Ok, I admit I’ve had this series drafted for nearly two years (!) . So, in the spirit of better late than never, I thought i’d finally start my colour series today. Over the next few months I’m going to be looking at some of my favourite colours, especially the tones mirrored in my house. And what better shade to start with than Green, it’s one of the colours of the moment (Dulux says so, officially, Tranquil Dawn is their colour forecast for 2020), alongside the fact that it is awash everywhere, and then there’s that buzz word of the year in interiors I keep coming upon – Biophilia, meaning the human desire to reconnect with nature, which is surely green! I thought we’d start with this gentle legend for many reasons, chiefly it’s versatility and compatibility in most homes. From bolder hues like olive or moss, through to whispering greens like sage and aquamarine, via very dark and striking shades nearer to forest and even black. They all have a special place in my heart (and home). In fact for as long as I can remember, certainly for the last twenty years of adulthood, if asked to point to my favourite colour, it has always been in the hinterland between green and blue, a shade of opalescent sea green with just the tiniest hint of blue. Green has had so many meanings attached in human history from paradise to evil, what does it mean to you?
When I covered Farrow and Ball’s new colour launch last year, two of the nine new shades were green, one an updated deeper version of Pigeon, alongside the punchier Bancha. Their recent collaboration with the Natural History Museum produced many greens, as you may imagine being based on the colours of nature, Ash Grey and Sap Green both feel incredibly now. Within the last year Little Greene have also compiled a collection of 31 shades of green in collaboration with the National Trust, including greens from the rooms of notables such as Bertrand Russell, Beatrix Potter and George Bernard Shaw. They describe the shade, in its various forms as “The original ‘colour of nature’, green is reassuring, soothing and elegant”. I would add that modern dark jewel-like greens are really versatile, feeling either quite decadent to me, bohemian, or even intellectual depending on setting.
It’s also a colour which the Scandinavians have been increasingly adopting over the last decade. There was a time when Scandinavian Design was perhaps a little limited to whites and greys, but my interest in Scandinavian design coincided with the emergence of New Nordic colour, and alongside rich blues, pinks and beiges, green is an integral shade in the modern Scandinavians palette. Have a look at some of the shades from Scandi paint brand Jotun Lady (below) aren’t they the dream? Or those at top of piece from Ferm Living, stalwart favourites of mine, presenting some beautiful green inspiration through their product styling over the last few seasons, from the calm of mint to the hypnotically dark green backdrop (above top).
I recently re-decorated our bedroom with Pigeon by Farrow & Ball. I knew that I would be going for a green, not least because I still miss Teresa’s Green in the living room. But also because it is one of my favourite tones, from the sociable aquamarines to the peaceful sage, there is something so quietly comfortable about green. It’s a very modern shade I think, one that’s really embedded in the thinking of the twenty first century, from environmentalism to the desire to reconnect with nature even, maybe particularly, within our busy urban environments.
Of course green has been around for many centuries, but I feel that it is really in this one that it has passed from associations with poison or jealousy, the austerity of sludge green, decadence and poison of absinthe and arsenic, to become a colour interpreted in more pastoral terms, connected to stillness and reflection, rejuvenation and serenity. I also love rich dark greens, deeper than forest, as they feel so infinitely calm. I’m still waiting to find the perfect space I want to claim as green on all the walls, Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball is a strong contender for this, But I also wonder if I may find that level of commitment too engulfing. In the meantime I’ve been adding pops of green to many of our rooms and it’s become one of my go-to shades.
I like to think that green makes me feel pretty centred within the home, I am an outdoorsy type, never happier than when walking in nature, so perhaps this is why it grounds me. But it is certainly a colour related to balance and creativity, and to my mind it looks great in pretty much every home. Perhaps, like me, you’re not ready for wholesale commitment, maybe you worry that too much of it is too relaxing, that you need more tension in your space, so I have rounded up some of my favourite green pieces to add accents with below. I am so in love with the Merano sofa from Swoon, it’s been on my list for years, and the Liza Giles piece is a print I have just invested in. I came across this London based artist via my blogger friend Cate St Hill, I would most definitely be delighted to have any of them in my home so do check out her full portfolio.
Items top to bottom, left to right: Green Home print collection by Paper Collective // Washed Linen Duvet Cover in Lily Green // Merano Sofa in Jade by Swoon Editions // Tile Cushion by Muuto // Swappi drinks trolley in Mint & Ash from MADE // Liza Giles Grass & Black VII // Lars Accent Chair by MADE // Jute doormat from Arket // Restore Round basket by Muuto // Dark Green Dish Drainer Pot by Hay // Hammershoi Vase from Skandium // Mint Reactive glaze salad bowl by West Elm // Derry Recycled Glasses by Rowen & Wren // Gladom Tray Table by IKEA // Bari Vase by Lindform // Container by Lind DNA //