Invite the outdoors in with calming sage green. It's easy to work into existing schemes thanks to its near-neutral shade, or use as the basis for a whole new look. As our interiors experts explain, this cool color is a soothing choice if you're looking to redecorate, or just freshen up your space with accents and accessories.
Greens are dominating interior paint color trends and none more so than the soft, easy-to-live-with shade of sage green. As we look to improve wellbeing through Biophilic design, sage green is predicted by experts to be one of the most popular interior design trends over the next few years.
If you're just looking to dip a toe into the trend, sage green pairs perfectly with plants and foliage. Natural rattan accessories and scented candles with fresh, earthy scents will also suitably complement this earthy shade of green.
Why is sage green so popular?
The term 'sage green aesthetic' brings in over 40,000 searches on average a month across the US and the UK and interior and color experts reckon the shade's natural hue is an enduring part of its popularity.
Lifestyle expert at Contura, Catharina Bjorkman (opens in new tab), shares her theory: "Sage green conjures up feelings of being in nature. When used in the home, it provides a sense of bringing the outdoors in. As being immersed in nature is good for our mental health and wellbeing, when added to a room, sage green provides a soothing palette."
"Muted and subdued, soft greens add more interest to a scheme than a traditional neutral" explains Helen Shaw, at Benjamin Moore (opens in new tab). "Sage green can take you from season to season." It is in fact so popular with Helen and her design team that the gentle shade of silver-green 'October Mist (opens in new tab)' was announced as 'Color of the Year 2022'. The Benjamin Moore Colour & Design team was inspired by "color in nature and explored how green is a foundational color; a grounding canvas from which endless combinations can be achieved."
The popularity of sage green lies largely in the versatility of all the ways you can add it to your home. "Sage green is the perfect addition to any design style, especially natural, boho, minimalistic, and Scandinavian designs" explains Corban De La Vega, at Decor Matters (opens in new tab). "Such a calm and earthy color, it creates a serene and neutral aesthetic. The color can be used on the walls, in the bedroom as blankets, in the kitchen as greenery or in the bathroom as tiles, the list goes on. Sage green is unbelievably versatile."
Sage green room decor ideas
1. Consider sage green kitchen cabinets
Choose sage green if you want a chic-but-neutral kitchen that offers color without overwhelming your space. When considering the paint color in your kitchen, sage green as a color welcomes a refreshing feel for a space that feels inviting. The soft shade is an especially great choice for painted Shaker-style units. "Choosing a color like green for your kitchen cabinets might sound like a bold statement, but paired with open or floating shelves – which are also strong kitchen trends for this year – it helps keep your kitchen light and bright," Matt Rotherham of Gemini Worktops (opens in new tab) told us.
“If you don’t want to add this splash of color throughout the whole kitchen design, explore using one color for your lower cupboards and a different one for wall cabinets," suggests Andy Briggs, Interior Designer at Optiplan Kitchens. 'This is a great way to utilize both neutral and brighter colors within one space."
Food for thought: green is a much more forgiving shade, making it much easier to clean your kitchen too, as opposed to bright white that highlights any little food mark or spill!
2. Embrace botanical accessories
Look for accessories that have ferns, palms, roses, or butterflies and insects on them – these decor elements work well with sage green as they elevate its natural, outdoorsy feel. Think of it as a subtle way to welcome the best garden plants into your indoor decorating scheme. From fabric for blinds and curtains - to introduce nature through window treatments - to scatter cushions, elements of nature-inspired patterned soft furnishings instantly lift a scheme.
“Sage green accessories are an excellent choice, harnessing the calming energy inherent of green but anchored with an earthiness and depth not always present in more vivid greens. It’s botanical, helping to bring the outside in," color and paint expert Annie Sloan (opens in new tab) told us.
"If you only want a touch of sage green in your home, pick out green glassware accessories and group them together for impact, then add a few stems of foliage."
3. Add warming accents
To add a warm quality to the silvery tones of sage green to avoid it feeling too cold, choose natural materials such as gold, burnished brass and copper to counterbalance the temperature of the overall color scheme. "Choose warm metallic accent accessories like mirrors and light switches in brass and copper," Sloan advises.
In a living room or bedroom, this design principle can also be applied to your choice of furniture, as this example above shows with brass-framed tables. The use of metallic finishes offers a glam edge to any color scheme.
4. Combine elements of nature
Earthy tones work well together, contrasting and complimenting in equal measure, as interior designer Jennifer Kay of the Mini Interior Design Company (opens in new tab) explains, "For color scheme inspiration, simply think of nature and all of the wonderful colors we find amongst greenery in gardens." Pairing sage green with neutral shades and natural furnishings crafted from wood, slate, clay and stone will enhance the natural look.
To add further notes of sage green embrace the biophilic design trend – one of the top bedroom trends for 2022, which focuses on green foliage rather than floral prints, with lots of breathing space.
5. Pair with soft textures
Use this calming shade to create a restful retreat for any room, using simple design aspects. "Sage green has elements of nature and calmness and encourages connecting with your environment. It adds a softness to any room" explains Corban. "People are focused on creating an environment that is zen-like, spa-like, or feels like a vacation within a home." To achieve this Japandi-style aesthetic, layer the look by introducing tactile accessories to add depth and comfort. Tactile materials play a key role in helping to create a sense of relaxation.
Enhance soft sage green walls and furnishing by using tactile textures in the room, like sheepskin and knits, for soft furnishings such as cushions, throws, and rugs.
6. Ground sage green walls with wooden floors
As soft shades of green prove hugely popular for walls, softer shades of lighter woods are a popular style choice for floors to soften a color scheme.
"Green perfectly lends itself to wood flooring for an earthy, natural, and simplistic look that brings the outside in. For sage greens, pair with light oak flooring to really bring a sense of freshness and light to your space" advises Johanna Constantinou, at Tapi (opens in new tab).
Colors that go with sage green
If you're looking to incorporate sage green into your home, but don't want to drastically re-paint your entire living space, it's worth noting that there are plenty of colors you could pair with the fresh gray-green shade. From bolder reds to more muted whites and greys, there is a myriad of colors you could pair with sage green because it's so versatile.
Incorporating sage green into your home could mean you paint an entire room, or just opt for a feature wall. "How you use bold shades depends on how confident you are with color and the level in which you want to incorporate it into your home," advises Rosie Ward, creative director of interior design studio Ward & Co (opens in new tab). "If you're looking for more subtle pops of color, an 'accent' wall behind joinery works really well, as does the use of sage green furnishings."
"As a muted green, it goes wonderfully with brights, pastels, and other colors of a similar tone such as burgundy or burnt orange" interiors expert Jennifer Kay told us.
1. Navy blue
Shades of blue are often the perfect compliment to green hues, due to the close relationship on the color wheel meaning the two palettes have similar undertones.
But rather than matching the watery tones, we are seeing striking contrasts making the most impact when it comes to pairing with sage green. Namely sophisticated shades of navy, which create a striking contrast to the soft neutral tones of the gray-green.
"More earthy than a leaf green with a delicate silvery tone reminiscent of frosted sage, it works well in so many settings but it’s especially lovely when teamed with dark navy and duck egg blues or deeper, fresher greens" explains Helen.
Sage green is also the perfect backdrop for both warm and cool pink colors. Go bold with hot-pink (another on-trend shade) or cool with blush pink. Sage green will cool down warmer pink shades for a fresher look.
"A saturated sage green can look soft and whimsical when paired with pastel pinks" explains Helen. "Why not add in accents of brushed brass and velvet for a touch of glam." This look is especially effective for a bedroom or living room scheme, where it's easy to add a hit of accent color by adding textiles. A super-easy way to combine the two is via your bedding or scatter cushions, where a soft blush pink goes perfectly with the sage green.
3. Brilliant white
As with most other colors, sage green pairs perfectly with crisp white color accents –creating an overall calm and muted look. In a room that’s predominantly white or cream, it also adds a touch of warmth. An easy way to combine white and sage green is to have one soft green signature wall, with the remaining walls painted white.
For a decorative way to introduce a splash of sage green, you could incorporate a feature wall that celebrates nature – inspired by this Woodland Wallpaper By James Wiens at Wallsauce.com (opens in new tab). Or, in kitchens, you could have your cupboards sage green and your walls white, or the other way around.
4. Pale gray
With shades of gray taking over as the new neutral in our homes, it's often the case that pale gray takes the place of brilliant white, offering a softer shade for walls which can feel less clinical than stark white.
In the same vein as pairing with white, sage green and pale gray can also look stylish when paired together, as the green will lift the gray and add some vibrancy to your space.
In a kitchen color scheme, team sage green cabinetry with light gray walls to provide a warm, contrast. In a living room apply the same principles, pair sage green sofas with pale gray walls for a complementary neutral scheme.
5. Muted red
When it comes to complementary colors, muted red is the best pairing for sage green if you're feeling brave. Red and purples, as warmer colors, can work nicely against the cooler tones of sage green. You could pair the two via accessories, or you might want to pair a sage green wall with a red, brick-work, or tiled floor.
It's advised to avoid two bold wall colors, so steer away from combining sage green and red on your walls. Instead, incorporate the two shades in a more subtle way, via flooring, furniture, accessories, or bedding.
For more vibrant decor, consider pairing sage green with some similarly fresh, but brighter, spring and summer colors, such as yellow. This is the perfect option for those who want to elevate the decor, and prefer a more eclectic style over muted, softer tones.
We love the option of yellow furniture in a sage green room – such as a living room or a bedroom. Or, you could try yellow bedding in a green room, as a way to test out whether you like the combination.
Tamara is a highly experienced homes and interiors journalist, with a career spanning 19 years. Now the Lifestyle Editor of womanandhome.com, she has spent the last 16 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, and it’s with these award-winning interiors teams that she gained a wealth of knowledge and honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing about every aspect of lifestyle and interiors.
With a keen eye for the latest interior trends, there's not a lot she doesn't know about home decor – whether it’s what colour we should be painting our living rooms next season, or if the latest 'must-have' buys are actually worth investing in.
A true homes and interiors expert, Tamara has served as an ambassador for leading interior brands on multiple occasions, including appearing on Matalan’s The Show and presenting at top interiors trend events such as the Autumn Fair and Spring Fair.
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