Shades of green have the ability to be either a warm or a cool color, depending on the tone, making green one of the most versatile colors for decorating. The different shades of green allow you to use the hue for a calming or an energizing effect in any room as a wall color, furniture color or pop of brightness in accessories.
Every color has a meaning or mood assigned to it by popular culture. Green is known as the color of abundance and life—after all, grass, leaves, and verdant plants reflect the energy of life. This means that you must be careful when selecting the right shade of green for decorating your home. Restful greens are wonderful for bedrooms, while energized greens are perfect for socializing areas.
Is Green a Warm or Cool Color?
Knowing the basics of warm versus cool colors is going to make all of your color choices easier as you select a fabric, furniture, and paint. With both warm and cool shades, green can go either direction on the temperature scale. A pure green is generally considered cool if the blue and yellow are equally balanced. The green you see on a color wheel is that perfectly balanced green that's best-suited for business logos, toys, and garden plastics.
In the architectural paint industry, greens are expressed using RGB (red, green, blue) values. If you view the RGB value of a green paint color, you can understand whether it's warm or cool by looking at the ratio of (R) to (B) in the formula. A green paint color like Sherwin-Williams Aloe is a cool green, as the (B) blue value is slightly larger than the (R) number in the RGB value description on the color detail page. The architectural paint industry also uses color descriptions to identify some greens as "yellow-greens." These are considered warm greens, while the blue-greens are considered cool.
Decorating With Cool-Toned Greens
Sage green shades, which are muted with gray tones, are one of the most popular greens in decorating and is often considered a neutral color in decorating. Sage green and other gray-greens can take some trial and error to get the right color because of blue undertones that may be present but only becomes apparent once you’ve added sage green near a warm colored item in the room. Medium to light wood cabinets and furniture are often the foils of blueish sage green because of the juxtaposition of blue and yellow on the color wheel. A warm green might be a better choice if your sage green feels cold next to the existing colors in the room.
Green-blue or aqua can also be considered cool-toned greens. These fresh and fun colors are more vibrant than sage green but can also be soothing. Aqua is a surprisingly versatile color that transcends beachy decor into contemporary color schemes with ease.
5 Cool-Toned Greens to Consider
Decorating With Warm-Toned Greens
When you see the term "warm green," what it really means is yellow-green. Apple green, chartreuse, and wasabi are all popular warm greens in decorating today. Warm greens can be muted or clear and crisp.
A contemporary color scheme with dark woods and other deep colors works well with a muted olive or wasabi green. A vibrant yellow-green is fun in a vintage palette, with pops of pink and yellow, or even red. Sampling a vivid warm green in a room is essential, as this lively color can overwhelm in big doses. However, a warm-toned green a perfect accent color.