Chartreuse: The Unlikely King of Pop

Growing up, I lived just two houses away from one of my best friends, which means we spent many hours running back and forth between our homes. Her house had shaggy yellow-green carpet in the family room. Perhaps because this color lives in the periphery of many happy memories (like watching and, where possible, imitating the Olympic athletes, munching otter pops by the boxful, dressing up in oversized feather-encrusted ladies’ hats…ahh to be young again), or perhaps because because it’s such a mystery – is it green? is it yellow? – but either way, I have loved chartreuse for decades. It adds just the perfect pop to nearly any color scheme.

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Combining two intense colors (in this case, turquoise and chartreuse) can be risky in making a space seem juvenile or visually overwhelming. However, this room utilizes muted and even antiquated tones of the colors, which brings out the best of both worlds – rich and deep while staying fresh and unexpected. The tufted chartreuse settee steals the show, bold vertical stripes add lighthearted elegance (if there is such a thing!), and the rest of the room becomes cheerful accessories.

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Chartreuse makes an instant statement as a wall color. Serving as the backdrop to a neutral or monochromatic vignette, the color immediately adds sophistication and style. The classic black-and-white color scheme shown here in clean external lines and movement-rich graphics becomes contemporary when framed by the rich wall color. And a chartreuse and papaya color combo? Fabulous. Anytime, anywhere.

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Paired with all light neutrals, chartreuse in this bedroom is fresh and serene and inviting. The color makes its way into each level of the room, from the floor up to the ceiling. But by varying the tints throughout (some darker, some lighter, some more yellow), the effect is simultaneously calming and interesting. Chartreuse becomes a beautiful earthy background to the oversized nature-centered wall art focal point.

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When combined with dark colors like black and browns and in rich textures, chartreuse adds a warm, luxurious, and almost sensuous feel to a room. A painted chartreuse ceiling emphasizes the color scheme and brings the whole room inward to a cozy, almost cocoon-like, space.

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White kitchen cabinetry is popular for its fresh, airy appeal, but these lower chartreuse cabinets take visual freshness to an entirely different level. The color is a delightful mediator between the warm wood floor and the contemporary countertops and tile backsplash – the chartreuse cabinets bring it all together into coherency. The color is subtly repeated in the inner upper cabinets as well, adding a fresh citrine twist to the classic white.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.