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Experts’ Tips: Decorating with Emerald

From the Editors of Traditional Home
  • Decorating with Green – Tips from the Experts

    Produced by Lucy Fitzgerald

    Pantone has proclaimed emerald green as 2013’s Color of the Year, prompting a crush of the color on the runways and in catalogues all over the world. This rich jewel tone has always been a showstopper in traditional decorating, but with its newfound fame comes heightened impact. We’ve asked some of our favorite designers for a little insight into this year’s hottest color.

    Fabric aficionado Jennifer Flanders says, “The color emerald is synonymous with wealth, prosperity and luxury, so I think it naturally works with other colors that evoke the same air of richness and elegance.  Many other jewel tones mix well with emerald green, but in particular I love this color with deep blues and shimmery golds.”

    When it comes to entire rooms, designer Mary Douglas Drysdale has some words of wisdom: “Emerald is such a strong color that if I were to use it as a room wall color, I think I would be inclined to furnish mostly with neutrals. But, in a large room with tall ceilings, emerald could be dazzling.” Even our own style editors have been going gaga over emerald-colored malachite, the latest trend in jewelry and fashion.

    Whether used to coat an entire wall or as a striking statement piece in an otherwise everyday outfit, these tips from the experts are sure to put a stylish touch in your home.

  • Tips from Designer Jennifer Flanders

    “I normally think of these colors as being used in formal settings, but when working on a new beach house project recently I came across a whimsical printed linen fabric by Lulu DK called ‘Dreamers’ which combines vibrant green, navy blue and metallic gold on a white background.  The playful butterfly pattern and the nature of the linen itself turn this otherwise dressy color combination into something much more low-key and casual, while still being incredibly fun and unique. When paired with other small-scaled patterned fabrics and saturated textures, this room scheme carries a whole lot of punch.  The sharp green and shiny gold also convert a classic navy-blue-and-white beach house look into something different and unexpected.”

    More expert advice from Jennifer on the following slide.

  • Design Tips from Jennifer Flanders

    “When I think of emerald green, my mind immediately turns to thoughts of malachite. I am flat-out infatuated with it right now, whether it be on a faux painted chair, wallpaper, or jewel box.  However it is used, it looks amazing with black and gold. You have to have guts to use these colors together, but you will end up with an incredibly chic and sexy room if you take a bit of a risk!  Here is an example of a fabric scheme I cooked up by starting with a malachite patterned fabric from Jim Thompson called “Gemstone”.

    I intend to use this fabric as seat pads on black lacquered spoon-back chairs, and I will also repeat it on a pair of throw pillows on a black velvet sofa.  I am thinking of using a brass coffee table with a black glass top that will sparkle at night.  And of course a great pair of emerald green Murano lamps, which will be the jewelry on a pair of black lacquered side tables with gold trim.  If my client will go for it, I want to paint the walls black and do the ceiling in gold leaf squares.  I have assured her that we can lighten up the walls with black and white photography in gold or white frames.  This room will be high drama at its best.”
    Visit her website for more information about Jennifer’s designs.

  • Emerald Furnishings

    “Malachite” wall covering from Rinekwall sets the stage for this rich vignette. A chair upholstered in Jim Thompson’s “Gemstone” is a tribute to Tony Duquette, available from Ceylon et Cie.

    Details on the following slide.

  • Jewel-Toned Rugs

    From the top: “Kerkyra” from Marjorie Skouras Design; “Mineral Floor Canvas” from Tozai Home; “Malachite,” the Tony Duquette Collection from Roubini Rugs.

  • Tips from Michelle Workman

    An expert in layering styles and colors to bring out a home’s personality, Michelle Workman creates spaces where spunk and sophistication harmonize.

    “Metallic gold lightens and warms, while white and splashes of bright color enliven what could otherwise be a dark and dreary room. Abstract art by Belle Burnell brings the color palettes from the other rooms into the rich emerald living room. Sofa is the Maria Sofa designed by Michelle Workman and is upholstered in F. Schumacher's Glimmer in Pale Gold. The coffee table is vintage, and the chair is upholstered in a turquoise silk. Hot pink satin from Osbourne and Little is used in the cushions on the window seat.”

    More tips from Michelle on the following slides.

  • Tips from Michelle Workman

    A predominantly white palette gets enlivened by a bold palette of greens, from grass to emerald, and minute pops of pink to create a fresh and lively space; a new start. Sofa and chairs from Lee Jofa chairs upholstered in Kelly Wearstler for F. Schumacher and side tables from Shine all in modern forms to create that feeling of rejuvenation. A vintage MCM coffee table was refinished with a white lacquer top to continue the modern epicenter of the room. Floor lamps from Shine are just a dash of Dorothy Draper.

  • Tips from Michelle Workman

    Pops of gold accessories are like bursts of sunlight in this space. A custom-designed bookcase is loaded with books and memories, the white linen curtains bathe the room in a soft glow, all coming together with the chaise from Donghia to form a perfect reading spot.

  • Tips from Michelle Workman

    A reproduction secretary gets a facelift in a bright white and lacquered inside and out in emerald green.  On either side sits a modern interpretation of a Klismos chair upholstered in an oversized Monstera Leaf print from Raoul Textiles, a re-envisioned moment of tradition in an otherwise modern space.

  • Tips from Michelle Workman

    A small dining room gains space by staying predominantly white. Its green chairs by Jonathan Adler lure guests in to sit. A buffet from Shine sits against the wall. Dining table custom designed by Michelle Workman. For a bit of natural whimsy, a lemon tree branch from the designer’s garden is made over into a chandelier that bears sparkling green fruits of crystal.

  • Tips from Michelle Workman

    The bedroom sends a nod to old Hollywood with wallpaper like that used in the Beverly Hills Hotel. Bedside tables and lamps from Shine, custom headboard, bedding, and a bench complete the look.

  • Michelle Workman

    Visit her website for more information on Michelle’s designs.

    Photograph: Dominique Vorillon

  • Malachite Jewelry Box

    A malachite box from Creel & Gow is perfect for storing jewelry or other precious bibelots. The matching necklace is made of malachite, lapis, and carnelian, available from Eye Beads & Gemstones.

  • Tips from Tobi Fairley

    Designer Tobi Fairley is a self-proclaimed color fanatic. “To live with me,” she says, “you have to love color.” In her own formal living room in Little Rock, Arkansas, a medley of fabrics in emerald green and white play a starring role. “The greens and golds in this space give it a crisp yet elegant feel.”

    Read on to see more tips from Tobi, and explore the rest of Tobi’s home here.

    Designer: Tobi Fairley
    Photograph: Nancy Nolan

  • Tips from Tobi Fairley

    “This project was a designer showhouse in the Hamptons, so I got to be as bold with color as I wanted to! The emerald balances the warmer colors in this room makes the palette much more dynamic!”

    See more of this room on the following slide.

    Designer: Tobi Fairley
    Photograph: Michael Rodenbush

  • Tips from Tobi Fairley

    “Creating unique color combinations is my favorite thing,” says Tobi. “I started with the jade, found a color that supported well (the coral), and then kept things punchy and unexpected with the chartreuse accents.”

    Photograph: Michael Rodenbush

  • Tips from Tobi Fairley

    This is the Holiday House in New York City in 2012. The emerald green of these vintage Murano lamps give this room a “pop” that makes it memorable.

    Designer: Tobi Fairley

  • Tips from Tobi Fairley

    This house has a very light, beachy feel, and artwork was the perfect way to bring in a very bold green.

    Designer: Tobi Fairley
    Photograph: Nancy Nolan

  • Tobi Fairley

    Visit her website for more information on Tobi’s designs.

    Photograph: Michael Rodenbush

  • Malachite Basin

    Bring a strong note of emerald into the powder room with this basin from Baldi.

  • Malachite Tub

    Who wouldn’t feel like royalty after a long soak in this stunning soaking tub from Baldi?

  • Contemporary Playroom in Vibrant Colors

    Vibrant complementary colors bring this playroom to life, while modern furnishings add a touch of sophistication that appeals to children and adults alike. A painting by Chase Langford sets the stage for bold emerald walls, funky vintage Italian lamps, and a tangerine mohair throw from Susan Chalom.

    See more of this “Designer’s Dream” L.A. home

    Interior design: Jeff Andrews
    Photograph: Grey Crawford

  • Stylish Green Appliances

    Even kitchen appliances are jumping on the color wagon: BlueStar manufactures high-performance gas ranges and cooktops in 190 colors, so you can be sure to find one that matches your kitchen’s palette. Shown here is a gas range in “May Green.”

    See more BlueStar appliances on the following slide.

  • Stylish Green Appliances

    This freestanding range with a charbroiler and griddle really stands out in “Moss Green” against the steel gray of the kitchen. (Also available in Emerald, of course.)

  • Emerald Green in a Moody Game Room

    Balloon-back chairs upholstered in green leather add personality to this game room. The room’s moody palette of chocolate browns with brass detailing is lightened up by emerald hue, complemented by “Summer Gold” paint from Ralph Lauren on the walls and a caramel-toned vintage Venini chandelier.

    Explore the rest of this colorful Chicago apartment.

    Interior design: Melanie Elston
    Photograph: Werner Straube

  • Wall Sconce

    The “Alvey” wall sconce from Matthew Studios lends masculine lines and vivid color in a contemporary package.

  • Airy Neutral Dining Room with Emerald Accents

    “Glamour and elegance should never be mutually exclusive,” says designer Jan Showers. In the dining room of this elegant home, a vignette of candescent Emploi glass sits on the French walnut dining table, designed by Jan. The host and hostess chairs are upholstered in pale blue-and-olive striped fabric from Creation Baumann, which blends beautifully with the room’s neutral palette and complements the vibrant green glassware.

    See more of this stunning Tulsa home.

    Interior design: Jan Showers
    Photograph: Werner Straube

  • Malachite Side Table

    “Malachite Side Table” from Marjorie Skouras Design adds a touch of modern sensibility in a striking hue, sure to add interest to any space.