could it be the color of the walls in this room?
(Image source: House Beautiful. Photo: James Merrell.)
Designer Michelle Nussbaumer (of Ceylon et Cie) has used a muted minty green wall color in a space richly decorated in what I would call a ‘European vintage style’. The soft green has a calming effect on the space.
(Images from Ceylon et Cie))
While brightly colored, the room below is feminine and pretty with gauzy curtains, silky upholstery, and shaded chandelier. The room uses greens of many sorts: chartreuse, Kelly, apple, and lime are names we could apply.
(From Traditional Home; Hampton Designer Showhouse. Designer: Kat Burki.)
Extremes of Green
The range of greens is wide; at times intriguing: Lime green, pea green, olive green, Kelly green, grass green, chartreuse green, citrine green, emerald green, yellow-green, blue-green, apple green, Nile green, celery. Sage green, moss green, pistachio green, mint green, peppermint green, avocado green, forest green, clover green, Irish green, jade green, celadon. That suffices to name a few. We all have our mental image of each. And, within each name comes a variety of greens associated with the name. Such is the way with color names.
Here are some final images of rooms that use some of the extremes of the color green.
Pea Green. Designer Amanda Nisbet calls the color on her walls “yummy pea green”. The color invigorates the modern space, but is calmed by the graphite gray.
(Image source: Traditional Home. Photographer: Tony Williams.)
Extremely Bright Green. A room “…pieced…together from old metal columns and salvaged library cabinets,” and is enveloped in “spring green” – ceiling, cabinetry, walls and trim – to unify the space. Taking this approach, designer Ken Fulk says, “takes the seriousness away” from the architecture. The spring green used appears clear, bright, and ‘true’ green. (The paint color is C2 Paint Primavera.)
(Image source: House Beautiful. Photo: Matthew Millman.)
Army Green. Designer Paula Carvelli has used ‘army’ green in her dining area. Almost visually interpreted as an earthy brown, it is extreme in terms of being thought of as a green color. It’s a sophisticated color; definitely suited to a very contemporary look.
(From Elle Decor. Photo: Simon Upton.)
Emerald Green. Saturated emerald green is intensely expressed in this office space.
(William-Christopher Design. From Elle Decor.)
I’ll conclude with a jungle lush dining room by Miles Redd. Jungle rich green draperies punctuate the windows. Accent elements in green echo the color of the draperies. The enchantingly eclectic dining room could certainly leave a guest with lasting memories of imagined world travel.
Praises for Green
A versatile color for decorating, green can be a standout color: bright and luminous, even shocking. It can be soothing, refreshing, renewing. It can serve as a neutral, yet still be an identifiable color on walls. Could we ask more from a hue…
In an upcoming post I’ll show examples of greens as accent colors, just as the draperies are in that last room by designer Miles Redd.
Note: Computer screens can display colors very differently. Colors in an image displayed on my screen can look different than the colors in the same image displayed on your computer screen.