Can we talk about dark green?
Welcome to my second post on an Eye for Colour. This one’s about dark green, a colour which happens to be having a moment but one which has a primal and timeless significance.
Deep, dark green conjure up images of fairytale forests, old Landrovers, thick glass bottles and the healthiest of vegetables. Just looking at it is good for you.
The incredible Art Director and Interior Stylist Hans Blomquist eloquently sums up his feelings towards forest green in his delicious book ‘In the mood for Colour. “My love of dark green pigments stems from being brought up close to a deep forest, which was full of moss and pine trees. It wasn’t a favourite place of mine when I was young though; then, I only wished to explore big cities and couldn’t wait to get away from the forest. But now, years later, when I am living in a large city I have come to realise how relaxing it is to spend time in the forest of my childhood. The dense colours, the silence and all the different shades of green that nature has to offer are very soothing to the eye. When I visit spaces decorated in a dark green palette, it immediately conjured up that sense of tranquility.” I can certainly relate to this, as a child used to play in woods near our house and I have the same connection to that feeling of escape and wonder that the surrounding trees provided. I'm sure many of us do.
I was lucky enough to hear International colour expert Karen Haller talk recently and found what she had to say about green very interesting. Karen talks about the positive traits of green in her bestselling book “The little Book of Colour”. “We are reassured by green on a very primitive level. Where there is green we can find food and water - it equals life. Green falls in the middle of the colour spectrum and the eye requires very little to no adjustment to be able to see it.” It’s a colour that brings balance and peace.
One of the great architectural obsessions of our time is bringing the outdoor in. If you are lucky enough to have a wall of glass doors overlooking your garden you can get that lovely flow between indoors and outdoors. If not you can always paint or paper an inside wall green. In the 1980s the renewed anthropologist Desmond Morris carried out some interesting research that revealed that the most popular choice for hallways was green. This makes a lot of sense, the desire to bring the outdoors in from the from the front of your home as well as to the back. The Botanical Botanica range of wallpapers from Cole and Son has some wonderfully evocative designs, such as Forest and Fern to get an immersive nature inspired vibe inside.
Botanical Botanic range in Forest by Cole and Son
Mad about the House
Dark greens evoke a generous feel in interiors, along with other deep warm tones such as plum, rusty reds and mustard, which are all good bedfellows for deep greens. I think it’s a perfect colour for a front door in a red brick house, as the colours are complimentary. I’m a big fan of the dark green bespoke paint colour in Mad about the House’s bathroom, appropriately named Mad about the Bathroom from Mylands. So rich and relaxing. Sophisticated yet down to earth. A great choice for a restorative bathroom. I think it also has to be one of my all times favourite colours for kitchen cupboards too, as shown beautifully here in this DeVOL kitchen.
Of course the easiest and subtlest way to introduce the colour throughout your space is with house plants- despite the growing (no pun intended) trend for them over the last few years I think they will be part of our interiors for good now. It doesn’t matter what other colours are in the space , greenery invigorates a room like nothing else. Plants can be so sculptural and bring so much texture. And they purify the air so it's not all about what they look like. However if you really can’t keep anything alive, go faux. Abigail Ahern has a great selection, from ferns to giant cacti. Brilliant for dark rooms.
Faux Astilbe from Abigail Ahern
I just can’t WAIT to get our Christmas tree this weekend; a real one of course; that pine smell is one of my all time faves. A large indoor tree when so many of the trees outside have dropped their leaves is just the thing to green up our lives in dark months.
How would you introduce dark green to your home beyond the festive period?