Building & Renovating

Design School: Green is In

Lend a refreshing look to your home by adding foliage or furniture


Play with patterns and experiment with furniture pieces to add life to your space.

Styling by Issa Villar. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions.

Read the original article ("Go Green") in the April 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Go green with furniture.

An accent piece is a great way to add just the right amount of color to a room. It can act as a base color, or it can complement existing furniture. 

Bonus Tip

Your desk or dining table will look great with this juicy lime green chair! 

Go green with consumables.

Who says you can only decorate with furniture? Items that tend to be consumed can also be used as décor. Stick to a single color, and place them where they will be noticed—these emerald green candles draw your attention to the beautiful beaded candlesticks.

Bonus Tip:

Unlike your conventional fruit bowl, a platter or bowl of green apples makes for an interesting display.  

Go green with accessories.

Not ready for anything permanently green? Start with something small. With accessories like throw pillows, you can add subtle pops of green throughout the house without having to commit to anything long-term. 

Bonus Tip:

Curtains are like wallpaper or paint—they add interest to a wall, but are easier to change.

Go green with patterns.

Don't forget to play with patterns—they add a whole new dimension to a space. Here, we layered a leafy-print placemat on top of a solid colored one to ground it. But you can also mix and match with other patterns as long as you keep within your color palette. 

Bonus Tip:

Instead of pattern in print, go for pattern in the design. 

Go green with recyclables.

It's easy to pick out green-colored items, but why not “go green," literally? Recycle empty wine bottles by using them as vases. Place these green bottles on top of console tables or side tables, and line them up for major impact. 

Bonus Tip:

No green vases? Then decorate with greenery. Go for succulents, or better yet, some fresh herbs! 

Go green with paint.

It's cool, relaxing, and easy on the eyes. With the right shade of green, you can instantly brighten up a dull room. Go bold and paint one or two walls (or all the cabinets, like in this celery green kitchen) and discover what a difference it makes! 

Bonus Tip:

Wallpaper can give you a variety of designs to choose from. Bring the outdoors in with this cheeky tropical leaf pattern.

For more instant makeovers and tips, click here.


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