We can see it now: You're holding an olive green paint chip, accent pillow, or tile sample, thrilled at the prospect of using it in your home decor, and then you stop. Are you caught up wondering what colors go with olive green? We're right there with you, but the good news is that most colors go with this versatile shade.
"I like to think of green as a neutral," says Amy Vroom, founder of The Residency Bureau in Seattle. "You can really pair it with almost any color and it looks good." Imagine olive green complementing bright pops of color, like coral or Dijon. It's just as much at home with creamy neutral shades like beige or off-white, too. "Even pastels offer up a nice yin and yang with olive green, such as a soft lavender or a pale blue," she says.
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There's a logical reason most of us are drawn to the earthy feeling this color evokes. "Olive green, or any green for that matter, is a way for us to bring nature into our homes with color," says Vroom. "It's calming. It's moody. And it can be really pleasing to our senses."
As for what room to use olive green in, take your pick. "Any room!" Vroom insists. Kitchens, of course. Bedrooms and bathrooms, definitely. But don't overlook an unexpected space either. "You might not think of using olive green in a kid's room, for example. But paired with a soft pink or a bright yellow, it can still be whimsical enough for a kid and sophisticated enough to grow into as they get older."
"Don't be afraid to think of it as a neutral," says Vroom. "It honestly looks good with nearly every color."
We agree. Here are some of our favorite colors that go with olive green.
15 Olive Green Color Combinations
1. Olive Green and Hunter Green
Green on green? Hear us out. Or, take it from Marie Flanigan Interiors, who oh-so-geniusly paired this handsomely patterned olive green couch with walls painted in Benjamin Moore's Tarrytown Green. The tone-on-tone palette allows the hints of orange in the couch and florals to pop even more, and also emphasizes the textures around the room. (Note how the wall is painted matte while the built-ins are high-gloss.) It's unexpected and stunning.
2. Olive Green and Walnut
For this bathroom on Washington state's Vashon Island, Amy Vroom of The Residency Bureau aimed to create a moody, sexy vibe. To do so, she highlighted the variegated olive green tile with natural materials in darker shades, like soapstone and walnut. Mission accomplished.
3. Olive Green and Mustard
If there's one color combo that rides the line perfectly between playful and refined, it's olive green with mustard yellow. See Exhibit A, above. The velvet armchair and Dijon-colored lampshade pop against the rich green paint color. Add in pop art pillows, a vintage marble fireplace, and plenty of plants, and you have yourself a quirky yet elegant living space.
4. Olive Green and Undyed Natural Fibers
While we love pairing olive green with another standout color, sometimes you might prefer to let your green accents be the star of the show. Take inspiration from this marble olive green coffee table, which shines amongst a variety of natural colors. Up the ante by layering various shades and textures, with materials such as linen, rattan, wicker, or jute.
5. Olive Green and Burgundy
When dark olive green pairs with a jewel tone, you have the makings of a luxuriously moody space. Take this space, for instance. The accent wall beautifully complements the burgundy ottoman, bringing out the best in both shades. Other deep purples, like maroon or eggplant, would look equally striking. You could use this palette in a home office, or perhaps in a cozy living room. Add in some graphic wallpaper, eclectic art, and voila!
6. Olive Green and Cream
We know this is a nursery, but … can we move in to this room? The olive green wainscoting is paired with Chasing Paper's equally earthy tree-themed wallpaper, which makes for a design that could grow with a baby for years to come. To allow the olive green to shine without overwhelming the little one, the rest of the room is filled with creamy whites, like the rocking chair and gauzy curtains.
7. Olive Green and Bronze
A bronze-colored couch, admittedly, isn't for everyone. But the sophisticated combination of bronze and olive green is hard to resist. We love this living room with its two-tone olive green walls, capped by a pink ceiling and black floor. So sharp!
8. Olive Green and Dusty Pink
Pretty in pink, indeed! Olive green and pink is a match made in color heaven, as this kitchen proves. From magenta to dusty rose, there's really no shade of pink that doesn't go with olive green. To prevent the space from looking too kitschy, incorporate plenty of natural elements – like a dark brown wooden island and hanging copper pans – to bring it back to earth.
9. Olive Green and Red
Think red and green can only feel Christmasy? Think again. In this bedroom, an olive green accent wall frames the bed, which is topped with neutral-colored linens and an eye-catching red, woven throw. Rather than evoking the holidays, the color scheme brings a natural, earthy feel to the space. It's energizing enough to start each morning and relaxing enough to wind down at night.
10. Olive Green and Aqua
If you need inspiration to match old with new, neutral with colorful, and olive green with bright aqua blue, look no further than this Kim Armstrong-designed bedroom. Best of all, she pairs all those contradictions together with moveable pieces, like a bedside table, headboard, and pillows. That way, if you're not happy with the look, you can rearrange.
11. Olive Green and Black
Black vertical shiplap walls plus olive green and sage green checkerboard floors plus mismatched chairs equals a charming-as-can-be dining room. You wouldn't think so, until you see it all come together in this sexy, intimate space worthy of dinner parties to remember. Can we invite ourselves over for dinner?
There's so much going on in this living room's design (In a good way! Well done, Bria Hammel Interiors.) that it takes a second to realize the walls are painted green under that glorious gallery of eclectic art. For us, the standout color combination in this room is the olive green with the dark blue armchair, each one a regal color in its own way. Those shades ground the space and give it an air of sophistication.
13. Olive Green and Orange
It's impossible to nail down a specific vibe in this green bedroom, and that's part of the reason we love it so much. It's a little beachy, a little bohemian, a little refined, and a lot of fun. Though Cortney Bishop Design incorporated many colors into this space, the primary color combination is the olive green in the wallpaper and the bursts of energetic orange in the curtains and pillows. Brilliant.
14. Olive Green and Coral Pink
Mother Nature loves the combination of green and pink – think azaleas, or watermelon – and so do we. These colors are complementary, since they sit opposite each other on the color wheel, which creates a vibrant look. When in doubt, go tone-on-tone with a splash of your complementary color, as in this living room, where shades of green are paired with a punch of pink.
15. Olive Green and Gray
An olive green and gray color palette both sounds and looks relaxing. (Proof above.) For a sunroom like this one, complement a gray couch with an oversize olive green chair, then let the view steal the show. Keep the rest of the accents, from the wall color to the rug and light fixtures, neutral, but with lots of texture for visual interest.
Colors That Go With Olive Green
Once you begin to think of olive green as a neutral, you'll see there's no end to the colors you can pair it with in your home decor. Go for a tone-on-tone look with other shades of green, try a complementary color like orange or pink, or choose a jewel tone to bring out olive's richness. Depending on how you employ it, this versatile hue can be either a background player or the star of the show.
Here's a recap of some of our favorite colors that go with olive:
- Hunter Green
- Undyed Natural Fibers
- Dusty Pink
- Navy Blue
- Coral Pink