Voted Pantone colour of the year in 2017, the colour green has been utilised throughout history by artists, fashion designers and of course has always been in the natural world around us. Since the beginning of time humans have used pigments from the earth to produce various shades. As early as 40,000 years ago, the first pigments created from a combination of soil, animal fat, burnt charcoal and chalk we used to create a basic palette of four colours - red, yellow, black, and white. For many cultures, the colour green represents divine and religious figures. In Muslim culture, the colour green is strongly related to the Prophet Muhammad whereas in China, the colour represents disgrace. In Japan, green is the colour of fertility and growth in traditional culture. For the Japanese, green also signifies youth, vitality and the idea of eternal life.
Pantone 'Colour of the Year' 2017 "Greenery 15-0343"
The colour green is scientifically considered as one of the most pleasing colours on the colour wheel. Green is also obviously associated with the natural world as well as concepts of renewal and restoration. For this reason, it is often considered by many to be a relaxing, calming colour. Because of this, many architects and designers use the colour in their projects, especially in interior designs or hospitals, for example. However, no other pigment in the history of art has been considered more poisonous than green. The colour green decorated the walls and homes of many people during the Victorian era as well as being utilised for some of the most innovative landscape paintings, before it was ultimately banned. The shade named Scheele’s Green was produced by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1775. It quickly rose in popularity despite many people's fears over the safety of the pigment as it was produced using arsenic. The colour was used to decorate the walls of Napolean Boneparte's home, and many scientists now believe that the toxicity of the pigment contributed to his death. New green pigments were produced, still using arsenic, and are believed to have caused Paul Cezanne’s diabetes, and Claude Monet’s blindness.
Claude Monet 'Water Lily Pond, Symphony in Green' 1899
As the colour is so closely associated with nature, the colour green is often a symbol used to represent eco-conscious lifestyles, as well as being used by many organisations fighting for the preservation of our planet. However, many versions of the colour green are still damaging to that very ethos. Despite all the modern advances in colour technology, producing green dyes and pigments is still difficult and many hues continue to feature toxic substances. One of the most common shades today is called Pigment Green 7. Used in plastics and paper, it contains chlorine, which can be harmful to people and the environment. Despite its harmful chemical makeup, green is still mostly associated with positive feelings such as vitality, freshness, calmness, and revival. In fact, Pantone revealed its Colour of the Year as “Greenery” in 2017. The company describes the “life-affirming shade” as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”
So by now you are probably ready to incorporate some of this exciting colour into your home! A great option for injecting some grassy green tones into your space is through textiles. Textiles are a really great way to add a big punch of colour into your space without having to drastically change your decor. For a really fresh look, we love pairing green accessories with zesty yellow and orange tones. Our Tanzanian Throw in Forest Green is made from super soft 100% Tanzanian cotton and each one is loomed by hand. They are perfect to use as a bed-spread, throw or blanket, making them very versatile whilst you're still experimenting with colour. The more subdued green is also a great option when you're adding colour to more neutral, muted space. Another great textiles option is our Khotso Blanket in Green and Orange Cards. These luxuriously soft blankets have a deep cultural significance and history in South Africa where they are made. We love mixing textiles together - our top tip for doing this is to keep your colour palette small by picking 2 or 3 colours to use and sticking with them.
One of the easiest ways to start adding splashes of colour to your home is through smaller accessories that can easily be changed around. Green is a versatile colour that compliments many different palettes and decor styles. We particularly love styling green tones with neutral colours such as whites and greys for an earthy colour palette. Our kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most neutrally decorated rooms in our homes, so we would recommend adding a few colourful green accessories to these rooms first. Our Indian Hand Painted Soap dish in 'Dandelion' is lovingly hand painted in Jaipur with bright, cheerful green and yellow tones. Made using a traditional Indian Frit rather than traditional stoneware clay, the dishes are then low fired to bind the ingredients. These special soap dishes are hand crafted by Jaipur Blue Pottery in India, who have been making pottery the same way for hundreds of years. If you're looking for something slightly different but still in the green colour palette, we recommend our Green and Red Kilim design instead. Another great option for small accessories are baskets. Our Kenyan Sisal Basket Set of 3 in Green is the perfect storage solution for anywhere in your home and can easily be styled alongside existing decor.
If you are sold on the green colour palette, investing in some larger pieces can really help add some luxury to your home. Investing in key pieces is a great idea once you are more sure of the styles and colours you enjoy for your home, as these pieces will last you a lifetime. Our Kenyan Sisal Large Laundry Basket in Green is a timeless piece that can be used in your home in many different ways. Whether it's for laundry, organising children's toys or storing fire wood, these large baskets are sure to be well-loved for years to come. The more subdued green tone also makes it suitable for most existing decor styles and palettes. Want to pack a punch of colour into a room? Our Hand Woven India Zig Zag Rug in Mint is the perfect pastel green shade that reminds us of days at the seaside. The shimmering golden thread, twisted tassels and woven Artisans & Adventurers tag add a real touch of luxury to this rug, making it a piece you will surely treasure. Each rug is hand woven in India by expert women weavers on traditional looms.
We hope you found some helpful styling tips and enjoyed learning more about the rich history of one of our favourite colours! You can shop our entire green edit here.