Recently, I informed my husband that I wanted to paint our bedroom entirely green–even the ceiling.
“What kind of green?” he asked.
“The color of wild tobacco.” I replied.
He frowned, still not knowing what color I had in mind. Gently, I reminded him of the waxy-green plants with little, yellow trumpet flowers that we often come across while hiking.
“It’ll be like sleeping in mother nature’s womb.” I assured him. “What could be more peaceful than that?”
“OK.” he agreed, still frowning and unconvinced. And so it was settled. He had given me the green light, so to speak.
Since then, I’ve tested nearly a dozen different paint shades and countless fabric samples. Weeks later, the only thing I know for certain is that green is a color that begs to be layered. Emerald longs for peridot. Chartreuse yearns for sage. Olive craves verdigris.
In essence, green is a neutral. What’s more, green is mother nature’s go-to neutral and she has dozens of shades up her mossy sleeves.
Decorator Ahmad Sardar-Afkhami expressed a similar sentiment to Architectural Digest, saying, “I was always frustrated working with green, and I couldn’t really figure out why. One day I had an epiphany that the human eye is accustomed to seeing the nuanced variation of green in nature, so a single shade can look unnatural and jarring. I began to use many shades of green together, and the effect is very restful and beautiful.”
Judging by the room he designed above, I’d say he finally nailed it.
Kelly Wearstler took the same approach when decorating the Viceroy in Miami. As you can see in the picture above, Wearstler employed green shades: lime, jade, and celadon in generous quantities that dominate the room and act as a neutral.
This library by Benjamin Dhong (featured by House Beautiful) is another excellent example of decorating with green as a neutral. Kelly green, kiwi, and citron bounce around the room, creating a harmonious rhythm of steady often-found-in-nature greens. The result is both beautiful and soothing.
This powder room (found on Veranda) runs the green gamut from mint to malachite. With such dense greenery, it’s the blue and white Chinese vases that add the “pop of color” to this space.
Anouska Hempel’s dining room of her English manor (via Architectural Digest) is an ode to decorating with green. It resembles a moss-covered meadow in the middle of the jungle. Nearly every possible hue between blue and yellow is represented. The walls are a deep sea green. The drapes are emerald. The tablecloth is a grassy velvet. Cabbages and artichokes abound. Leayf botanical prints are hung with care. In short, it’s a green dream come true. Mother nature would be proud.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, green is my favorite color and I’m anxious to transform my bedroom into a verdant paradise. Or, to quote Florence Welch, “I can’t help but pull the earth around me to make my bed.”
Thus far, the only thing I’ve nailed down is the wall color, Benjamin Moore’s Palm Trees.
It looks a bit dull in this photo, but it’s magical in the sunlight and, at night, it reflects lamplight with equal grace. I chose it using my fool-proof system. Learn how to choose the right paint color in my previous post.