by Céline Saby

Kelly green: what it is and how to use it

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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St Patrick's Day is fast approaching and with that comes a myriad of green decorations and a whole new audience for one of nature's most beloved color schemes, but what is Kelly green, why is it so incredibly popular and why are people increasing choosing to use it as a main part of an interior design endeavor

Kelly green has the terrific benefit of being a bold and rich hue, but without aligning to either the blue or yellow end of the spectrum. In short, it is considered by many to be a true middle green that is easy to accessorize, clearly derived from nature and offers charming connotations to Ireland as well. Used en masse, Kelly green can't help but look decidedly dazzling, which is why most interior designers suggest choosing a slightly softer tone for large surfaces. 

The real questions are, how does Kelly green compare to other popular shades, where should it be used and what will it work with? This guide will aim to answer all of these questions and more. Bold color connoisseurs are made with articles like this.

Emerald green vs Kelly green: what's the difference?

modern Dining room by ana roman
ana roman

ILUMINAÇÃO NATURAL

ana roman

Emerald green is so named because of the precious gemstone, which is dark, decadent and rich in terms of color density. The very definition of a jewel tone, it tends to be sued in small quantities, for dramatic effect and only in the right kind of properties. As an example, an emerald green hallway wouldn't be quite right in a Scandinavian-inspired home, but could work as an accent in a heritage home.

Kelly green, when compared to emerald, looks lighter, brighter and just a little more vivid. Where emerald has a dark and full-bodied undertone, Kelly has a playful and spirited, almost spring-like vibe to it. It's fair to say that Kelly could be used in larger amounts, in order to get the same level of drama, but they could work exceptionally well together, as variations on a green theme.

Hunter green vs Kelly green: what's the difference?

eclectic Living room by Pixers
Pixers

STONE MAGIC

Pixers

Hunter green is hard to describe, but it has an almost gray undertone to it and a flat finish. A little softer than emerald, it could definitely be considered to be more of a neutral color base and is most commonly found in nature in the form of mosses and lichens.

Comparatively, Kelly is a shade that has vigour and life. It looks like the bouncier and more youthful sibling of hunter green and the two work beautifully together. The brightness of one invigorates the other and creates a kaleidoscopic effect that looks derived from nature itself.

Which colors go with Kelly green?

Given how bright and vivid Kelly green is, it could be easy to assume that it's difficult to work with, but in reality, it offers a lot of potential. Experts suggest working with a color wheel to choose relative variations of other colors to work with, such as an egg-yolk yellow or marine blue. Bold works with bold, but there needs to be a little neutral contrast thrown in for good measure as well, which is why white and natural woods work so well.

A great way to employ a bright green is to keep it to either the top or bottom of a space, rather than trying to use it everywhere to start with. Seeking to split different colors with either white or wood, as seen here in this kitchen, is genius. The blue patterned paper and green island look extraordinary together yet don't assault the eyes.

Using Kelly green color paint.

eclectic Living room by Céline Saby
Céline Saby

Fauteuil et table basse Red Edition

Céline Saby

It's a very real decision, to choose a color as bold as this shade of green and every paint manufacturer will have their own version of it. It might have a slightly different name, from supplier to supplier, but you can usually guarantee that there will be an Irish connection, given that the shade itself is linked to the rolling hills of Ireland itself. Whatever the actual paint name, there are a number of ways to use it:

- In small doses as an accent hue on either walls or woodwork. This is a great way to ease into using far more bold and vivid interior design motifs, as it is surprising how tricky it can be to find the confidence to use a lot of color. Interior designers make it look really easy but for the layman, it takes a lot more tenacity.

- As an unusual furniture color. It would be a very modern take on a color trend to use it as a furniture finish. large items would be particularly effective, such as dining tables.

- As entire feature walls. No explanation necessary; just courage.

Choosing a Kelly green wall.

Cherry Creek Traditional with a Twist: eclectic Dining room by Andrea Schumacher Interiors
Andrea Schumacher Interiors

Cherry Creek Traditional with a Twist

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

It's a huge commitment to use Kelly green on the internal walls in a home, which is why experts seem to recommend resigning it to lesser used spaces, such as formal dining rooms or even hallways. It will create a striking visual and have the wow factor, but also won't have to encroach on more neutral areas. It really can be contained and controlled.
Combined with a lot of bright white wood work and large pieces of wall art, Kelly green makes an exceptionally bold statement but is diffused just enough to be a hue that is easy enough to live with.

Could you be a Kelly green fan now?
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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