Rebecca Atwood Shares the One Color She’s Decorating With This Fall

The textile designer swears by a seasonal refresh.

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Portrait of Rebecca Atwood.
© Atwood, Rebecca, Living With Color, 2019, New York, Penguin Random House

Textile designer and author Rebecca Atwood knows the power color can have in our homes. Today she is launching her second book, Living With Color, which takes us on a tour of the most colorful homes in America. Here, she shares her favorite hue for fall.

Green is rejuvenating and restorative. While it is a cool color, it still feels very alive. One of the easiest and most natural ways to introduce green into your home is with plants. I love the many different textures of plants: fuzzy, glossy, waxy, dry. It’s hard to mimic nature’s complexity of a color, so bringing in the real thing is best.

If you’re looking for a more vibrant but livable way to bring in green, consider layering it in a monochromatic way. This will make you feel like you’re soaking in the greenery of a forest. If you choose a shade for a wall, break it up with shelves of books or artwork. If you’re looking for a richer but more muted version, think about army green. It’s a great neutral that works just as well in an outfit as it does in a room. Verging on olive with hints of brown, it’s more muted and blends in with nature. Use it in place of gray or tan.

A Refreshing Place

Because green is associated with rejuvenation, using it in a bathroom is a natural place to start. Try something simple and small, like a bundle of eucalyptus in a vase. The fragrance alone will conjure the color. Tile is another beautiful way to bring this hue into the bathroom. Consider a matte geometric pattern or a glossy jewel tone in simple handmade shapes. 

An Indoor Garden

Channel the feeling of a greenhouse. Bring in plants and flaunt their color. If you don’t have a green thumb, start with something easy to maintain, like a snake plant. Or consider wallpaper or fabric inspired by vines or a lush painting of a landscape. Think: sage velvet, vibrant jade ceramics, subdued wool, or matte pine paint. The possibilities are endless (but remember, finish is important). 

Soft and Minty

If you’re looking for a neutral green, mint is a great choice. Just like a pale shade of yellow seems to bathe a room in sunshine, mint, too, lends a subtle vibe to a space. This pale shade isn’t as obvious—it almost feels like the light is giving the room that hue. 

An Unexpected Alternative

We often think of blue for bedrooms, but green is also a natural choice. Think about places where you’d use blue and try green as a refreshing alternative. It’s more unexpected than blue but feels equally calm. You can also choose shades of green with more blue in them if blue is one of your favorite colors. 

Go Bright

A vibrant green can be just the thing to make a room feel alive. When you go with a bright version, be sure it feels luxe. If it’s paint, choose one with the most pigment and use it sparingly but with impact—for example, on the trim around a window. Look for saturated hues that have depth versus ones that feel too flat. Another route to create impact is to display multiples of an object (like my great-aunt’s beautiful jadeite pieces). Consider green glass cups or vases on open shelving.

Read more in Rebecca Atwood’s new book, Living With Color.

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