By Megan Slack
Inspired by the natural world, olive is restful with a touch of heritage. Strong yet soothing, it brings out an enveloping feel but can also sit quietly and allow bold furniture to shine with a summer-kissed glow.
Here, the experts share their olive paint ideas and explain how to drench your home in this nostalgic shade – so you can enjoy the delicious hues of midsummer – long after the month passes.
What makes Olive Green July's Color of the Month?
No shade encapsulates summer quite like the rustic hues of Olive Green. The shade is instantly reminiscent of long summers amongst Mediterranean olive groves and oozes organic tones that pay homage to the raw beauty of the sun-glazed season.
The shade is versatile enough to work in every room in our home – whether you are looking for living room paint ideas or a daring bathroom statement. However, it is equally as alluring throughout our exteriors. Bathe your outdoor home decor or garden fence in olive tones to bring this popular color into the sunshine – because this is July, after all.
How should we bring Olive Green into our homes?
1. Design a flow between your interior and exterior space
It is still possible to indulge in the glory of olive green in your exteriors without even stepping outside. As Founder of Sarah Brown Interiors, Sarah Brown urges us to curate a flow between the two spaces with this wholly natural shade.
'Olive green is a color I come back to often when putting together a scheme. I have used it in various different fabrics, including waves, velvets, and linens on sofas, window treatments, and lampshades,' she begins.
'Recently, I used the shade Hopper by Little Greene on a glazed screen in an ensuite room which overlooks the garden: it helps lead your eyes through the windows to the treetops and beyond,' Sarah adds.
2. Pair with a dusty palette – in every single room
We said olive green worked in every room, and paint master Francesca Wezel of Francesca's Paints agrees.
'A gentle shade usually made with yellow ochre, raw and burnt umber, olive is fresh but inviting, especially when compared to greens made with blue. It's one of the most neutral shades of green there is, and, as such, it's versatile and can be used in almost every room of the house. It looks great with dusty pink, red, off-white, or a soft blue,' says Francesca.
3. Inject classical hints into a modern urban paradise
'This is a wonderful color that works well all through the year and is ideal if you are trying to bring an element of nature or a heritage feel into a more contemporary city home. It's a restful and calming shade which not only works well on cabinetry but also looks great on walls,' explains Founder and Creative Director at Sims Hilditch, Emma Sims-Hilditch.
4. Combine with lighter tones instead of moody hues
While we have already admired Francesca's dusty pinks and soft blue painting suggestions, Founder of Kelling Designs, Emma Deterding, similarly offers her color combination advice – including what to avoid.
'My favorite olive green on the color card is Fenouil No.110 from Designers Guild; it really reminds me of a ripe olive. Pair it with a color that is clean and bright that will lift and carry it and avoid putting against a darker color as it risks making a room feel somber,' she shares.
'Mixing different shades of olive green works surprisingly well. I personally love painting a combination of wall and woodwork in olive green. A paler wall, for example, in a matt finish with a high gloss olive green dado rail,' adds Founder and Director at Elicyon, Charu Gandhi.
5. Experiment with an olive sky
Yes, we love this shade so much; we're even following Charu's advice and taking the paintbrush to our bathroom ceiling. 'Another trick that works well is an olive green ceiling in a bathroom with a similar tone mixed into a tadelakt plaster sink and vanity counter,' Charu suggests.
Check back here in August for the next Color of the Month, or keep scrolling to read more about our previous selections.
June's Color of the Month: Potters Pink from Heritage by Dulux
It is, perhaps, only fitting that we celebrate June by over-indulging in the hues of its birth flower – rose. This month, we've chosen a color that combines the romantic hues of this ornate flower that also celebrates the summer solstice through its warmer tones.
Enter Potters Pink from Heritage by Dulux, a soft clay-like shade that brings sophistication to a living space but is subtle enough for a calming bedroom. The quiet chic tones of this elegant hue will add a certain grace to your walls and beautifully catch the long-lasting sunlight as it sets deep into the evening.
As a staple of the Heritage collection, Potters Pink is among the finest colors from important periods of decorating history, as Creative Director of Dulux, Marianne Shillingford shares.
'Potters Pink is a pale, ultra-feminine shade that encapsulates the fragility of Edwardian cottage garden blooms like the fragrant peony. Petal pinks were also a favorite for the interior at this time, as they added a light, bright breath of fresh air, which we still long to create today.' Despite this legacy, however, we're here to convince you that there is no more perfect shade for the contemporary day.
What makes Potters Pink June's Color of the Month?
Alongside the shade's relationship with June's birth flower and its subtle nod to warm summer evenings, this color allows us to experiment with Pink – the new decorating neutral. Pink has a natural ability to deliver warmth and interest without overwhelming a space.
However, choosing the right shade can be a thorny task when you're faced with everything from soft rose pinks to peachy tones. Or at least, it was until we came across Potters Pink. In all its nostalgic beauty, this shade oozes hints of stylish optimism, and that's exactly what we crave throughout this warm and hazy month.
How should we bring Potters Pink into our homes?
Pair with rich dark colors for a refreshing contrast
While Potters Pink will bless almost all color schemes, the shade looks particularly glorious alongside natural tones or deep rich hues. H&G's Associate Editor, Busola Evans, suggests combining the pink with 'olive greens, rich browns and deep burgundy' that will create a timeless contrast and truly make your room sing.
See: Interior design tips – decorating secrets for the world's top experts
Accessorize with metallics to create a boutique hotel ambiance
Mirror the refined aura of a curated hotel room by pairing this shade with bold metallic accessories. From a gold mirror or statement lampshade to a selection of candlesticks – Potters Pink was made for metal – and your room will thank you for indulging in this ultra-luxe partnership.
Pay tribute to the past – in a contemporary home
Potters Pink, like all colors in the Heritage range, is designed to drench our walls in history without looking out of place in a modern home. So, to combine aging beauty with contemporary quality and style, experiment with this premium shade, which, according to Marianne, is 'tough enough to deal with everything real-life throws at it.'
'But the pure delight lies in how it feels to the touch. Soft and smooth like silk velvet. Now that is the kind of luxury every wall deserves. Who wouldn't want to drape themselves and their walls in the finest velvet?'
May's color of the month: Tigers Eye by Zoffany
May is the month of lush growth and rebirth. So, in homage to its warm and natural ambiance, we’ve selected a color that oozes sunshine without sacrificing its wholly sophisticated style.
There is no color quite so fitting as Zoffany’s Tigers Eye, the luxe but fun-filled shade that provokes a welcoming and energetic aesthetic. Zoffany curated this flavorsome yellow to mirror the ancient hues of a historical archive, but its full-bodied character has never looked quite so perfect as it does in the contemporary day.
Zoffany suggests that the ‘brave can use this color to open up smaller spaces and frame feature areas,’ but we’re here to convince everybody to bring Tiger’s Eye into their interiors.
What makes Tigers Eye May’s Color the Month?
‘It’s the shade of optimism and joy, so after the global turbulence of the past year, it comes as little surprise that yellow is decorating’s color du jour,’ begins Busola.
‘But it is so much more than a flash in the pan – the right shade can have surprising longevity and add richness to more traditional schemes,’ she says. Beyond its alluring aesthetic, Busola praises the shade’s durability, meaning the golden tones will stay radiant, whatever the conditions.
‘It’s now available in a chalky-textured True Matt finish, which is wipeable so suitable for high-traffic areas,’ she explains.
How should we bring Tigers Eye into our homes?
How to use Zoffany's Tigers Eye at home
Pair with nature-inspired colors for a therapeutic effect
While the daring vibrancy of Tigers Eye is initially daunting, Busola explains that ‘color combinations are not as tricky as one may think.’
She expands: ‘Tigers Eye’s brown undertones pair it beautifully with forest green, while creams and beiges add more serenity.’
Or opt for a striking combination of color
Tigers Eye is durable, but it is versatile too. While the shade works alongside natural tones, it can certainly create an impact alongside colors of equal stature. Busola suggests ramping up the color ‘with coral or powder blue accents,’ which will be the talking point of any sized space.
Consider your finishing touches
After creating the perfect color combination, Busola encourages us not to neglect the finishing touches that impact the overall ambiance of the room. Zoffany pairs the shade with grey soft-furnishings and a minimal but impactful selection of plants in a nod to the shade’s relationship to nature. But if you’re still looking for tips, Busola suggests that we can’t ‘go wrong with brass, wood, and stone.’
April’s color of the month: Travertine by Little Greene
Travertine, with its dune-line hue, is a calming neutral that feels more welcoming than white or grey, but what else made this color so appealing in April? And how should you bring this shade into your home? We spoke to Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene, to find out.
‘Travertine is a wonderfully warm neutral. Found at the National Trust’s Basildon Park, this welcoming neutral was used on the walls of the Staircase Hall, designed to feel more like a sitting room than a cold corridor. With the shift away from the cool, blue-toned greys that have been so popular in recent years and the yearning for warmer, natural tones, Travertine is fast becoming a favorite for homeowners searching for earthier tones with an inherent warmth,’ Ruth begins.
She adds: ‘Incredibly versatile, Travertine is at home in both contemporary, traditional or country interiors, as well as bold or softer, paired back design schemes; it offers a sense of timelessness, creating design schemes with longevity.’
How should we bring 'Travertine' into our homes?
Ruth then offered her suggestions on how to bring this versatile shade into any kind of home, whether you want a fresh off-white backdrop or to create a bold contrast.
Using Travertine in a neutral color scheme
Ruth explains: ‘For a traditional scheme, use Travertine on walls, paired with the lighter Stock on the ceiling. For those looking for a contemporary way to use this shade, you could paint three-quarters of the wall in Travertine and the last quarter and ceiling in Stock to open up the space and give the illusion of height.’
‘The warmth of Travertine balanced with Stock feels incredibly soothing and works wonderfully with the addition of pale wood finishes, touches of rattan, and unglazed ceramics to add texture. This scheme provides the perfect off-white backdrop for decorative accessories and contemporary artworks in a light and airy setting’.
See: Neutral room ideas – light, dark and timeless ways with color
Pairing 'Travertine' with darker shades to create a statement
‘For a more dramatic scheme, create focal points with color blocking and use Travertine as more of a backdrop to contrasting shades such as Sage Green or Nether Red, which are related natural hues, or zone a space by using interesting color proportions,' Ruth shares.
Using 'Travertine' for a continued color scheme throughout your home
‘For continuity and connectivity throughout the home, using shades from the same color family is a good way to add interest in a subtle way. The Little Greene Stone palette is separated into six tonal families, made using the same base pigment but in varying strengths. These groups of colors are a timeless choice if you are looking for soft, neutral tones to provide natural movement throughout the home. They are easy to use in combination on walls, ceiling, and trim as well as providing a seamless color journey from room to room,’ Ruth suggests.
See: Decorating with primary colors – elegant ways to decorate with primaries
She continues: ‘Pair Travertine with a lighter tone that has the same base pigment such as Travertine Light or Travertine Mid, as whilst you will benefit from a slight change in tone, the overall look will be harmonious. A useful and gentle way to use this system is to change the tone to a lighter or darker version at the turn of a corner in the room, whether that be at a window reveal, a doorway, or a cornice, the effect, at first not recognized by the viewer is a source of harmony and a little intrigue. Or, layer with either soft linens in gentle greens or muted plaids, wool, or bouclé. If you can, incorporate wood and stone surfaces for the ultimate calming and natural scheme.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.
Best ride-on lawn mowers: 7 fabulous finds to accommodate every backyard
Considering an upgrade? These are the 7 best ride-on lawn mowers money can buy.
By Brittany Romano •
Vegetable garden container ideas – 17 ways to grow fruit and vegetables in planters
Grow your own potted harvest with vegetable garden container ideas that are both beautiful and productive
By Melanie Griffiths •
Small utility room ideas – 14 ways to make compact spaces work hard
Small utility room ideas can still deliver the functionality and style you need
By Sarah Warwick •
10 living room sofa ideas – the essential design rules for sofa layouts and trends
Invest in a hardworking sofa that is sumptuous enough to sink into – but still looks smart
By Jennifer Ebert •
Jeweler to the Kardashians lists his stunning Bel Air mansion for $15.75m
Pascal Mouawad’s ultra-luxurious home boasts a 70ft quartz infinity pool
By Ruth Doherty •
This handmade wallpaper is a celebration of fine craftsmanship – and it will make elevate your interiors
Arte’s latest designs will elevate your walls to beautiful new heights – and H&G’s shopping editor approves
By Megan Slack •
5 design tips to steal from this elegant yet kid-proof Vancouver family home
This modern-traditional decor scheme may look pristine, but it's ready for anything family life can throw at it
By Ailis Brennan •
Brown living room ideas – 10 surprising ways to use this overlooked shade in your home
Will this earthy tone replace grey in 2022?
By Jennifer Ebert •
Inside Max Azria's ultra-opulent Los Angeles estate – listed for $85 million
The Holmby Hills kingdom is one of the grandest homes built by the celebrated architect Paul Williams
By Megan Slack •
Farmhouse bedroom ideas – 25 rustic designs for your sleep space
Take a look at the key ingredients to a successful farmhouse feel in the bedroom
By Kaitlyn McInnis •