Great-Looking Green Rooms

The April issue of House Beautiful has landed, prompting me anxiously to complete the March issue which is all about green. Gosh it is hard to keep up, isn’t it? Anyway green is my favorite color without a doubt. The color of life and the color of harmony, as all greens go together. In the March issue is a wonderful feature on 10 green rooms that I especially liked for the designers’ comments on their respective designs and their very specific thinking behind them. I learned something (eg. “Green pigment was expensive in th 18th century, making it a status symbol…”) It’s a great little read.

The HB website also has a terrific assemblage of ”Gorgeous Green Rooms,” a few of which are highlighted here. They were even nice enough to include Bee Cottage, whose living room and garden room are green to the hilt.

Bee Cottage Garden Room
My own Bee Cottage garden room
Bee Cottage - Chaise in Garden Room
A chaise in Bee's garden room. Love the green on the closet doors.

By Miles Redd:

Lacquered green kitchen by Miles Redd
This lacquered green kitchen by Miles Redd is delicious.

By Michele Allman:

Texas kitchen by Michele Allman
J'adore this French-inspired Texas kitchen by Michelle Allman.

By Richard Norris and Mark Leslie:

Living Room by Richard Norris and Mark Leslie, in Alabama
This living room by Richard Norris and Mark Leslie in Alabama has lingered with me since it was published a couple of years ago--at least. Red with green is always effective, and another favorite of mine.

By Allison Paladino:

Palm Beach Living Room by Allison Paladino
This Palm Beach living room by Allison Paladino will look fresh and great 100 years from now, and that is saying something.

By Jean-Louis Deniot:

Bridgehampton bedroom by Jean Louis Deniot
Bridgehampton bedroom by Jean-Louis Deniot. I interviewed Jean-Louis for this story a few years ago and was crazy about him and his designing. He has that certain French quelque-chose you can't put your finger on but know it when you see it.

Years ago when I lived in Atlanta I had a house in Highlands, NC, not big as a minute. 3 rooms plus the kitchen, which was really part of the living room, and 2 bathrooms (thank goodness). Designer and friend John Oetgen and I did the whole living room in green toile, four different ones, plus a green and coral check. It was fab. That was a long time ago, and I’m sick I don’t have more and better photos. These look kinda pitiful next to the others, but I include them because there are some fun ideas here that might spark something for you. I named it Pavillon du Bois–pavillon in the woods–kind of as a joke. Double-wide in the woods was more like it.

Green toile chair at Pavillon du Bois in Highlands
3-green-toile chair at Pavillon du Bois in Highlands, North Carolina.
Living room at Pavillon du Bois in Highlands
The not-yet-finished-4-green-toile living room. Mose Tolliver painting in background. Walls are painted off-white with white plastic lattice affixed over them. Seriously, it looked great. The bookcases are supposed to be birdhouses. At the back-right is the door to the guest room, which I had guests sign instead of a guest book. It became rather racy as it progressed. My then-clipped and now-latef bearded collie, George, reposes on the sofa.
Bar at Pavillon du Bois
The most important part of the room.

P.S. Full disclosure, and just so you know, the following images are somewhat more representative of John Oetgen’s work:

John Oetgen Living Room in Atlanta
John Oetgen's and John Lineweaver's living room in Atlanta. What a fab room.

John Oetgen-designed living room.
Another beautiful Oetgen-designed living room, for a client.

Photos courtesy House Beautiful, Oetgen Design, and me (you can tell which ones).


  1. I LOVE this issue, Frances. Green is also one of my favorite colors…perhaps it is because I’m Irish (?). I’m dreaming about visiting Bee cottage one day. xx

  2. I love the chimney piece at the Highlands, NC, no matter what you say about the double-wide. And as for green being a great color, in Colonial times, it was used to reflect the light of the candles and the fireplace. I wish it were still mixed the exact same…

    1. Kathleen, thank you. And actually you are right about that chimneypiece. It was a work of art, with tree trunks on either side and the branches extending upward. Built by one Keith Ashe, from Cashiers, NC, and artist and a great guy.

  3. Hello Frances,

    On the hunt for a striking geometric green wallpaper to use in my garden dining room, I chanced upon your absolutely amazing garden room in Bee Cottage.

    I don’t suppose you could tell me the brand of wallpaper you used in your garden room? It’s exactly what I’m looking for – the geometric design will echo the lines of my vintage brass dining table and chairs perfectly!

    Thank you!
    Katie x

    1. Hello Katie, are you English? If so you may be happy to know the wallpaper is, too, by Carlton Varney. So sorry I am traveling and do not have the pattern name at my fingertips. Dedar has some nice geometrics, too, and that China Seas bamboo-lattice-y one is a great classic as well. Good luck, and now I’m going to see What Katie! Thanks for writing.

  4. Frances, I so enjoyed the Bee Cottage series in House Beautiful, what wonderful inspiration! What a surprise to see you on the Nate Berkus show last Monday-a true Southern Belle! ps-many thanks for the card and book plates!

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