On this day, in our Lord’s year of 2017, I am forever declaring that green is a neutral. Part of the definition of “neutral”, as stated on my handy Dictionary app on my phone, is, “matching well with many or most other colors or shades”. Traditionally we think of neutral colors as those from the brown, white, or gray families, and also black. These colors are well suited to allow another to be the star.
I have had a guacamole color kitchen for years and years (Sherwin Williams’ Offbeat Green #6706). I almost felt forced into this wall color due to the burnt orange color of the cabinets that we inherited when we purchased our home. With the large expanse of the strong orange color in the kitchen, I had to seriously analyze the wall color that I could, or would introduce. In truth, I wanted the cabinets to go away. I hated that intense hue dictating the rest of my décor. The logical starting point was the old color wheel. The opposite of orange on the color wheel is blue. Using its color opposite would immediately make the cabinets stand out more, and that was a definite NOPE! Using a blue shade on my walls, I felt would also instantly give my room a nautical or collegiate feel and I knew I did not want either of those things happening. (Think school colors – UVA, Florida…uh, no.)
When you want a color to blend, you stay close to it in relation to the placement on the color wheel. With orange as our example here, you could go red or yellow. At the time that I was originally selecting a paint color, red was heading out of fashion for interiors and would seriously darken our space; make it cave-like. The Tuscan golds were still popular, but that shade can sometimes be associated with sickness. Not a vibe that I wanted in my kitchen (although it may help with limiting snacking!).
Since neither of orange’s direct neighbors were going to work, I had to continue around the wheel. The pink/purple family was definitely off the table, and I had already established that blue was not going to work. The only choice was green. I actually pulled the shade of green that I settled on from a beloved piece of pottery that I had purchased on a trip to Italy. The pottery pattern contained shades of green along with the hot orange that I was dealt. The shade I chose is a green found in….wait for it…nature! It is the color of the inside of an avocado or the outer leaves of an artichoke.
Without changing the wall color, and after 11 years of enduring orange, we finally had our cabinets painted. We did the uppers in a creamy white (Sherwin-Williams Shoji White #7042) and the lowers in a medium gray (Sherwin-Williams Porpoise #7047). I was delighted to find that the green painted walls still worked. And why was that?
Sure my cabinet color got totally neutralized, but let’s go back to that definition. A neutral is a color that matches well with many or most other colors or shades. Consider for a moment; have you ever seen a flower, of any color, that did not have a green stem? Think about it; red roses, green stems, yellow daffodils, green stems, orange tiger lilies, purple violets, pink peonies….You get the picture. If you pull your green shade from inspiration found in nature, it is, my determination and by the virtue of Mother Nature, a neutral. (Giant curtsy.)
2 Sherwin-Williams paint colors.
3 Modigliani Frutta Laccata Olive oil jar.