Natural Beauty: How to decorate with Olive Green

2019 is all about green. It’s the new go-to for fashion-forward designers.

Paint experts share their trade tricks for working this bang-on-trend shade.

This combo of green walls and rich-brown furniture looks confident yet classic. Paint the skirting in the same tone as the walls to score extra style points.

Walls painted in Jewel Beetle 303 absolute matt emulsion, £45 for 2.5L; dresser in Chocolate Colour 124; skirting in Jewel Beetle 303, both intelligent eggshell, £64 for 2.5L, all Little Greene.


Add areas of black and white for a sophisticated and crisp look,’ suggests Judy Smith, consultant at Crown. ‘For a more unusual combination, try a flash of dusky pink or vivid turquoise. This could go on something as simple as a single chair or oversized vase.’

BeST FOr making a statement

Bancha estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball.

‘Start in the bedroom, where olive green can help to create a serene environment,’ says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball. ‘It’s also suited to rooms that overlook nature. The colours from the great outdoors will further enhance the green tones of the walls and create a relaxing outdoor feel in your home.’

BeST OLIVE GREEN PAINT FOr a serene and sophisticated backdrop

Pressed Olives premium blend v700, £28 for 2.5L, Valspar

‘Olive green is a predominantly yellow shade of green, with a little black and a hint of green to it,’ says Nelly Hall, brand director at M&L Paint. ‘This makes it a particularly good shade for use on window frames, conservatories or garden rooms that lead to a predominantly green vista, as it draws the sight line through the frame.’

BeST FOr a room with plenty of natural light

Gentle Olive matt emulsion, £18 for 2.5L, Crown.

‘For a modern take on the trend, pair olive tones with brass accents to create an elegant yet minimalist decor,’ says Sue Kim, senior colour designer at Valspar. ‘Or, think bold and beautiful – team it with pink! The colours sit opposite each other on the colour wheel as a sophisticated duo and can work well in a bedroom.’

BeST FOr mixing with luxe materials like natural stone, brass and dark, textured woods

Sunday Stroll claypaint, £40 for 2.5L, Earthborn.

‘Paler olive has a grey undertone, so works naturally with soft greys – a combination that’s extremely calming and peaceful,’ says Judy Smith, consultant at Crown. ‘With this look, keep to a tonal palette and paint woodwork the same colour as the walls to give a harmonious feel – great for visually opening up spaces.’

BeST FOr pairing with yellow undertone creams such as ivory

Light Olive chalky interior matt, £47.50 for 2.5L, M&L Paint.

‘This is a great colour for east-facing rooms,’ says Cathryn Helsby, marketing manager and colour expert at Earthborn. ‘These spaces often have green/blue undertones and it’s best to play to this. Similarly, olive would also work well in north-facing rooms: instead of competing with the lack of light, we recommend embracing it.’

BeST FOr adding richness to a small space

‘Mossy olive tones radiate an earthy richness that matches well with neutrals, crafting an aesthetic that’s both elegant and serene while showcasing how bold and calming shades can exist harmoniously together,’ says Dominic Myland, CEO of Mylands. Neutrals with a pink and biscuit base pair well with olive shades as they have a warm undertone and bring a balancing light to the scheme.’

Messel No 39 marble matt emulsion, £46 for 2.5L, Mylands.



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