Colors That Go With Green — 12 Perfect Palettes Designers Love for Layered and Restful Homes

Choose these expert-recommended colors that go with green to create a sense of organic elegance, laid-back luxury, or eclectic juxtaposition in your home

A study room with wooden furniture and earthy green walls
(Image credit: Coy and Company. Color Atelier)

Colors that go with green are wide and varied, as it's a shade that goes with almost everything. But, when decorating, if you look at the nuances of the colors you're working with you can get so much more out of them, and create the most beautifully layered schemes.

'Since we are all accustomed to seeing green in all types of warm and cool tones in the natural world, replicating those indoors feels right,' says Amy Krane, architectural color consultant and founder of Amy Krane Color. But what colors are designers choosing to best complement green? 

Here's a look at some winning pairings, plus tips on how to make them look timeless yet modern.

1. Black

A green and black dining room

(Image credit: Le Jean Design)

Many colors go with black, as this deep, dark color has the natural ability to lift other hues. When using green and black together, ensure the two colors are used in moderation; perhaps one is used as an accent tone, while the other works as a neutral.

'Drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape, we designed an atmospheric dining room that exudes a sense of drama,' says Le Jean, founder of Le Jean Design. 'The space is angled towards a row of floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a panoramic view of the lush treetops. We selected a rich set of patterns and textures to showcase the dynamic range and depth of greens. One of our favorite details is the seamless harmony between the engravings on the vintage vase by the late José-Antonio Sarmiento and the malachite wallpaper by Cole & Son.'

2. Brown

A study room with green walls and wooden desk

(Image credit: Coy and Company. Color Atelier)

Green is a timeless color that goes with brown — and nothing feels more right. THe two tones ground each other and create a setting that feels relaxed and calm. 

'Elegant combinations such as green and brown evoke the sophistication of nature, creating an earth-tone color palette that conveys calmness and serenity,' says Talita Nogueira, founder of TN Arquitetura. 'This harmony of natural tones is perfect for cozy and elegant environments, bringing the feeling of connection with the soil and with the calmness of the countryside closer to the bustle of the city.'

3. Terracotta 

A bedding in green with a terracotta headboard

(Image credit: Heju)

Among the colors that complement terracotta. you'll find easy, breezy sage green is a great fit. In fact, the two tones work well together across materials, paint colors, fabrics, wall coverings, and metals.

In this bedroom designed by French studio Heju, terracotta and sage create a beautifully restful space when used in combination. 'The niche in the master bedroom is adorned with wallpaper designed by William Morris and a birch bookcase, all enhanced by a terracotta headboard, with a clashing green bedspread, all created for an impactful space,' says Hélène Pinaud, founder of Heju.

4. Pink

A living room with deep green walls and a bright pink ottoman

(Image credit: Cool Machine)

Green is a go-to color that goes with pink, and it's a combination that we are seeing gain popularity yet again, after its surge a few years ago.

'I wanted to create a cheerful green bubble for a cocoon winter garden feel in a retro-futuristic style with pops of pink,' says Hélène Rebelo, founder of Cool Machine. 'I grew up in the countryside and now that I live in the city, I miss nature enormously. Surrounding myself in green is a way of keeping a link with my childhood, which was marked by forests, plains, and fields of flowers.'

'It doesn't take much skill to pair pink with green successfully as they exist together in nature in so many flowers,' says Amy. 'Both warmer yellow-pinks and cooler blue-pinks work with greens well. Pinks work well with olive, sage, mint, and hunter.'

5. Other greens 

A dark and light green passagway

(Image credit: Frederick Tang Architecture/ Color Atelier)

It might seem like an obvious place to start, but combining green with its other shades makes for an easy color palette. Think of colors that go with sage green or colors that go with dark green, that could be paired with darker ones. This will give the room a sense of layering, along with depth.

'Wellness can be created through design,' says Barbara Reyes, director of design at Frederick Tang Architecture. 'We wanted the dweller to 'experience the space' through color symbolism and strategic use of light, making it feel like a treatment; a transition from darkness to lightness.'

'Color can impact a mood,' says Barbara. 'The predominant color we used was green (lime washed in a cypress and deep forest), chosen for its property to heal, critical at the front where the dweller first experiences the space. It continues to another 'light-filled area', the atrium which is the core of the space with its pill-shaped skylight, it is 'heavenly'. A rich forest green offsets the pale green in the barrel-vaulted hallways to cradle a user before heading into treatment.'

6. Yellow

A kitchen with yellow walls and green cabinets

(Image credit: Jonathan Leijonhufvud. MDDM Studio)

this bold scheme above showcases that if you're not afraid of going bold, a dark green can be a color that goes with yellow perfectly. These two clashing shades can truly uplift the look of the room, fill it with personality and also add a cheerful vibe to the space. Plus, both bright colors reflect light, making the interior feel more open and breezy.

'The color palette of the house reflects the energy of the young family living there,' say Margret Domko and Momo Andrea Destro, founders of MDDM Studio. 'The floor and the ceiling are two parallel, horizontal surfaces in cement in between which different colorful elements are inset: the yellow walls give an energetic environment to the house while the cabinet of green echoes the color sparkles of the terrazzo.'

7. Red 

a dining room with red banquette seating and green walls

(Image credit: Stephen Karlisch. Design: Maestri Studio)

You might be surprised to see the red feature on this list – after all, isn't red and green the preserve of Christmas? 'When using colors like red and green you're approaching the design with the intent to make a statement,' says interior designer Katie Paulsen from Maestri Studio. 

However, you're not bound to use the most basic red and green shades together, and the real joy in this combo is often found in the more interesting combinations of shades from each color family, as in this dining room by Maestri Studio where an emerald green is chosen as a color that goes with red

'In this case, the space needed to be exciting but also needed to have a soothing quality that the family could always enjoy,' says Katie. 'We did this by softening the brighter values of the red and green by pulling in wood tones and by adding warmth with the metal finishes. We knew that our best approach to using these bold colors was in knowing they will stand out but also keeping in mind that they need to feel like they belong.'

8. Blue 

a pastel green and blue kitchen with a large island

(Image credit: Katie Charlotte. Design: Cortney Bishop Design)

There's an adage that 'blue and green should never be seen', but give a good interior designer a rule and they'll show you the exception to it, and how best to break it. 

Blue and green has become a designer favorite in recent times, for the very reason that it's a color pairing that feels new and exciting, and not overplayed. Much like green and yellow, green is a color that goes with blue as a neighbor on the color wheel, making a tonal scheme again a great way to approach this palette. 

While rich, jewel-like greens and blues work together, more vibrant, primary, and pastel tones can also work in the right scheme. 'The color scheme for this kitchen is fresh, bold, bright, and fun,' says interior designer Cortney Bishop. The key to making this combination work? 'Grounding the pastel palette,' Cortney suggests. 'Be thoughtful to pick colors you can thread through the home in fabrics and other home accents - cabinetry, trim work - for this.' 

9. White

Olive green dining room with white modern dining table and chairs

(Image credit: Future)

Decorating with neutrals is one of the easiest things to do in design. From deep forest greens to vivid limes, any shade of green will instantly add contrast to a white or cream, and add freshness to the scheme. 

As a rule of thumb cooler-leaning greens and yellow-toned greens like lime, fern greens, jade greens, and emerald greens work best with crisp true whites. You have more choices with more muted, dusky greens like sage and pistachio. They will usually work both with a bright white to add freshness to these more muted tones or an off-white for a more warm, cocooning feel. 

'Cream or white makes for a great base color to lift other tones in a room,' says Noorein Kapoor, interior designer and founder of Noorein Kapoor Design. 'Along with varied colors such as green, you can also build on various materials and finishes, and add textures to a neutral room. Use a white or cream as a backdrop and lift the secondary color with confidence.'

10. Orange

green dining room with orange wall art and green walls

(Image credit: Future | Paul Massey)

If you like warmer tones in your home but want a color combo that still feels fresh and interesting, try pairing a dark green or a dark olive shade with a muted orange. Many colors go with orange and you can be sure that green can be a great companion to this zesty hue. You have that clear contrast here, so it still feels daring and has an impact but it's not too overwhelming. 

'Green and orange will create a dynamic balance in the room,' says Amy. 'The brighter the combination, the more sizzle. But if it's a warm interior you wish, then consider a burnt orange or ochre with a deep-toned green like a forest green,' says  color consultant, Amy Krane.

There are of course more punchy variants of this combination if you want to go bold – tangerine hues with chartreuse, emerald with bold terracotta, and more. We would just always recommend adding a touch to these bolder schemes to break up the colors. 

11. Gray

a sage green kitchen with a marble splashback and brass tap

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

Neutral lovers that want to inject just a hint of color, this is the combination for you. Gray is a color that goes with green in a lot of different tones (just look out for shades that have a more cool grey undertone) but a very on-trend scheme is gray and sage green.

Modern interiors tend to skew cool in tone. 'Cool grays show hints of their blue, green or purple beginnings,' says Amy. 'Grey with green is a modern pairing that can skew a little towards neutral but still look and feel warm.'

Pair a cool light sage green with a really pale, cloudy gray for a contemporary combination that works particularly well in kitchens and bathrooms, or any room that might lack natural light. Then ground all those light, airy colors by adding just a hint of black, or as you can see in this gorgeous sage green kitchen.

12. Purple

A wine cabinet painted in purple and green hues

(Image credit: Talita Nogueira Arquiteture)

Colors that go with purple may seem hard to find but green makes a great option. This can be a very charming combo, particularly in smaller rooms where you want to make an impact and embrace coziness. Botanical greens and jewel-toned emeralds look amazing with purple – these colors are a wonderful foil for each other.

Purple is known for its invigorating and calming abilities, embracing the power of both warm and cool colors. 'Choose natural shades like green for a more grounded effect, especially for those who fear overly saturated spaces while looking for the positive feelings of joy and calm purple can offer,' says interior designer Sarah Barnard.

If you want to slightly tone down the combination bring in some neutral tones like soft greys and whites to make sure purple is a color that goes with green, without reading like a Halloween decorating scheme. 

What colors don't go with green?

As this expert advice hopefully proves, there's a right tone and shade of almost every color that will work with versatile green. However, some shades can be challenging to put with green, just for the connotations these color combinations have. This tends to particularly apply to a green shade mixed with primary yellow and blues. 

With orange and purple, in the wrong combination, you can create a color scheme that's best suited to Halloween decorations, while primary red and green can struggle to escape the trappings of Christmas decor. 

‘The one color I would say is not my favorite is grey,' says color expert Dabito. 'I’m talking a light grey. A deep, rich, warm charcoal grey is different but I don’t ever use a light grey, it reminds me of air pollution and smog.’ 

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Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.