Ellen Pompeo's guest bedroom breaks an outdated color rule, and experts think it is about time we did too

A few of our favorite industry experts explain why Ellen Pompeo's bedroom color combination is a winner

Ellen Pompeo
(Image credit: Getty Images / RB/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor)

'Blue and green should never be seen', the old adage goes, but we disagree. Mix just about any blues with any greens – including teal – and you have got yourself an effortlessly harmonious blend that's vibrant yet calm and soothing at the same time. 

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo has used this color combination for rooms to perfection in her Martyn Lawrence Bullard–designed guest bedroom to create a seamless link to the outdoors beyond.

Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the maestro behind the decadent homes of Cher, Elton John, and several members of the Kardashian family is no stranger to strong room color ideas

In a conversation with Architectural Digest, Pompeo spoke about wanting to add plenty of personality and vivacity to her home. 'Some people want a sterile home that makes them feel like they’re at a spa. But I love a design that tells a story,' she said. It is this carefree design ethos that throws this one outdated color rule out the window.

The source of the adage of never mixing blue and green has murky roots. Scratch beneath the surface and its origins are hard to fathom. One of the most likely theories, given that so much idiom in the English language derives from maritime vernacular and superstitions, is that sailors were warned not to paint the hulls of their boats green lest they become invisible when capsized. But it’s tenuous.

For decorator and designer Susan Deliss, it’s nonsense. ‘It just doesn’t occur to me to work with a rule book when it comes to color. It’s about what feels right for the room, its light and the environment around it. It’s a question of tone and judgment: In a sunny climate, you can probably get away with pairing acidic greens and cobalt blues for example but in a rural country house, it’s important to rein things in and look at greens and blues from nature for inspiration.’

Sarah Vanrenen of Vanrenen GW Designs is another fan of blending blue with green. ‘I always find a color combination of green and blue an incredibly uplifting and mood-enhancing color; it feeds my soul.’ To warm it up, simply throw in splashes of fuchsia, just as Ellen Pompeo has done above.

Despite the recent trend for 'quiet luxury' we are noticing more and more designers and decorators turning their attention to curating bold, maximalist spaces as a playful respite from the beige and minimal neutral colorways we've seen on the catwalk and main street alike. 

Don't be afraid to combine blue and green in your home. 'I have paired these shades with great success in past projects,' says Suzy Hoodless, founder of Suzy Hoodless. 

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.