What colors go with sage green? Pairing and accenting tips from design experts
Decorating with sage green? Here, we show you which pairing and accent shades to pick
There's an infinite number of greens in the spectrum – but which colors go with sage green?
Decorating with sage green allows you to create the most restful of green room ideas. This more muted, gentle tone is perfect for every space, from elegant dining rooms to casual kitchens and modernist sitting rooms. 'Sage green has increased in popularity over recent years, not only due to its versatility but also as a reminder of our environment. It helps us feel inspired and brings life to any room,' explains Helen Shaw, Marketing Director at Benjamin Moore.
Benjamin Moore was just one of the paint brands that chose sage green as its color of the year in 2022 – Sherwin-Williams and PPG also opted for the shade – and it's set to be just as relevant in 2023. 'Sage green is more popular than ever! As we seek to bring nature and calming into our lives, it is the perfect choice,' agrees Noell Jett, of Jett Set Farmhouse.
What colors go with sage green?
What makes sage stand out from other shades, particularly when you're decorating with green walls, is its gentle gray-green tone. Not only does this have a softness that relates to the natural world, but it also works incredibly well alongside other colors, making it a surprising all-rounder.
We asked interior designers and color professionals for their take on sage green, from the colors to pair it with to how to introduce sage green shades in pattern, via wallpaper and furnishings.
'What's so interesting is that there isn't a consensus on where sage green should be used – it really does seem to suit every room and aspect,' says Lucy Searle, Global Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens. 'That gives you the freedom to use sage green your own way, making this on-trend color truly timeless.'
1. Create a layered sage green scheme with plains and pattern
The easiest option? Sage green goes well with sage green. The painted sage green wall forms the backdrop of this scheme – the color is Card Room Green by Farrow & Ball – but it's the many different inclusions of the shade that make this green living room so interesting. As well as the paint color, the curtain, rug, stool, seat and throw cushions all contain elements of sage green in their design.
'One way to introduce a pattern with sage green is to use it as the main color in a patterned throw pillow or piece of artwork,' suggests Noell Jett of Jett Set Farmhouse. 'This will create a focal point in the room and help to draw the eye to the sage green color.
'You could also use the color in a patterned area rug or curtains to add some texture and interest to the space. Another option is to incorporate the color into a larger pattern, such as a floral or geometric design, to create a cohesive and visually appealing look.'
2. Complement sage green with dark wood tones
Deep wood tones and dark kitchen cabinets are seeing a spike in popularity as people seek cozy and immersive schemes that provide a sense of connection with nature. And sage green is the perfect complement. 'I would say we’re seeing people leaning away from ultra-modernism and moving back towards styles that connect more with nature,' agrees Samantha Struck of StruckSured Interiors.
Here, Windmill Late emulsion from Little Greene is used on the wall of this green kitchen, but Samantha feels tile would have been another great option. 'Wood tones, as in this kitchen, are the natural partner to sage green. But I really like sage green tile as a backsplash (or in a shower),' she says. 'Glazes hold the vibrancy of this color in a way that pops and adds life to a room.'
3. Pair sage green with pink
Sage green tends to be a mid-tone shade, but it can read lighter or darker, depending on the colors it is paired with. Pinks, creams, and whites freshen the look, while deeper tones bring richness to sage green schemes.
If the lighter option is what you're after, mixing light wood and pastel pink will bring a freshness that's perfect for a predominantly green bedroom or sitting room.
'A saturated sage green can look soft and whimsical when paired with pastel pinks and soft blues, particularly when finished with linen and rustic accents such as rattan to create the ultimate haven of relaxation,' agrees Helen Shaw, Marketing Director at Benjamin Moore.
4. Use cream as a neutral with sage green
Sage green is a calming and neutral shade, so it can be paired with a variety of accent colors. 'You could pair the color with other earthy tones, such as terracotta or beige, to create a warm and inviting space,' says Noell Jett of Jett Set Farmhouse. 'You could also try pairing it with warmer neutrals like taupe or cream.'
Sage green and white or cream gives a softer impression than navy or black and white, but still brings a sense of definition and grown-up style to a room.
'Ultimately, the best neutral colors to pair with sage green will depend on the overall aesthetic you're trying to create in your space. It's always a good idea to try out different combinations and see what looks best to your eye,' says Noell.
5. Use sage green wallpaper for a prettier touch
In nature, sage green would be punctuated with colorful flowers and the rhythm of repeated blooms in garden borders. Wallpaper allows you to bring that sense of movement and excitement to your decorating scheme, while also introducing additional colors in the pattern that can be picked out as accent hues in accessories.
'Your wallpaper idea might simply be a single wall featuring a wonderful sage green design. Or, as above, you could repeat the wallpaper between rooms – across a dining room and kitchen, say, or living room and hallway – to bring a sense of cohesion and flow that carries through your home,' says Lucy Searle, Global Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens.
6. Team sage green with terracotta
Sage green can sometimes seem a safe color option but combining it with unexpected tones – as in this bold floral headboard – can elevate the shade to a more assured level.
'Terracotta and ochre are my favorite colors to pair with sage green. Sometimes with pops of rich burgundy red,' says Samantha Struck of StruckSured Interiors. She's seeing an increasing number of brands focussing on sage green as a key color in their palettes.
'Article has a handful of living room pieces in the sage green spectrum. Rove Concepts has a couple of beautiful fabrics called Moonstone and Esme that would make stunning accent pieces as well. And Zia Tile makes a statement sage green tile with their Nile cement tile and Kelp Forest tile,' Samantha says.
7. Use sage green to bring light or shade to a room
When you're deciding the color for any room, you'll need to consider when and where the light strikes the wall surface and the impact that has on the color. The mutability of sage green can be your friend here, as it appears to change in shade depending on the aspect of the room.
'Although sage green reflects sunlight beautifully, it is a light enough shade to brighten up darker spaces such as north-facing rooms,' explains Helen Shaw, Marketing Director at Benjamin Moore.
In a dark room that doesn't get much direct light, sage green can enhance the moody atmosphere without appearing overwhelmingly dark.
8. Don't be afraid to mix sage with greens
Taking a tonal approach to decorating with green can defy color rules and make for a more interesting green-on-green scheme.
'Olive greens, which have an undertone of yellow, go surprisingly well with the gray-green of sage, and can be offset with the blue-green of a pine green,' explains Lucy Searle, Global Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens. 'Really, it's about being playful and instinctive with color, setting items against each other, and seeing what works.'
If multi-faceted green is too much, then introduce a brown or a clean cream to add light and shade to the look. 'We love combining sage green with Farrow & Ball's Dead Salmon and/or Tanner's Brown,' says Tanya Smith-Shiflett of Unique Kitchens and Baths. 'For a neutral, I think sage green pairs best with warmer tones like cream or taupe.'
What colors go well with sage green?
'Sage green is a calming and neutral color, so it can be paired with a variety of accent colors,' suggests Noell Jett, of Jess Set Farmhouse. 'Pair the color with other earthy tones, such as terracotta or beige, to create a warm and inviting space. Popular choices for neutrals include white, beige, and gray.'
How do you accessorize with sage green?
There are many ways to introduce sage green in trims, accessories, and other small accents, according to Noell Jett.
'Use sage green in decorative pillows, throws, or blankets to add a pop of color to a neutral-colored sofa or bed. Incorporate the color into vases, planters, or other home decor items to add a touch of greenery to the space. Use sage greem in small accessories, such as picture frames, clocks, or lampshades, to add a subtle touch of the color to the room.
'For a green bathroom, use the color in towels, bath mats, or shower curtains to add some color to the space.'
Andrea has been immersed in the world of homes, interiors and lifestyle since her first job in journalism, on Ideal Home. She went from women's magazine Options to Frank. From there it was on to the launch of Red magazine, where she stayed for 10 years and became Assistant Editor. She then shifted into freelancing, and spent 14 years writing for everyone from The Telegraph to The Sunday Times, Livingetc, Stylist and Woman & Home. She was then offered the job as Editor on Country Homes & Interiors, and now combines that role with writing for sister title homesandgardens.com.
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