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The effect of green on the soul


In our busy, digital world, it’s no surprise that the need for an intimate zone in which we can take refuge is greater than ever. We can create just that refuge by introducing more soothing natural elements to the home, including wood, lush plants and earthy colours. Colour expert and trend spotter Hilde Francq explains why the colour green plays such an important role.

“There has been a discernible shift in interiors, which opens up a wealth of creative opportunities,” explains colour expert and trend spotter Hilde Francq. The colour green is ubiquitous today, in all of its shades. From mossy green to dark khaki, the choices are almost infinite, and green is the colour that allows us to distinguish the largest number of shades. Our homes are getting smaller and smaller and the world is becoming more urbanised, so how can we best bring the outdoors in?

The Budapest Cafe in Chengdu, China
The Budapest Cafe in Chengdu, China combines various shades of green to create a true “zen” environment. Source: www.hospitalitydesign.com

Green makes us calm

“Green is a colour that we are instinctively drawn to. It’s the way we are wired, our brain makes associations with colours,” explains the colour expert. “Green represents nature, which we associate with moments of calm and relaxation. Quite simply, green makes us calm. It makes us breathe more slowly, helping to reduce stress. This association is thousands of years old and dates back to the days when humans had to effectively search for food. Where humans found green, they typically found food and water as well.”

“Green is an important colour in hospitals as it helps foster a peaceful environment,” explains Hilde Francq. “In hotels, green helps create a feeling of being at home, but restaurants are the ones that get the most benefit from green as it helps to stimulate the appetite.”

Restaurants are the ones that get the most benefit from green as it helps to stimulate the appetite.

Bar Palmier - Antwerpen
Bar Palmier in Antwerp opted for a dark green setting with luscious flower prints dotted around to create a green oasis. Source: www.barpalmier.be

Sensory experience

“You can use green anywhere, but I’d focus on bedrooms, living rooms and working environments, particularly because it’s a colour that promotes calm and helps with focus.” “You can integrate green into your interior in a number of ways,” Francq continues. “Different shades of green for walls, ceilings and floors work well, and furniture, plants and other decorative elements can really bring the outdoors in. Outside, green is often found with the bright colours of flowers, and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same with your interior project.”

The Post hotel Ghent
1898 The Post in Ghent uses dark green to emphasise luxury. Source: www.zannierhotels.com

A lasting trend

“The outside in trend won’t die down any time soon,” explains Hilde Francq. “It’s a way of bringing balance to our busy lives. As a designer, you have a number of options available to you, including wood, vertical gardens, hanging plants and moss walls. You can create your own urban jungle.”

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