Decorating In Shades of Green

Befitting St. Patrick’s Day, today’s post shines the spotlight on decorating in shades of green.

Decorating in shades of green associates a natural beauty with a tangible balance that easily flows from space to space and shade to shade, complementing the core elements of design and décor.

Powerscourt_Waterfall_IrelandPowerscourt Waterfall ~ Wicklow, Ireland


Lismore Castle – House & Garden- Photography by Andrea Jones

History proves blue the color originally associated with St. Patrick’s Day under the reign of Henry the VIII who claimed Ireland a kingdom in 1542.

Henry VIII of England, by Hans Holbein

With the formal creation of a new Kingdom, Ireland was appointed a coat of arms in the design of golden harp on a blue background.

It wasn’t until years later as a result of the Irish Rebellion in 1798 that green officially took notability as the color associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

Decorating In Shades of Green

“What color should be seen
Where our fathers’ homes have been
But their own immortal Green?”

— Author Unknown


House & Garden – Photography by Simon Brown

Here’s a bit of color trivia:

Emerald green, a brilliant blue-green color, dates back in popularity to the mid-1800s.

Inexpensive to manufacture and therefore cheap to purchase, emerald green was a popular choice of household paint, and was widely used for patterned wallpaper.


Ceara Donnelley Charleston Home – Photography by Brie Williams

Soon it was discovered one of the main components of the paint was arsenic, a chemical element when in an inorganic state proves severe.

green-paint-colors-BHG (1)

Better Homes & Gardens – Photography by Adam Albright

Damp spaces promoted the mold living in the wallpaper paste together with the arsenic to turn into a gas, creating a toxic environment.

It is believed Napoleon’s death in exile on St. Helena quite possibly was accelerated by his exposure to the Emerald green wallpaper decorating his favorite room.



Some perceive the color connection between St. Patrick’s Day and the color green to the lush landscape of the Emerald Isle.

Saaltee Island, Ireland

“A color is as strong as the impression it creates.”

—Ivan Albright


House & Garden – Photography Robert O’Byrne

I reached out to The Irish Aesthete, Robert O’Byrne, to ask his permission to use his photo of the marquetry floors in the grand salon at Ballyfin.

The Irish Aesthete: Ruins of Ireland

The Irish Aesthete: Ruins of Ireland by Robert O’Byrne

He could not have been more gracious, and his knowledge of Ireland coupled with his visually stunning book, The Irish Aesthete: Ruins of Ireland by Robert O’Byrne, is quite impressive.


Marquetry Floors of the Salon at Ballyfin, County Laois – The Irish Aesthete


The Ruins of Kilcrea in County Cork – Robert Byrne



Sarah Winchester Studios

Decorating in shades of green lends versatility and depth to the primary palette choice.


Martha Stewart

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite
form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”

— Oscar Wilde


Gabriel & Co.

“Green is the prime color of the world,
and that from which its loveliness arises.”

— Pedro Calderon de la Barca


“A color is as strong as the impression it creates.”

—Ivan Albright

Clifden CastleClifden Castle, Ireland

May the sun shine all day long
everything go right
and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes
you wish come true.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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