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Emily Henderson

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by Arlyn Hernandez
Image And Design Via Atelier Daaa 2

Man does it feel good to be right sometimes. We do a lot of trend forecasting as design editors (which sometimes really just feels like straight-up guessing based on seeing something on Instagram/Pinterest or in a magazine, oh…twice?), so naturally, just on statistics alone, some of the trend spaghetti we throw at the wall doesn’t always stick. And on the other side of that logic, some DOES. This time, the sticky noodle is what we’re calling “schoolhouse green.” In January, when we typically stop and take inventory of what we think will be a thing in the upcoming year, we did a deep dive color trends post, and this shade of green was on our radar back then…though with a bit of trepidation.

You see, a few years back, before this version of Charlie’s room, the chalkboard-green hue graced a portion of the walls in his bedroom in Emily’s current LA home:

Emily Henderson Home Engish Tudor Boy Room Charlies Room Layout Ask The Audience 2 Emily Henderson Home Engish Tudor Boy Room Charlies Room Layout Ask The Audience 1

If you remember the post (and if you don’t, head here for the recap), this ended up being a compromise between Emily and Brian (Charlie made the original request for green), but the finished product never felt right to Em. She used words like “dated” and “school-like” to describe how it made her feel. While it didn’t work in this room with her design vision, I’m here to tell you that it CAN work for you, but I’ve taken notice of spaces where it feels fresh, updated, edgy and delightfully unexpected.

But first, what exactly is “schoolhouse green?” It’s, well, kind of what it sounds like. A saturated mid-tone green that is reminiscent of chalkboards and school furniture from yesteryear (I’m assuming teachers just DM students now with equations to solve or word problems to pick apart, no?). It’s deeper and richer than mint, more subdued and “milkier” than emerald and not as punchy or as yellow as Kelly green or chartreuse. Got that? Sometimes it can have slightly blue undertones, other times, more yellow as you’ll see, but in general, if it looks like you could go to town on it, chalk in hand, you’re in the neighborhood.

I’m partial to schoolhouse green in architectural details (moldings, kitchens, bookcases), but that’s the most “permanent” application of the set I’m going to walk you through, so let’s start with something a little more transient:

Furniture

Image Via Architectural Digest Design By Meg Sharpe
image via architectural digest | design by meg sharpe

The “easiest” way to bring in this comfortable yet peppy color is through furniture. My favorite way to do that is in a mostly neutral space where the green is the star but still somehow feels…neutral? That’s a sentence that might leave you scratching your head, but let me explain. There’s something really snug and relaxed about it in a setting like this that makes it feel like it just belongs. Schoolhouse green is like that kid at school that can sit with either the cool, popular kids but also fit right into the marching band table or the artsy folk. It’s a superlative color chameleon, people!

Image Via Yellowtrace Design By Genesin Studio
image via yellowtrace | design by genesin studio

Here, it takes on a more Postmodern (’80s?) vibe in a restaurant by Genesin Studio. The green is just the POP the pastel blue and pink space needed to round it out. Also, very much an aside, but…raise your hand if the phrase “pop of color” makes you die a little inside every time you hear it? I’d like to campaign hard for a new way to describe an addition of a specific color in a room. I’ll be waiting for you in the comments to discuss. Carrying on…

Image Via Freunden Von Freunden Design By Muller Van Severen
image via freunden von freunden | design by muller van severen

Frankly, I’d be afraid to pair MOST shades of green with red for fear of obvious Christmas-related reasons, but the mix of chairs, the intensely modern marbled stone and the general eclectic-yet-cool vibe here is able to sidestep my preconceived notions of the color pairing.

Image Via Architectural Digest Design By Meg Sharpe 2
image via architectural digest | design by meg sharpe

This is actually in the same house as the brass kitchen with the green chairs from above, so it makes sense designer Meg Sharpe would carry the color throughout. The addition of soft baby pink and the vintage Art Deco-esque sconces and mirror (or would these be more Regency?) take it from feeling a little Memphis-y to more streamlined maximalist.

Paint

Image And Design Via Dabitoold Brand New
image and design via dabito/old brand new

Alright, okay maybe you weren’t on board with the schoolhouse green furniture (if you were, welcome to my inner circle of close friends, if not, keep reading). But we’ve now entered into a new category that might be a little easier to digest: paint.

The walls of this bathroom in the home of Dabito (the color aficionado behind Old Brand New) might be a little too blue-toned to be classified as schoolhouse green, but the cement tile floors are spot on. I like that Dabito brought in both warm, earthy elements through the floating vanity (likely to avoid things from feeling too contemporary) but freshened it up with the marbled wall slab and brass fixtures.

Image And Design Via Atelier Daaa 2
image and design via atelier daaa

I find this room, by Atelier Daaa to be a really good example of mixing old-world and new world, with the schoolhouse green being squarely in the middle of both those design adjectives. The ceiling moldings and plaster, as well as the herringbone floors, are all very classic while the furnishings and fixtures are very contemporary. This specific shade of green (again: chameleon) works in both style realms, so it marries the eras effortlessly.

Image Via Remodelista Design By Helen Cathcart
image via remodelista | design by helen cathcart

In a home by Helen Cathcart, a soft yet deep green via the recycled glass vessels and the window framing are the only flash of color in this Italian flat. Paired with the rich wood tones and the plaster-y walls, it just feels effortless. Fun fact: this image actually inspired our very own Julie, back when we published it in January. She plans on incorporating a similar green (Breakfast Room Green by Farrow & Ball) in a very similar treatment in her bedroom MOTO that’s in process. Stay tuned for that in a few weeks.

Image Via Homes To Love Design By Kennedy Nolan
image via homes to love | design by kennedy nolan

Most of the schoolhouse green I’ve shown you so far has been fairly muted, but it can also be ALIVE (without being electric) like above. It’s particularly cool with black accents and just a touch of oak or pine to ground it.

Architectural Details

Image Via Yellowtrace Design By Kennedy Nolan
image via yellowtrace | design by kennedy nolan

And finally, my favorite category/use of schoolhouse green: architectural details. I nearly keeled over when I saw this staircase on Yellowtrace (designed by Kennedy Nolan). The entire home is a study on how to do black-white-and-natural, with this metal showstopper as essentially the ONLY color element in the home. You want to make a very cool but somewhat restraint statement? This is how it’s done.

Image Via Remodelista Design By Robson Rak
image via remodelista | design by robson rak

Here we are again with another mostly-neutral-with-a-green-punch room, this time in a kitchen. The satin subway(ish) tile with the gray grout lines keeps this otherwise very contemporary kitchen from feeling like a straight-up showroom. It’s a very specific look, but one that still feels balanced and fun.

Image Via Remodelista Design By Mike Tuck Studio
image via remodelista | design by mike tuck studio

On the other side of that last modern kitchen is this more classic vibe by Mike Tuck Studio that still feels fresh via the leather cabinet pulls, contemporary lighting and wide-plank blonde wood flooring and banquette furniture.

Image Via Architectural Digest Design By Rodman Primack
image via architectural digest | design by rodman primack

Rodman Primack is one of those designers whose work I like to turn to when I’m feeling stuck or uninspired. He has an almost other-worldly knack for putting things together that no person in their right mind would, but…it always works. Toucan desk object and a coffee table overlapping a desk (?!?)…WHY THE HECK NOT. I think that’s why the schoolhouse green built-ins work so well in here. This whole room has a IDGAF attitude of an impossibly cool person, so the jolt of color in the bookcases somehow grounds everything and lifts it all at the same time.

SO…how you feelin’? Are you convinced? Were there other colors from our original paint trends post (again, here) that you felt were a home run and would like some more inspiration for? Let’s hear it.

Hungry for more trend and inspiration posts? Head to our ROOMS page!

  1. We painted one wall of my daughter’s nursery in schoolhouse green chalk paint and it looks great combined with dark woods, creams, and yellows.

  2. “Punch-point” instead of pop of color? The alliteration feels good and we all know “pops” or “punches” work so it NEEDS a name 🙂

  3. Your schoolhouse is not unlike eau de nil, a color from the thirties. I can’t get enough of its milky bluish green! A little softer than schoolhouse and hard to find– if you google eau de nil, almost only uk sites come up. If you search seafoam green, you can find American resources. I love how one color can inspire so much…

    1. Oh yes! I didn’t know this specific color term, but seafoam is SUCH a relaxing color. It can tend to go a little too “coastal” vibe for me, but now I’m determined to find examples of it not in a sea-side home because it truly is such a pretty color.

      1. Is seafoam equivalent to Farrow and Ball Green Blue? I painted my small living room with it and realized I must of been craving my dear Nana’s bluish and celery greens that were all over her house. I liked it at first and thought it was neutral but realized that with eastern light I liked it in the morning but not as much at other times of day. Repainted with F&B Tallow, which is cheerier, but now wish I had done something a little more yellow or a more neutral green.
        Am lacking in color confidence and appreciate color posts, especially when most of the Instagram I see seems to be dominated by white and beige. Perhaps that makes for a good photo but getting boring. Arlyn, would you consider doing a post about how to use a color wheel or something like it to help the low in color confidence types?

        1. Ohhh good idea! What specifically do you feel like you want more guidance on? Pairing colors? Color usage ratios? Building palettes? Let me know!

          1. Pairing colours definitely! Colour saturation pairing too – is everything supposed to be close to the same ‘tone’? I think the peaceful feeling rooms I love – even though some are colourful – are all light toned.. But now I have a dark forest green headboard in my bedroom (which I love, especially paired with warm leather) but does not naturally give you that soft peaceful feel.
            I love – a little – mixed up colour and pattern in rooms that doesn’t feel too styled, but don’t know how to get there.

          2. All of the above and how undertones look in different light. Such as grey is no good in northern light. Am color impaired! Don’t really get it with color much until very specifically told and/or it finally clicks. And I love color. Go figure. Dyslexia side effect perhaps. Would so appreciate a series.
            Above, and all the different names for colors, leads me back to, is seafoam the same as green/blue? Or a grey/green/blue? Or a brown/green/blue… Nah, maybe the greyish one? (See what I mean?)

          3. It would actually be really cool to have some of all of the above. Almost like a design course on different elements of design. Then hit another element next week. Some recommended palettes/color schemes would be cool too.

    2. What a romantic color name – water of the nile 🙂

  4. I believe Genevieve Gorder also did a green prediction with the logic that people crave more nature in their home.
    Schoolhouse green paint works well amongst an indoor jungle as well. Nature layers.

    1. I think we are experiencing a revolution much like the transition 100 years ago from ornate to more modern. People have lots of stress and feel overwhelmed; therefore, a calmer, less busy home environment is needed. Having a more natural approach creates a soothing retreat.

  5. Why the heck not? Because you would smash your knees every time you adjusted your desk chair! SMH

  6. Love me some green. Always been my color. Maybe it has something to do with my name.

    “Pop of color” kills me too. Totally on board with just not making things “pop” anymore.

    1. NO MORE “POPS OF COLOR”! I’m with you 100%!

      1. ALSO, to Roberta as well, you know…I kind of think maybe I hate the phrase “pop of color” because I immediately picture a very neutral room with like…one red pillow thrown into the mix. It just feels like a bit of a cop out personally, but I’m also someone with a very high tolerance and almost zero fear of color, so maybe that’s not fair for me to say?

        1. That is so true Arlyn! When clients say they want a “pop of color” it’s always some bright pillow or throw or tchotchke. 😳

    2. An old co-worker of mine (now friend)…her name was actually Kelly Green. And she was a design editor! She wins!

      1. Kelly Green does win! And I should clarify that I do like color – it’s just the over-use of the phrase ‘pops of color’ or ‘making things pop.’ : )

  7. Love the color.
    Not loving the 80s, 90s, PostModern, Memphis school oversized furniture and loud shape revival. Sometimes it works, often it just looks like a stage set for an Instagram photo op. I’ll try some coffee, maybe I’m just extra grumpy this a.m.

    1. Haha! Agree! Hated Memphis then, hate Memphis now!

    2. Yeah I get you. I’m not convinced any of those design eras are very livable right now, but they are pretty fun to look at. Plus, I find they tend to be great places to pull color palette inspiration from. Like, I probably would never have a vanity area like the one from here, but it helps my brain to say “ah, schoolhouse green, plush a soft blush plush a dash of coral works.”

  8. Can you post some paint colors in that shade of green?

    1. I’ll do some research! I hate recommending paint colors I haven’t tried out myself (or at least swatched), but let me see what we can find!

      1. Please let us know some of these colors above or schoolhouse greens with blue hues you love. This article is great but then you don’t site any color or paint names. That’s unfortunate thanks

      2. I used SW Oakmoss on my son’s dresser and it has a schoolhouse green feel!

  9. I’m not sure what would be better, but I agree that pop of color is ready to retire.

    1. I don’t think color has to pop, explode, cascade, blossom or wrap. It is perfectly fine with me if color just is or maybe that it might even cover. I am blessed with vision and like color or dislike a color based on how it offers me.

  10. I saw the image before I saw the writer’s name, but I KNEW this woukd be a post bg Arlyn….because of the color! Haha 🙂

    Oooh! I lurve that Italian flat photo!

    1. HA! This makes me smile. Is it clear that I’m a color lover?!? 😉

      1. I ‘read’ that your jam is greeny-blue hues! So when I saw THE color, I knew it was you. I see you, haha! 🙂

  11. that Mike Tuck studio kitchen = kitchen of my dreams. it’s perfect.

    and yeah, pop of color needs to GO.

    1. Right?!? Stunning!

  12. My bedroom is a shade similar to the schoolhouse green. I can literally feel tension leave my body when I go in there. I love this color!

  13. To me, the only one who’s done this right (and been doing it right for decades) is Martha Stewart. Still, not my favorite, even though I like green.

    1. Ooh, totally agree! This color is more plop than pop for me. Actually it makes me a bit nauseous.

  14. Accent? Accent color. – I love the coffee table under the desk also! It looks like they combined two rooms into one space, sitting area with office. And it works so well together. Much better than I would think it could go. The space, what we can see, looks room enough to move in. And the view, I mean! – – PS. Kitty!

    1. I second Megan on “accent color.” Before “pop-of-color” became the dominant lingo (I don’t know but I am blaming HGTV.) Accent was often used, measured by degree: a small accent became just a “pop” but it could be a “kiss” or a “whisper”, instead.

      I am not sure about this particular green myself. This does have a vintage vibe but in a fresh way, like it’s almost a 30’s-era color but not quite. I do like the color of the window mouldings with creamy plaster walls. But as a wall color it’s extremely tricky to work with the lighting in a space and get it looking natural and neither too ill-pale (like other people mentioned how green cast on skin is not pretty) nor too dark. I agree with another poster that predicted berry colors as another color trend. Because of the pink in berry shades it goes well with green without going Christmas-y. I am already seeing berry and fuschia in fashion, so homes are likely next.

    2. “Accent” was my first thought, as well. A room can have green accents, they don’t need to be pops of color.

  15. YES I wish we could retire “pop of color,” ugh. Especially because people keep abbreviating it to POC, which is also the acronym for “people of color.” Language sure is sticky.

    But I lovelovelove this color and all the inspiration images. Very smart to group them by the way the color is used. And fun to see a variety of decor styles.

  16. Soft rich green is one of my very favorite colors – a lot of these photos, especially the first half of the post, feel more hospital-institutional-green though, ergh! However in the second half of the post, the greens with a tad more life are LOVELY. My daughters’ room has one wall painted chalkboard green and it is lovely in their low light space. I did it last year before you called the trend too, yessss 😉

  17. Yes! We painted my son’s room this color last year because it’s up over the trees and makes it feel like a treehouse

    1. Oh! Yeah that sounds fantastic. I really love the tone-on-tone of this specific green with natural greenery.

  18. Hi! Great article and examples of this color trend. Re: getting rid of “color pop” . . . you used “flash of color” above, which I like! I also say “color dash” sometimes.

    1. I could get down with color dash. honestly, I’d be okay even with just saying “adding a little bit of color” instead of “pop of color.” It’s triggering for me, clearly hahaha

  19. Some of these look like “avocado” green (especially Tuck, Nolan, and Sharpe). Is there a difference, and how would you describe it?

    1. Hmm interesting. Honestly, I think avocado green has more yellow undertones, while schoolhouse is a bit cooler in tone, a little bit “milkier” and less sharp. What does everyone else think?

  20. What are some good examples from SW, Benjamin Moore, etc for this color?

  21. My powder room walls have been painted a beautiful green by Martha Stewart for 12 years now….and I love it! It is very close to the colors shown here. I was just way ahead of the trend I guess!:)

  22. I just bought some curtains for my baby’s nursery that are totally schoolhouse green! I was hoping they’d be more ‘olive’ but now they’ve grown on me and I’m bought into the trend. I’ve decided to go with a muted rainbow color pallet for the rest of the room inspired by this fun green.

    1. oh that sounds so lovely! That would pair so nicely with soft, blonde wood tones, too!

  23. Love all of these greens! Partial to the green tiled kitchen, as it reminds me of my Nanny 💜. This was her favorite green! I am lucky to have inherited her pottery Collection and her favorite green chair with mahogany arms and legs 🙂

  24. The “happy yellow” you mentioned in the trend post is gorgeous. Bright and classic. I won’t be using it, but it’s pretty to look at when it’s clear. All these trendy muted colors are depressing to me.
    The dining room by Dabito you showed was done so well…Babouche yellow by Farrow and Ball, paired with bright white. Loved!

    1. Dabito is ALWAYS a go-to for me for how to use bright, saturated colors successfully. And yes, that dining room…SO GOOD.

  25. Watch the movie “Home Alone” again. I believe it was called forest green then, and they enjoyed pairing the shade with pink and patterns like roses and plaid.
    Ah…the 80’s.

    1. Okay, all I’ve wanted my entire life is to live in that Home Alone house. I remember thinking their kitchen was the epitome of class, with its glossy tile countertops. I def think that specific green is a bit different. Forest green is a little darker, richer, bluer. Schoolhouse is kind of a “not quite blue, not quite yellow” kind of green in my opinion. And there’s something soft and “light” about it, too. So versatile!

  26. This green is one of those that acts more like a neutral, even though it does pop (sorry). I’m very sensitive to greens–some repulse me, while others attract. This is a good one!

    1. “some repulse me” HA! I get it.

  27. I just bought schoolhouse green curtains and I have green night stands. Green has been my go to decorating color since my husband and I began cohabitating in 2009! My fav color is yellow, his is blue, so together we’re green! The trend then seemed much more vivid and appley. So happy that a decade later the color has become a little more muted and mature.

    1. OH yes these are the words I needed while writing this. “appley” is exactly write for NOT this color, but how it might skew if it gets too bright, too yellow. And yeah, it’s just more…mature. It might depress some people, but I think as long as its paired with other light, relaxing things, it’s great!

  28. Revamped my daughter’s kitchen (I’m a professional painter) last winter with Breakfast Room Green by F&B, which stands perfect against the shiny black metro tiles. It softens the look of an otherwise harsh combination of a lot of black (charcoal tiles) and too many sorts of wood (cabinets, table, dresser… all different and not going anywhere so I had to adapt). Not to mention the walls were red! Shiny red! Very 80’s. Screaming at you. Also, the bay French windows lead right to the garden so the new paint aligns with the greenery outside. More plants inside the kitchen were the perfect addition, along with some brass elements (light fixture). I painted the window periphery white (perpendicular to the walls). This white “frame” pairs with the crisp white ceiling and gives some air to the whole area. It took me a long time to pick the perfect color. I’d been thinking of a pinkish terracotta hue, to complement the green from the garden, but never felt sure about it. Green was never even an option. Don’t know if it’s from seeing so many instashots of coffee shops with black+wood+plants but I suddenly downloaded the Breakfast Room Green revelation from color card heaven. It’s one of my favorite makeovers and my daughter is enchanted with her new kitchen. She’s gotten into cooking over the past few months. Could it be… Anyway I cannot recommend enough this color. It’s like a new neutral. Soothing but not snooze-inducing, nostalgic but not sad, schoolhouse yes but chic.

  29. Nope. Not feeling this. My DR was painted that Schoolhouse green. It is incredibly unflattering to human skin. Everyone looked sickly in that room. Our master bath had a sea foam/mint type green—-same thing. Many greens cast an unflattering light on the skin. You could not do your makeup in that bathroom. Renovation complete…no green on my walls at all now. Beware! Even if you love green (and I do!), it doesn’t always work.

  30. So happy to see my favorite color. Not shades of green, get some spotlight! I like highlight or intentional placement as better words than pop of color 🙂

  31. My new favorite posts on EHD are definitely this dive into COLOR! Such a beautiful green (especially loved the bedroom by Atelier Daaa…whoa). Keep them coming!

    1. So glad you like them! I can write about color ALL day!

  32. Though you make reference to school house green, the wall shades, particularly, are more along the lines of landlady green. I could make a case for P.S. circa 1954. Regardless, I think this color would be short-lived. It leaves me feeling depressed.

  33. I love greens, but not this one, unfortunately. It feels very institutional to me. And the world is full of better greens! Maybe it would work better with more shades of green added to it, as in the pic with the green trim and glass bottles in different shades of green? The great John Fowler said, “Al greens go together,” and he was so right about that.

    I would love to see paint chips, or samples of the greens that you and the EHD team see as “schoolhouse green.” Same for other posts on paint colors.

  34. I think coral and red-clay-earthy color might be a thing right now. Also, I predict that shades of wild berries will be a huge trend 🍇

  35. I’m not sure if I am happy or sad about this post. LOL I am currently redoing my dining space in similar colors and didn’t realize it was a trend color. I love the muted greens. I am doing a combination of a lighter bluish sage and darker schoolhouse green. And I’m going to paint my barstools the darker shade! Now I just hope the trend stays around for a while.

  36. I NEED the name of that Atelier Daaa paint color and I need it now!

  37. I think it’s statute of liberty green!! I also love your blog and it’s Inspiring as I go through my 5th renovation!!! I am a house stager in upstate Ny, and really appreciate your instagram!!

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