Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pea Green with Envy




Lately, I've really been drawn to weird and unusual shades of green. Yes, it may not sound particularly appetizing, but shades like moss, loden, and pea green can be quite beautiful. Still need convincing? Well, for me, it was the room at top, designed by Mario Buatta, that made me reconsider green (usually not a favorite color of mine). Of course, the fact that Buatta covered the walls in mossy green velvet makes it a rather easy sell. I don't think I'm alone, because others were won over by Nick Olsen's room below (I'm crazy for Nick's room too, but I saw the Buatta one first).



What I've noticed, though, is that the designers who have used these odd shades tend to be quite creative in their use of it. Buatta and Carolina Irving have both chosen mossy and murky shades of green fabric to upholster walls. Miles Redd chose a lacquer finish for the olive colored walls in one of his projects. And designer Richard Adams did not hold back with his use of green- he painted the walls, upholstered the banquettes, and covered the lampshades in the same shade of green.

Bottom line- after years of bright, happy colors, maybe it's time to inject a little moodiness into our homes.


(Nick Olsen used Benjamin Moore's "Oregano" for his apartment. My friend Clinton Smith used "Kyoto Green" from Valspar in his guest room to great effect.)


A room by Miles Redd (photo from Southern Accents)


A sliver of a shot of Carolina Irving's entrance hall.


Living room of London designer Richard Adams

41 comments:

  1. I love this shade of green, especially how it is used in all of your stunning examples. Congrats again on the Post :)

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  2. Love green in general. Don't you think the dislike of green is just psychological, stemming from the Victorian use of green glass to denote poisonous substances? Has anyone ever really stood in a park and thought , " I hate the colour of the trees" ?

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  3. HOBAC- You bring up a very interesting point. You're right- I've never disliked the color green out of doors, so I'm curious why, in the past, I haven't been so keen on green (that's what I should have used as the title of this post!). Now, though, I'm finally coming around.

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  4. Lovely shades of green! So rich!

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  5. One of my favorite colors is arsenic green, that literally poisonous color beloved by Madeleine Castaing. Another thought re the revival of green: the sudden vogue for absinthe! And re the allure of moodiness, ELLE DECOR's November featured a seriously moody house in Boston, remember? Frank Roop's place, I think. Honestly, I'd rather be ensconced in a moody room than a cheerful room, most of the time.

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  6. Aesthete- Yes, Frank Roop's place was moody and wonderful. I forgot about his home... And I agree, for someone who considers herself to be a cheery person, I'll take moodiness anyday!

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  7. Another good green is the sage-y Jasper-ware green with white accents. Very Wedgwood!

    Yay for you!!!

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  8. Pigtown- Oh yes, that's a good one too!

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  9. You know, in just a moment, one of us is going to declare a love for olive green ... and have flashbacks to the 1970s and our mother's kitchen appliances ...

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  10. The Miles Redd walls actually look as if they are lacquered to resemble leather ...

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  11. Aesthete- Yuck! No avocado appliances!! I do like the way Redd lacquered the wall in olive- a much richer look than flat olive for sure. But still, one must be careful with some of these shades.

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  12. You won't shock me with green! Our sitting room was painted a vibrant dark green in Dublin, the bedroom a darker ivy green and the hallway a beautiful deep teal. I adore dark, rich greens and blues for walls - apart from anything else, gilt frames look divine against dark shades of green.

    www.passementeries-diary.com

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  13. Passementerie- You're so right about the gilt/green combination. I love the way those gilt frames look on the green velvet walls in the Buatta room.

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  14. I love dirty greens. Had a wall of it in my kitchen/living room at my last home. I felt at home viewing your blog. Thanks

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  15. Linda- So glad it brought back memories!

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  16. That is absolutely spectacular! I have never been too keen on green other than out of doors, but that changes my mind completely. Doesn't it have a wonderful, soothing quality as well?

    I like it less in combination with blue, though, but that is just me.

    By the way, your wonderful blog encouraged me to start my own. It's more a haphazard jumble of thoughts about style, with interior decoration being just one of many aspects, but thanks nevertheless for your inspiration.

    Nora from Germany

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  17. Nora- Many thanks, and I'm off to check out your blog!

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  18. maison james by holly4:45 PM

    I love how Nick Olsen's room looks where the light hits the wall. The white fireplace looks incredibly crisp. It works for me because of the sharp contrasts.

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  19. Not my first choice for a wall color, but these designers have really pulled it off quite well actually. Great post Jennifer!!

    ~Kate

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  20. Dear Peak of chic - I have to laugh _ Ive just started subscribing to you and stylecourt's blogs and I get these messages from you and her in my mail box ocassionally and I think

    "Oh my goodness!! They knows I exist!!"

    And then I realise its your posts - which is just as good! :-)

    Re this post - I notice that for some reason you are not attracted to sides of lime green!!! :- :-)

    (funny about that!!!) :-) :-) :-)

    Have a great weekend!

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  21. Bright & Beautiful- I know you exist!!! And thanks for your comment too! :)

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  22. Mario Buatta's walls are so soft and warm and irresistable, and yet Miles Redds walls are so shiny and sleek and irresistable, too. You're right Jennifer, it's the creative use of the color green that makes it work.
    Julie

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  23. They are all beautiful images. I've always been a huge fan of green. The Maria Buatta colour is gorgeous, and the Miles Redd room is fabulous! -I'd not seen that image before, so thanks for sharing. Re the moody rooms, I'm with you there...I'd take that over a bright room anyway!

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  24. Anonymous2:59 AM

    You forgot Schuyler Samperton's living room, also green, as seen in Domino.
    http://www.samperton.com/2007domino1.pdf

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  25. I think it's interesting that the color green is treated 'specially'. All of the rooms you have shown show green as an ENVIRONMENT with everything green. I think this lends it the air of 'moodiness' that everyone has been talking about.
    Especially love the last image with the pea-green banquets and walls and the mirrored fireplace wall. That is a GREAT party room! Champagne cocktail anyone?

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  26. Oh I love them all Jennifer!!! I adore green, one of my favorite colors, and these shades do not disappoint!

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  27. I absolutely LOVE green, but I like it in more of a sage tone or with more blue in it than yellow.

    Tried to send you an e-mail, your box is full. Will try again later.

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  28. lovely shades of green!!! stunning!!!

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  29. Anonymous10:22 AM

    I adore green or so many shades -- there was a home in Stoke Poges near where I lived in England -- the living room was done in a soft greeny-blue -- very similar to Restoration Hardware's silver Sage paint color. It was so wonderful -- almost mystical when they had a late supper in the garden and the French doors were open for guests to wander through their moonlight terrace and garden ...... Thanks for the wonderful post. Upcoming book release -- on the Regency-style maker Thomas Hope. I had never heard of him -- and there are some wonderful stories about his ideas on furniture and architecture. Just a "FYI" for your book blog -- hope you don't mind! I just love your blogs!

    Jan at Romsemary Cottage

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  30. Jan- Sounds marvelous! And I just found out about that book a few weeks ago- it's on my Amazon wishlist!

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  31. Mrs. E and I have used sage green for kitchen walls and in a dining room. I love the look and it figures prominently in a lot of deco homes (our obsession.) Those lacquered walls are almost the same color as my favourite club chair. Brilliant!

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  32. I have been so drawn to green lately too- it seems to be everywhere! I love any and all shades of green- I especially love it with dark brown. Great post!

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  33. Chelsea Girl8:17 AM

    Love those dark, sludgy, "English" greens! They add such depth and character. Plus, they look great with almost any red--pink, Chinese lacquer, flower-pot terra cotta.

    Great post! I have added you to my favorites list. Many thanks.

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  34. Love Apple green but only on my stairway walls...have pictures in black frames and the stairway is crispy white!! So fresh!!Love it!!

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  35. That cozy corner in Mario Buatta's green velvet room really gave the nod to that much maligned colour.
    Equally thrilling: the papier mache Delft urns on gilt brackets~surely they once lived in the London drawing room of David and Evangline Bruce?

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  36. Toby- You know, I think you must be right! Speaking of papier mache, it's hard to find decorative pieces made of this, isn't it? Or at least it is not as common as it used to be, which is a shame.

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  37. Jennifer, about those faux delft vases in Mario's green room, here's what John Cornforth had to say in his book Inspiration of the Past:
    "When for instance John Fowler needed light-weight vases for brackets in the Bruce's London drawing room,Christopher Hobbs modelled vases in fibre glass and painted them in a delft style. And in the dining room of the same apartment it was he who painted a trompe l'oeil portait on a jib door to balance an existing picture".
    (I've seen variations of those vases made into lamps
    at Clandon Park, Surrey~they have a charmingly mis-shapen quality to them.)

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  38. Toby- Not only are they charming, but practical too! So Hobbs painted that portrait on the jib door- that's one of my favorite rooms! I'm sure there are still artisans who can create such wonderful things, but I wish I knew where they were!

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  39. I call it wasabi...:)...gives it a bit of a lift by name..I'm doing a tribal room wasabi and caliente red.
    I'm so glad I found this tho.. very cool.. I love it.. The lacquer is amazing..
    so many colors, so few rooms!

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