How to go green at home with Pantone's colour of the year

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      “New year, new me” may be the mantra of choice for friends, family, and acquaintances flooding your social-media feeds this time of year, but may we suggest you take the path less published of “new year, new space” instead?

      For one thing, it doesn’t require you to set foot on a StairMaster, and given the recent crowning of Pantone’s colour of the year—a delicious celery-green hue dubbed Greenery that evokes visions of rolling pastures, ready-to-eat veggies, and acres of tropical foliage—a fresh start has never looked so good.

      “I think it’s bright, clean, and crisp,” Jamie Deck, director and interior designer at the locally based Shift Interiors, tells the Georgia Straight by phone. “Vancouver is so grey, so it’s nice to incorporate Greenery for that constant-summer feeling.”

      To help you embrace Pantone’s shade du jour, we asked Deck for her expert tips on introducing the colour into your own home.


      The easiest way to introduce Greenery into your home is to use real greenery that can be hung from walls or the ceiling. 
      Tracey Ayton

      Work your green thumb

      Greenery is “nature’s neutral”, so it makes sense to integrate the hue the way Mother Earth intended: through the use of living and breathing plants. Deck suggests opting for air plants, cacti, and succulents if you suffer from a black thumb and, if you’re working with minimal square footage, keeping the greens off high-traffic surfaces.

      “People always think, ‘Oh, put the plants on the table,’ ” she says. “But you can put them on the wall or hang them from the ceiling.”

      Olive-tree branches and other forms of foliage, which can be sourced from the garden, also make budget-friendly accents when housed in a jar or vase. “There are all sorts of things we can do with plants that look very beautiful and not like a bad ’80s kind of thing,” Deck adds.


      Deck recommends creating a feature wall with green-centric wallpaper in the kitchen or powder room.

      Deck the walls

      While drenching an entire surface in such a bold, “high-energy” hue can be, in Deck’s word, “shocking”, employing patterned wall coverings that use the shade is an approachable alternative. “I think it needs to be in a space that’s small, somewhere nice and simple, where you can really appreciate the colour,” the designer notes. “If you put it in a cluttered space or where there’s too much going on, it may overpower it.”

      Look to cozier rooms such as a bathroom, powder room, or kitchen where you can transform an area using wallpaper adorned with funky geometrics, oversize banana leaves, or a more traditional damask print, for example. For a softer feel, select wall coverings that feature multiple tints of green.


      Abstract paintings that highlight multiple shades of green are a low-commitment way to play with the hue.

      Frame the shade

      A more practical solution for those not equipped for plant parenthood? Decorating your walls with greenery through art. Deck recommends looking for handmade prints at local artists’ hubs and online shops, where you can source visuals of various plants and tones.

      “You can have one image of the forest and one image of cacti or tropical palm trees,” she says. “I think you can totally mix them that way.”

      Showcase your prints in vintage frames as part of a gallery wall or opt for more minimal casings that will keep all eyes on Greenery. You can also DIY artworks by pressing leaves and other foliage.


      These adjustable bar stools by Calligaris offer a punch of Greenery that you're less likely to grow tired of.

      Think temporary

      A tint as striking as Greenery works best in bite-size hits. “It’s a little bit bold to do a big couch, in my personal opinion,” Deck says. “But small pieces can be really quirky and cute.”

      Accessorize an office area with a lime-green chair, for example, or swap out your table light for a lamp saturated in the cheery hue. Incorporating green toss cushions is also a safe bet—especially when they’re paired with neutral tones such as grey, off-white, or navy—and helps tie together other green elements in a space, such as plants and art.

      “It’s nice to buy objects in this colour and accent the room that way,” Deck says. “And then you can remove it when you’re tired of it.”

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.