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Vancouver Interior Designer; The Versatile Green Sofa

By 01/17/2011January 23rd, 201745 Comments


Recently I bought a book called French Chic by Florence De Dampierre.  I so loved how she defined French style that I wanted to share it with you:

source Walls: BM Georgian Green semi gloss HC-115, trim: Liberty park 487, The line at the top of the wall: Tangelo 2017-30

“Style resides in the extra detail and the quirkiness that slightly pushes the envelope, showing that you are in the know and that you are slightly detached.  However in order to pull it off, you have to be supremely confident in your own taste.  Therefore, you have to be knowledgeable.  It is where the famous mix of high and low that the French are known for comes from.  This is the essence of French style”.

This is one of her spaces (above) and I loved what she said about it “”Wit can be expressed with colors and this is exactly what the orange touches do. However, Apple green is indeed the easiest color to live with.”

Interior Design by Maria Killam

It’s why I think green is such a great colour to use in upholstery. If you got tired of the orange accents (above), all you have to do is recover the ottomans, switch out the accessories and toss cushions for a whole new look.

Interior Design by Maria Killam

Here the green we chose for the sofa is slightly brighter than the first image and it’s repeated in the accent wall and drapery. Again, it would be easy to switch out the purple for a different colour as everything goes with green!

Jonathan Adler
Love these green sofas in this living room created by Jonathan Adler. Lots of green here mixed with accents of yellow.
I fell totally in love with the bohemian feel of this room, notice how the green sofa is a lovely and calm backdrop with all the patterns and wonderful colour!
This living room is by Mary Lopresti one of my readers who is also a decorator.  I love her green sofa with the tangerine accents.  Wall colour is: Benjamin Moore Papaya CC-248.
The art she painted herself to tie in the accents in the room, I love it! source
Interior design by Samantha Pynn
This lime green sofa with a chaise and chair with purple and blue accents is a wonderful fresh look in this attic. The art definitely makes this space.
Interior design by Samantha Pynn
So if you have been trying to finalize your sofa a happy green might be the best way to add a hit of colour to your space as it is one of the best ‘neutral’ colours you could select.
Which colour is neutral to you?
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me for on-line or in-person consultations.

Related posts:

Do all Greens go Together?
The Difference Between Fresh Greens and Yellow Greens
Which Colour Sofa should you Buy?

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  • Kathysue says:

    My neutral is definitely green as seen in my kitchen cupboards and the wallpaper in the adjoining dining room. These two rooms are what I call my combiner room they make the other rooms that flank the kitchen all work together,Love this post,Kathysue

  • Simone says:

    Great post. The main colour through my whole house is BM's Beach Glass which some people think unusual, but it works. It looks green-grey in our space. I believe BM CC-248 is not named Papaya but rather French Vanilla. You've got me thinking about adding some green toss cushions to our mushroom coloured couches now…

  • Mrs B says:

    Hi Maria
    I love this post in particular because I have a very big green couch and the colour is just beautiful. I am presently changing the scatter cushions to freshen the look and really any colour goes with it. Green would have to be my favourite decorating colour as its so easy to work with.
    I also have to say I really liked your post about should you charge family…great topic for discussion.

    Mrs B xx

    Mrs B xx

  • Ideezine says:


    Green makes a room feel like it's living and breathing. Like the fresh outdoors just loves being indoors. Sage greens are my favorite for a more masculine look. Apple greens create a more feminine green. They are an exceptional neutral to incorporate in design.


  • A Color Specialist in Charlotte says:

    Green is one of my favorite colors and it looks great with so many decor styles – from contemporary to traditional. My next sofa purchase will definitely be in the green family. Now the wall color – that will be more complicated!

  • Anne says:

    Eight years ago I had our tuxedo-style sofa reupholstered in green and I loved it. It's still green, only now it's under a linen slipcover … that's not green. I tired of the green, eventually … but I'd do it again in a heartbeat, as I loved it for 8 years! There's definitely longevity in choosing green.

  • kristie@thedecorologist says:

    I agree – green is a great neutral and goes with practically everything. I remember going to designer/artist David Arms' home 15 years ago and seeing how he painted every room a different green, and it was fabulous. His main living area was painted an icy green that he swore was the perfect backdrop for any other color. I have used a similar green in two of my homes since that time, and he is absolutely right.

  • Things That Inspire says:

    This is a fascinating observation – because I have a 14 year old sofa covered with green chenille, and I have never, ever tired of it. In fact, it is such a great sofa it is going to be the main element of our new basement rec room.

  • Luciane at says:

    Oh, Maria.. You're always making posts that are truly informative. Thank you so much!

    I'm loving green lately… these are gorgeous pictures!


    I need you to come see my post today. I think you'll love this house. Honestly… I'm not joking. It's one of the most well designed house that I've ever seen.


    Luciane at

    PS: How Vancouver today? I'm missing there so much!

  • pve design says:

    My sofa is green velvet –
    What color is neutral to me – navy, gray, tan…and green. I am also thinking that yellow is a great neutral now.

  • MEG MITCHELL says:

    What a happy color! Never thought about green for a sofa. Love your blog. You show all the possibilities.

  • Splendid Sass says:

    I love olive green and gray green (if that is a color). Just beautiful.
    Have a great day.

  • Sally@DivineDistractions says:

    Green always works, doesn't it? There's a hue for everyone's tastes. Great pics!

  • mydesignchic says:

    I adore the first green sofa – the tufting and the classic look…fabulous!!

  • Marcus Design says:

    All lovely examples of green Maria! And what an interesting observation from French style!
    Nancy xo

  • Loribeth says:

    I love the green sofa pictured with the orange pillows…although, I'm not a big fan of the orange pillows. Not because it doesn't look gorgeous, because it does. It's just I don't really like the color orange. I would love to have that sofa in my living room, but that would require convincing my husband that we can get rid of his black leather sofa.

  • My house is almost overdone in green. I love it, I've been using it for 20 years in different ways. It never goes out, it's always in, it goes with everything. It can be cool and calming, and warm and comforting, just depends. Great, informative and inspiring look at a beautiful color.

  • Jil Sonia McDonald Professional Interior Designer says:

    How thought provoking. I would have never considered a green couch to be a neutral.
    I do now!

    My thought is that green is indeed a neutral because: it's such a prevalent colour outside, we see so much green here, that it seems to disappear slightly, making it more of a neutral.
    Good post!

  • Between you, me and the Fencepost says:

    I love the green sofa . . maybe when I buy a new cover for my couch I will go lime green velvet!

  • Ann says:

    This post makes me soooo happy. I wasnt sure how I was feeling about my green sofa, a recent purchase. Now I see possibilities!

  • Marlo says:

    Thank you very much for the mention Maria. 🙂

    I love a green sofa so much that I'm torn on which colour sofa to get next for the family room. Based on your post about Which Colour Sofa You Should Buy I'm leaning towards blue because it too goes with everything. Oh, but I do love the green…


    I love the color green so much . . . why oh why, have I never had a green sofa.

    I am declaring it to the world, or at least to you Maria. . . my next sofa WILL be green.


  • Naturally Carol says:

    Florence de Dampierre is a real talent isn't she? I love the complexity of colour in the photo out of her book…patterned browns, black frame, gold mirror, lavender flower…with the apple green and spicy orange. I like the mix of shapes too…the ornate mirror with the plain rectangular frame…some items are contemporary others classical. Beautiful results.

  • Donna says:

    Is green the new neutral? My friend, Laurie, whose gorgeous house I featured this summer on your wall art linky, did her kitchen cabinets and mud room in an olive green-ISH..and then had it 'distressed'. If she's doing it, then I assume, from a total non- 'IN' person's perspective, that it must be 'IN'. My it safe to admit this?? earth-tone beige. Or maybe cream.

    Accent colors in my house are always an accident! Like the amaryllis on my kitchen table. Bright red. I was like..WOW..that looks great? How come I never though to do that before?

    Hubby keeps buying me flowers of unexpected colors. I have to put them 'somewhere'. So I put them on the dining room table or the coffee table..and then I'm always so surprised at how they 'jazz' up my earth tones. And then I remember your posts about raspberry pink pillows and flowers..or the yellow I'm planning for the couch pillows (suggested by you of course). :o)

    Anyway, you know I'm a hopeless case. I have no sense about these things whatsoever. But that's why I hang out here. I'm hoping to 'catch' some design style 'sense'.

    BTW, I posted this comment as a reply to you on my blog. You make my day, Maria! Especially at the end of a five hour drive from Denton to Dallas. (Twice in two days–the first time in pouring rain.) :o) Thank you, so much, for being such an encouragement to me!! You almost make me brave enough to keep being funny. :o)


    PS. Here is my reply to your comment on my blog, just in case you don't get a chance to drop by again. :o)

    Maria…I laughed..OUT LOUD..about three times…. Thanks for making me laugh. It's so funny what you said about the Loooong comments. My friend, Shona, always says the same thing. She looks down the list of comments..and when she sees a long one, she says to herself.."Oh, Donna left a comment". Ha! I''m just verbose. :o) Your praise gives me even more courage to be ME. Thanks!

    Hmmm..another long comment? I guess I need to learn the art of the 'short' comment. Tee-hee! Sorry about having to delete the other one. Somehow, it got double entered.

  • Laura@Developing Designs says:

    Absolutely love the gorgeous tufted green tuxedo sofa of the first image.
    I have been using and recommending green as one of the best neutrals to work with for many, many years. A plethora of different shades seem to work with it, opening the door to so many options.
    The other color that I tend to work with would be brown or taupe. Must be nature with the outdoors of the tree branches swaying in the breeze and the smell of the spring grass sprouting that inspires me or something. 🙂

  • Grove House Design says:

    I bought a long green sofa three years ago. I was a bit apprehensive, because I tend to be a "neutral with colorful accents" sort of fellow. To my surprise, the green acted like a neutral. It doesn't jump out as A BIG GREEN SOFA, much as a feared. And, I can change the look to match the season or my mood by swapping out accents – yellows and greens for the summer, and reds / purples for winter. Love, love, love green sofas.

  • Mary says:

    I bought a hunter green sofa about 15 years ago. When it was about 7 years old, I wanted to update my living room but soon found out that hunter green was out of style and I couldn't find anything to go with it. Of course this was before I found your blog and now I know that I shouldn't have been trying to "match" my sofa.
    But since shades of green seem to go out of style, I don't buy colored sofas anymore. Even though when I see pictures of them, I swoon.

  • Bruce Barone says:

    Our sofa is green and it sits in a room I painted BM "Poppy." It is quite stunning, beautiful, restful even–in fact The Cat Nadine is sleeping on the sofa right now!

  • Carol says:

    Green seems to be the color that is incorporated in every room of my home, so it has become, over the years, my neutral. It's so easy to change out the accessories colors for a different look.

  • VictoriaArt says:

    These soft/mid greens are some of my favorites. They go with so many others and feel always fresh! I used to have an almost pea green color on my walls in my living room, I loved it!
    The book above looks fab! And all your interesting samples! The room with the tangelo stipe below the dental molding is brilliant!

  • Leigha says:

    That first image is the sofa of my dreams. Literally.


  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Mary,
    As you probably know from reading my blog I too bought a hunter green sofa back in the 80's, we all thought it was so 'classic' and would never go out of style!

    This time around this yellow/apple green has been around for at least 10 years and is still going strong and the color forecasters say it's because of the 'green movement'. Also apple green works really well with the current gray trend so I think it will be around and much longer than the forest green which definitely was over inside the 10 year mark.

    Thanks for your comments everyone, they are great!

  • Jen@Organized-Design says:

    Loved this post, very informative. Also I loved your design board at Simplified Bee! Especially love the pillows with the table!

  • Emom says:

    Love Green!…..smiles.

  • Tricia says:

    Love the quote defining French style. Great post. Green is a "go-to" color for me. I recently purchased a green sofa so I loved seeing the photos of the different accent colors. Can't wait to develop my own color scheme around this beautiful sofa.

  • Vava (aka Virginia) says:

    Well, I'll be! My green sofa is on order…it'll be here in a month or so. A friend pointed me to this post! Needless to say, it made me happy! (I love the French quote as well!)

  • Christina Rodriguez | The Diva's Home says:

    Green does go with everything! That's why it's such a great neutral color. Most people don't consider it a neutral though. I tell them to just go outside to see how every other color stands out against green as the backdrop.

  • traci zeller designs says:

    What a great post, Maria! Green really does function as a neutral in many situations, and I love how you've suggested a happy green for a sofa!

  • Emily says:

    Green is always my Go-To color! Love it!

  • Heather says:

    Thank you so much for posting about green as a neutral. Its something I'd been thinking about and I'm happy to have some professional backup in my opinion. Green certainly is a happy colour and can be warming or cooling but fresh all the time.
    Thankyou again.

  • A-L, says:

    Wow, I'm actually doing something IN? I've had a light green sofa for five years, and I love it. Some of the high-traffic parts of it are beginning to look dirty, so I'll have to find some way of cleaning it into looking spic and span again. But I love the color, and recently painted my kitchen a simialr color.

  • Wyndsprite says:

    I would like to see a darker green sofa and how it coordinates with other greens. I just had my sofa reupholstered in a very dark forest green velvet. Love it. These lighter greens are very nice, of course! The dark green goes well with my lighter green wall, which is a grey-green. I also have a wingback chair in a lighter celery green.

  • Tasleem Suleman says:

    hiya need your help i will shoetly be painting the hallway, landing and stairs in a light green colour, what accessories will go wid d green, i hav brown laminate flooring, and oak console table and mirroe please help thanking you

  • Ariel White says:

    Thanks for the info. We have an old Sklar Lime Green sofa and lots of dark wood. I like the various options you show here.

  • Betsy OShea says:

    Love this post. Signed another green (avocado low pile velvet) owner…..

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