Using green in your home

Go green in your home and you’ll be rewarded with a calm, soothing environment that everyone will warm to

It’s no surprise, in a country with a natural landscape dominated by green, that it plays an important role in our interiors.

green interiors“The beauty of green is that it’s not fussy: it pairs happily with just about any other colour in the spectrum,” says colour consultant and interior designer Sarah Kerr. And it’s one of those colours that simply doesn’t date. “Another reason I love green is for its timelessness,” she says. “It will always be part of the decorating landscape. There are no surprises with green. Each year, without fail, colour forecasters include shades of celadon, wheaten green, verde, emerald and lime in their palette.”

You don’t have to look far to see that we’ve always used green creatively because of its ability to calm and soothe. Hospital interiors are often painted soft shades of green and actors relax in the green room before going on the stage.

Perhaps we need to take that one step further. Because it is balanced, calming and supportive in nature, green is not conducive to argument or conflict. So rooms where decisions need to be made, such as offices, would benefit from being painted green.

But it can certainly exude calm in the home and is the perfect background colour for living rooms. Soft green is almost a neutral, so don’t be afraid to use it in significant amounts. Kerr suggests painting walls in a muted, earthy shade (such as Dulux ‘Edendale’ or ‘Serena’) and teaming them with white shutters and window joinery, a sofa in a sandy tone, and art, cushions or vases in vibrant orange.

Since green is a receding cool colour, it softens the intensity of the orange. Green also softens the intensity of the sun.Grass-green colours are cooling in a hot room so consider painting the walls of a room that gets lots of sun.

And while it makes sense for decorating to be a family affair, it’s particularly prudent for greens to be chosen with careful consultation. The genes for the red and green colour receptors are located on the X chromosome. Since men only have one X, they are more likely to suffer from green colour-blindness.


  • Bathrooms have always worked well in both green and blue with white porcelain as the contrasting accent. Pale green walls painted in Benjamin Moore ‘Spearmint Miss’ and a white vanity is a refreshing combination.
  • Bringing nature into the bathroom is guaranteed to soothe the spirit. Try hanging botanical prints or using ceramic paint to customise plain white tiles with a simple leaf pattern.
  • Accessories are the simplest way to bring green into the bathroom. Liquid soap, toothbrush holders and toiletries in a matching or complimentary green will still have that soothing visual effect.


  • It goes without saying that green is everywhere in your garden, but harness its partnership with white for a classical-cum-contemporary no-fuss patch that suits those who want minimal maintenance.
  • Texture and structure are key factors. Imagine white pebble pathways, white statuary as a focal point and neatly-trimmed box hedges in between.
  • For painted surfaces outdoors, try green for its non-reflective qualities. Lime-green alfresco fabrics look thoroughly modern when used to cover plump beanbags or as cushions for luxurious loungers.