W-01013 Kitts fish wallpaper in the colourway aqua
Colour theory: immersing ourselves in green
Elizabeth Ockford

Meet Elizabeth Ockford

Elizabeth’s creative talent and passion for colour, pattern, and form saw her study textile design at the Chelsea School of Art before beginning her career, creating fabrics and wallpapers for the fashion and interiors industries.
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Whether vibrant or subtle, we’re passionate about colour: how it makes us feel, its role in our designs, and how we use it in our homes.

Studies show us that colour can alter our brain waves, affect the autonomic nervous system and our hormonal activity, and can stimulate our emotions: we react physiologically and psychologically to colour.

From dazzling lime and vivid emerald to muted olive and moss; to delicate celadon, peppermint and eucalyptus through calming sage and aquamarine to deep teal and forest green – we love green in all its iterations.

Green is synonymous with nature and the natural world – it is the colour of grass, trees, woodland. An environment containing plenty of green vegetation indicates fertile land and the presence of water – little danger of drought or famine – so green is considered to be reassuring on a primitive level. These lingering associations with nature mean that green can make us feel grounded, tranquil, fresh and healthy.

green-woodland
english-countryside

Being in the centre of the colour spectrum, most shades of green require no visual adjustment and therefore, this is deemed restful. Green is also said to be soothing, uplifting and healing – in the presence of green, the pituitary gland is stimulated, muscles become relaxed, and blood histamine levels increase (decreasing allergy symptoms). In short, green is calming, stress-relieving, and also invigorating – researchers have found that green can improve reading ability and creativity.

For centuries, artists searched for a stable and truly green pigment – it was a notoriously difficult colour to manufacture from available natural substances. Egyptians used earth or malachite before the ancient Romans developed verdigris – a process where copper plates were soaked in wine or vinegar, causing a vivid blue-green surface residue to form – which they used as a pigment in mosaics, frescos and in stained glass. Subsequently pigments such as cobalt green, emerald green and viridian were developed in the late 18th century by heating and combining certain chemicals.

green verdigris

Green features in many of our designs – here’s a few examples of its use and explanations for our choices:

green wallpapers on the elizabeth ockford website

Our Pearl River design features a deep emerald ground with large circular Eastern-inspired illustrations. In this context, the green chosen as the background provides a calm coolness while also matching the strength of the saturated colours of the illustrations, allowing the eye to scan the design in its entirety.

The use of muted aqua and olive for the linear design on a neutral linen ground gives a ‘heritage’ feel to our Coleton design. It’s very classical and would work beautifully in many locations including a conservatory or orangery, where there’s a transition between being indoors and out.

We chose a soft aqua as a ground for a host of vividly coloured fish as this gentle shade allows the bright shoal to ‘pop’.

Inspired by crystalline structures, the small coordinate design of Pyrite is enhanced by the use of a precious jewel-like emerald green with touches of shimmering raised gold metallic ink.

Although the overall design isn’t dominated by green, we love the energy and fizz created by the use of lime, aqua and jade on the lobsters in this version of Aruba. As well as using different green shades, we’ve played brights – hot pink, coral and turquoise – against softer lavender and olive to create a zing against the grainy black linen background.

If you would like any more advice on interiors or have any general enquiries then please don’t hesitate to contact us! enquiries@elizabethockford.com
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