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Comforting greens for a nurturing environment – greens take on a warmer stance

From the Resene decorating blog

It's easy to underestimate how redecorating a home can be a mood-enhancer, even on a small scale.

A moodboard featuring soothing greens

Colours that are close in tone prevent any jarring hues, offering peace and serenity instead.

The warm green of Resene Lichen looks to the lighter elements of blush and the darker hues of olive greys and brown and, with the neutral of white, harmonise perfectly in their dusty, nurturing tones. Background in Resene Mondo (dark grey), Resene Dusty Road (light taupe) and Resene Lichen (green) with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Mondo, Resene Half Akaroa and Resene Dusty Road and vases in (clockwise from top) Resene Mondo, Resene Quarter Akaroa and Resene Brown Sugar. Plate and mug from Briscoes, tea towel from H&M home. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

Replacing dated cushions, clearing clutter or a simple lick of paint doesn't sound like much; but walls painted in a heavenly misty green can transport you to the French alps or the seafoam waves of the Coromandel. This is a testament to the power of interior design and, notably, paint.

Take green, for instance; its beauty all around us. The trees, grass and rolling hills celebrate the nuances of this colour. By seeking inspiration from nature's bounty, you can create what could be quite possibly the most inviting place you can think of.

Taking your cue from idyllic settings will bring in all the rich beauty of the natural world through dark or light tones. And now more than ever, we want this balance of tranquillity and energy within our homes.

But it's not just any greens that are taking our fancy. We are saying goodbye to greens with elements of blue in their make-up, Resene colour consultant Amy Watkins says. "Greens are moving away from the blue-based tones, such as the duck-eggs, into the warmer palettes of yellow-based versions of sage or olive."

This is partly due to us continuing to spend more time at home. Creating an interior that rewards us emotionally is becoming more appealing. "Because, thanks to lockdowns and restrictions we’ve been spending more time at home, so we want to warm up the colour tones to make us feel more nestled in at home. We've had the cool colour palette be on trend for so long that it's done its cycle, and the next cycle is the opposite bringing in those warm tones."

"The appeal of green is that it's a reflection of nature," Amy says. "Using those traditional natural tones means they aren't something people get tired of quickly because we're used to seeing it in our day-to-day environment."

On-trend greens include the cool olive green of Resene Avocado and the evocative blend of green with brown in Resene Siam. "Both are in the yellow-based ochre-toned greens," Amy says.

But don't assume every warm green is yellow-based. "Some greens are simply classified as warm because there is clarity behind them," Amy says. "So, say Resene Forest Green, which almost has a kind of olive edge or emerald colour tone, doesn't have any blue tone. Even the lighter Resene Xanadu is a form of pastel, but there is still depth."

More and more, we see these warm greens used in spaces where we can sit back and relax. "We're seeing green in bedrooms and living areas," Amy says. "In bedrooms, we’re more likely to immerse ourselves in the colour, so it’s most often used on all the walls not just a feature." The deep colour tones of hues like Resene Forest Green are popular or if it's in a darker area of the home, bringing in a lighter hue like Resene Avocado or Resene Coriander helps avoid darkening the space further. "It's a matter of how much light is in that space as to how dark a colour tone you're going."

A tween bedroom painted in olive green and reddy brown

Repetition is key in this tween bedroom, where olive green, reddy brown and pale taupe evoke a ‘woodland’ themed space. The hues base themselves on the walls and floor, and are then echoed in the cushions, bedlinen and décor. These tones feature prominently in nature and harmonise perfectly, bringing personality with a touch of neutrality.

Wall in Resene Eighth Joss, tongue-and-groove panelling in Resene Finch, floor in Resene Digeridoo, bedside table in Resene Redwood, ladder in Resene Redwood, baskets in Resene Fahrenheit, DIY animal masks in Resene Hairy Heath, Resene Doeskin, Resene Sambuca, Resene Black Forest and Resene Nero, vases in Resene Woodrush, Resene Toffee, Resene Cumin, Resene Twine, small-lidded container in Resene Raging Bull and peg (holding up canopy) in Resene Redwood. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

Yellow greens are given a playful edge when paired with off-whites and earthy rose tones

Yellow greens are given a playful edge when paired with off-whites and earthy rose tones. Natural textiles and organic vessels soften the square lines of the grided floor. The look and feel are grounded, but anything but boring.

Chequered floor in Resene Dingley and Resene Quarter Spanish White, wall in Resene Pale Leaf, bud vase in Resene Spanish White, cabinet in Resene Clover, chair in Resene Brown Pod, hook rack and shelf in Resene Toorak and vases (on cabinet) in Resene Triple Spanish White and Resene Half Villa White. Basket and throw from Blackbird Goods. Project by Gem Adams, image by Wendy Fenwick.

"In a darker space, such as a smaller bedroom, you might go for Resene Coriander, in a master bedroom that doesn't get a lot of light you might opt for darker Resene Avocado," she says. "Even in a master bedroom with lots of light or that is quite large you can step it up further and go for deep greens like Resene Palm Green and really commit to the colour."

Variations of these warm greens throughout a home can be tied together with a complementary trim on window frames, ceilings and door frames. Don’t underestimate how these often-overlooked elements can hold your interior together seamlessly. "Trims are a really important connection point for the rest of your home," Amy says. "Use the same trim colour to flow on throughout, so its normally an off-white that gets used because it adds clarity and depth to your wall colour."

Once you've selected your main hue, don't feel you need to stop there. Layer more colour, choosing tones that 'pop' against your calm base. Use Resene Karma, a green-toned yellow, on your cupboards next to walls in Resene Tom Thumb, a smoky grey-green. Or Resene Bronzetone, a mustard-brown green, and Resene Red Berry, a vibrant energetic red, paired with Resene Forest Green.

Your colour can be simply coated onto your cupboard doors, not necessarily your entire walls. If you’ve washed green on your lounge walls with a fresh off-white on your trims, bring in elements of pale pink in your cushions and throws, providing a pretty pop of colour to counterbalance your palette.

A warm green lounge

This warm green is presented in a deep version to create a sumptuous living room environment that cocoons and nurtures. Paired with warm grey and crème accents, its diagonal battens add depth and interest.

Walls in Resene Waiouru with accent battens in Resene Gravel, floor in Resene Quarter Spanish White, large coffee table in Resene Clover, small coffee/side table, cabinet and tray on coffee table in Resene Gravel, plant pot in Resene Gravel with design in Resene Waiouru, tall vase (on cabinet) in Resene Black, other vases and accessories painted in Resene Clover, Resene Dingley, Resene Gravel and Resene Highland. Sofa and chair from Contempa, rug from Citta, throw and linen cushions from Shut The Front Door, grey cushion from The Warehouse. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.

A green Art Deco-inspired bedroom

In this Art Deco-inspired bedroom the walls are in Resene Finch, an era appropriate shade of green.

Floor finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, drum tables in Resene Black Forest (sides) and Resene Green White (tops). Plant pots and vases in Resene Nero and Resene Olive Green. Headboard from The Cane Collective, duvet, pillowcases and throw from Città, lamp from Lighting Direct. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

While you might hold a place in your heart for cool, blue-based greens, you can still bring these into your décor scheme. "Peacock colours are in the cool box, and are getting used more as pops of accents on furniture or artworks," Amy says. "Bring in more variety with Resene Wallpaper. There is always a natural texture to wallpaper, any linen element almost softens that cooler base."

Whatever warm greens you choose to grace your home, make sure they align with your preference. "It's really important to look at your own personal taste," Amy says. Greens can be a tricky palette to please everyone with as there are such variations between different undertones. "You've got to be naturally drawn to a particular colour palette, so it's important to look at yourself and consider what kind of furnishings and light is in the space and whether you like warm or cool colour tones."

With a colour that symbolises renewal, hope and new life, it should take little convincing to bring warm greens into your home. Thanks to them evoking the healing powers of nature, these welcoming tones are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, creating well-balanced, nurturing and evocative interiors.

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

May 15, 2022

See how other home decorators have used greens in their spaces and visit your local Resene ColorShop for all the advice and ideas you need to decorate your rooms with your favourite greens.

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