As a lover of green, I have always appreciated its versatility as a colour: in its palest forms it can provide a tranquil backdrop in a bedroom; dazzling emerald shades can be used inject some glamour into a space; acidic greens can energise a room.
As is the case with many colours, green has a fascinating history. The Egyptians regarded green with great positivity, seeing it as a colour of regeneration and rebirth and, to the Romans, it was a hugely important colour which they used in their architecture, mosaics and artwork. In Renaissance times, whilst grey and brown were colours to be worn by peasants, and red reserved for nobility, green was commonly associated with merchants and bankers, and their families, which may help to explain why colour psychologists often refer to it as a colour that symbolizes wealth. Of course, in today’s society, green is widely associated with the environment and our attempts to protect it.
Many regard greens as particularly restful on the eye. As the most commonly found colour in nature, it is associated with vitality, regrowth and new beginnings. In fact, we only have to look to nature to see how green combines well with a spectrum of other colours. We can apply some of these pairings to the way we decorate the spaces within our homes, altering the shades or the ratio of colours to create specific moods. Green can look fabulous against bright white; combining green with purple, which are complementary colours sitting opposite each other on the colour wheel, can create particularly impactful schemes; olive green can look fabulous against gold.
I’ve picked three of my favourite pairings – green and blue, green and graphite, green and blush pink – and, over the course of three features, will show you how green can be combined with other hues to great effect. I am going to start with green and blush pink, a pairing that can create anything from a look of romance to a space of gentle serenity.
This kitchen combines elements of deVOL’s Classic English and Real Shaker ranges; prices start from £12,000. Cupboards painted in Clerkenwell Blue; walls painted using a combination of pink paints; all deVOL. The tiles are Emerald Green London handmade tiles, from £15 per tile, deVOL. Ceiling painted in Breakfast Room Green No. 81, £45 for 2 litres, Farrow & Ball.
Here we can see that saturated shades of green have been combined with beautiful pinks to stunning effect, creating a unique, truly bespoke feel which is anything but run-of-the-mill. Three different shades of pink paint were used on the walls and applied with sponges and brushes to produce a lovely textural effect, and the glossy hand-made tiles provide a nice contrast against the matt walls. The designer of the space has created blocks of colour throughout: the pink walls, the bank of blue units, a floor-to-ceiling section of glossy green tiles and even a different shade of green across the ceiling. The design of the kitchen looks perfectly balanced and has been styled to provide visual interest in all areas.
From bottom: Henley Stripe in Mint/Pink, cotton, 137cm wide, £32.50 per metre; Ticking 01 Pink, cotton, 137cm wide, £27.50 per metre; Candy Stripe Mint, cotton, 137cm wide, £27.50 per metre; all Ian Mankin. Washed linen in Shell, linen, 140cm wide, £26 per metre; Soft linen in Aquarium, linen, 145cm wide, £27.50 per metre; both Tinsmiths.
Pale, watery, greens are soothing to the eye and can add a sense of peacefulness to a room. These gentle shades sit very happily with delicate blush pink tones and, when combined, this pairing can be an excellent choice for bedrooms or sitting rooms.
Set of two In-Out stoneware mugs, £58, Rowen & Wren
With their stylish matt glazes, these mugs show how a pale, chalky palette of pale pink, soft green and neutrals can work so well together.
Liberty for Anthropologie Strawberry Thief Rivona chair, £1,398, Anthropologie
William Morris’s now iconic Strawberry Thief fabric has been used to upholster this chair and I love both the patterning and this particular colourway of greens and pink. This piece of furniture is a successful marriage of heritage and modernity, and the designer of the space has played with mixing contemporary and more classical elements throughout. Note how the accessories in this space echo the colouration in the fabric, with pale pink pots filled with greenery, a pink globe and some large green leafy house plants.
Dixie corner sofa in Turtle vintage velvet, from £2,745, Loaf
This pale green velvet sofa combines really nicely with the washed-out pink walls. The designer of this room has kept the overall palette of the same tonal weight so that nothing leaps out or commands our attention; in doing this, the space feels immediately calming.
Embossed glass pendant in Blush, £100, Cox & Cox
The embossed pattern on this blush pink shade will cast the prettiest of shadows across your walls and would look beautiful against a pale green backdrop.
This pairing of pale pink and green is the most gentle and serene combinations that we will cover in this series. The shades that I have shown you here are of the same tonal weight, meaning that neither colour fights for our attention: they sit happily together and leave us feeling soothed.
Next, we channel the beauty of a Caribbean-inspired combination of greens and blues which can be used to create gorgeous schemes – it’s one of my favourites!