From left: House Beautiful, Dunelm, Sofology
The ultimate in nature-inspired decorating, green is one of the most popular and versatile colours to use in a living room. In colour psychology, greens are usually associated with balance and harmony, and act as the bridge between stimulating warm colours and calming cool colours.
The versatility of green makes it a bit of a gift in interior design, but doesn’t make it easier to narrow down your choice of colour combination – as a general rule, mid greens sit very happily with black and white, paler shades can desaturate rooms with lots of warm oranges and pinks, and sophisticated forest greens are a great accent for neutral rooms.
A green living room doesn’t necessarily mean wall-to-wall colour however. Indoor plants are the most obvious way to bring in elements of green, you can use clever paint techniques to highlight wall panelling or window frames in pretty shades of sage, or go for one of the most desirable living room pieces – the green velvet sofa.
If you’re considering a living room makeover in the near future, read on for 14 ways to decorate with every shade of green…
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Green living room ideas: light and airy
For a living room that feels fresh, light, and airy, pops of green on a crisp white base is a safe bet. Aside from the fabulous green velvet sofa, the key components that make this living room work are the black and white accents, blonde wood, and hints of brass – a combination that can be replicated in any room in your home with great success.
Green living room ideas: saturated colour
If you’re a confident decorator, hints of green might not have the impact you want. Here, an all-over green (spot the painted ceiling) makes a great backdrop for lighter colours to stand out. Note the abundance of natural light in this room which helps to lift the dark walls.
Pictured: Ercol Novara Sofa and Footstool at Furniture Village
Green living room ideas: feature wallpaper
If you’re going for a retro or Art Deco theme, dusty pink and vibrant green are a classic combination. This pairing works particularly well with darker and red-toned woods (imagine a pale wood here, and the effect loses its retro references.)
Green living room ideas: gallery wall
We’re big fans of a gallery wall in a living room, and this zesty green and yellow example works beautifully against a sage background. A gallery wall is a great place to introduce complementary colours – if you use green and yellow, a warming terracotta would make a great additional accent.
Pictured: Fresh Lemon Gallery Wall at Desenio
Green living room ideas: all over green
The architectural details in this living room lend themselves to a two-tone scheme – if you have similar panelling or coving, it’s an easy one to replicate. We would always recommend using the darker of the two colours on your walls as a contrast to highlight the more interesting details.
Green living room ideas: light and bright
We are totally taken with this little reading corner that goes big on colour in a small space. Awkward pockets like these are perfect for experimenting with intense shades. Farrow & Ball suggests using this rich olive green paint if you’re low on natural light – so its perfect for awkward alcoves, or any space under your stairs.
Pictured: Olive No.13 Paint at Farrow & Ball
Green living room ideas: green and monochrome
If you’re unsure of how to pair your greens, a black and white scheme is a safe bet. Just be sure to add a warming element – in this Habitat living room it’s the red-toned wood, but pops of orange or yellow would do the job too.
Pictured: Julien 3 Seater Fabric Sofa at Habitat
Green living room ideas: WFH corner
Green is on the cooler side of the colour wheel, so using green undertones can offset saturated colours like an intense yellow, orange, or pink. It’s a clever design trick used in this neat living room/home office corner to balance the intensity of the walls.
Pictured: Desk, chair, and accessories at Habitat
Green living room ideas: Botanical
What green living room would be complete without houseplants? What we really love here is the unexpected placements – displayed on open shelving in front of the window, and those fabulous trailing plants hanging from the ceiling.
Pictured: Costello Sofa at Sofa.com
Green living room ideas: perfect paint
Our Back to Nature paint collection at Homebase captures the myriad tones of the outdoors including a pale sage, the yellow-toned green of new shoots, and a sophisticated forest green.
‘Our desire to connect to the outdoors is still so strong – these serene shades of sage, citrine and moss help bring this feeling into your home,’ says Sarah Keady, House Beautiful’s Style and Interiors Director. ‘Use alongside plants and natural wood for maximum effect.’
Pictured: House Beautiful Back to Nature paint at Homebase
Green living room ideas: Brass accents
Another living room full of plants in all shapes and sizes. This design scheme uses the black, white, and brass formula we mentioned earlier, but forgoes the blonde wood to create a slightly more luxe feel overall.
Pictured: Islington 2 Seater Sofa at Sofology
Green living room ideas: bohemian
Bohemian decorating can quickly become cluttered and mismatched, but this light and airy living room executes it perfectly. To replicate the look in your own home, keep your larger pieces of furniture neutral, and use heavy pattern (a paisley or ikat would work,) in your soft furnishings. Any type of wood can work here, and finish with an abundance of greenery.
Pictured: Furniture, lighting and accessories, all Dunelm
Green living room ideas: contrasting shades
Mid and dark greens are frequently matched with clean whites, light pinks or ochres, but green and blue are neighbours on the colour wheel, making them perfect partners. Both are cool colours, which can make them refreshing, just make sure to pick similar shades – an apple green with a vivid cerulean for instance – or as we see here, two soft and earthy tones.
Pictured: Ercol Aldbury Armchair
Green living room ideas: mid-century
Green isn’t just for bohemian or botanical living rooms, a sophisticated forest green can work wonders in a mid-century home too. This particular shade from Mylands is a great choice if the rest of your room is neutral, and note the use of black lighting and accessories – you don’t have to use lighter colours against a dark background.
Pictured: Pleasure Gardens Green at Mylands
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