Style at home

You’ve got a green light to splash on the color

When it comes to working with Mother Nature’s favorite color — green — every tone and tint is a winner.
When it comes to working with Mother Nature’s favorite color — green — every tone and tint is a winner.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

If you asked me to pick my favorite shade of green for decorating, I’d say, “All of them!” When it comes to working with Mother Nature’s favorite color, every tone and tint is a winner. Green can be the main event in a room, shaking it to its core with over-the-top drama, or it can be a soft whisper, providing the background that allows other features in the room to shine. Here are three ways I like to use green when I design interior spaces.

• M ake a big statement with saturated green. How about a room saturated in green?Start by painting the walls a go-with-everything shade Most greens look amazing with just about any color, so are a great choice if you want deep, rich wall color.

If you opt for green walls, like we did, you can take the green theme a step farther by bringing in upholstered pieces that feature different shades of greens. But be sure to also weave in lots of contrast colors, or your room will feel like a leaf cocoon.

For an equally powerful effect, paint your walls a neutral, like white, then pick upholstered pieces that include a mix of strong greens.

One of my favorite techniques is to pick neutral upholstered furniture and zip it up with pillows that include radiant greens.

If you like where your green room is going and still want more, bring on the green accents.

•  G rab attention with powerful pops of green. If you don’t want your interior spaces to take themselves too seriously, add a few playful pops of green. Green ceramic lamps topped with interesting lamp shades are head-turners. And they allow you to get a shot of bold color into a room without allowing it to take over.

I adore decorating with timeless neutrals, like white ceramic pots. But sometimes you just have to have some fun in life. Are there spots you can add a pot or vase in a shade of green you love? Using a few bold accents, like pottery, is an easy and inexpensive way to thread a bit of green into your decor.

I’m crazy about a concert of pillows, and bright green fabrics make the look. Another easy way to work green into your home? Potted plants, real or faux.

If you want to include some strong color in your decor but don’t want to fill the room with the same hue, upholster a chair or two in the feature color. It will become the focal point for the room but still allow you plenty of freedom to take the space in different directions.

•  Use green in a support role. When you think about your garden, green provides the supporting role that allows the flowers to shine. Even though it’s a strong color, it has no trouble dropping into the background. Green accent dishes provide some color and texture to your tabletop but still allow the pretty china pieces to get the glory.

Experiment with different ways to add a shake of green to your table, like green handled flatware, or napkins. I adore green goblets, too.

A green table runner acts as a beautiful base to a table setting. It’s a soft enough tone that you could go a lot of different directions with your dishes, from modern white to vintage floral to a geometric pattern.

In my own home, I’ve added tiny pops of bright apple green to my living room furnishings, subtle touches like a green monogram or welt on a pillow, or a green flange on window coverings.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at She can be reached at

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