Home Decor, Tips and Ideas to Update Forest Green
Forest green, a colour that desperately wants to be modern and amazing, yet in most cases looks dated and drab. However, it’s great if you’re going for the early 90’s look where you may as well pair it with burgundy and harvest yellow and call it a day!
So, what do you do if you are STUCK with a forest green product that is too expensive to replace? You read about these GREAT solutions to help you neutralize your ‘green thing’.
Using NEUTRALS to Camouflage Forest Green
If you put opposites with each other, they will appear more powerful. So, if you put anything overly yellow, orange, pink or purple (or neutrals with those undertones in them) alongside forest green – they will both POP. The key is to neutralize, neutralize, neutralize!
In the above photo, notice how the warm woods make the green pop considerably more (which is good, as it was planned this way).
So, while you can’t actually change the colour of your green thing, you can change the perception of it by surrounding it with neutral colours.
Use the following items in neutral colours to alter the look of forest green:
- Furniture – couches, chairs and ottomans
- Linens (towels, bedding, toss cushions, shower curtains)
- Accent tiles
- Accessories and artwork
And, of course, PAINT COLOUR! Check out the before and after photos of this glorious green mudroom!
To read about some of the best paint colours to pair with forest green check out this post The Best Paint Colours to Update Forest Green
Go With It! Update Forest Green with ITSELF!
Now I don’t mean that you need to go all Lucky Charms on me while you plaster shamrocks to your wall and drink green beer. By ‘going with it’, you will be ’embracing’ green and choose to have it as part of your palette (in an updated style). You do this by choosing accents that are green, but more ‘modern and updated versions’, such as a green/gray blend or a green/blue blend.
Updating Forest Green with Artwork
Artwork is a great way to update a room with less than modern features…
1. River Birch Art 2. About Hope 3. Dream Forest 4. Hydrangea Field 5. Bloom Graphic Art 6. Himara Print 7. Floral Botanical Study 8. Mountain Tops 9. Herbs 4 piece
Updating Forest Green in Your Bathroom
It’s ALL about the accents. Focus on neutral colours for your accent pieces (specifically white, gray and greige) or look at updating your green with a more modern pattern!
1. Brecken – Ikat 2. Hotel Cotton 3. The Twillery – Sunset (green) 4. The Twillery – Sunset (blue) 5. The Twillery – Malory 6. Frederica 7. Prattsburgh 8. Octopus 9. Shoreline Trellis
Updating Forest Green in Your Living Room or Bedroom
Do you have forest green carpet or green furniture that is too comfy to replace? Add toss cushions, throws, artwork or decorative accessories that have different versions of green in them. You can try a more vibrant plant green or go into the more sage, blue-green end of things. Be sure to mix n’ match some neutrals in there to modernize your room without complicating things with colour.
- Breuer Throw Pillow 2. Swan Valley Blooms 3. Connor Toss Cushion 4. Goodwin by Darby Home 5. Charlie Lumbar Pillow 6. Digby Iris Cushion 7. Antonia Geometric square 8. Greer Throw Pillow 9. Belmont Toss Cushion
Update Forest Green with Accent or Floor Tile
Well, THIS is a blog post unto itself, well actually, 2 blog posts…
The Best ACCENT Tiles to Update Forest Green Countertops
Forest Green Countertops: The Best FLOOR Tiles to Update Them
Whatever you choose to help your forest green feel more at home, make sure you infuse the rest of the room with plenty of neutrals and no other ‘major’ accents. Your room will stay calm and relaxing and your forest green cool and collected.
Colours to Avoid With Forest Green…
You’ll want to avoid colours such as these (whether it’s on your walls or on any other major item in the room) as the undertones will clash with forest green, making it appear stronger…
- Yellow and yellow undertones. However, if you LOVE forest green then you will love yellow as it certainly will make green ‘pop’
- Red. Ho ho ho. Nuff said
Pink and purple. The ’80s called, they want their colour palette back
- Greens that have a lot of muddy yellows in them (or olive)
Navy blue, burgundy, harvest yellow. Unless you WANT your home to look like it’s fresh out of the ’90s
And of course, if you have a knack for decorating there are MANY ways to make colours like soft pink, fuschia and camel look STUNNING with forest green. The right combination of colour, texture, pattern and finish can take any outdated paint colour and make it uber trendy. However, with the ‘average homeowner’ in mind, it’s best to keep things simple and straightforward and leave the trickier combinations to the pros.
What NOT to do…
DO NOT pair your forest green with a strong wood like oak. So, if you have an oak mantle in your living room with green carpet – paint the mantle white. If you have oak cabinets with your green countertops – consider painting your cabinets a neutral colour or re-stain them a darker tone
DO NOT add too many additional accent colours in the space. Remember, colours such as red, orange and yellow will only make your forest green appear more powerful. I realize that many pieces of artwork, upholstery and accents have these colours in them and that is totally fine, just make sure they don’t become a dominant accent in the space
- DON’T OVERDO IT. When I say ‘go with it’, I don’t mean to literally plaster your walls and furniture with forest green. You just need to add some thoughtful ‘modern’ green accents in with your neutral pieces (greige, gray, charcoal, white) keeping them at a maximum of 20% of the overall colour palette – it just doesn’t take much to help your forest green feel more at home!
Check out my affordable E-Design and Online Color Consulting packages!
Partner post to ‘How to Update Forest Green with Paint Colour’
Partner post to ‘Forest Green Countertops: The Best Floor Tiles to Update and Coordinate’
Interior Decorating, Design, Home Staging, E-Design and Online Color Consultations Design Blog Based in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island
Hi Kylie! wondering what your thoughts are on a seafoam green for a bedroom? It is a close scary line between seafoam “beachy” feel and a mint green…any seafoam greens you could recommend?
Hmmm, everyone’s idea of seafoam green can be different. I think it’s a gorgeous colour especially when paired with cream and a dark sand colour!! (and yes, mint green is generally NOT GOOD!) Here’s a few green-ish colours to check out from Benjamin Moore…
Palladian Blue – Hc 144
Prescott Green – HC 140 (maybe a touch too ‘green’ though…)
Sandy Hook Gray – HC 108 – totally not seafoam green, but it’s a wicked colour for that beachy relaxing look as you can pair seafoam green and cream and chocolate brown with it and it will look deadly…
Carolina Gull 2138-40 – again, not seafoam green, but it’s a very good beachy colour in the ‘dark’ range. I LOVE this colour
Room basics: My den has Porter Paint’s Sea Sand on my ceiling and walls. Built-in bookshelves, mantle, and trim work are white.
I have a soft green colored sofa and that same color is repeated in the leather chairs that suround the game table, This sofa was purchased with a soft gold colored chair and ottoman. Turns out, the gold chair is not as comfortable as the old forest green chair and ottoman. So, pretty gold chair has been moved out because my husband prefers function over form. I don’t love the forest green chair but up till about a month ago, it was doable as the accent pillows on the sofa had colors of soft green, forest green, burnt orange and gold. Not perfect but livable.
Last month we replaced our carpet in this room. It was a very neutral color before: beige with gray undertones. Husband weighed in and asked to “shake things up a bit.” So I picked a carpet with a faux leopard pattern: gold base and brown spots. I swear it blended beautifully with the sofa and throw pillows. I even had a friend who is a decorator weigh in, and it received his approval. Now that it’s down, it’s awful. It has taken on a green hue instead of the lovely gold I thought I was getting.
I think the lighting has alot to do with it. During the daylight, I find the carpet repugnant. At night, WHEN I AM IN THE ROOM and not looking at it from my kitchen (peachy-orange ceramic tile), it’s alot more appealing.
I’ve needed new carpet for about 5 years and have finally gotten it only to be soooo disappointed. It all worked together pretty well with the old dirty carpet….now, I’m really unhappy. Can you help?
Oh you poor thing, nothing is more unsettling than when your nest is ruffled!
So we don’t have Porters Paints here so I googled it and I think I see some of your problem! It looks like your walls are a nice warm colour that might…just…tweak into the peach/pink range (in a subtle undertone way – not a dominant one). From the images on google it certainly isn’t looking like a true neutral. So if your gold carpet has a subtle green undertone and your neutral walls have a peach/pink undertone they will absolutely LOVE each other – meaning that because they are essentially opposites they will make each other appear stronger!!!
So that green undertone that was so sneakily waiting in your carpet was given the opportunity to shine by being placed with your paint colour that has a tweak of pink/peach (and please don’t worry when i say pink/peach. Your walls don’t have to ‘look’ entirely pink peach to contain the undertone – undertone is soooo tricky.)
And yes, lighting can play a HUGE factor in things. Do you have any fluorescent lights or energy saver bulbs in your fixtures? If so, change them to old school bulbs which tend to cast a more ‘perceived’ natural glow (even though they say energy efficent bulbs are great, you have to spend $20+ per bulb to get a quality one that doesn’t go all nasty coloured).
So, I know it’s a super duper pain in the butt, however it’s less expensive than getting new carpet or furniture…but…I think you need to paint. If you tweak your wall colour I think you will find that your carpet goes back to being a nice neutral and you’ll just have to be careful with your pinks/peaches/super golds because they could be likely to bring out the green in your carpet.
If you like, please feel free to send me a few photos of your room – no charge! I can give you some feedback and maybe throw some colour options at you to consider….
Let me know what you think….please!
Hi Kylie, we’re moving into a new house and the guest bathroom has green tiles. . . what colors should we look for (for the shower curtain, rug, handtowels)?? The sink and toilet are white, as are the rest of the walls. What do you reccomend? Thanks!
If it were me, I’d be looking at Charcoal for my towels/accents. It acts as kind of a ‘neutralizer’ without competing with the green. Light gray would probably be too washy, whereas mid/dark gray will look awesome! As for actual ‘colours’ there aren’t many that you can do, but in particular you’ll want to avoid any of the ‘opposites’ of green like yellow, red and orange – these will only make the green appear stronger -which I’m assuming is a bad thing 😉
Don’t forget about texture either! Add a glass vase with pebbles and twigs in it on the countertop to add interest without colour!
I hope that helps you out!!!!
Hi Kylie, I am so glad I came across your site. I have a kitchen the needs a make over. At this time I cannot replace cabinets or countertops. This house was built in 1998. The cabinets are hickory in color and the countertops look like a forest green with white and black specs (bayou dust). As of now the countertop and cabinets has wallpaper between them. That has got to go! I am unsure if I should use a beige subway tile or paint it the same as the walls. I also need your help in deciding what color I should paint the walls. If you could help I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
Hi Angel! So, for the backsplash tile, ‘usually’ if the countertop has white in it your backsplash would also have to have white in it. The problem with using a beige subway tile is that it won’t ‘be’ anywhere else and might look out of place in the colour scheme (even though it’s a neutral).
A few colours that look great with green/black and hickory cabinets are some of the following:
1. Benjamin Moore Bennington Gray or Grant Beige – both nice neutral and ‘slightly’ grayish tans. The point in doing these is to ‘modernize’ the forest green. If you have a colour that is ‘difficult’ like Forest Green, it’s usually best to go with it (meaning paint other things green) or neutralize it with cream/brown/gray).
2. Another super fab colour that is beautiful is Desert Twilight. It might be too dark for you, depending on your tastes, but it should help to make the Forest Green look more modern (you’d want to check though as if your forest green borders on the blueish range it won’t be as nice.)
So, if it were me, I’d first paint and then I’d step back and see how things felt with regards to backsplash. It might be more clear what would look best in the room. If you decide to do that then please do send me a photo and I’m sure I could give you some guidance (in fact if you want to send me one now you can too 🙂
Holler with any questions!
Kylie, Thanks for getting back with me. I sent you an email along with two pictures. The email I used was surrealspaces. I look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks again, Angel
I have a crisis on my hands here…I have a forest green chair, and a slate blue couch. I am not used to decorating with cool colors, and my home is full of warm colors. The couch and chair stand out like a sore thumb in my livingroom. The floors are a yellow oak color, and the walls are buttercup yellow…we rent so I cannot change these things. I would love some ideas as to what color area rug and throw pillows to use to try and tie this all together. ps, the color of the couch reminds me of a manatee! suggestions appreciated
Hi Beth! You sound like you are in quite a state! At this point I’ve been so busy with my day-to-date decorating business and my Online Consulting that I’m having to direct most questions through to my Online Consulting (which is $30hr – and you would just need 1 hr). I’m sorry that I can’t give more time to your question right now and I really hope to hear from you! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-consultation/
Hi, Kylie. I love your wit and wisdom! I have 2 very large windows in my family room that take up an entire wall and look out onto lots of trees. Very beautiful. My questions are, do I treat this as my “green thing” the same as I would green paint or furniture even though this is natural? Or do I just ignore them as if they were like any other windows? Thank you!
Oooo, good question! When it comes to that, I wouldn’t treat it as your green thing, but more as your beautiful landscape and I would choose an interior palette that compliments it and doesn’t fight with it! You’ll find that you have MANY MANY more options this way, just keep in mind that the green can (and often will) reflect on to some of your walls, which is hard to avoid unless you close your blinds or choose a VERY colourful colour 🙂