Interior Design

Paint Your Room Green: This Is Why You Won't Regret It

March 17, 2016

Some St. Patrick's Day traditions are worth partaking in throughout the whole year: bright yellow butter slathered on homemade soda bread, corned beef breakfast sandwiches, believing in leprechauns, beer). Others are less popular. Think pinching, drunks thinking they're leprechauns, and—worst of all?—an unwelcome abundance of kelly green.

But in the spirit of the holiday, which does not discriminate against the good greens but only brings out the worst of them, we rounded up some of the favorite green paints of a variety of interior designers. As Chloe Redmond Warner put it, "People are fearful, but living in a green room done right is pure pleasure."

The Numbers

Out of the ten interior designers I polled, one didn't have a favorite green paint at all (?), but all the others gushed (responding at record-breaking speed) over 14 go-to buckets. Of those, three were Benjamin Moore, one was Donald Kaufman, another was Portola. The rest? Eight of the suggested 14 green paints were Farrow & Ball—that's over half! For some reason no one does greens like F&B," Warner says, "they are dusty and skew towards blue/grey. Maybe that's why they're so easy to love? Let's evaluate the evidence.

See that sliver of green in our office phone booth? It's Farrow & Ball's Calke Green. Photo by Mark Weinberg

The Dusty Blue-Greens

Every bucket will turn out different depending on the specifics of your space and its lighting—and such unpredictable subtleties are especially true of blue-green paints, whose very nature is to look like two colors at once. Double the reason to love them.

  • On the trim, above left: Blue Gray by Farrow & Ball. "A perfect muted, weathered green when on walls." —Will Cooper, Ash NYC
  • On the wall, above right: DKC-19 by Donald Kaufman. "For a gentleman’s den or a wooded countryside mudroom." —Cate Caruso, Studio C
  • On the wall, above left: Teresa's Green by Farrow & Ball. "It’s the most perfect mint ever because it's soft and therefore not really annoying but still a color." —Emily Henderson, Style By Emily Henderson
  • On the wainscoting, above right: Breakfast Room Green by Farrow & Ball "Ends up looking watery and calm."—Chloe Redmond Warner, Redmond Aldrich Design
  • Above: Gum Tree #075 by Portola Paints. "It's this beautiful dusty yet perfectly saturated green that gives a tremendous amount of depth to a space." —Sally Breer, Co Mingle

The Very Quiet, Nearly Neutral Greens

From mossy khakis to white tinted the color of cabbage, the more neutral set of green paints brings a little life to a room in a more subtle way.

  • On the wall, above left: Vert de Terre by Farrow & Ball. "It's a really soft muted green and looks very chic with beige moldings." —Alyssa Kapito, Kapito Muller
  • On the wall, above right: Cabbage White by Farrow & Ball. "For the walls (with a patterned, papered ceiling!) in a nursery." —Cate Caruso, Studio C

The Unabashedly Green Greens

Whether they lean more emerald or grass green, these super-saturated colors bring richness to a room—but that doesn't mean you have to be brave to try one! A mix of warm, neutral furnishings and lots of clean light will keep things fresh.

Photo by James Ransom
  • On the walls, above: Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball. "I'm obsessed with this color (but green is my favorite color, so I can go on for days). I call it the neutral of greens. It goes with virtually everything. It's unsaturated and soft, and transitional across all styles. —Brad Sherman, B. Sherman Workshop
  • On the walls, above right: Amazon Moss by Benjamin Moore. "It’s like being submerged into the center of an emerald." —Miles Redd
  • On the bookshelf, above left: Ming Jade by Benjamin Moore. "For a lacquered bar alcove." —Cate Caruso, Studio C
  • On the hutch, above right: Emerald Isle by Benjamin Moore. "It's a rich green with a hint of teal in certain light, perfect for an accent wall or as a backdrop to a ton on junglacious house-plants." —Justina Blakeney, The Jungalow

My childhood bedroom had a ceiling the color of pale, pale potato vine. Have you ever painted a room green? Share your favorite buckets in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Rhonda35
  • Amanda Sims
    Amanda Sims
Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.


Rhonda35 March 17, 2016
My favorite green is Benjamin Moore's "Cashmere Grey" - it's soft, neutral and seems to go with everything. I've used it in three houses so far and, clearly, never tire of it.
Amanda S. March 17, 2016
I love paint names—Cashmere Grey sounds so luxurious!