The color green has quite a fascinating history. Ancient Egyptians associated the hue with renewal. During the Middle Ages, it came to symbolize wealth, and at the turn of the 18th century, the popular pigment was actually deadly thanks to a toxic ingredient known as copper arsenite. When it comes to interior design, some might view green as a risk, but we're here to attest to its endless possibilities.
It's impossible to separate the color green from its association with nature and the outdoors. This connection, which also evokes positive feelings like serenity, renewal, and good health, is one of the reasons the hue is an enduring option for interior spaces.
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Although the popularity of green is not new, lately, its ability to bring life into spaces and incorporate the feeling of the great outdoors has been somewhat of an antidote to all the time spent in our homes over the past few years. Green is a timeless hue that has the unique ability to introduce both vitality and calm into spaces thanks to its wide range of available shades. Whether you're aiming to create a soothing sage green bedroom or a lime green cook space, the color does it all. And it blends in seamlessly with any decor style, from modern to traditional, making it ideal for any room in the house — especially the living room.
"Green ... has a range that makes it ultra complex. There are so many ways to incorporate [it] into a living room. For starters, if you have millwork, that's a great place to start — depending on your furnishings, I usually lean into something [moodier]. If you want to be a little more subtle but love the hue, layer it in via textiles. A good chunky blanket or throw pillows on a leather or neutral couch can really make a space feel incredible," says Becky Shea, founder and creative director at BS/D.
Additionally, the color green is incredibly versatile and can be effortlessly paired with other hues. Although it isn't technically classified as a neutral tone, it might as well be, as it looks lovely alongside so many different shades. For instance, combining green with a complementary color, such as pink, is a no-brainer, as are monochrome shades of white, gray, and black. And since it's comprised of blue and yellow, it pairs easily with those shades, too.
"I'm a big fan of olive greens, hunter greens, and sage greens — I believe that all three can elevate and add warmth to a space while keeping it timeless and unique. Colors that I like to pair with green are rusty [and] earthy tones (think brown, Mojave leathers, and deep charcoal)," says Shea.
Not sure if you're ready to weave the verdant shade into your living room color palette? Here are some inspiring ideas that might convince you otherwise.
25 Green Living Room Ideas
1. Paint both the walls and the molding with the same shade.
For a dramatic look, paint the walls and the molding with the same color. This sophisticated living room spotted on Little Greene flaunts floor-to-ceiling walls coated in a rich shade of emerald green. Forgoing drapery and opting for furniture in tonal shades of gray keeps all eyes focused on the moody hue.
2. Opt for a blue-green accent wall.
Perfectly straddling the line between blue and green, teal offers a unique take. It injects personality into spaces while remaining easy to work with. Three Birds Renovations executes a hard-to-strike balance of pizazz and restraint in this living room, which features a shiplap-clad accent wall painted in a pleasing blueish-green shade.
3. Welcome green wallpaper.
Wallpaper is an often overlooked way to personalize a living room by incorporating both pattern and color. For example, Carola Ripamonti created a cheery space with a sweet tree-inspired print and a lacquered green piece of furniture. A rattan accent chair, caned detailing, and herringbone wood floors balance the cool hue and lend plenty of warmth.
4. Give sage green a try.
Loving Scandinavian-inspired interiors? Us too. While the default color scheme might be based on a strict formula of neutrals, subdued hues are also welcome. In the case of this living room from Alvhem showcased on My Scandinavian Home, a cool shade of sage green makes a gallery wall all the more interesting.
"For a more modern look, opt for lighter shades of green — think sage or mint. These colors are easy on the eyes and soothing enough to go on walls and ceilings. You can complement them with any neutral furniture pieces and accent [them] with wood, brass, and marble accessories for a timeless look," says Hema Persad, founder of Hema Persad Interiors.
5. Experiment with color blocking for a modern look.
Color blocking is one inexpensive way to bring real sophistication to a living room. This space contrasts a trifecta of verdant shades, pairing dark army green on the lower half of the walls with a brighter sage hue on the upper half. The duo provides an interesting backdrop for the brownish-green chesterfield sofa. The pink ceiling and blush accents add charm and draw the eye upward for an expansive feeling.
6. Paint the walls and ceiling the same hue.
If you want your living room to feel like it's giving you a nice big hug, paint the walls and ceiling the same color, as Tharon Anderson did in this stylish living room. The seamless transition between vertical and horizontal planes results in a cohesive vibe that not only gives the illusion of more space but maximizes warmth and creates a lovely cocoon feeling. A high-gloss finish reflects light and feels chic.
7. Play with texture.
Add depth to walls with grasscloth wallpaper — it's an elevated alternative to a traditional pattern, and it offers loads of texture. RA. Studio opted for an edited color scheme made up of hunter green and rich wood tones alongside luxe fabrics, such as velvet, suede, and silk, in this swanky living room. The grasscloth wallpaper, flaunting a coordinated shade, bolsters the moody theme and offers plenty of visual interest.
"For a formal living room, opt for a green velvet sofa in a rich shade of emerald. You can also complete the traditional formal look using rugs with darker green tones in them or throw pillows with green in shades of olive, hunter, and thyme," says Persad.
8. Incorporate lush foliage.
One reason green continues to win over the hearts of design enthusiasts? Its unique ability to breathe life into spaces. Underscore the feeling of being outside by including plenty of plants. For example, the forest green accent wall spotted in a Danish living room that was showcased on My Scandinavian Home anchors the room's minimal design and enhances the curated plant life.
9. Embrace the versatility of mint green.
Ruthie from Design Soda shows that the color green is a functional neutral, especially when you are working with a barely-there shade like mint. For a cottage vibe, like the one in this living room, pair the light and airy hue with found objects, a rolled-arm sofa, and vintage pieces of home decor, like the dresser and the mirror above the fireplace.
10. Use a dark shade to create a mood.
Lean into small spaces with dark hues that play up the innate sense of coziness. This living room by Kate Marker Interiors is painted in a deep forest green, which is equal parts welcoming and chic due to lounge-worthy furniture and refined details. Painting the ceiling bright white and incorporating neutral furnishings allows the natural light to be reflected and keeps the look airy.
11. Choose saturated pastels.
The Fig House, an L.A. events space designed by Emily Henderson, showcases a playful light green paint color on the walls, which allows the more vibrant pieces of furniture and decor to really pop. The art deco-inspired space is made up of an eye-catching blend of saturated pastels, metallic finishes, and an expansive stained glass window design that leaves an unforgettable impression.
12. Opt for paint with a textured finish.
For a contemporary take on a green living room, stick to a high-contrast palette of white and black and then weave in a third verdant color in measured doses. This edited design features a limewashed accent wall that imparts enviable texture and subtle movement that softens the angular space.
13. Stick to practical pieces.
Anchor a neutral living room color scheme with green furnishings as demonstrated in this setup. Ample wood features, such as the exposed beams, wood floors, and furniture, enhance the inherent warmth of the space, while the olive green leather sofa adds beautiful contrast. Surrounding white walls allow the loveseat's rich color to take center stage.
14. Complement your scheme with a pink accent wall.
You can't go wrong pairing pink with green; it's a combo that manages to feel modern and retro at the same time. Follow the lead of this midcentury-inspired living room and relegate the rosy hue to a single wall to keep it from feeling overly saccharine. Oversize palm-print drapery adds visual weight and a playful dose of energy.
15. Embrace complementary colors.
A surefire way to create visual impact in a green living room is by peppering in complementary colors. For example, in this pared-down sitting room that was once in the Hunker House, a pair of burgundy poufs were a dynamic counterpoint to the forest green feature wall. Although red and green are a color combination that's often overlooked outside the holiday season, this glamorous space makes a compelling case for using the duo all year long.
16. Layer various shades of green.
Brown and green are dominant shades found in nature, so it's no wonder that the two colors make a picture-perfect pair. Follow the lead of this living room design and thoughtfully layer the earthy hues with jewel tones and glam finishes for an elevated look. Pinch-pleat curtains in vivid emerald green are a sophisticated addition.
17. Keep it light and airy.
Mint green is a soothing hue that functions as a quiet backdrop to flaunt patterns and more color. Cortney Bishop used the soft shade in this cheery living room to complement the pastel-hued textiles flaunting eye-catching patterns. Wrap-around windows let in an abundance of light and maximize the pastoral view.
18. Be bold with jewel tones.
Pair deep emerald green with other jewel tones for a layered color palette that's sophisticated and fresh. In this eclectic living room by Black Lacquer Design, a deep green velvet sofa tempers the vibrant pops of canary yellow, sapphire blue, and coral. A zebra-pattern rug adds a playful touch to the contemporary space.
19. Consider a green sectional sofa.
If green living room walls feel a bit much, turn to your furniture to pull off a verdant interior. In this family room by Jessica Helgerson, a cozy built-in sectional pulls double duty, maximizing square footage while providing a stylish spot to lounge. The green velvet upholstery acts as a focal point in the otherwise neutral space and adds loads of texture.
20. Warm things up with terra cotta accents.
Make no mistake about it — the sage green walls, ceiling, and lounge chairs are the pièce de résistance in this traditional living room by Nickey Kehoe. However, the terra cotta-colored rug and coordinating chaise provide just enough warmth to balance the cool color scheme. Additionally, the light paint color allows the architectural details to stand out.
21. Focus on one corner.
If you're a little hesitant to go all out with the color green in your living room, limit the verdant hue to one area. Jean Stoffer carved out a wow-worthy bar setup with the help of hunter green cabinets and a black subway tile backsplash that oftentimes appears dark green depending on the light. An elegant floral wallpaper design lines the arch and gives this small but mighty cocktail station lofty appeal.
22. Use green sparingly.
A quick, easy, and temporary way to test the verdant waters is with green curtains à la the floor-to-ceiling drapery that Amber Lewis used in this light-filled space. It's a great solution for those who don't want to rearrange the rest of their living room decor just to accommodate the dreamy hue, and it's a simple way (that's perfect for renters) to add a little drama without dropping a pretty penny.
23. Highlight a fireplace surround with color.
Turn your fireplace into a focal point by cladding the surround in a bold shade of green. The team at Reath Design selected high-gloss subway tile in a timeless spruce hue for this craftsman remodel. Although the verdant tile is carried onto the hearth as well, it doesn't overwhelm the inherent charm and period architectural features.
24. Invest in a bold green rug.
Admittedly, it can be intimidating to try to pair green with another color. So why not keep it simple like Elizabeth Roberts and surround a bold green focal point — like the emerald area rug in this living room — with crisp white walls and ample natural light? Caramel-colored wood furniture and a matching leather sofa add plenty of warmth to this setup, while a handful of potted plants and a dark green entryway bolster the verdant scheme.
25. Dress up your walls with green wainscoting.
Follow the lead of Jenni from I Spy DIY and use classic wall paneling to bring your dreams of a green living room to life. In this farmhouse setup, sage-colored shiplap wainscoting stops three-quarters of the way up the wall, after which a forest-themed wallpaper flaunting a greige hue takes it the rest of the way. Wood, leather, and brass accents add just enough warmth to keep the light and airy scheme feeling cozy and inviting.