How to use green to create a calm, relaxing home

If you’re looking to soothe your frazzled nerves or ease the tension in your household, color experts like Janice Lindsay suggest you add the color green to your relaxation toolkit. Here are 7 ways to add some green to your home and, as a result, some inner peace to your life.

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1. Springtime in winter. Green cabinets are a fresh alternative to the standard white or wood varieties.

2. Relaxed radiance. Color expert Janice Lindsay tells us in her book All About Colour that though green is a secondary color, created by mixing primary yellow and blue pigments, green is actually one of the three primary light wavelengths perceptible to the human eye. As a result our eyes relax when viewing green. Add in the natural light of a covered porch and you’ve got a recipe for some serious rest and relaxation.

3. Connection to architectural history. Soft, muted gray-greens were de rigueur during the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts design movements. Both of these periods borrowed heavily from the colors and materials found in nature. Today, as we pine for nature as an antidote to the clutter of technology, consider adding some green to your life.

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4. Trend toward spa colors. Due to their calming properties, green-tinged blues, aqua and teal are commonly found in spas around the world. As a result, many homeowners hoping to achieve that spa-like feel in their master bathrooms turn to shades of green to complete the job.

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5. Coaxing us through chores. Shades of green are also ideal for those chore epicenters where our fried nerves would benefit from a calming presence. Think laundry rooms, homework stations, even the inside of utility closets to add a dash of tranquility where you least expect it.

6. Get greedy with green. Lindsay has this to say about nature’s favorite color: “No greens clash. Other colors can join in as long as they are in the minority or quiet, or are tinted with green.” If you’re worried about getting fatigued by such a strong color commitment, take heart that however counterintuitive, maximizing green is a safe bet.

7. Social graces. Finally, set the tone for guests with a green-walled entry or guest bedroom. Even in the best of cases, having visitors can be stressful for the host and the hosted, so any little touch that might put both parties at ease is a good idea. Green also happens to be a timely color around the holidays; just mix in a little red and you’re good to go.

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