Green For Go!

201703FOC MarchGreen is most likely to be associated with nature, fertility, growth, money and, probably most famously, jealousy.

Psychologically, green is believed to be the great balancer - the perfect mix between head and heart. Red might be associated with extremes, such as love and anger, yellow might be associated with happiness, an eternal ray of sunshine, but green is somewhere in between; equilibrium, a moment of clarity. Some believe that the power of green is so important for our brains that this is why there is so much of it all over the planet. Another theory is that, given the amount of stress we seem keen to endure as humans, it is simply common sense that we would feel the need to surround ourselves with the colour that best represents nature. Green is the colour that takes us right back to that stripped down moment of simplicity and clarity that allows us to remember what it means to be human in the first place. It is the colour of abundance (or wealth, as some interpret it) which is why it may also be interpreted as representative of property, materialism, possessiveness and jealousy. At traffic lights it means 'go'. Green is recognised as a symbol of luck in most Western cultures. In China the colour represents infidelity - a green hat indicates that a man’s wife is cheating on him. In Israel green represents bad news. In Spain a racy joke is 'green'.

The chosen colour for Pantone Colour of the Year is ‘Greenery 15-0343’. According to Pantone: “Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront - it is an omnipresent hue around the world.”

There are many fictional interpretations of the colour green, in the Arthurian poem, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, the knight is considered by some to be a living representation of the Pagan/Celtic Green Man (a symbol of fertility, seasonal renewal and ecological awareness). The Green Knight is portrayed as both good and bad in this particular poem with some even believing he represents the Devil himself. Interestingly J.R.R Tolkien described him as, “the most difficult character to interpret”. The Green Man is a recurring theme in literature with some even associating Robin Hood and Peter Pan with the same folklore. In The Great Gatsby a green light represents Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future. He reaches out toward the green light in the darkness as a guiding light to lead him to his goal. In the movie of Stephen King's The Green Mile, the Green Mile itself is a metaphor for death, which to some also signifies new beginnings.

So why, if this colour is historically so important and intriguing to us, do we struggle to place it in our homes? Indoor plants are one thing and we seem to be divided between the love/hate camps on that subject - but furniture? Soft furnishings? Accessories? It seems to be considered risqué to use the colour that can be closely connected to the very beginning of time. Sure, it’s a statement, but will your neighbours really be gossiping if you choose to introduce it to your colour scheme?

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be buying an avocado sofa any time soon but it is still fascinating that the colour could be so taboo when inherently linked to our very existence. With any statement there are right ways to do it and wrong ways and, essentially, if you like the result who is to say which nail you hit on the head? If you’re looking to sell or rent your home it’s probably a risk worth avoiding if you are unsure, but if it’s a case of personal preference then who’s to say if it works or not - after all, creativity is subjective.

Here we have chosen some lovely items that give green a new lease of life and you should never be afraid to do what your instincts tell you. After all, won’t it be fun to give the neighbours something else to gossip about?

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