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Is green the new grey? Somewhere between now and 2018, our interiors slowly started moving away from the 'greymania' that had dominated for so long, instead embracing more vibrant, grounding colors - and it's fair to say green has been having a moment. As we turn the corner into 2023, though, designers are predicting we'll leave soft sages behind in favor of the richer, jewel-toned emerald green.
The findings come after leading design marketplace 1stDibs announced the results of its sixth annual Interior Designer Trends Survey, undertaken by 880 international interior designers. In the data collected on color trend forecasts, emerald green came out on top with 23 percent of voters predicting it will be the defining shade of the year ahead.
With the move toward more colorfully vibrant homes and the rising popularity of jewel-tones, the emerald green color trend for 2023 seems like a natural progression. The rich hue is undeniably beautiful, calling to mind splendor and royalty, but how should we be incorporating it into our designs? To give you an idea of where to start, we asked leading designers to share their expert insights.
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She regularly shares color stories with readers to help them keep up-to-date with ever-changing trends that promise to add personality into the home. For this piece, she spoke with leading designers to hear their advice on what to pair emerald green with for the perfect jewel-toned color palette.
Why is emerald green trending?
As with any interior design trend, it pays to know why you should be using it in your home as well as how. Emerald green isn't new to the scene - in fact, it's been cropping up in our designs for several years - but experts believe that it's going to be making its way closer to the fore.
Why? Well, it has a lot to do with the defining theme of the last three years: Covid. 'Emerald green has shown enduring and growing popularity and I think that owes to two phenomena, both of which, one could posit, are pandemic related,' explains Anthony Barzilay Freund, editorial director and trends expert at 1stDibs.
'The first is a general aesthetic shift toward biophilic design which owes to people gravitating toward the soothing, reassuring palette and motifs of nature during difficult times,' he notes. 'The second is that as we’ve all become more focussed on our homes, we want the things we’ve filled them with to really shine and feel special. The warm, jewel-like quality of emerald green certainly achieves that.'
A color that combines comfort and relaxation with spirit and vitality certainly speaks to the current mood of the moment, and emerald fits the bill perfectly.
How to embrace emerald green
1. Drench in color and take to the walls
Nothing says bold like a monochromatic color scheme and while color drenching your space in such a rich hue might seem daring, the results are certainly worth it when done right.
One of the best things about emerald green is its versatility. 'I’ve seen libraries with entire walls painted in a high-gloss green, kitchens with cabinets painted a rich, saturated emerald, and bathrooms clad in luxurious green marble,' says Antony. 'They’re all great.'
When it comes to using it your space, however, think about the purpose that room serves. While color psychology typically associates green with tranquility richer shades like emerald are more invigorating, meaning it might not be the best for a bedroom. If using it on the walls, the dark tones of emerald paint can also make a small room feel enclosed. This is great if you're going for cozy and snug, but not if you're aiming for spacious and airy.
With that in mind, you'll also want to spare a thought to the natural lighting in your space. Fortunately, emerald green is pretty forgiving. 'The beauty of jewel-toned colors like emerald-green is that it seems to emit its own light, so it works equally well in sun-filled rooms and cozy, moodier spaces,' explains Anthony. 'It’s best, however, in rooms with windows offering views onto gardens or woodlands beyond. The interplay of this decorative hue and the green that’s found in nature is truly magical.'
For a hint of emerald without going overboard, this Ridge Road ceramic face from Bed, Bath or Beyond features a beautiful palm leaf silhouette finished with an emerald green glaze. This decorative vase is perfect for inject some rich color into the home.
2. Use emerald green decor in rich textures
If using emerald green throughout an entire space sounds like a bit too much to bear, turn to your decor. To match the majestic connotations of a color like emerald, it's best to incorporate rich textures that equally speak to the idea of elegance and grandeur. We're talking velvet sofas, malachite surfaces, and plush silk upholstery.
'Emerald green packs a full, but at the same time, an understated punch,' says David Harris, design director of Andrew Martin. 'It can transport you to the cool tiled floors of Marrakesh or to the traditional drawing room of a late-18th Century Georgian mansion. Be it rich velvets on buttoned sofas and mid-century wooden framed chairs or crackle glazed tiles alongside brassware, green will leave your friends full of envy.'
To truly emphasize the qualities of emerald, try using glazed porcelain tiles like these from Wayfair. Paired with brass or gold taps and cabinetry handles, it makes for a space that exudes opulence and luxury. Alternatively, to play it down, use it in softer furnishings like linen cushions or a suede sofa (after all, dark green is set to be a sofa color trend for the year ahead).
This porcelain tile from Wayfair has an imperfect surface with color and graphic variations that make your space look artisanal and unique. These subway-style tiles are perfect if you want a high-gloss emerald green glow to make your space shine.
3. Pair with other majestic jewel-tones
When it comes to the colors that go with green, there's a lot of freedom. With emerald specifically however, it pays to gravitate towards similarly saturated jewel-tones like sapphire, ruby and amethyst.
'Just like jewels, jewel tones pair well with their brothers and sisters,' Anthony notes. 'If you’d enjoy wearing a necklace, bracelet or ring composed of emeralds and sapphires, accented with rubies and yellow diamonds, then why wouldn’t you love living in a room done up in that sumptuous, sparkly palette?'
Metallic shades like gold and silver are also a safe bet if you're after that sense of luxury while other rich hues like magenta, Pantone's color of the year 2023, are perfect if you want a more vivacious space. As David explains: 'It's cool and refreshing when paired with Carrara marble and antique brass fittings in bathrooms, but can equally be used for a warm color scheme. Really, emerald works with anything and is bang up to date.’
Made with memory foam, this timeless lumbar pillow from Wayfair is the best for comfort and style. The cashmere material offers a soft and luxurious texture that pairs so well with the emerald green coloring. We love that it's excellent value, too!
The Livingetc Newsletter
For style leaders and design lovers.
Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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