Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seeing Green

I'm having a torrid love affair with the colour green at the moment. And so, it seems, is everyone else, judging by the covers and contents of many of the style and home magazines this month. (I know. Who would have thought green would ever swing back into fashion?) I've never had much to do with green until now. I think this is because I once read that it was the colour associated with fairies, and that, according to myth, the fairies were deeply grieved if people didn't respect their claim on the shade. Well, I'm very sorry fairies, but it's just too beautiful to pass up. Surely you can share it for a few months?

Green reminds me of gardens. And summer. And the luminous lightness of new spring leaves. It reminds me of English conservatories, and gentlemen's libraries, and old country kitchens, with painted timber doors. It takes me back to the day I discovered Ladurée, that chic French patisserie (which is famous for its Parisian-green packaging), and the morning I wandered into Kate Spade's flagship New York store, which showcased green like never before. Inspired by Ms Spade, we've since painted our hallway in a deep, double-strength geranium green and it's like walking into a garden, every single time.

Green is fresh, sharp, elegant, sophisticated, whimsical and calming. It's also utterly surprising. Tom Scheerer loves it. So does Charlotte Moss. Christopher Maya associates it with Palm Beach in the '60s and '70s, and those carefree days of David Hicks and Lilly Pulitzer. ("I think of parties with ice cubes clinking in glasses and lots of laughter".) The rest of us wonder why we've never noticed it before.

Green is difficult to do, but if you're daring, try it with pink. Or white. Or even black, which gives it depth and dignity. We've hung lots of black and white photography over the leaf-green walls of our hall. The effect is simply startling.

Here are some of my favourite green moments over the past two years...

Gourmet Green: Bistro Guilluame, Melbourne.
Where sublime interior design meets first-class cuisine.

A study in green: Monet's house and garden at Giverny.

Going green in the tropics: The Presidential Suite at the Maya Ubud hotel, Bali.  
The stunning private pool of this suite picks up the striking green of the surrounding jungle and sets the tone for this stylish hill-top hideaway.

A very Parisian green: Le Dokhan’s hotel, Paris
A sublime little hideaway, Dokhan’s elevates green to an elegant level. The Champagne Bar (it only serves bubbly) is decorated entirely in a delicate shade of pale wasabi green (although this, being Paris, it’s probably described more as a “diluted absinthe green”). A fitting backdrop for a glass (or four) of golden French Champagne.

A very surprising green: The Viceroy hotel, LA. 
Decorated by Kelly Wearstler, this was one of the first US hotels to really break ground with green. One of my all-time favourite places. 

An elegant Art Deco green: The Hotel Victor, South Beach, Miami.
Such a fresh space for a city that tends to be saturated in colour.

Lining' em up in green: The Sagamore hotel, Miami.
Love those fresh green stripes in the poolside banquettes, which elegantly reflect the lush landscape of the hotel's garden.

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