House Beautiful Spring Color Issue

February 14, 2012

Once again, the folks at House Beautiful have outdone themselves with their newest color issue (March 2012) “All About Green”. I use green in almost every design project because green is the most healing color of all. It falls in the middle of the spectrum, therefore it brings balance. It soothes and promotes mental endeavors. It’s the color of most of nature and rejuvenates like no other color. As in nature, there’s a wealth of greens to choose from and they all harmonize with each other. Although green is a color, it acts as a neutral as all other colors go with it. Green also brings out the luster in wood tones, which is why many antiques stores use it as a wall color. I often use it on wood work as it pulls your eye out towards the view, creating a space that feels as if it’s part of nature. Whenever I work with small rooms with a lot of windows, I paint both walls and trim the same shade of green which seems to expand the space and creates a “tree house” feeling. I used “Magnolia” on everything  in my own small bedroom to expand the space because it’s mostly windows, French doors and closet doors.

"Magnolia" used on walls, ceiling, wood work and even fan blades.

I have more  greens in my palette of full spectrum paints than any other color. I just can’t say enough about the color green, so when I saw all the beautiful greens featured in the latest issue of House Beautiful, I was in heaven! There are gorgeous rooms by top designers (“10 Rooms That Make Us Green with Envy”), 10 “Sensuous Greens” ranging from “Margarita” to “Deep Pool”, and I am happy to share that I am included as one of the designers in “Favorite Greens – Twelve major players in design tell us the shade they love the most”! They even used the iPhone photo I took of lichen growing on a live oak  in St. Francisville’s Grace Church Cemetery.

"Lichen" was originally created for the walls of the Sullivan Dental Center here in St. Francisville because they wanted something soothing yet earthy to coordinate with their views of wooded ravines. Their website video shows the many shades of this chameleon-like color.

Here’s a photo of  “Lichen” one of my clients posted on GardenWeb’s decorating forum:

"Lichen" works well in any room where you want to create a feeling of calm.

I am anxiously awaiting photographs of the Sullivan’s home which will be featured in my Winter 2012 Living Well Newsletter. We used lots of greens, inside and out and you’ll see some very creative design ideas and craftsmanship by Ken Tibbils of Kenneth August Design, so stay-tuned!

On another note, what color from Mother Nature compliments green?

When I saw this on designer Cathleen Davidson's Facebook page this morning, I just had to share it! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


  1. I also have a small bedroom with lots of windows and doors. A few months ago I painted everything the same color and absolutely love it! It’s so restful since my eye isn’t bouncing around looking at white trim anymore. I wish people weren’t so stuck on having contrasting trim since I think this all-over look has many benefits. I’ve often noticed in photos of English manor houses that they paint everything the same even when they have a lot of fancy plaster work.

  2. I also like the way colored trim doesn’t show fingerprints like white does! Thanks for sharing Diane!

  3. Congratulations once again, Ellen!

    Your “Olive” color is a beautiful green, also,as are all of them. As far as qualities of green, I remember back in (young-person) school the green “eye-ease” (that’s what they called it) paper.

    • Thanks Barbara! I forgot about that paper! It was on steno pads, too!

  4. […] I especially like the way her newly painted “Pumpkin Spice” kitchen glows through the interior window. The Peridot reminds me of the Spring greenery outside my window right now. There’s just no other color like it for rejuvenation. For more on about the properties of the color green and to see another example of painting everything green in a small room to expand the space, read our February 14, 2012 post. […]

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