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Color of the Month: GREEN

I’ve invited fellow blogger and Color Consultant Rachel Perls, to drop in and talk to us about color once a month. As a color pro, she’ll share both the visual and psychological effects of color, suggest a few color combinations (with images), and give us tips on how we can incorporate more of it into the home. If you’d like Rachel to explore color more in-depth, please be specific and leave a comment below so she can take your ideas into consideration for her next post.

We kicked things off last month with a post about blue, and now for March, we’re going with green for the obvious reasons, Spring! Spring! Spring! In fact, all day on the blog today, I’ll be posting plenty of Greenspiration. Stay tuned!

Take it away, Rachel…

Going Green By: Rachel Perls

For me, March is synonymous with the color green. Not only because of Saint Patrick?s Day, but also because March 21st is the first day of spring in 2007. Buds are forming on trees, leaves are just starting to grow on bushes and delicate shoots of grass are sprouting up through the dirt. The earth is coming out of hibernation, and the first color to re-emerge is green. It is a sign of freshness, new beginnings, and hope.

The human eye detects more variations of green than any other color in the rainbow. As a secondary color composed of blue and yellow, the combinations are practically limitless: from hunter and olive to jade and turquoise to spearmint and lime. There is a green to suit us all.

The yellow-green walls are spunky and fresh against the clean lines of this kitchen. (Joe Nahem via Elle Decor.)

This room has a light airy feel, with celery green walls and soft taupy-sage sofas. Cool, inviting, and friendly. (Picario Designer)

These yellow and green walls really sing, don?t they? This space feels very elegant and regal to me, not stodgy or outdated. (Stephen Shubel Design, Inc.)

So, how can you use green in your home? What does it say about you and the feeling you want to evoke in a space? Green, like all colors, communicates meaning in many ways.

Associations can come from cultural contexts. Green conveys good luck for Irish and Americans. It represents heaven for those of Muslim faith. And in Japan green is the color of eternal life. These bright blue drapes against a backdrop of teal striped wallpaper, feel lively and whimsical. The addition of pink and gold completes the palette creating a dramatic color scheme with lots of flair. (Designer’s Guild)

There are countless examples of how green is used to influence people?s feelings about a space. Actors relax backstage in the ?Green Room? before they go out to perform. In elementary school classrooms, a light soft green can aid in children?s concentration levels. Many hospital operating rooms are painted a light green to reduce glare and to keep a surgeon?s eyes acute to the red and pink of the operating field.

This sage green room has always felt very calming and elegant to me. Nice spit complementary color scheme demonstrated by blue vases and rust-colored accent chairs. A split complement is formed by choosing one color and using the color on each side of its compliment on the color wheel. (Sheila Bridges)

A deep sage or olive is warm, inviting, and grounded with brown undertones. The olive walls work well as a deep neutral in this room to set off the bright lime pillows and crisp black and white upholstery. (Taylor Howes)

On the other side of the spectrum, emerald and jade are mysterious and powerful. Combining the strength of deep, rich jewel tones can really make an impact. Like this navy couch paired with an emerald green chair and turquoise patterned floor. (HGTV)

Sea foam and aqua are clear and meditative. This scene, minty green walls with embroidered lanterns hanging in the stairwell, feels like an underwater scene. (House and Garden Magazine, July 06 issue)
Also think about the companion colors you can use to compliment, accent, or set-off your greens: blues, reds, bright pinks? An amazing mix of chartreuse, red, and pink. Wow, doesn?t it pop? (Domino magazine)
Or you can add a little turquoise to the mix. What do you think of this color combo? (Domino magazine)

A fun, retro look reminiscent of a diner, complete with checkered floor and chrome furniture. The cheery red chairs really punch against wasabi green walls. (Flickr user marydeluxe53)

You can also tone down the strength of chartreuse with a warm, velvety chocolate brown. Interior Designer, Jay Jeffers, combined his signature chocolate brown with chartreuse in his entire home – so fresh!

Designers love using green to decorate interiors because it is a perfect ?neutral? backdrop. Just look at nature and how every color looks amazing against greenery. In fact, looking outside for inspiration is an excellent way to get started. Why stop at decorating your interior in green? Outside living areas benefit from a jolt of lively green, too. This patio furniture compliments its surroundings by reflecting greens from nature. (Sunset, Crate + Barrel.)

It all depends upon the mood you want to set; but the possibilities are endless. How do you use green in your home?

-Rachel Perls

Posted by decor8 in Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips, guest bloggers on March 16, 2007

Your comments...

  1. Rose Red commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 5:50am

    Love it! Green is my favorite color, but I feel like I don’t see enough of it in magazines or online. Thank you for the ideas!

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  2. Anonymous commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 7:59am

    i adore green – my kitchen is all green:
    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/83/275035119_4d89bc0a30.jpg

    and empty, in this photo.

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  3. greengelato commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 9:19am

    i feel like i have to comment because my name is greengelato.

    go green!!! i especially love it when accented with orange (my wedding colors)

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  4. Anonymous commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 10:30am

    love love this post holly…great pics on all hues of the color!

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  5. Claire commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 1:36pm

    Fantastic post! I’m getting lots of inspiration from it.

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  6. susan commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 3:36pm

    I am most interested in the green analogous color scheme, with green, turquoise, and gold together. Maybe with a splash of raspberry. Love that combination. Excellent post!

    I have a smoky medium green in my kitchen, in the wood backsplash, also seen in that similar color in the sofa in the kitchen and dinnerware and in tablecloths and in artwork in the kitchen too. I guess I like it more than I thought I did!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitchendesigner/?donelayout=1

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  7. Hope commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 3:42pm

    Thank you for honoring green…..it is one of my favorite colors . as it emotes peace and health. The Picario image is pure elegance!

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  8. Hope commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 3:45pm

    Thank you for honoring green. It is one of my favorite colors, as it emotes peace and growth. The Picario image is pure elegance!

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  9. Robert commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 3:56pm

    Green is definitely in right now. We just did a green feature for food and design.

    http://food.yahoo.com/blog/dailyolive/241/cupcakes-from-novelty-to-artform

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  10. decor8 commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 4:04pm

    Thank you Rachel for a great green report!!

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  11. patti haskins commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 4:07pm

    I love lime green and turquoise together, as I’ve painted my dining room/art gallery. It makes me happy when I’m in the room.If you’re interested, check ” mike & patti’s house – dining room/art gallery” set on Flickr.
    http://flickr.com/photos/pattipics/

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  12. jessica commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 4:09pm

    Absolutely love learning more about color, Thank you.

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  13. Erin T commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 4:30pm

    I love these posts from Rachel!
    Green has always been my very favorite. When I was a baby my mom didn’t want to do a girl nursery so she did the whole room in emerald green and white. Since then I’ve been hooked!
    During Apartment Therapy’s recent Color Contest there were a lot of entries using different shades of green. I was really surprised by the number of comments from people saying they were sick of all of the green and how they hoped that trend was coming to an end!
    It’s impossible for me to think of green as trendy. It’s a color of the earth that I associate with so many beautiful things. The degree to which I use it in each place I live varies – but it’s definitely always there!

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  14. Mel commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 4:34pm

    I love love green. I just redid my “living room” with green and I’m trying to decide on curtains and other accessories. Narrowing it down has been harder than I thought because my green goes with EVERYTHING!
    I also really like pops of chartreause against exposed brick–it’s such a change from the leather stuff you usually see.

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  15. cally commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 5:13pm

    We’re so in tune, I did blues for a week last month to celebrate my 1st blogiversary, and this last week I’ve been doing lots of greens, mostly jewellery. It really is such a wide ranging colour, and especially beautiful when it blurs the lines between green and blue.

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  16. Rachel commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 7:30pm

    Wow, i am thrilled that everyone is so into green! i will have to check out everyone’s green examples now.

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  17. studio wellspring commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 7:41pm

    thanks so much for all the great exmaples & insights! i love this “special color month” concept ~ decor8 rocks my world.

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  18. scrappy girl commented
    March 16th, 2007 at 9:39pm

    That’s so interesting that we perceive so many different kinds of green. I’ve always loved the color–my eyes are green. It kind of cracks me up how it’s now used to denote ecological!

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  19. SweetJen commented
    March 17th, 2007 at 3:27am

    Oh, wow. More wonderful green. The retro kitchen and chocolate-green room are fabulous.

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  20. ashley commented
    March 17th, 2007 at 6:16pm

    Love the color idea. I can’t wait for “purple”, it’s my favorite color, yet it’s still seems hard to find in home decor items. I end up using it as an accent color with green (mostly chartruese), cranberry, gold & teal. I need major help finding some great fabric in the aforementioned color scheme for pillows & window treatments to match my new Anthropologie Ditte sofa in the ochre linen. Any help would be much appreciated. By the way, love your blog. I get so much inspiration!!!! Thanks.

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  21. paola commented
    March 19th, 2007 at 7:50am

    Thanks so much for this. It’s going in my ‘inspirations’ file for the new house!

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  22. sandman_gr commented
    March 20th, 2007 at 1:03pm

    I love green! My kitchen walls are a very bold chartreuse (contrasting the dark brown laminate old cupboards, dark brown mosaic floor and maple table & chairs) and my bedroom is a very lighte version of the same colour, offset by the maple lamiante flooring and maple bed. The dish rack is also green (the Karim Rashid one by Guzzini).
    I also use green as an accent in my living room/dining room. The basic furniture are all in light woods (maple basically) and beige with raffia carpet, punctuated by a bright orange wall. So green goes on the sofa as a cover (deep green one from IKEA) and silk pillow cases in a much lighter shade of green (IKEA again). The same dark green color can be found on the runner of the dining table (from Zara Home-funny thing how it is the same shade as the IKEA sofa cover) and I have transparent green glass balls and green stones in the bamboo plate that sits on the dining table.

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  23. decor8 commented
    March 20th, 2007 at 1:06pm

    sandmanpr – send in a picture, I think we’d all love to see it – sounds so cool.

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