Farrow and Ball's color curator on how to pick just the right green for every room in your home

Joa Studholme explains how to pick the perfect green for every space, with new ways to use this on-trend shade

An alcove painted in light green, shade Breakfast Room Green
Wall painted in Breakfast Room Green by Farrow and Ball
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Whether you're a fan of the luscious green of freshly mown grass, the earthier tones of the forest floor, or the lighter hue of a Granny Smith apple, green is having a moment. And it's not going away. 

As the color of nature, green represents freshness and renewal and is said to help alleviate stress and promote calm. A mood we're all after when it comes to interior design, making green a great color to incorporate into the home. 

This uplifting color works well in almost any space in the home, be it the living room or the bathroom. Yet, with thousands of shades to choose from, choosing which hue to use in your home can be a daunting task. What's more, thanks to the tricks of lighting, the green you loved on that color card doesn't necessarily look the same when you actually paint it on your walls. 

While green is a popular color right now, it's not as easily cut and dried as simply 'green'. According to Farrow and Ball's legendary color curator Joa Studholme, while the last few years have been all about earthier greens, she's seeing a demand for more vibrant, natural shades. 

 ‘I think Green Smoke is our biggest selling color - it has quite a lot of blue in it,' Joa says. 'But actually, I'm seeing a turn against those darker, warm tones towards colors like Calke green, which are a little bit more honest and less complex. They're a sort of proper green without that blue-grey twist to them. Still very connected with nature, obviously, but with this sort of honesty to it, which I think is really interesting.' 

A kitchen painted in the shade French Grey

Wall painted in French Grey by Farrow and Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

With green being such a popular color right now, we're even being more open-minded when it comes to what we consider green. Many colors that have a dominant grey or blue bases can look green when paired with other colors or used in certain lighting. 

'French Grey isn't strictly a grey,' says Joa. 'Depending on the time of day and the lighting in your room, it flits between a soft grey and a greener hue which makes it very versatile. It will work well with lots of other colors.' 

 The perfect green for a north facing room

A green living room in shade Green Smoke

Wall painted in Green Smoke by Farrow and Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

As north facing rooms are darker, they tend to bring out the cooler tones within a color. This  means green isn't a go-to option for most North facing rooms - it tends to read a little grey. But this doesn't mean it's impossible. 

'Green looks a lot greener in North facing rooms,' explains Joa. 'Again, the Farrow & Ball color Green Smoke makes a great friend to Card Room Green, both of which have loads of blue in them, and they have been fantastically popular.' 

Although both colors contain cool tones, Joa is seeing the use of color layering by painting features such as door trim or skirting to create a warmer feel. 

'It's not about contrast, it's just a layering of different tones of the same color, which is incredibly interesting,' Joa says. 'For example, instead of having French Grey - a color that is great in a north facing bedroom - on the walls of your room, you would use Treron on the woodwork, which is just slightly darker, to create that layering effect.' 

 The perfect green for a south facing room

An entryway painted in the shade Breakfast Room Green with a rattan chair

Wall painted in Breakfast Room Green by Farrow and Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

As south facing rooms have more light throughout the day, there's more freedom to experiment with color. Joa recommends opting for a more vibrant green in these sun traps as it's unlikely to end up feeling too cold. Look for anything that has 

‘If it was a south facing sitting room then I would look at Verte de Terre or Breakfast Room Green,' Joa says. 'Again, that has has a sort of honest feel to it. It's upbeat, it makes everybody feel happy. It’s not the intimate feel of Green Smoke - it's like a young, jovial family color.’

The perfect greens for a bedroom

A green bedroom painted shade Breakfast Room Green

Wall painted in Breakfast Room Green by Farrow and Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

We all want the room we sleep in to feel comforting, so softer greens in the bedroom such as sage, are best at achieving this. 'The more natural colors like Calke are probably a little bit on the strong side for a bedroom,' says Joa. 'French grey however is a soft green and I use that a lot in bedrooms, especially if their at tree level, because you can relate straight back from outside to inside.' 

According to Joa, this is a good room to experiment with layering tones to create a cosier feel. 'Perhaps try painting a chair or the woodwork in a slightly darker tone’  

The perfect greens for a kitchen

A kitchen with green walls in the shade Calke green

Wall painted in Calke green by Farrow and Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

When it comes to kitchen color ideas, it’s all about introducing color if you want to create a space that feels like the warm heart of the home. Rather than opting for neutral whites, creams and grays, Joa recommends being more daring in this space. 

‘While blues and greys have endured the last five years or so, today I'm seeing a lot more very dark greens, like Studio Green or my beloved Tanner's Brown. I'd use those on the units to make the space more convivial as it's not that kind of charcoal, hard edged feel to it. Then, to get some light bouncing around, perhaps you want to use a full gloss finish on your island. Loads of people are pairing greens with colors like Preference Red or Reading Room Red on central islands.’ 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. 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.