At the beginning of 2024, there's one color that's beginning to gain lots of traction, one that's all about decorating with green. More specifically, dark forest green is leading the way in color trends, with designers embracing it for its moody yet relaxed feel.
Green is well known as the most calming of colors: with strong links to nature it is often used to bring a sense of the outdoors into the home to create spaces that feel tranquil. While forest green still reflects these soothing qualities, its dark tone adds a sense of drama, making it perfect for moody, sophisticated spaces.
First, it was Joanna Gaines' Rose Shed that we saw fully embracing a super dark forest green, putting a new spin on traditional farmhouse decor. But this standout color doesn't end in these types of rustic spaces, forest green is being used widely from modern homes to traditional interiors.
'To me, forest green is not just a color; it’s a tool for transforming spaces into areas of tranquility, comfort, and inspiration,' says interior designer Nicole Mizrahi. 'Forest green can aid in evolving a space from a soft, gentle area to one that feels more mature and refined, without being overwhelming. It is gentle and will not throw off a pre-existing color scheme. The color has depth but does not lean too masculine.'
Designer Alexandra Kaehler also enjoys decorating with green, noting its unique ability to create a moody atmosphere without overpowering the home: 'Oftentimes we utilize a forest green as it is a bit darker and moodier than some other tones. It can bring vibrancy to a space without it feeling loud.'
While there are obvious stylistic benefits to embracing forest green hues throughout the home, designers also comment on its mood-boosting qualities. Nicole explains: 'I’m also a big fan of the use of forest green for the psychological benefits that it offers. It's a color that embodies calmness and motivation, making it an ideal choice for creating a sanctuary at home.'
And while using green in the home is nothing new, the rise in forest green links to a wider shift in the design world that favors rich, earthy tones. Interior designer and co-founder of Goddard Littlefair Jo Littlefair explains: 'In terms of the shifts that are shaping the design landscape as we look ahead to 2024, there is a discernible move towards a richer palette of colors and patterns. However, these are not the bright and bold hues of yesteryear, but rather more tonal shades that seek to forge a connection with the natural world around us.'
'Earthy tones derived from nature's palette – deep greens, terracottas, and ochres have a timeless appeal. Biophilia is an interior design trend that is set to stand the test of time in a world that craves a higher sense of well-being. These colors connect us to our environment and evoke a sense of grounding. These colors have a universal resonance, making them an evergreen choice for interiors.'
Jo Littlefair is an interior designer and the co-founder and director of Goddard Littlefair, a London-based interior design firm founded in 2012.
How to bring forest green into your home
As with any color trend, there are endless ways to incorporate forest green into your home, depending on your interior style and how much of a statement you want to make. To help give you some ideas, we spoke with designers to get the best ways to bring this deep green shade into your home, showing how you can embrace this hue to create a dramatic yet calming scheme.
1. Create a cocooning space with a forest green wall color
Nicole Lanteri, Owner and Principal Designer at Nicole Lanteri Design demonstrates how effective forest green shades can be when used as a wall color.
'Forest Green is a unique and surefire way to make a space feel luxurious and organic, in a way that other colors can’t,' she explains. 'Because of its saturation level, it results in a colorful palette that doesn’t feel overwhelming when combined with other jewel tones of similar saturation, or you can also add softer notes like a blush, a buttery yellow, or even a lighter green, to provide contrast and make the dark feel lighter. As a paint color, forest green works nicely in both traditional and modern homes, creating an organic vibe that is both moody and bright.'
Nicole Lanteri founded her Washington, D.C.-based interior design firm in 2009. Nicole Lanteri Design engages in projects in the surrounding D.C., Virginia, and Maryland areas, as well as further afield, including New York City, the Hudson Valley, and Southern California.
2. Decorate with green upholstery
If you're intrigued by this nature-derived hue but don't want to go all out and change the color of your walls, there are other, more subtle ways to channel this interior design trend. The space above was designed by Catherine Ebert Interiors and shows how adding forest green furnishings can uplift a space.
'I typically use saturated hues like this in luxury upholstery textiles where the color is shown to its best advantage such as in this rich mohair chaise,' explains designer Catherine Ebert. 'I echoed the chaise color in a deeper version of the Tibetan wool rug which draws the eye around the room. Deep colors like forest green can feel flat or heavy in paint finishes and perform best on a surface that amplifies the depth of color like silk, velvet, mohair, or wool.'
3. Add impact to a small space
Forest green can work just as well in small rooms or spaces that are light-lacking, helping to bring some warmth and depth to the space. 'This deep, nature-inspired hue can work wonders in rooms that are otherwise limited in natural light,' explains Nicole Mizrahi.
She explains how this is reflected in the space pictured above: 'For instance, in a project where we transformed a firehouse into an office lounge, the challenge was to bring vibrancy into a space deprived of much natural light. The introduction of forest green not only enlivened the area but also subtly brought the outside in.'
Or, for a less-commital way to channel this trend, Nicole adds that you can opt to decorate with plants: 'I always suggest an easy and cost-effective way to incorporate this color trend: plants! They are a simple yet effective method to introduce forest green into any environment, enhancing the space's wellness quotient and overall aesthetic.'
Starting out as an eager interior design student in New York City, Nicole began her career as an intern at Kemble Interiors under the guidance of Celerie Kemble. She quickly rose to an interior design position where she learned the ins and outs of the design world. After several years of collaborating as a Kemblette, she ventured out on her own. Beginning with a single wonderful opportunity, with the support of her husband Jason, she slowly built a tailored boutique firm that now leads construction and design projects for clients throughout the United States.
We will no doubt continue to see forest green embraced throughout home decor for months to come since it's such a liveable and impact-adding shade. If you're looking to create a calming feel or create a cozy space that feels sophisticated, opting to decorate with forest green is a timeless choice.
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Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.
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