Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Unexpected Trend of Blue and Green, Part 2

When I was young, a friend's mother told me that "blue and green should never be seen without another colour in between". I was very scared of this friend's mother. So I adopted her colour philosophy and followed it religiously for 30 years.

Until now.

{Credit for above image is detailed below}

One of the wonderful things about reaching your forties is that you no longer care what people think. Nor do you heed decorating laws that don't make sense.

Look at Miles Redd, whose work is shown above. Do you think he adheres to a strange blue and green rule?

Feeling rebellious, we've started decorating our new house in exuberant shades of blue and green (cobalt, denim, kelly green, moss, even navy).  I still worry that a Colour Policeman is going to knock on our door and give us a ticket for blue-and-green misdemeanours, but apart from that we're over the moon paint can about our Pantone choices.

This is what inspired me. The colours of the gardens we saw in Connecticut on our garden tour of New England earlier this year. And also the colours of the Florida Keys a week later.

Did you hear that Madonna doesn't like hydrangeas? Good thing she's not coming on the Grand Botanica Tour in 2013, isn't it? We'd have to hit her over the head with one to show her how beautiful they are.

We're not the only ones embracing the new blue/green mood. Others are adopting the hues, too. According to House Beautiful's first Annual House Beautiful Color Report in the magazine's September issue, which was based on a survey of more than 4,000 people (including 300 interior designers), lots of people like blue and green. They even like them together.

 {Image above from House Beautiful. Interior design by Marshall Waton. }

In fact, almost a third of respondents selected blue as their favorite hue, while another 21 per cent were just as keen on green. (The rest were distracted by orange and purple; two of the hot new shades for 2013.) "We're seeing a trend toward soothing colors in the home," says House Beautiful Editor in Chief Newell Turner. "Blue and green are cool hues that imbue our living spaces with serenity. We're not surprised that the two most popular colors are restful and reassuring." {Image above from House Beautiful; image below it from Designers Guild}

Here, in tribute to two of my favourite shades, is a small post on the sophistication of this unexpectedly complementary combination.

Blue and green. They should be seen with nothing in between. Don't you agree?

{Image above is my slightly wobbly photo – I blame the wine in the rack of lamb – of Pierre's in the Florida Keys, still one of our favourite restaurants in the US.}

{Via Tricia Guild}

The London garden of designer Tricia Guild, director of Designers Guild. I've always loved this garden. Look at the beautiful cobalt blue fountain.

The chinoiserie-enhanced garden and sunroom of designer Mary McDonald.

The vegetable garden of Michael Devine.

The vegetable garden of Brooke and Steve Giannetti, of the beautiful Velvet & Linen Blog. 

The new collection of jardin-inspired fragrances from Hermès. My favourite is Un Jardin Sur Le Toit– The Garden on the Roof – which was inspired by the real rooftop garden atop Hermès' St-Honore store in Paris. Here's the packaging below. Sublime.

Nantucket in summer, one of my favourite places. Jetblue offer flights from NY for $100. It's worth it. Stay at the Veranda House Hotel. It's not blue and green, but you'll love it anyway.

Via House Beautiful's 'Green' issue. They could have named it the 'Green and Blue Issue'.

Ms Charlotte Moss. Another fan of green and blue.

Can you believe the dapper-ness of this distinguished gentleman? It's from a blog called 8-bit lan. Not sure what it's about, but I like his style.

Spectacular patio. Spectacular. Via Better Homes & Gardens.

Pretty. This would look gorgeous in a beach house. Via House Beautiful February 2012.

Todd and Rachel of Utah loved green and blue so much, they were married in the two colours. Photography by Jacque Lynn. Aren't those bridesmaids dresses pretty? Horizontal stripes aren't slimming, but these are gorgeous.

Kate Spade's dinnerware.

And missing the source of this, but love it anyway. (There's always one!)


  1. I've never understood the blue and green saying as in my mind, they are perfect together. Really, I don't think there are any rules, decorate or wear whatever colour combo that takes your fancy I say!
    Beautiful images :)

  2. Oh what fabulous images! Your friends mother got it wrong!! The saying goes:-
    "blue and green should never be seen
    green and blue will always do"!!!!!
    and that is from my Grandmother who like my Mother was an artist! Looking forward to see more of your house photos soon. xx

  3. Personal color rule, if it looks good in the looks good.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  4. What a gorgeous collection of photos!! I Love blue and green together. I have always been a fan despite the saying. Thanks for sharing and getting my day off to a blue and green start!! Jx

  5. Great post with so many lovely pics to keep. Ive always wondered why that silly rule existed. Fiona

  6. I am doing blue and green too. I recently changed my cream slip covers (nice ones) on my sofas in the good room, to some green ones, ordered four years ago when we moved into our then new home, when I had the cream covers on I went mad on blue. I am loving the colour in my home.x

  7. My favourite Missoni cardy is blue and green. I like to combine those colours.

    And garden wise blue and green are always fabulous. x

  8. "LUFF IT 11/10" as FF would say! Great post! E xx

  9. I love this color combo and the pictures you chose are gorgeous!! Have a great night!

  10. Dear Janelle
    Love the blue and green contrasts. So fresh and beautiful. Have two of the Hermes bottles on my dressing table, couldn't bear to throw them away as so pretty. The four all seem to belong to the same basic family of perfumes but with invidual differences. My favourites in this series to date are the Mediterranean and the Nile. Such a lovely idea to create a perfume based on their own roof garden.
    I first bought the Mediterranean garden perfume maybe 7 years ago in a little shop in the village on Cap Ferrat and it just seemed to capture all the lovely essences of the Med. Now whenever I come across that scent it brings back wonderful memories of two weeks on the waterfront at Beaulieu-sur-Mer (at the Residence Eiffel) and frequent walks along the seaside footpath from there to Cap Ferrat. Magic. And it all comes back, every time. Best wishes, Pamela

  11. Swooning in Hobart, Janelle. My two favourite colours, together. I'm a happy girl. Yet another thing we have in common! J x


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