Decorating With Olive Green

I hope you are wearing a bit o’the green today. And what about your home? Did you know that greens are the new neutral? You can use this color in many instances when you might be considering a brown or a grey. Here’s how to use it in your home design scheme.

Decorating with Olive Green

Olive green is a mid-tone, not too bright and not too dark, which makes it the perfect color on which to base a monochrome palette. Monochrome palettes are comprised of colors in a similar family, and they are considered the easiest color scheme to put together, as well as the most pleasing and calming.

You can pair lighter and darker olive green tones together, which you often see in nature.  If you look at a park or a landscaped lawn bed, especially in late winter/early spring, you’ll often see varying shades of green providing layering and interest. Many plants and trees that are sporting brighter hues during other times of the year have turned to a more “olive” tone during their dormant season. So take a cue from nature and layer it on with pillows, throws, rugs, curtains, and accessories. Check out Sherwin Williams Sassy Green 6416 paired with Relentless Olive 6425. One may look yellow, but that’s only because it’s paired with it’s stronger green cousin. Don’t you love the name, “Relentless Olive”?

olive green color pairing

Use key accessories to draw the eye to focal points in your room. Want to draw the eye up? Use a bit of olive overhead in a light fixture, which echoes the greens of tree limbs overhead.

Olive green light fixture

Have a great mantle? Oliv-ize some large-scale accessories on your mantlescape.

olive green accessories for a mantle

What pairs well with olive green? Blue-greens in the same mid-tone are similar colors, and are easy to pair up. This blue/green combination for winter is a warmer version of beach cottage color schemes that might be brighter in the summer. Pair Sherwin Williams Tansy Green 6424 with Kendal Green 6467 with a bold Loyal Blue base 6510.

olive greens paired with blues

Golds are a fabulous combination color with olive greens, bringing out the warmth and highlighting the natural elements. It’s also a combination we are used to seeing especially during the holidays, with Christmas trees decked out in metallic and glitter. Try this combination with an olive pillow and a metallic-patterned pillow to bring a little festive to your sofa. Or use the less flashy version, pairing with yellow, as seen in this tablescape.

Wayfair olive green and yellow table runner

Olive green in its deeper tones takes on a fresh, bold, modern personality when paired with a clean white background. Olive green bedding and accessories stand out boldly against white linens in this inspiration room from Birch Lane. The same look works well in a bathroom with dark green towels contrasting against crisp, timeless white subway tile.

Olive green bedding with white backgrounds

Olive green isn’t one of my go-to colors, but I’ll admit, after doing this color study, I’ll be turning over a new (olive) leaf and giving this color another chance in my decor choices.

Product photos and courtesy of


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