When I was a kid, I envied anyone who was born in May because their birthstone was Emerald. I loved that gem so much – still do. My birthday is in August – which lists two birthstones – the very pretty Peridot and Sardonyx. Before I learned about Peridot, I pleaded with my mother to buy me an Emerald ring, just so I didn’t have to have an ugly birthstone like Sardonyx! I did get it – fake of course – but I was happy nonetheless. I found out much later that Peridot is also called the “evening emerald,” so I wasn’t quite cheating asking for an emerald!
Miles Redd’s “Homage” to Emerald Green might be one of the most talked about rooms with this color. His use of it is bold but not overwhelming.
With a lot of white surrounding it, the green seems lighter and brighter. That’s what I think the key is to using any dark or bold color – it’s what you surround it with that makes all the difference. Without the white and some of the other surrounding colors in this room – this space would seem darker, more somber.
How great does the artwork look up against this color! The artwork pops – seems more important as well. I love the mellow orange tone of the headboard up against this color. The white vase looks like a piece of sculpture against the rich color.
In this bedroom, designer Laura Britt uses a bold green but, again, with generous doses of white and more subdued colors. I might not have chosen the brown drapes at first. But after looking at this photo a little more, the use of brown makes sense – it ties in the wood tones in the furniture, floor and rug.
In the same room, lots of white of course. But look how great the artwork looks up against this color on the walls.
I wanted to bring in a room that was done by James McNeill Whistler – you know the artist who did the famous painting “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” of his mother in all grays and black…better known as Whistler’s Mother. He decorated a room called the Peacock Room – with his artwork and decorative painting. If you get a chance, read about the artist’s life and this room in particular here. Apparently, Whistler just did his “artist” thing when decorating – and really didn’t pay complete attention to what the patron really wanted. Here are some images from the space.
While not 100% Emerald Green, I think that what I love about the room is the artist’s sheer abandon with blue/green and green and gold…and art! There just seems to be a connection with this green color and artwork.
Some tips for using Emerald Green…
- Start with using some emerald green accessories – vases, pillows, in artwork
- Try using an Emerald green and white fabric as drapes or on your furniture
- Think about a lemon yellow chair with emerald green piping. That will bring warmth to a space – even in the coldest spot in house.
- Use plenty of white with this color. Add in some black as well to help ground the color
- If you are still timid about using the color full force, why not paint a piece of furniture in the color
- Bring in other colors: Oranges, pale yellows, blue or blue green or reds, pinks would help balance out the color scheme.
- If the green seems too bright for you – add some red tint or red paint to help neutralize the color a little. Test first! Put a little bit in at a time, then paint the color on a sample board to see how you like it.
- If the green seems a little too cool of a color, add some ochre yellow tint or some yellow paint to your mix to warm up the paint color. Just add a little at a time – and test on a sample board to get the right color.
- Use the color in a small room that isn’t used as much – a powder room, for example. Bold colors are great for these little jewel boxes.
- Emerald green is a great color for tiles – especially in a bathroom. The color will bring life to a cold room. Emerald green tiles on a table in the kitchen will give it that outdoor feel (that seems so welcome during the cold winter months).
- Still too timid, don’t choose the darkest and boldest color on the paint chart. Choose a color that’s in the same family, but lighter – a color a few steps up the chart. Then bring in some emerald green accessories.
I hope that you will give this color a try. It’s such a rich and happy hue – it will breathe life in to just about any room. Just look at it in nature – green goes with everything!