Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

My Favorite Green Paint Colors

Posted on | February 13, 2012 | 27 Comments

House Beautiful‘s color of the year is green! Great choice—it’s my favorite! House Beautiful asked me to submit my favorite green room from their archive. I choose the sitting room decorated by Phoebe Howard above. Click here to view more beautiful green rooms contributed by bloggers. Plus, a quote from me!

I’m drawn to mossy/gray/sage greens. A color that feels modern but with a nod to Colonial style. When I was looking for green paints for my own home I was particularly drawn to Farrow & Ball’s palette. Their paints have a different depth and tone that feels bright but earthy. The book Farrow & Ball’s Living With Colour is a goldmine of inspiration for older homes. What??? You don’t own it? Hush, go buy it now! It’s my number one inspiration resource for this blog and house. All the homes are in England but each interior reflects an appreciation for the past with thoughtful modern touches. Below interiors featured in Farrow & Ball’s Living With Colour featuring a few of their paints.

Farrow & Ball: Calke Green on walls.

Farrow & Ball: French Grey on walls.

Farrow & Ball: Pigeon on walls.

At first I thought I wanted to paint the walls green in my den and the molding an off white. We spent months painfully stripping paint from all the tiny cracks of the molding. The green on the molding at the time felt too scary and bold.

I purchased a few paint sample pots and tested on a large wall primed in white. I painted BIG samples not tiny little squares. I kept the paint samples up for months viewing them in different light conditions throughout the day. My house is much brighter in the winter and in the summer months becomes shaded by near by trees. I set up table lamps and brainstormed how the green would react to other colors that could appear on sofas and chairs. I realized painting the molding off-white just felt too boring. The molding detail got lost and just feel blah. Below a series of photos from different points of the renovation process.

Testing green paints shown in different light conditions and progressing through the renovation of the room. The walls and molding are primed and NOT the final paint color. From left to right: Farrow & Ball’s Cooking Apple Green, Teresa‚Äôs Green, Vert De Terre, Light Blue, Green Ground, Saxon Green.

I picked Vert De Terre for the molding which feels more saturated in direct sunlight during the winter and much cooler and mossy in the summer. The walls are painted James White—a color suggest by Farrow & Ball as a complement.

We have a few more steps to complete the room, order interior shutters, restore and hang the doors, fix the crumbling firebox, stripe the floors and then decorate. I want to keep the room in the same vain as Phoebe’s with gray, yellow and wood accents and some pink or red. Below a snapshot of the room.

Related Posts:
Soothing Greens And Antiques in WOI
Elegant Green Paneled Molding
Green Molding with Yellow Accent
Green Molding at Marblehead Arts Association

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27 Responses to “My Favorite Green Paint Colors”

  1. Katrin
    February 13th, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    I love how your den turned out, it will be such a pretty room. I am kind of obsessed with F&B colors and love the book, too.. plenty of inspiration indeed. Looking at those pictures remind me that I really like French gray… will need to find a place for it in my house!


  2. Jane @ Vintage Homemaking
    February 13th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Love the calke green. I love seeing the progress you are making!


  3. Anon
    February 13th, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    Oh bummer. All of a sudden your blog posts appear truncated in my Google Reader, which is such a pain.


  4. Becca
    February 13th, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    What beautiful shades of green! I think I may just need to buy that book. I rent right now…but when we buy something I will use Farrow & Ball paint.


  5. Robyn
    February 13th, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

    Love your blog. Just discovered it from a jump on Design Sponge. Do you mind sharing more info about the sweet couch in the fourth pic (from the top)? I really am drawn to it. Many thanks.


  6. Katy Elliott
    February 13th, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    Hi Robyn!

    Sorry I don’t know a lot about the sofa itself. The image appears in the book Farrow & Ball Living With Colour and the photo is noted with the wall color but not the sofa info.

    Style wise I would call it a 2-seater rolled arm english sofa upholstered in a window-pane wool. Hope that helps!


  7. Anonymous
    February 13th, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    Love your choice of Verte de Terre trim and James White walls.

    Did you guys have to skim coat? I know you did the ceiling. We’ve done it over and over and have more to do. I found out that if you use plastic mesh on the entire surface of every wall, the cracks will not return.


  8. Kit Mitchell
    February 14th, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

    Lovely & calming- great editorial on greens and wonderful to see your comments in House Beautiful!


  9. Diane
    February 14th, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    Actually, I love those rooms painted all one color…trim, mantel, bookshelves, etc. But, does seem to me it would take some courage!!


  10. Robyn
    February 14th, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

    Thanks Katy for your reply. That does help!


  11. karen cheung
    February 16th, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    I love these kind of greens. We recently painted our bathroom walls in Hardwick White from Farrow and Ball and I highly recommend it. It’s not too dark, and not very green. It’s a stunner.


  12. Gardentina
    February 16th, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    I’m all for going green! I’ve got a room that’s “Ping Pong Table Green” with white trim. I get more compliments on it than any other room of the house. And not just because my green paint is a close cousin of the Philadelphia Eagles Green. (I’m in Philly. It’s uncitizenlike here to NOT be a sports fan.) It’s because the finer features of the room, like plantation shutters, stand out beautifully against the darker background. !Viva la Verde!


    February 17th, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    Of course i love everything you love. Which house beautiful is this in ?


  14. Katy Elliott
    February 17th, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    House Beautiful’s March issue is all about “Green”.


  15. Chelsea
    February 17th, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

    Hi Katy,

    We’ve been searching for examples of farrow and ball greens for awhile and I keep coming back to your page! Everything looks great! So hard to choose the right colour for our older home (1880’s victorian) – green smoke or lichen or maybe pigeon…ahh!



  16. Amy
    February 17th, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    Speaking of green paint and Downton Abbey, I love that green-painted-interior shot in the opening credits (with the crystal bowl and vase with ivory roses, creamy silk curtain…) Maybe it’s Lady Grantham’s bedroom?


  17. Joyce
    February 24th, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    I swear by Benjamin Moore’s Historic Colors.We have a sage green color in our dining room HC-111 – Nantucket Gray. It’s inspired by documented colors found in 18th- and 19th-century architecture.


  18. Bob Bortfeld
    February 27th, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    I was fascinated by your paint test samples. They looked like a Mark Rothko painting!


  19. john grover
    February 29th, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

    I love trim and panelling with rich color but most people only go with some version of white. Life is too short to play it safe.


  20. modernplum
    March 11th, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

    the colors that you picked for your room look great. Its a challenge and a joy to do a renovation as complete as yours. I look forward to seeing how the project evolves.


  21. Mrs Sutton
    March 31st, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    Fantastic colour scheme that you ended up with. It’s amazing how different the greens looked at different times of the day. My personal favourite green, is Farrow & Ball’s French Grey. I have used it wherever I have lived. I’m currently in a 200 year old Georgian house in Norfolk, UK, and try as I might to think of other schemes for my dining room – I know that I’ll be going back to that old favourite! Love your blog. x


  22. Anonymous
    April 1st, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    People say nature is green, But this green is really different because green always inspire me


  23. bathroom remodeling northern virginia
    April 1st, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    People say nature is green, But this green is really different because green always inspire me


  24. barbara stroud
    April 11th, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    Ah, love these greens! It helps immensley to have ideas of some paint colors… have been to Benj Moore too many times to count and am not finding what I’m looking for. My Farrow and Ball samples arrived last week and now I have lots of choices that I am in love with! Decisions, decisions!


  25. Cathy
    May 11th, 2012 @ 3:21 am

    Love the green!Looks so sweet!It’s so great of you!


  26. Frank
    May 17th, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    I also the love colour green! Is there preference of which shade of green you prefer to use more? and what brand of paint do you use?


  27. lillian sharp
    September 4th, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    katy, exactly what color IS the room at the top of this article or page ?


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