Ask Sanders: Kristin's Green Bedroom

In Thursday's installment of Ask Sanders, I promised help for Kristin's bedroom. She asked our opinion on Kelly Green as a choice for bedroom paint, and Sanders was more than happy to oblige with a paint palette of greens in hues that range from shocking to sophisticated:

sanders green paint palette

And a few darker, more traditional greens:


Personally, I have found that green can be a difficult color to work with, because it requires a sense of confidence that many more soothing shades do not. But when done right, green really sings. And I love the idea of using green and blue (blue in Kristin's bathroom) as a base for a household palette, since blue and green can mix and match in so many interesting ways.

john paul urizar

John Paul Urizar

green bedroom

You'll need a pair to go all out kelly green on four walls, floor to ceiling. But this spare little bedroom courtesy of The Sweet Line gets it right with simple furnishings and accents. In a small room with strong color, paint is the star and everything else plays a supporting role.

kelly wearstler

I'm thinking that Kelly Wearstler may have kicked off the kelly green movement in a moment of vanity (hello, kelly - kelly?), but love her or hate her, the lady is not afraid of color. This bathroom shows how slick classic green (looks like Rainforest Foliage to me), black, white and chrome can be.

domino green kitchen

This tiny kelly green kitchen from Domino can cook. A very restricted palette with lots of white keeps the color from overwhelming.

green room

In this room from House to Home, forest green goes a little too country for my taste, but with more streamlined shapes, the color could be fresh. Imagine Danish teak instead of these tradtional furnishings. Throw in lots of white linens and a black pillow or two and you've got modern classic.

If all out green seems too heavy for you, you can break the color up in several ways.

green wallpaper

Hidden in France

Patterned kelly green and gold wallpaper keeps the color light. If wallpaper isn't an option (renters, I'm talking to you), try stretching fabric over a a wooden frame, or wallpaper a large piece of masonite and frame with cheap, painted quarter round. Beep beep, beep beep, yeah.

green living room

House to Home

Homes with lots of molding and windows can handle the color because it covers less surface area. With deep greens, black, white and brown rocks.

per ranung

Per Ranung

If you don't have glorious architecture and the bones to prove it, consider painting a feature wall in deep green; keep the rest of the room bright and light.

james merrell

James Merrell

Maybe kelly green isn't for you, but Stokes Forest Green is looking mighty fine. Pair it with lots of neutrals and blood orange for a pop of unexpected color. Lighter colors need less white to balance them out.

chartreuse domino

Brave souls may spring for chartreuse, like this Benjamin Moore Pear Green featured in Domino.


Boring picture, but the color is divine. And Designer's Brew shows how blue and chartreuse make magic. For a bedroom, maybe just a feature wall or nook would do.

Fear of commitment? No problem -- we all get cold feet sometimes. Consider green accents or furnishings instead.

fawn galli

Fawn Galli's boho-glam apartment uses bright green curtains and upholstery to funk up her space.

gaelle boulicaut

Gaelle le Boulicaut

Use that kelly green paint to spiff up a set of chairs in an otherwise neutral room. The wall paint in the photo looks a lot like my office paint -- Silver Fox by BM. It's a lovely, medium deep neutral.

living etc

Living Etc.

Even a simple emerald throw adds depth to this dark and cozy bedroom.

Or maybe instead of feeling green at the gills by all this color, you're green with envy. If you're feeling emboldened by the power of green, don't hold back.

apartment therapy greens

Apartment Therapy

Try mixing and matching several shades in one room, like this Moroccan guest house. Lots of white space helps forest green, stokes forest green, and a pear green, go together like peas and... peas.

That's it for this installment of Ask Sanders. Hopefully you and Kristin got some new ideas and inspiration on ways to green up your space. For me, suddenly chartreuse is sounding like a fabulous nursery color...

If you would like to have your home featured on Ask Sanders, need help matching colors you may have spied in magazines, or just want advice on what paint colors could possibly make those peach wall tiles in your bathroom look like you MEANT to do that, email us at to ask Sanders, our resident Paint Guru, for help.


Thanks, Sanders!

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

As promised, today I am presenting Sanders the Paint Guru's picks for the hottest upcoming trends in color, and when I say "color," I mean COLOR. If the gray days of fall are getting you down, then this palette is sure to jump start your morning. When I asked Sanders what the most popular colors for next year would be, he immediately said "electric blue, bright orange, acid green, red, yellow." As usual, Sanders was on the money. Check out what the October issue of Elle Decor UK said would be the "Hot Trend For Homes":

elle decor uk

Versus the color palette Sanders put together during our interview:

sanders color palette

I told you that Sanders was good! If you ever had a crush on Roy G Biv in school, then these rooms are for you. Witness the power of dramatic paint to completely transform a space. (All photos courtesy of Domino)

domino colors

Don't you feel more cheerful, well rested and motivated, already? Maybe you won't even need that extra cup of coffee. Perhaps you should start a new exercise routine... Who's up for climbing Mount Everest???! Ok, let's take it one step at a time, shall we?

Since I've asked for help from you dear readers at least twice, you probably all know by now that I have a red dining room and kitchen, and I've been worrying that maybe it's a twee bit overblown. Perhaps instead of taking it down a notch, instead I should pump it up with a steroid injection of brighter, orangier, funkier, red:

red kitchen

(Photo courtesy of Living Etc.)

Or maybe, like Karly, you've been craving some sunshine in your space. Why not go for a zany shade of yellow on the walls?

yellow room

(Photo via A Mad Tea Party With Alis, who also has some great posts on color)

I love the super bright funkadelic yellow paired with dark dark trim and subdued, weathered floors. Shall we just say that the dead fish on the table adds to the rustic charm? Yes, we shall. Those chairs are pretty boss, too.

For those of you who love color but want something a little more sober, why not a bold, cobalt blue?

cobalt bedroom

(Photo via Living Etc)

It's much more unexpected than the usual aqua tinged walls, but still restful enough to catch some much needed Zzzzzz's at night. A silver leafed ceiling could be a magical complement (and gold is always fab).

Or perhaps you prefer to just scramble the whole color palette together and have a delicious rainbow omelette?

m interiors

This whole house decorated by M. Design Interiors is a madcap acid trip fantasyland, and I really want to live there. The sleek furnishings and square lines have an awesome 70's vibe, so perhaps we should throw a hip blogger's disco party? I think I'd have to ditch the tulips, though.

If you're not into all out color, maybe just a peep of bright paint would do the trick.

m interiors

I love the use of primary shades in this super white space, courtesy once again of the fabulous M. Design Interiors.

Ok, I know that lots of you out there love color, but would prefer to confine it to accessories and furnishings for a splash of bright something something against a neutral background without the commitment of paint. Here are some renter friendly solutions that will still give your pad some punch.

colorful accessories

(Photo credits for each row, left to right: Living Etc, Living Etc. Domino, Living Etc. Terramia, Andrew Suvalsky. Living Etc, Domino)

Why not reupholster a vintage couch or chair in a shockingly bright fabric to create a substantial focal point in your otherwise neutral room? Or you could always do some super mod pillows for a cheap and easy burst of color (bonus points for resourcefulness if you can sew your own). Also, I kind of want a lime green clawfoot tub now... If only I had a bathroom big enough for one!

Anyone want a cush headboard fit for a princess in a color that won't make your prince cringe?

m interiors

(Photo via M. Design Interiors)

Yeah, baby, I can dig it. Now how about a red green combo that's miles away from Christmas?

flux interiors

(Flux Interiors)

That is one delicious lampshade, and I love the repeat of the color on the window frames. Is that an Ikea couch? If not, they have a very similar version that comes with a zillion different slipcovers, so you can redecorate annually without breaking the bank. I am voting for new pillows though. How about a row of Obama heads instead of Mao and Marx? Yes we can.

If you already have great bones, highlight them.

yellow couch

(Photo via A Mad Tea Party With Alis)

A burst of sunny yellow makes this old school stunner look fresh, clean and modern. How much do you love the charcoal piping? Fabulous.

Even bold color can be subtly softened by its surroundings.


(via If the Lampshade Fits)

Purpley gray walls set this versatile tomato red couch afire, but an otherwise subdued color palette keeps things cool and sophisticated.

If you're feeling more daring, go for the gold:

orange kitchen

(Photo via Living Etc)

I really hate barstools, but at least these are camoflaged by a similarly hued tangerine kitchen bar with matching countertops. I love the harmony with the orangey wooden floors, as well as the contrast with the blue mirrored glass in the background.

And last but not least, some gorgeous shades of green and blue that are fresh but not overwhelming:

fawn galli

If you've never checked out the Brooklyn home of Fawn Galli, go there now. Her house is a gorgeous reminder that color is fun and doesn't have to be opressive or vulgar. And she has a giant deer sculpture. My hero.

That's it for this Sanders-inspired roundup of ultra ultra brights. What do you think? Could you live with these acid hues, or are you planning to stick to neutral basics? Tell us all about it.