Think green and welcome in the full panoply of its shades into your interior – from lime and sage to emerald and olive, it’s time to green up your inner world, says Emma Clegg, with assistance from three local experts.
We’re encouraging you to think about green in your home this issue, and are embracing this in the most encompassing way. It’s a triple whammy of options: green the colour; green for natural, organic elements including plenty of plants; and green for sustainable products. The reassuring advantage of green is that you need never feel constricted because there is a kaleidoscope of shades available – take your first interior pickings from grass green, spring green, emerald green, sea green, olive, jungle, meadow and pine green, or what about jade, pea, bean, leaf, seaweed, sage, laurel, khaki, lime and (edging towards the blue side) teal?
Green is the colour of nature and the countryside and being around it tends to make us de-stress and feel refreshed and tranquil – that’s why it’s often used in public spaces or in waiting rooms. It’s the colour of growth, renewal, and abundance; it traditionally symbolises fertility and it’s thought to inspire creativity. Studies have also indicated that the mood-enhancing quality of green is hard-wired because it represents somewhere where you can build a shelter and find water and food.
Green is also a secure colour – in showbusiness performers traditionally wait in the ‘green room’ before going on stage or on camera. However the lighter side of the green spectrum with yellow and golden tones is associated with freshness, and darker greens with stability, permanence and balance.
Home décor trends have majored in green in recent years as we embrace the natural world in homage to the need to protect our natural environment, as we fill our homes with green vibes, in tone, pattern, material and aesthetic. And we don’t just have single shades to play with – wallpapers, fabrics and artworks all offer further compositions majoring in the ‘g’ word. Green isn’t going away. How green is your own home? Here are the views of some local experts.
John Law, Woodhouse & Law “The uncertainty of the last 24 months has undoubtedly led us all to seek a greater sense of calm and security in all aspects of our lives. Perhaps no more so however than within our homes; the one place in which we can truly create our very own sanctuary. The recent embracing of the darker hues of green within the home is testament not just to this, but also of our yearning to reconnect with nature. Lockdowns and imposed isolations have made the rural idyll that bit more appealing; with it the sense of a slower pace, a simpler life that focuses on what truly nourishes our souls.
“Nature offers inspiration for so very many hues of green within the home; the key to using those colours is however to allow yourself to be brave in their application. Running the colour beyond the walls to the ceiling can, for instance, help give the space a greater sense of cocooning comfort. The contrasting, lighter tones of dried floral arrangements can reinforce this connection to nature without adding too many competing tones of green. And to satisfy all the senses and reinforce that return to nature, we’d recommend introducing home fragrances with essential oils such as sandalwood.
“Going green is more than the choice of paint colour however. It also extends to the inclusion of sustainable materials and durable pieces. As designers, we are keen to leave behind the disposable, casual approach of constantly changing trends and regular renovation. It’s critical that we include in their place timeless, well-built pieces within any scheme; ones that endure and evolve with us in whatever form our own, personal sanctuaries take.” woodhouseandlaw.co.uk
Clair Strong, Clair Strong Design “Green is the colour of life, hope and renewal. Green has also always signified growth, rebirth and fertility. We want to connect with nature; it’s outdoor spaces that have comforted us and nurtured us through the last two years. There is no other colour that makes us feel more in tune with the natural world than green and it’s the perfect colour choice to use in interior design to help you feel calm.
“Green embodies the natural world and our innate human instinct to connect with nature is known as ‘biophilia’. Biophilic design is about bringing nature into your home with natural materials and tactile textures in calming, neutral shades. Earthy textures, organic natural shapes, raw materials, and greenery are all elements that add depth and soul to your home. Look for terracotta, marble, wood, stone, and clay to bring life to a space.
“There are more shades of green than of any other colour, and green is everywhere in interiors for 2022 – think soft velvet sofas, rich jewel-toned cushions, dark olive kitchens and lots of foliage. An easy colour to work with, it is neither hot or cold and it neither projects or recedes. Team soft greens with off-whites, deeper tonal greens or hot reds for a contemporary vibe. Olive shades can act as the chameleon of most schemes, as they’re warm, earthy, and mutable – use them with golds, oranges and muted pale blues. You can also treat green as a neutral and mix it with a huge number of other colours.
“Green walls can look effortlessly chic. I love grey-green paint because it creates a very forgiving base and looks immediately luxurious. Graham and Brown’s Accrington Road sage green is playful and modern, while Farrow & Ball’s fresh aqua, Teresa’s Green, can create a beautifully calm feel in a dining room.
“Green tiles with an understated geometric pattern suit all ages of property, and you can mix and match with plain tiles if you want to dial the green down. Wallpaper is a wonderful way to introduce botanical designs in shades of green into your home. Use it in a big room to add drama or a small space to create a feature wall.
“When it comes to pairing different shades, green is quite a forgiving colour, so don’t be afraid to layer it up with blues, pinks, neutrals, earthy tones and even oranges and reds.” clairstrong.co.uk
Louisa Morgan, Mandarin Stone “Green is associated with nature, renewal and energy. Known for its calming qualities and at the centre of the colour spectrum, it has a sense of harmony, balance and tranquility and has deep connections to our well-being. In today’s chaotic modern world, using green tiles in the home can reflect nature and calmness while bringing a sense of sanctuary to our indoor spaces.
“We’ve become accustomed to tiles being predominantly shades of grey, white and beige, but there are resonant colour options too. In recent years, we’ve seen pops of colour added to the mix, most notably pastel pinks. However when we consider green tiles, there’s just something so warm yet sophisticated about them.
“Green doesn’t have to be strong or bright. There are so many calm, subtle hues that sit well in our interiors. If you’re not quite sure about colour or how to use it, green could be the answer. It pairs beautifully with whites and neutrals and isn’t in your face like yellow or orange. Green is equally exquisite when combined with rich metallics, earthy terracotta hues or pale pastels. As in our natural world, green just seems to work with everything.” mandarinstone.com