You don’t have to be Irish to love Kelly green, and you don’t need their luck to pull off this cheerful shade in your home, either. In recent years, jewel tones have hogged the spotlight, but if you're looking to add a pop of color that feels more modern and unique, give the violets and rubies a rest and try Kelly green.
What Is Kelly Green?
A true middle green, Kelly green is intense and has a mix of blue and yellow undertones. It gets its moniker from the common Irish surname, and it definitely invokes the lush rolling hills of Ireland’s countryside.
High-gloss Kelly green was a hit for furniture and interiors during the Hollywood Regency era, but the high-drama color works in minimalist homes just as well. It’s forgiving, as the brightness reflects light, and it also skews casual and playful—so you won’t look like you’re trying too hard.
The other thing people often say about Kelly green? It’s the color of money. So, if you’re looking to strike gold with your next renovation, browse these 12 ways to decorate with Kelly green.
Add a Pop of Art
If you'd like to dip your toes in the hue, paintings and prints featuring Kelly green are an easy way to add a bright moment of visual interest to a room.
If you're having trouble finding the right piece of art in the shade, a Kelly green frame is a simple but stunning pick, too.
Keep Your Rustic and Bohemian Vibes Bright
Something about rustic tiles in vivid Kelly green just really puts dreams of terracotta to rest. It's an unexpected shade for a fireplace and creates a strong focal point to gather the room around.
This room, designed by Danielle Nagel of Dazey Den, is a great reminder that if you a love of color, you aren't limited to your walls or your furniture. Use it as a jumping-off point and explore your imagination.
Add an Accent Color
The intensity of Kelly green prevents these two accent chairs from looking like afterthoughts in a more crowded room. They match the throw pillows on the crisp white couches, and the cheerful hue invites you to take a seat.
Add Color, Color, and More Color
It's green, it's red, it's indigo, too; a Kelly green foundation gives you a lot to work with. This yellow-leaning green contrasts with orangey reds and darker blues, making the desk and wall vases pop.
Using the color on all of the walls and between the ceiling beams unites the big space and lets the eye stop and appreciate the various statement moments.
Paint Your Windowpane
An arched, cottage windowpane is a geometric bastion of beauty. Don't let it get lost in the hustle. Call it out, like this kitchen does, with bright Kelly green paint. It'll make the window look even bigger than it is—and it'll make dishwashing a bit dreamier, too.
Invite Drama to Your Cabinets
Using a darker shade of Kelly green for your kitchen cabinets, shelving, and kitchen island creates a dramatic look that still feels calm. The white Carrara marble worktops and backsplash balance the richness of the green, and the oak stools add striking contrast.
Spruce Up Your Shelving
Glossy green paint will reflect light to illuminate and open up shallow shelving, and the blue and yellow tones of this hue contrast nicely with the red and copper kitchen accessories.
Sticking to two contrasting colors when designing and decorating an open shelving space creates a bold effect with color.
Bring Youth to Older Pieces
Kelly green and well-loved wood make a perfect pair. If you have an old church pew or work bench that you want to make feel more homey and youthful, the vibrancy of this middle color can give antique furniture a second life without overpowering classic details.
Keep the Vibes Playful
How do you design a child's room in a way that won't make you the target of their resentment come high school? Try lush, tropical wallpaper. Keep it bright and simple, like this green and white fern pattern, and it won't look dated, Plus, you'll never have trouble finding furniture to match it.
If you want to test out how Kelly green décor would look in a room, just grab some bright green plants. Allow them to live there for a week to preview the color's impact.
Go Wild With Patterns
As Kelly green is inspired by Ireland's greenery, tropical wallpapers are a natural fit for incorporating the color into your home. This large-format wallpaper is striking, but the simple, modern color scheme keeps it from buzzing out of focus.
If you're worried about printed wallpaper skewing too retro in your home, a pattern and color scheme that evokes freshness and life will bring the right energy.
Mix Pink and Green
Bright pink with blue undertones looks beautiful next to Kelly green, and both colors are bold enough to stand their own against the busy black-and-white wallpaper pattern. Doing the glass vanity light covers in a stand-out hue also helps to draw the eye up and gives back a level of dimension to the room that a geometric wallpaper can often flatten.
Pair Kelly Green with Gold
Gold and green are a classic yet stunning combination—think of the Gucci logo or a vintage malachite ring. They both bring richness to a room, and these Kelly green benches add color to the elevated but traditional design.