When Good Things happen to “BAD” Colors

Colors are a lot like people. They all have their own unique personality with varying degrees of popularity. Did you know that the color Blue is preferred by more people on the planet than any other color?  Blue is like the Rock Star of the color world.

The greens, red, yellows, oranges, and purples, all have varying amounts of  lovers and friends and then there are those colors that seem to get no respect. These colors are thought of by some as “bad” colors. Think mauve, burgundy, or pinky beige (pink slime anyone?). Well every now and then something good happens to turn what is perceived as a “bad” color into super star.

Take the color Brown. About 20 years ago brown was one of those “get no respect” colors. It was perceived as dull, utilitarian, and boring; certainly not a color we welcomed into our home or painted on our walls. Well along came a little company called Starbucks and a really good thing happened to the color Brown. Starbucks gave the color brown a complete makeover; brown became sexy, rich, and exotic. Brown even changed it’s name to Chocolate, Espresso, and Coffee.  Brown went from one of those “bad” colors  to everyone’s darling all because of the power of Starbucks.

starbucks_bold_coffee_photo with bedroom

Starbucks brown

Well hang on to your hats because there is another color that is undergoing a big reputation make over. It’s  a color that many people will tell you they don’t like;  a color with a “bad” reputation. This time it wasn’t a corporation that changed a color’s reputation but a lovable little guy from a movie that has been a good thing for this “bad” color.


Image of Shrek

Yes, we can thank the cultural icon known as  Shrek for being the good thing that happened to Chartreuse green. This half yellow half green color has become one of the hottest colors of 2012 in home, fashion and product.

2012 Chartreuse green

2012 Chartreuse green

Designers  Christian Siriano and Oscar De La Renta chose chartreuse green for their Spring 2012 collection, and who ever thought a chartreuse green file cabinet, shoes or phone would be considered “hot”.

Here are a few interiors that have embraced this hot new color.






Chartreuse may still be popular for a while longer because one more good thing is going to happen to Chartreuse. ..Hint: “it ain’t easy being green.


So how about you?  What do you think of Chartreuse green?  Would you use it in your home?

If you would like help choosing color or decorating your home give me a call at 617-965-3342.

11 Responses to When Good Things happen to “BAD” Colors
  1. Carol Standil Reply

    Great post, Linda! I have always loved this underdog shade of green, so while part of me is thrilled to see more of it, part would also like to keep it as my special secret! No more, I guess…

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I must admit Carol I was never a huge fan of this color when younger but as my eye became more trained in color I now adore it.

  2. Sheila Zeller Reply

    You know what, I actually like chartreuse green. I just think it has to be used strategically, and yes, I would use it in my home – not on a sofa or anything investment big like that, but definitely in accents and flourishes. I think it can totally set a room off if done right. Great post!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Sheila, I have Chartreuse in my art work and now in throw pillows on the sofa. Don’t think I would be brave enough to do it as a sofa or paint my kitchen cabinets either.

  3. kristie@thedecorologist Reply

    Love this post, Linda! And I’m seriously loving that green wallpaper!! Seems like I’m spec’ing lots of greens lately, especially yellow-greens.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Kristie, I’m spec’ing a lot of greens too but no one has gone for chartreuse yet.

  4. Barbara @ DIY Home Staging Tips Reply

    I have always adored chartreuse, and when I was very young I decided I would have a room in my house decorated around a chartreuse, purple and white color scheme. I was VERY young, so young that I also planned to change my clothing to match whatever room in my house I was in!

    Fast forward to “just” twenty years ago. Finally…my first home. I immediately painted the kitchen cabinets chartreuse. But when people came to visit, I usually heard a comment like, “Oh, you haven’t painted your cabinets yet?” Apparently no one could believe that was actually my preference. So, I chickened out, and went the white route.

    Who knew I would have been cutting edge if I hung in a little longer?

    Thanks for a fascinating post.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks for reading and commenting Barbara…wow if you had only hung in there you would have the “hottest” kitchen in town!!!!

  5. beth Reply

    I painted the walls in my kitchen chartreuse two years ago and still love it. I have white painted maple cabinets and soapstone countertops. The dark grey really grounds all the white. I love it. But, I’ve always loved chartreuse and lime green. Hot pink and turquoise also look great with chartreuse.

  6. Trish Martin Reply

    I never gave this colour a thought except it reminded me of my dad’s WW2 clothes, canteen, etc. Then in 2009 my daughter chose Granny Smith apples and iris for the centerpieces on her wedding tables and I fell in love with the colour!

  7. Kelly Reply

    This is the best color to update a space in a flash! Love it! I really like that hallway picture with the apple green floor. Very cool!

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