One of nature's most prominent hues is about to make a welcome return with the start of spring this month. From an interior design standpoint, green can be tricky to work with, often because it takes on so many different casts depending on lighting and the other colors used around it. This is especially true of paint colors. The classic adage, "if it works in nature, it will work in your home," definitely applies to green. Just think of how great live plants look in any room. Depending on saturation, texture, and which variations you use, green can be soothing or energizing. If it's been awhile since you've considered it, maybe now is the time to put some fresh greens on your design plate.   Calming Approaches || Sage. Mint. Forest. Moss. Seafoam. Olive. Aloe. Celery. These are some of the greens that nourish and soothe, much as they do in the natural world. Note that many of these can be dark and saturated and still exude calm, much like a dark forest with filtered sunlight through treetops can feel very peaceful. In the same way, mint, celery, seafoam and aqua are often associated with tropical beaches, which can feel both peaceful and visually lively at the same time. In terms of your interior space, almost any type of wood furniture looks great with greens, whether it's a green upholstered chair or a walnut credenza against a mint green painted wall. Or, place a wood cabinet with a green distressed painted finish in a kitchen or hallway to add vintage character.   Wake-up Call Approaches || Shamrock. Kelly. Emerald. Chartreuse. Lime. These tend to dazzle the eye, create excitement, and energize the soul with their sharper intensity. They will gain even more strength when paired with other vibrant hues like royal purple, hot pink or the traditional holiday pairing with red, which works well because green and red are opposites on the color wheel. In terms of a room, a modern glass-top table, for example, will pair beautifully with lacquered emerald-green walls in an entranceway. Mixed Greens || Much like a grouping of plants, different greens can blend beautifully. For example, pair two upholstered accent chairs, one in chartreuse next to one in kelly green, and it will make the room look fresh, lively and eclectic. Fabric patterns on throw pillows can also coordinate well, such as a palm frond print pillow mixed with, say, pillows with small-scale green and white stripes. Mix in a pair of ceramic garden stools and live plants, and you can easily create a lush garden feel indoors, even if you live in a city apartment. It's easy using green. Green is everywhere!
There has been an ongoing debate in the Design world about the prevalence of grey in interiors. Is it an enduring trend or past its expiration date? Truthfully, grey never went away. As with any color, it appears and resurfaces at different times. And, unless you intentionally use grey as a monochromatic color scheme, it will have more impact if you mix it with other colors like yellow, lavender or pink ¬– even saturated citron, emerald green or peacock blue. However you decide to incorporate this hue, it can create a sophisticated feel that will stand the test of time. Keep It Neutral || As an alternative to beige, tan or white, grey can either be a great focal point or soothing background to other colors. When you choose a super light value of grey, it can have an ethereal, cloud-like look and feel that even mixes well with other neutrals. For example, your rug can feature only values of grey or include soft blue, white and beige mixed with grey for a more interesting neutral palette. Add a textured throw and pillows along with furniture in shinier finishes to keep your neutral color scheme from looking flat. Power It Up || Amp up the elegance and grandeur of your space by using deeper greys like graphite, charcoal or wrought iron. Contrast them with pale pink, soft lavender or mustard hues, or make a bold statement by mixing grey with amethyst, hot pink or citron. For a more masculine approach, try using grey with brown or burgundy, perhaps on an upholstered chair or with accent pillows. Gold, silver and black in either matte or shiny finishes will also keep grey from feeling too sedate. Finishing Touches || Change up your greys anytime with colorful accents in other colors like red, black, blue or green. For example, incorporate a lamp with a jade base, or a patterned chair with rose, turquoise and terracotta hues to create a beautiful, rich complement to your grey foundation.
With a new year upon us, it's a good time to take stock of your home space. If you have a dedicated home office – whether you work from home full time or just pay bills there – it may be time to reorganize and make a fresh start. Specific items to upgrade can include your desk, chair, storage cabinets, shelving and lighting. Ultimately, you want your space to function smoothly, but also energize you to do your best work. A Place for Everything || And everything in its place. Even in the Digital Age, there never seems to be enough storage. Depending on how you want your home office to function, you need some version of drawers, shelves or cabinets to store things like receipts, paperwork and supplies. A desk with versatile drawers or cubbies can be useful, especially if you don't want your work to be immediately visible to anyone entering the room. Sometimes a minimalist desk with a small writing surface and room for a computer monitor or laptop is all you may require. Style & Comfort || You can create a hard-working home office without sacrificing style or comfort. The space should be productive and inspire you with brilliant ideas, so don't feel compelled to stick with office grey or all neutral colors. If kelly green, royal purple or citrus orange get your creative juices flowing, go for it! Make sure you have an office chair that offers adjustable support, and if space allows, include an upholstered chair or sofa for break time or to seat visitors. Finally, good lighting is essential. Include a task lamp for close work, as well as sufficient overhead lighting, especially if natural light is not abundant. Personal Touches || Personalize your home office with framed family photos, favorite books, a glass-door cabinet of curiosities, or a mood board pinned with travel images, souvenirs and stickie notes. Strategically placed plants or a vase of fresh flowers clears the air, and a bit of office humor goes a long way… posable superhero action figures are totally acceptable!