5 Ways to Decorate with Green: 2013’s Colour of the Year

Representing growth, renewal and prosperity, emerald green will bring clarity and calm to your home

A rich colour like emerald green helps on long grey B.C. days

Go green in 2013 with Pantone’s colour of the year: emerald green

After the definitive colour authority, Pantone, decreed emerald green the new “it” colour of 2013, the question remains how to incorporate the jewel tone into your lifestyle.

Do you use it as an accessory in the form of a throw pillow or jaunty scarf, or do you paint your entire living room a shade of malachite?

Further still, how does the bold hue work in B.C. where neutral and white interior walls reign supreme?

According to Pantone, emerald is a luminous, magnificent hue that represents growth, renewal and prosperity. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.

The colour experts came up with the shade by looking for influences in the entertainment industry, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions as well as technology.

“Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

I recently spoke with Vancouver-based colour consultant Kora Sevier, who mused that she had just finished watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a movie where the colour green plays a starring role, the night before.

“Filmmakers really know about colour,” says Sevier, who happens to be a movie buff. “Emerald green is used very specifically in that film because of its association with rebirth and life.”

Green is a Calming Balm

In terms of colour of the year, Sevier says emerald’s calming properties are a balm for a violent, uncertain world.

“Green is a calming colour because we see it at the centre of our eye,” said Sevier. “This is why green is used so much in hospitals. There’s a sense of well being to it and of course associations with nature and health.”

The rich and elegant colour is under represented in North America and more popular in Europe, especially in France and England, says Sevier.

The colour consultant admits that emerald could be a hard sell to some British Columbians, who tend to favour neutral wall colours.

“Surround yourself with colour,” encourages Sevier. “Why? Because we live in a grey place. A rich colour like emerald green helps on these long grey days when seasonal affective disorder starts to kick in.”

Kora Sevier’s Five Ways to Go Green

  • Paint a Central Room: Many people aren’t afraid to punch up their dining room by painting it deep red or using graphic wallpaper. Why not the colour green?
  • Paint a Feature Wall: Contrast with pale, springlike green, turquoise or pale blue walls. Beige and certain grey walls can work too, but get some advice first!
  • Throw in Some Decorative Accessories: Verdant toss cushions are a low commitment way to try on the shade. An emerald green vase looks great with any type of flowers.
  • Pair with Artwork: On a backdrop of emerald green, artwork will really pop.
  • Put on Some Nail Polish: Another low commitment way to give green a spin.

Five Shades of Emerald to Try Now