Chartreuse is that vibrant, hard to describe color that is a cross somewhere between yellow and green. While no stranger to the decorating world, recently I have been noticing more chartreuse showing up in all types of interiors from modern to classic.
Usually one to shy away from intense colors, there is something about the vivid hue that is very appealing. It is surprisingly versatile given its two versions: chartreuse yellow (think soft citron) which is more traditional and chartreuse green (think bright crisp green apple); the contemporary cousin.
It feels like the perfect Spring color pick as it combines the energy of yellow and the vitality of green- a great way to approach the season of new beginnings.
Chartreuse was named after the bright herbal French liqueur introduced in the mid-1700s. In 1884, it became an official color name upon a feature in a British fashion newspaper describing a garment hue.
The color chartreuse rose to popularity in the late 1800’s where it was used in silk and velvet production to make stylish gowns, hats, fans and accessories. However it wasn’t until the roaring 20’s that it reached peak popularity as the color of choice in women’s fashion given its “bold and rebellious” nature.
The 1950’s brought about a resurgence- but this time specifically in furniture, upholstery, and home décor. Later in the 60’s it was revered in psychedelic color schemes and started showing up in fashion once again. Fast forward to 2010, and this time the shade was wildly popular in the tech sector and used to symbolize avant-garde creativity.
In color psychology, chartreuse takes on the characteristics of both traditional yellows and greens. It represents enthusiasm, growth and happiness.
Like green, it is associated with nature and liveliness. Similar to yellow, it is highly energetic sparking creativity and positivity.
It is said that lovers of chartreuse are naturally positive, make friends easily, and seek adventure. Yet on the flip-side, the color often indicates a balance struggle. Caught between green and yellow- it can induce simultaneous feelings of centered calmness and excitable anxiety.
One of the reasons chartreuse has always been an inspired choice for designers is because it really is a color chameleon, adjusting to light and its surroundings making it the perfect accent color because of its ability to complement and highlight all of the other colors in a room.
I especially love chartreuse paired with dark tones like deep charcoal or black. The incredible contrast brings such a dynamic visual effect to a space.
On the contrary, chartreuse makes an equally stark contrast when paired with white. To me, the ultimate combination plays on both ends of the spectrum: black, white & chartreuse. For more inspiration, take a look at Spring's mood board.
Regardless of the pairing, the color certainly packs a punch. It has such a distinctive energy that instantly uplifts the atmosphere of a room while maintaining a sense of elegance.
Chartreuse is such fun shade to use and there really are so many ways to incorporate it. A trend I have been seeing a lot lately are rich statement-making chartreuse accents like silk curtain panels, velvet dining chairs, and lacquered front doors.
A less impactful option is through artwork; especially pieces like modern canvas works featuring chartreuse can make a big impact on a neutral wall.
On a very basic level, I often like to bring in the color through fresh flowers. Vivid chartreuse blooms like Green Viburnum instantly add in a burst of color and Spring-like energy.
There is no doubt this energetic color is meant to brighten. Whether a room, an outfit, or even just our spirits, I really find myself reaching for it this Spring.
From the chicest pair of silk pants currently on my shopping list, to the cutest petite table lamp and the prettiest plush velvet pillows, here are my favorite Chartreuse finds to get the look:
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Oversized retro-inspired sunglasses for sunny Spring days
Italian velvet throw pillows add a poppy punch to neutral rooms
This satin long sleeve top is a great transition blouse
The perfect way to add a pop to upholstered pieces
This fun fabric has a vintage feel but also looks modern and fresh
A pretty wallpaper to add in just a touch of chartreuse
Truly the chicest pair of pants
A statement making sectional
A pretty addition to the bar cart
The perfect sized purse to brighten up an outfit
A petite table lamp for an easy decor update
A hand-made Indian coverlet for a bed or chair accent
A performance area rug perfect for high-traffic spaces