Mad About . . .

50 Shades of Green – Nearly

5th July 2018

As the saying (almost) goes you wait ages for the perfect shade of green and then they all come at once. Not quite 50, but 31 from Little Greene, one from Dowsing & Reynolds and, while there are no new varieties from Farrow & Ball, they are due to launch their new colours later this year (happens every three years) and I would be amazed if there weren’t any new ones in there.

Puck by Little Greene

Puck by Little Greene

So green. It’s a thing. As you know I have just painted a wall in bedroom green but this was a long time in the making. We did our en suite bathroom up two years ago and I was desperate to paint it green. We tried about six different shades but couldn’t find the right one.  Studio – pictured below – was too dark for a bathroom. In fact, at the time of writing I have just seen it in a bedroom and while it’s very, very dark, it is a stunning colour. Mind you, even Farrow & Ball suggest using it outside where it will appear greener – it can tend towards black indoors.

studio green by farrow and ball

studio green by farrow and ball

Then there is the new Spruce Things Up by Dowsing & Reynolds, whose green I have just used in my bedroom. This isn’t as dark as above and has a dollop of grey in it so it’s not too yellow or grassy. Some people won’t mind that. I do. Spruce (for short) is what you would get if Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe went green, if that makes sense. It does to me. My bathroom is painted Down Pipe and every time I post it on instagram I am asked what shade of green it is. Well now you have the solution.

green bedroom by

spruce things up paint by dowsing & reynolds, rouen bed by sofasandstuff covered in linwood fabric

And then we come to Little Greene, who hadn’t launched their green card three weeks ago when I was looking for green but who have now compiled 31 shades of it on this colour card ranging from an almost teal, to pale, dark and something really quite grassy in between.

Little Green Jewel Beetle

Little Green Jewel Beetle

Now it’s much easier to get the right shade of green than it is grey. Well I say that….. when it comes to a dark green it basically as simple as do you like it. When I wanted dark green for the bathroom two years ago it was as simple as no I didn’t.

Little Green Aquamarine (top) Ambleside (below)

Little Green Aquamarine (top) Ambleside (below)

Dark shades are often easier to get right than pale ones as they don’t change as much during the day. The difficulty comes with the paler shades which can change dramatically according to the light outside. So the same rules as choosing grey paint apply.

Little Green Aquamarine and Three Farm Green (below)

Little Green Aquamarine and Three Farm Green (below)

In a south-facing room you might want to avoid the bright greens that have a lot of yellow as that will ramp up in the golden light of the sun. Unless, of course, that is what you want. The cooler shades of pale green will look more blue in the blue light of a north-facing room. It’s not as difficult as grey which can vary from beige to lilac but it’s something to bear in mind.

Then it’s simply about whether you like it or not.

Little Green Pompeiian Ash

Little Green Pompeiian Ash with Dado Stripe in Heat

Now the thing that Little Greene does really well with its colour cards it that it arranges them according to family – so you have a collection of grey greens (and that’s me sorted) moving through the neutral greens, yellow greens, blue greens and turquoise greens. So it’s already easier to choose.

Little Greene Sage & Onions

Little Greene Sage & Onions

Little Greene has been working with The National Trust to produce this themed card – the latest in its series which includes grey, pink and blue. The new green card includes 20 National Trust shades as well as some from the Little Green archive and the current collection.

walls in Pall Mall by Little Greene, painted chair in Trumpet

walls in Pall Mall by Little Greene, painted chair in Trumpet

They took their inspiration from Beatrix Potter’s house in the Lake District and George Bernard Shaw’s writing hut – essentially a shed that revolved to catch the sun.

I can’t show you all the colours here but this should give you a flavour of what they have. And a contribution from the sale of every tin will go to the National Trust to help with their conservation work.

Little Green Acorn and Hopper (below)

Little Green Acorn and Hopper (below)

Now, which one will you choose? They are available in September so you’ve got time to think about it.





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  • Nayana Rao 23rd July 2018 at 9:01 am

    Amazing to know about the 50 different shades of green, Thanks for this great post about colors.

  • Manoj Shekar 23rd July 2018 at 8:56 am

    Light green with shades brightens the environment. Also the plus point you feel like you are in nature’s arm. Very well showcased.

  • Denise 11th July 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I have two dark hallways (Victorian conversion maisonette). Ground floor is basically a narrow, windowless corridor from front door to staircase, and first floor is a standard hallway/landing. I have used Fired Eart’s “Malachite”, which is as dark as F&B’s “Studio”, but somehow a bit greener. A wonderful almost suede-like effect when dry. But the paint quality is nothing like as good as Little Greene and (most) F&B.

    In my extremely troublesome sitting-dining room ( one end darker than the other, east-facing so by 11am it’s cast into gloom), – no exaggeration – I spent £600+ on paint samples to find a colour which I liked, in daylight, at both ends of the room, and in electric light.

    I finally decided on Eartnborn’s Claypaint in “Cupboard Love”, which was then taken off the Earthborn paint list. Cue MEGA meltdown- rescued by them assuring me that it was only archived and was available to order. It’s a wonderfully pure pale green, without any harshness and with a very uplifting but subtle freshness to it.

    Across the many paints I ended up selecting across my whole flat, my decorators were unanimous in choosing the Earthborn Claypaint as the best paint which they had ever used. And I also fell foul of the F&B curse: after years of using F&B but seeing lots of complaints about its coverage, the decorators used “Blackened” in my study with no problems (two coats and done), but “Great White” in my bedroom? Absolute pig. Different batches had same problem: wouldn’t cover the white base. Ended up with six coats to get a very good but not perfect finish. I simply wouldn’t pay for anymore blasted paint by then.

    In terms of the best selection of pale to mid greens across all those manufacturers, I was surprised to find that it was Benjamin Moore, the US paint brand which is now available over here.

    (And if you’re looking for a lovely pale grey with the slightest hint of blue: “Unicorn’s Breath” by Dowsing & Reynolds (and yes, they are taking the mick out of all those pretentious and often-meaningless F&B names. Best name they have come up with is Hippo Potto Not a Mouse. Ouch.))

  • Manjunath Rao 6th July 2018 at 10:55 am

    Green color looks splendid . It brings us a step closer to mother nature . Please keep on posting such blogs.

  • Mike 6th July 2018 at 10:53 am

    I’m currently considering repainting my hallway in a strong green or turquoise and some of those Little Greene shades look amazing – ‘Puck’ and ‘Jewel Beetle’ particularly. I look forward to seeing the whole colour card when it is launched in September.

  • Skandic Hus 5th July 2018 at 11:24 am

    I am a huge fan of green – many moons ago I used to work in fashion and I discovered that it was one of the colours, in the right shade, that most people could wear. It’s good to see it working just as well for interiors.

  • Nicki Marsh 5th July 2018 at 10:39 am

    Kate – I am sure I may have asked already – so forgive me if I have. Could you tell me where your wall mounted (plug in) bedroom lights are from? I am looking for black lights with a little touch of gold that, most importantly plug in….but despite finding masses on US sites there seem to be very few in the UK and of those they tend to the fussiness. Would be most grateful

  • Anna 5th July 2018 at 9:24 am

    Excellent article Kate. Green rooms bring back strong memories for me. In 1989 a top American computer co. offered me a high flying job. They showed me my office. A small room painted the most horrible shade of green emulsion.

    I explained that I would work a long day to get the job done and so would be in that room more than at home. Could I possibly paint it Magnolia? (Safe boring option). No, it was the Corporate colour so I declined their offer!

  • Sally 5th July 2018 at 9:01 am

    Some lovely examples of green …the 2nd pic looks like our kitchen( we had our inherited b and q cupboards re sprayed in Studio green) even down to the cup handles, but it’s true, the colour definitely appears more black inside! We painted our bedroom Inchyra blue, but it looks more green than our kitchen- yet on our front door, it’s more blue/ grey!! I love the new bedroom decor, Kate- green is a very calming colour, so perfect for that room…

  • Fran 5th July 2018 at 7:55 am

    My favourite shade of green is (almost) Paris green. The poisonous one. I have never painted a room that colour. Perhaps it would be better on a cupboard or wooden chair? Have you seen anyone making it at the moment?

  • Karen 5th July 2018 at 7:17 am

    Hi, this post has come at the right time for me. I’m thinking of painting my dining room/staircase (my staircase is off my dining room) in a dark green shade. The room is north facing and quite dark so I’ve decided not to fight it and go with a dark shade. I really like the colour you have chosen for your bedroom, but I’m still concerned that it will be too much. I’m hoping with the right mirrors and lighting that I can pull it off. Also, my staircase is wood at the moment which I’m hoping to paint. I was thinking white but I’m not sure this will be too stark. I would really appreciate your views on my latest project as it’s a big one (new floors, lighting, built in alcove shelves etc).

    • Jared 13th July 2018 at 1:59 pm

      I’m working on my kitchen at the moment, and we’re going for dark green cabinetry. From the pictures above, it looks like dark / white flooring works well with the greens!

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