How much green is too much green?
July 25, 2012 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Would it be weird if I painted three out of five upstairs rooms the same soft green color, if they were given different treatments?

The green in question is a light, soft green. The rooms and the treatments would be:

A kid's bedroom with green walls, and layers of orange and yellow and turquoise through bedding and furniture (it probably sounds horrible, but she's four, and I think we'd wind up with a fun court-jesterish look.)

A small bathroom with light green walls, dark brown shower curtain and towels, a few small plants with dark green leaves (like a few snake plants or something.)

A guest bedroom with light green walls with purple accents, like a quilt, curtains, whatever. Probably some white.

The other two rooms are going to be offices but don't have any decor or plan to them other than that.

This is just coincidence -- I'm actually not intentionally aiming to use gallons and gallons of this green, but it wouldn't be an inconvenient thing, either.

So would this look lazy? Weird? Or would it even be noticeable to anyone else? Am I over-thinking this or under-thinking it?
posted by A Terrible Llama to Home & Garden (31 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think it would look great.

Happy painting!
posted by commitment at 6:33 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think that anyone who thinks this is weird is spending way too much time with the interior decorating magazines. The idea that each room should be painted a separate and noticeable color is very, very recent - when I was growing up, it was typical to have almost all rooms be plain white or possibly a very faint pale color. (Or actually, I think Victorian middle class/UMC houses had different room treatments, and of course people who could afford it would decorate the public rooms....but the idea that each room should be elaborately, obviously different in color regardless of what it's used for - that's new, and I think it's an artifact of 90s/2000s design magazines.)
posted by Frowner at 6:36 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

I know someone who has almost their entire house the same light brown, and I am in the process of painting 3 room almost the same shade of green myself, so I say go for it

posted by TedW at 6:45 AM on July 25, 2012

Since when is it weird to paint a bunch of rooms the same color?
posted by valkyryn at 6:45 AM on July 25, 2012 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I think it's fine, though I should mention that interior designers often pooh-pooh green bathrooms because the reflected light can be very unflattering when you're looking in the mirror. Many of them recommend something warmer-toned. Anecdotally, my uncle has salmon-colored paint in his tiny bathroom (plus lights on dimmers!) and I look so good in that bathroom, I leave it in a better mood every single time. YMMV!
posted by argonauta at 6:48 AM on July 25, 2012 [16 favorites]

Overthinking. It'll be lovely.

(OK, I worried about it too, when I painted two adjoining rooms at the front of my house in very similar shades of green. It's been fine and no one has said otherwise.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:49 AM on July 25, 2012

If you're happy with the color, go for it, especially since you'll be doing different color schemes in each room.

However, on preview, argonauta has a good point. I have rose-colored wallpaper in my bathroom (not my doing) and I hated it until I wanted to take a self-portrait for my mom. Guess where I took it: the bathroom (best lighting AND reflected light).
posted by Currer Belfry at 6:51 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not at all weird. In fact five out of five would be fine IMO.
posted by Segundus at 6:51 AM on July 25, 2012

Response by poster: Since when is it weird to paint a bunch of rooms the same color?

More wondering about it because it's a non-neutral. If they were all white or eggshell or beige I wouldn't wonder about it, but as it's a color-color it feels like taking a stand on green or something.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:53 AM on July 25, 2012

I have no idea why this would be considered weird. The vast majority of houses I've been in have nearly all of the rooms the same color. They might paint a bathroom or the kids' bedrooms or something, but for the most part, whatever color their interior walls are, they all are.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:53 AM on July 25, 2012

The best thing about paint is that it's cheap and you can paint a reasonably sized room in a few hours. Go for it! If it doesn't look right, paint it another color.
posted by Flamingo at 6:54 AM on July 25, 2012

No, that sounds fine.

I'd worry more about things like the light in each room working for the color, making sure the shade of green you've chosen doesn't reflect a pallor onto everyone's skin, etc.

Green can be tricky.

My larger concern would be whether your plan for your daughter's room is going to be sustainable over the long haul, or whether you're going to find yourself redecorating it every couple years. Then again I've never understood the hyperspecific themed childhood bedrooms thing -- what happens next year when she's into horses or ninjas or something?
posted by Sara C. at 6:54 AM on July 25, 2012

Best answer: Keep in mind, too, that pale green will often "read" as a neutral, if it's treated that way. Unless we're talking about a saturated lime green sort of thing, in which case VETO.
posted by Sara C. at 6:55 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I feel like it's a little bit much - I'd say do the two bedrooms as you say but go with something different for the bathroom. You could keep the bathroom the same but use a creamy color?

Love the green/purple/white, by the way, and even the kid decor sounds fun!
posted by mrs. taters at 7:03 AM on July 25, 2012

Roll with it. The walls in my house are a very pale blue, to go with a blue and white cottage theme. We used a deeper color from the same color family for the bathroom and a hair deeper than that for the kitchen.

Buy that 5 gallon pail of paint with confidence!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:04 AM on July 25, 2012

I painted my bathroom a pale willowy, sagey green and painted it back to a warm off white a few years later. YMMV.
posted by kestrel251 at 7:13 AM on July 25, 2012

It's your house, and you need to be happy in it. If that means 3 rooms are green, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't go for it. When it comes time to sell the house, I would strongly consider painting at least 2 of the rooms a more neutral color.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:14 AM on July 25, 2012

Both my kitchen and living room are a light, warmish green - the difference is that I have them both decorated with different accents (similar to you). It kind of acts like a neutral and no one notices. If you're really worried, add crown molding or paint the window trims a different color.
posted by floweredfish at 7:16 AM on July 25, 2012

I wouldn't paint the bathroom green because the reflections would be unattractive (having lived through this), but I don't think you're odd for painting three rooms the same colour. Especially green, which is fairly neutral as non-neutrals go.
posted by jeather at 7:19 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This sounds fine, although like some previous posters have mentioned, a green bathroom can make for sallow-looking reflections. The greatest color you can paint a bathroom is pale pink -- it makes for super-flattering light.
posted by kate blank at 7:41 AM on July 25, 2012

If they were all white or eggshell or beige I wouldn't wonder about it, but as it's a color-color it feels like taking a stand on green or something.

Really depends on the green, I'd say. If it's a light-ish green, hey, go nuts. But if it's a really dark or bright green, it could just be a bit much. But that's less a question than whether you want to paint three rooms in that color as whether you want to paint any rooms in that color.
posted by valkyryn at 7:48 AM on July 25, 2012

It's your house, if the colour makes you happy paint away. I didn't know about the green tint in the bathroom thing so you might want to rethink that, or just do your make up in another room.
posted by wwax at 8:42 AM on July 25, 2012

I don't think this is weird per se, however I grew up with a green bathroom and I always thought it looked kind of off. I didn't think that about the beige or pink bathrooms. Of course, that may vary depending on what shade of green we're talking about here.
posted by Scientist at 10:52 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

If anyone is going to be applying makeup in the bathroom, painting it green is not a great idea. It will be hard for the makeup-applier to judge how it will look in a not-green room.

Other than that, I am on Team DoWhatchaLike.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:06 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Here's the best I can do in describing the green. It'll look a little different to everyone, but it's the general idea. It's the green on the bottom.

I'm actually a little concerned now about everyone looking terrible in that bathroom. It will be an underused bathroom, not for make-up putting on, but I know what Argonauta meant about the kind of room you leave feeling good, and I would like it to be one of those. Here is the problem. It is a crappy, ugly beige bathroom. Beige fixtures, tiles, walls, floor, so it's pretty demoralizing as it is. Pairing it with soft green and chocolate brown was all I had to make it suck less, and I can't think of any warm color to do it in. My next thought would be 'blue' but I doubt that's better.

With regard to changing the kids bedroom -- I probably will in a few years, but it's cosmetic elements that will make it lean 'four-year-old' and can be swapped out pretty easily for another look. Or, we'll just paint it again.

So this has been on one hand, really reassuring because most people think it's fine, with the asterisk that many people are convincing me a green bathroom = a depressing bathroom. Maybe good lighting or something. Or art. Or maybe the dark brown shower curtain will help.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:48 AM on July 25, 2012

Oh, it's a pastel somewhere in the sage/seafoam end of the spectrum? Yeah, by all means. This is an unobtrusive color often used as a neutral. And depending on the exact shade, it can look totally different in different contexts.

Frankly, for a kid's room I like the pink/yellow/green/white sort of ice cream color palette as opposed to saturated oranges and turquoises, but it's obviously your house.
posted by Sara C. at 12:25 PM on July 25, 2012

For your bathroom, I'd do a warm saturated coral. But I'm kind of obsessed with coral right now. It could look great with chocolate brown and also jibe nicely with the green in other rooms in that part of the house. But I'd want to see coral against the beige fixtures, I guess?
posted by Sara C. at 12:28 PM on July 25, 2012

Totally fine - I actually did an adjoining dining room (gets lots of light) and living room (much less light) in two adjoining greens from the same paint strip. The living room has the somewhat lighter shade, which in the evening balances out the two rooms a bit, if that makes sense.

I'd make the turquoise in the girl's room something super easy to switch out, and I'd do a bright shot of something yellow (art?) in the bathroom. I think your plans sound AWESOME.
posted by ersatzkat at 2:39 PM on July 25, 2012

Best answer: The green will be geat in those bedrooms. I did an entire preschool in soft green, purple and yellow. It looked great and was a more calming influence on the children. Everyone loved it.

For your dreary beige bathroom consider white walls and rich red accents. Throw in some companion shade of your green (a bit darker value of your soft green to work with the saturated red). You'll have, hopefully, enough red to warm/rosey it up.
posted by mightshould at 4:23 PM on July 25, 2012

I think this sounds great. However, please learn from my mistake and don't do the bathroom in the soft green. It looks pretty, but the reflections really are terrible.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 5:52 PM on July 25, 2012

Best answer: I don't think there's any problem with rooms being the same color. I'm also quite partial to pale green. However, even the same color rarely looks the same in different rooms. Always paint a big square of the color you think you want and look at it throughout the day. South facing rooms are often great with cool colors, but north facing rooms sometimes be really cold or antiseptic. Farrow and Ball have some good advice on their site, be sure to look on the left for hints about color. You may find that your bathroom actually looks lovely in green. (You can always paint the wall facing the mirror a different color.)
posted by oneirodynia at 7:55 PM on July 25, 2012

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