Garden-Inspired Green Rooms

Garden-Inspired Green Rooms

These days, when you hear the term “green design,” your mind immediately jumps to worthy notions of sustainability and environmental sensitivity. Commendable practices, for sure, but with summer upon us, we can’t help but celebrate another form of green design – the bold use of Mother Nature’s favorite color.

Dining-Room-green-roomAs diverse as life itself, the color green has always been a staple in interior design. Ranging from dusty sage to muddled pea to saturated emerald, there’s a hue to appeal to every sensibility. As an ode to the season, however, we want to share some examples of garden-inspired rooms, which pop with the vibrant greens of summer in full swing.

For this Southern California dining room, we chose a silk, hand-painted Chinese wallpaper with the richest of garden greens as its backdrop. The play of light and texture afforded by the material and the technique literally makes it pop off the wall like a living landscape.

In my own living room (which I’m excited to report is featured in theJune 2011 edition of Elle Décor), I wanted to create a bridge between a largely neutral interior and the lushly verdant landscape just outside the full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. For a punchy connection to the outdoors, I chose Vladimir Kagan’s aptly named serpentine sofa, which I covered in a poppy, spring green fabric from Manuel Canovas. No matter the season, my cheery sofa always makes me smile and fills me with warm thoughts of my favorite time of year.


Photo: Tim Street-Porter

For a radically different play on the garden room, Matthew and I decided to let our imaginations run wild for an art installation we created for Rice Gallery in Houston, Texas. By inserting a rigidly pristine, black and white room amid an ominously florid garden on steroids, we were making a comment on man’s futile attempts to control nature. Regardless of the message, our pairing of black and white with neon green (think newly sprouted grass) was a Technicolor sensation that delighted everyone who entered the space.


Nothing says summer like a fresh jolt of green. For interiors that convey the season’s powers to soothe and uplift, we say follow nature’s lead, and let others be green with envy.

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