And here we are again with a little bit of soothing green for a Monday. This is for all those who need to take a breath. Green is a calming, creative colour (I wrote about the psychology of it here) and as the school holidays start but the actual holidays don’t seem to, it seemed like a good colour to go with today. So gaze on these pictures and see if they make you feel calmer.
Because I’m guessing that this strong minty green is a colour that many people wouldn’t think of for a sofa but actually it’s relaxing not only to look at but to sit on and this sofa looks so pretty with the natural wood and pink. The punch of yellow flowers adds a disrupter colour to stop it all sinking into tasteful matchiness but you can see how it sits happily against the neutral wall colour.
If you have a bold colour that you love but were afraid to use, then instead of putting it all over the walls, where it might be overwhelming, think about adding it in a solid block like a chair (below) or a sofa.
That way you can take the whole scheme down with neutral walls (if you want) and even add plain cushions so that even though you have a really punchy colour it’s not so out there that you might find it unrelaxing or worry that you will go off it. Use the walls and accessories to dress the space around it – either up or down, or even both to change the mood. This can be punched up in summer with strong pinks and oranges and taken back down again in winter with ivory and pale pink. And green with brown furniture? Of course – think mint chocolate chip ice cream. If you’re not sure about colour combinations think first about nature and secondly about flavours.
And on the subject of not being sure, the interior stylist Lucy Gough used her lockdown (between wrangling her sons aged 4 and nearly two) to launch an online styling course. Lucy is responsible for some of the most imaginative magazine shoots you will find (including the Christmas Living etc which she regularly works on) and can help you find your way around a mood board and a colour palette. She created the shot above for Monsoon and you can see how the minty green table pulls the eye into the room and makes you want to see the rest of it.
She is also responsible for this image above which is one of my all time favourite images and reminds me of the importance, not just of the disrupter colour, but of not playing it safe. If I had chosen that paper I would think I had been brave enough and would have painted the chest in that dark pink. Which would have looked gorgeous – but how much braver and bolder is that chartreuse? Keep this picture in your head to remind you that sometimes it’s important to make the unexpected choice and to push things a little bit further than your instinct might at first assume.
What about a green kitchen? There was a time when all the magazines were showing green kitchens and I toyed with the idea myself, before reverting to bitter chocolate, but I think it hasn’t quite come yet. Currently navy blue is all the rage among real people (by which I mean those who are actually buying and decorating kitchens for themselves and not for the ‘gram or the press). I suspect that green hasn’t yet fully arrived. And when it does this is a gorgeous version. Again, I wouldn’t have put it with blue but it works.
We’ll finish with this fabulous minty green bathroom and pink walls by Shrez of Plum and Crumble. Two years ago I gave a talk on how to take pictures for instagram which Shrez was unable to attend at the last minute. I think we can say she didn’t need my help either in learning to photograph her house or even to decorate it. Mint green is a classic bathroom colour, but when paired with pink instead of classic white it becomes interesting and unusual as well as warmer and much prettier. Note also the art, the natural wood and the vintage style lighting. You need all those elements in a good bathroom so no wonder it’s working.
So, who’s up for making a brave colour choice then? And who just feels a bit calmer now their eyes have drunk in all that green?