In the color psychology world, green is associated with health and nature. In the decorating world, it could go a few different ways. The color psychology of it is both relaxing and invigorating, which makes sense.
Think of all the ways we hear of green used in idioms: evergreen to refer to something timeless, green as in good for the environment, and green with envy. See, it runs the gamut: it’s negative, mindful, and positive, all at the same time!
As Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green,” but with the right guidance, you can take the mystery out of using it in your home. Learn about the nuances of the hue to make it a statement color or a quiet whisper in your home.
Color Psychology: Characteristics of Green
Green is associated with nature and natural elements, health, wealth, generosity, vitality, luck, and creativity. These are feelings of abundance. The rich nature of this hue makes this a popular color with both banks and spas. Abundant in wealth and vitality – who wouldn’t want a bank account (or a spa experience) that’s generous and giving?!
It’s also rejuvenating and uplifting. This has been linked to the center of your body as it balances and restores order to the energies in the body. Very nature- and health-focused!
Conversely, it can be associated with less-than positive emotions such as greed, jealousy, and illness. Like dark yellow, green-gray-yellow tones usually convey that sickly, dingy feeling. Definitely undertones you want to stay away from in your decorating, especially if you want your room to be fresh and rejuvenating!
In color psychology, darker hues are more conservative. They can also be more masculine. I’m thinking of a study decorated in deep emerald greens and brown. On the other hand, light greens are fresh and calming.
Decorating With Green: Where to Use Green in Your Home
When you’re using green in your home decor, you can use a lot or a little; it really depends on the other greens you bring into the room and how much of a statement you’d like to make. Knowing or understanding the color psychology of the different shades of green, will help you make a room feel creative, calm, or conservative – or just about anything in between!
Green hues in a bathroom make a fresh impact, especially when you set them against neutral shades like white or black.
I love when designers just go for it and use lots of rich hues in a small room. Green tile, green wallpaper, green countertops, green paint. Mix some or all of it for an elegant statement. Just be cautious of the shades of green you use: stay on the same side of the color spectrum so your greens don’t clash in the small area. Lime green tile with emerald green wallpaper may not be the statement you want to make.
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Is it cheesy to say: bring the outdoors in? Oh well, I’m doing it, because that’s one direction you could go when you decorate with green in your home!
Use lots of bright shades to make a fresh statement. Paint all your walls kelly green and layer in green rugs and throws. Find a unique coffee table or emerald green couch. These punchy colors will convey fun, creativity, and innovation.
If you’d like to keep things simple, add only a few accents. That way, you can still harness the power of green and call in feelings of vitality and energy without having to dive in fully. Decorate with plants. Be selective with your color use and only add green pillows or books to your shelves. Whatever you do, make sure you use a mix of bold hues so they stand out as the color feature of the room for an elegant and refined balance.
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You could also go the other way and use deeper shades to make your space feel grounded and solid – those masculine feelings that the color psychology of dark green evokes.
Outdoor Living Spaces
Naturally, green and outdoor living spaces are a match made in heaven. Think of all the greens out there: moss, jade, fern, jungle, olive, mint, sage, lime… all nature words. So, they’d do well on a patio, outdoor dining area, or outdoor lounge setting!
When you think of green in a kitchen, you may be picturing the avocado-green appliances of the 70s. While that was a fun decade, I’m not suggesting you relive it in your kitchen every day! Instead, look for deeper blue-green hues, like emerald green. Jewel-toned cabinetry with a white marble countertop says elegance and refinement while also having a little fun.
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The Best Green Interior Design Combinations
Decorating with green is very hard to mess up. Just about any color works well with it. When used together, the color psychology of each hue is elevated and your room will always convey positive feelings.
Green and Yellow
Green and yellow together are earthy and vibrant. The is the ultimate combination if you want to convey feelings of vitality. Yellow is naturally warm, welcoming, and sunny. When used together with green, it makes a creative statement. They can also be toned down for a more relaxing, soothing look.
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Green and White (or Black)
Green and white is classic and crisp. So is green and black. Either way, mixing it with a neutral on either side of the spectrum will make your design elegant and timeless. Or, you can mix all three for a modern, energetic look.
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Green and Blue
Green and blue are analogous colors, meaning they’re next to each other on the color wheel. Because of that, they naturally work well together. Mixing any analogous colors will create a serene design, but mixing blue and green together especially will make your designs feel calm and relaxing. Both colors convey security and abundance in their color psychology.
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Color psychology is fascinating to me. I love how different colors can convey emotion – they evoke feelings without us being aware of their effect on us. Designers (either professional or DIYers) can use this to their advantage to create powerful emotions the second someone walks into a room. When you want to convey timelessness, vitality, earthiness, and abundance, use green in your designs.