Sage had its major moment in kitchens, and then, for a bit, emerald velvet was on everyone's wish list. Now, we're officially in the era of olive, with controversial chartreuse as a close runner-up. But no matter what shade of green strikes your fancy, there's always an accent color to pair with green that can take it from "nice" to "next level"—you just need to know where to look.
Whether you take a quick walk across the color wheel to find your shade's perfect complement or prefer to think outside the box a little (hello, eye-popping orange!), decorating with green is surprisingly versatile, since it marries the grounding elements of blue with the subtle invigorating sense of yellow. As such, there are tons of contrast hues to choose from—and some are downright unexpected, so even the maximalists and rule-breakers of the décor world can get on board. "Everything looks good with green!" designer Tiffany White says.
Meet the Expert
Tiffany White is an interior designer and color consultant at Midcity Design Group.
Check out our favorite shades to pair with green, and then try some of these must-have pairings on your own.
Emerald + Orange
While it's normal to feel some trepidation about combining two eye-popping hues like emerald and orange, the truth is you'll be glad you tried it. Bright, saturated orange creates tons of contrast when paired with regal emerald, putting a playful, unexpected spin on this old favorite. Just be sure to ground the combination with some more mellow elements, like this neutral dining set, to keep things from feeling overbearing.
Sage + Rose
Sage and rose—no, it's not the contents of your seasonal garden but rather one of our favorite color combinations of the moment. These two muted, subtle colors come together to create a look that's greater than the sum of their parts—and feels oh-so-serene for the bedroom.
Seafoam + Cognac
Looking to add a little sophistication to your space? You can't go wrong with warm, leather-y tones like classic cognac. Because it has hints of red in it, it's a great way to incorporate green's complementary hues without overdoing it—so whether you reach for this color in the form of accessories or even wood tones, it's an instant favorite.
Emerald + Brass
Want a super-luxe space? You can't go wrong with emerald and brass. "Faced with a pair of clients with very different tastes—one preferred dark and minimal, the other bold and color-filled—we found a solution by placing bold emerald green wall art and brass accents in an otherwise black and white home office scheme," White says.
Mint + Green
Is it cheating to say that we love pairing green with—green? Like blue, this is one of the few colors in the spectrum where every single variation is a winner that plays well with others. There's something about a soothing, barely there shade of mint that goes with just about any green you can throw at it—from mellowing out bright neons to lending an air of excitement to deeper gray-green hues. If loving this combo is wrong, we don't want to be right.
Forest + Pink Clay
Whether or not you're a fan of the desert-chic look we've been loving lately, it's never a bad idea to add some earthy elements to your space—especially in the form of ceramics. The not-quite-blush, not-quite-millennial-pink unglazed clay hue here pops against this stunning green door, providing a warm welcome from the moment you step inside.
Emerald + Lilac
Not so fond of pinks? Lilac might be your best bet. This combo is less common than green and blush, but still packs a punch. Subtle lilac stands out against the richness of dark green, allowing for a mix of masculine and feminine vibes that just works. And since this combo reminds us of nature, it's only right to follow it up with lots of eclectic natural elements to complete the look.
Dark Green + Indigo
A dark yet saturated shade of deep green deserves a counterpart that's just as iconic—and indigo fits the bill perfectly. This luxe-yet-welcoming living room shows how to perfect the look, by peppering in hits of this beloved denim-y hue alongside plenty of breathing room in the form of bright whites—from the painterly strokes on the area rug to the stripes on the throw pillows. There's also a lesson to be learned here about mixing textures. We spot fringe, quilting, and, of course, velvet, all mingling happily in their home together—a veritable masterclass in mixology.
Moss + Umber
It may have been a while since you used "umber" in your vocabulary, but that's no reason it shouldn't make an appearance in your home. This whimsical, retro-mod mural shows how well this burnt earthen-red color pairs with both olive and more yellow-based, chartreuse-y hues. To be honest, we're thinking of heading to the paint store right now.
Pistachio + Citron
Green and gold are synonymous with glam, but if you're hoping to infuse a little more flavor into that classic combo, citron is your best bet. It stands out in a sea of dark, moody, luxuriant hues, inviting in a pop of freshness and zest, just like its namesake fruit.
Seafoam + Coastal Blues
Who can resist a good beach-y vibe? (Not us.) Coastal blues are a natural match for verdant greens, whether in the form of light, aquatic washed-out hues or strong nautical shades. Channel these sea, earth, and sky vibes for a relaxing living space that feels instantly refreshing.
Olive + Red
Bulletin: red and green *can* coexist without reminding you of a certain winter holiday color scheme—and this is how. Take a cue from this supreme sleepover setup and keep pops of red to a minimum, with plenty of neutral space to balance things out. The result is masculine but not overly adult—ideal for a growing gaggle of boys.
Neon Green + Neon Yellow
If you think neons fell out of fashion in the '90s, think again. While neon yellow on its own can be a little well, eye-searing, it's actually one of our latest obsessions when paired with stabilizing dark shades of green. In fact, this inspiring wall art has everything we need for our next color palette creation, so we'll be taking notes.
Chartreuse + Sapphire
Pro tip: Jewel tones never really go out of style. While they may rotate in and out of favor, they're truly timeless (as is our love for them), which may be part of the reason this space feels both fresh and enduring. An invigorating shade of peridot looks as striking paired with sapphire in a living room as it would in your jewelry box.
Olive + Mustard
What's black and white and olive all over? This bathroom. As one of this year's trendiest hues, olive holds a special place in our hearts, and that appeal is kicked up to the next level when it's paired with just the right shade of mustard yellow. The yellow towels and patterned bath mat lend a place for the eye to land against this pop-art-style stripe design, and the contrast they create with the olive cabinets and lockers (a brilliant bathroom idea, btw) is pure perfection.