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Fifty Shades of Green
February 5, 2015 | Posted by: Pam Plowden Rawson, ASID

“I hate the color blue.”

“My husband says he wants no green!”  

Few people come to us without an opinion about color.  The few ambivalent ones quickly find themselves drawn to certain colors throughout the design process.  I find these color preferences fascinating and decided to do a little research.  Did you know that babies begin to have color preferences by 12 weeks?  Those preferences seem to be reinforced by pleasant circumstances or environments and repeat throughout life.

Green must have been very good to me.

As a professional designer, I am charged daily to work with the entire rainbow, but I love the color green and always have.  All shades.  The self-appointed “Green Queen,” my coworkers tease me about it relentlessly.  In fact, my first decorating venture was around 1970 when I talked my mother into letting me do an accent wall in my bedroom.  It was a lime green lattice wallpaper and I absolutely loved it.  There are still so many versions of it today and I smile when I stumble on a particularly good one.

And so, in Paris recently on my honeymoon, I set about to photograph our trip.  What a lovely, romantic and very green city!  As I downloaded each days offerings onto my iPad, I found that I had documented the shades of green that make me happy.  Even in this historic city, these colors have stood the test of time and continue to find new life in our everyday world.

I love the color of the sign on this cafe in Chartres. A vibrant green, such as Benjamin Moore “Kiwi” 544, would make an excellent accent color.


The decorative tile at the entrance to the Metro at Saint-Germain-des-Pres was a combination of rich olive greens. My former living room color, Sherwin Williams “Svelte Sage” SW6164, is a good place to start.


Parisian buildings are full of casement windows that open to the streets below. Many were this beautiful shade of deep green. It would also make a great shutter color. Benjamin Moore “Avon Green” HC-126.

Even in the fall this garden labyrinth by Chartres Cathedral is still a beautiful shade of grass green. Sherwin Williams “Garden Grove” SW6445.

The green on these weathered shutters is still popular today. It is often seen on kitchen cabinets as well as furniture. Glazing and distressing can create an antique look. Benjamin Moore “Cedar Grove” 444.

Somehow, in the infamous “City of Light”, I managed to find a “City of Green”.


This blog originally appeared on November 29, 2012.