Trend to Try: Olive Green
Yes, I know it’s spring and you’ve been cooped up inside for months and all you really want to do is breathe still-kind-of-chilly fresh air without a coat on. Yes, I know this time of year is all new sprouts and leaves and blades of grass and there’s so much verdant new life around that you feel like you’re living on a golf course. Yes, I know all of this may tempt you into tossing some kelly green into your home to shake off the winter doldrums, but hold on to your throw pillows: This year, instead of going grassy-green, try olive.
Before you write it off as the Brady Bunch’s color of choice (which, OK, it was), know that olive green is having a major moment in 2015. Sophisticated, versatile and warm, it manages to elevate a room without losing its accessibility. And thanks to the range in tones — from chartreuse to dark olive green — the shade can work year-round in a contemporary or traditional home.
Ready to go green? I turned to some top designers for their best tips on how to incorporate olive into a room. Read on and get inspired!
Use It as a Neutral
Alright beige, white, gray and greige, consider yourselves warned. According to experts, olive is a natural (and often-overlooked) neutral.
“Think of it in place of beige and you’ll see a background with personality that doesn’t antagonize everything else around it,” explains Lieve Saether of turnstyle Interior Design in Austin, Texas. “Pair it with navy and you’ll come across as chic and confident, implying your awareness of its eternal classicism.”
Get Creative With Accent Colors
Because it has the go-with-anything qualities of a neutral, olive looks great with a slew of warm and cool hues — anything from citrus orange and yellow to eggplant and turquoise to khaki and linen.
“Olive green adds a level of sophistication to an interior, especially when paired with other strong neutrals like white, black, and chocolate brown,” says Cathy Hobbs, founder and creator of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes.
Brighten Up With Metallics
With its yellow undertones, olive can sometimes come across as a little subdued. The quickest way to perk it up? Add some bling.
“[Gold] is the perfect complementary color to brighten up the slightly muddy hue and give it some much-needed life and bright sophistication,” says Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola, founder and owner of NYC’s Pizzigati Designs. “After all, we are trying to avoid that hunting lodge look and keep it classy.”
Interior decorator and HGTV’s first Design Star All-Star Winner, Leslie Ezelle, is a big fan of pairing the on-trend green with silver and stark white.
“You could even play with the olive green as a base color and brush it with metallic so you have a combination,” Ezelle says. “I recently bought magnolia leaves that were olive green and lightly sprayed with metallic silver and they turned out great.”
She recommends displaying them in a white vase for a more modern, contemporary look.
Use as an Accent
Although it’s a neutral, olive is on the darker side and may overwhelm a room if it’s the primary color. Unless you are head over heels in love with the shade, better to stick with it in small doses.
And don’t worry about olive feeling stale come summer or fall.
“It’s a great color and one that can be used year-round,” Radaj says.