Chartreuse Is Back and Bolder Than Ever

We love a color with history, but it's time to give it a refresh for 2023.

Today's interiors aren’t shy. Our spaces are going bold with daring pinks, maximalist furnishings, and not a space left untouched at that. And now there’s another impactful trend hitting the home scene with panache. Enter, chartreuse. 

“Chartreuse is just the sophisticated and optimistic color we need right now,” says Anna Brockway, cofounder and president of Chairish. “It’s long been one of my favorites, and I’m thrilled to see it having a moment, especially since it plays surprisingly well with others.”

Its chameleon-like quality is due to the blending of both warm and cool tones, explains Lance Thomas, principal designer with Thomas Guy Interiors. The result is one vibrant shade with a versatile skill set. 

Although it might prove to be easier to work with than other more saturated shades, there are still plenty of tricks and tips for getting it right in your space. Here design pros share the rules for decorating with chartreuse—from choosing your hue to pairing particulars. 

Interior of sitting room with houseplant by furniture and framed buffalo artwork
Kim Cornelison

Pick a Timeless Shade of Chartreuse

You might have settled on chartreuse, but you’ve still got your work cut out for you when it comes to narrowing down exactly where on the shade spectrum you plan to jump in. Thomas suggests opting for a lighter hue, which can be easier to blend into your space—particularly when it comes to existing decor. “Bolder hues can make the space feel trendy in the moment, but over time it will make your decor feel dated,” he warns. 

chartreuse entryway cottage country style

Rikki Snyder

Use It as a Backdrop

When it comes to how you’ll use chartreuse, the sky’s the limit. One of the boldest options is to take it to the walls. “Channel the legendary '80s designer Mario Buatta and gloss up all your walls in it,” Brockway suggests. “If you see his work, chartreuse acts as a sunny backdrop to traditional pieces to keep the space bright, witty, and on point.”

Prints (particularly animal prints, distressed florals, and ikats) and sophisticated art can instantly feel fresh and contemporary when paired with vibrant chartreuse walls, says Brockway.

modern kitchen marble island green chartreuse door
James R. Salomon

Let It Wow

At its core, chartreuse demands attention—so embrace it. “It is a statement-making color that has long historical precedent,” says Brockway. It shined in the 1920s, as it did in the work of Buatta in the 1980s and, now, in the work of prodigy designer Emily Eerdmans.

That said, it’s not a hue for the faint of heart. To truly embrace chartreuse in all its glory, Thomas suggests going big. “If you want to go for something truly bold in your space, pair chartreuse with a darker color,” he says. “It will make an interesting contrast.”

Chartreuse living room

Kim Cornelison

Think of the Details 

If your walls are already covered and a new chartreuse sofa just isn’t in the cards, you don’t need to let this style moment pass. Look to the details for just as much pizzazz and perhaps even more opportunity for making it your own. “It doesn't have to be a large investment—even a couple of coffee table books with chartreuse covers can do the trick without spending a lot of money,” says Lindley Arthur, principal at Lindley Arthur Interiors.

She also suggests considering lampshades, a small stool, or a leather-topped coffee table for getting the look. “We recently purchased a pretty pair of chartreuse glass hurricanes for a client's living room,” says Arthur. “It's a little punch of color but instantly changed the space.” 

chartreuse table in entryway with purple walls

Kritsada Panichgul

Pay Attention to Color Pairings

Depending on which shade of chartreuse you’re working with, there are still worlds of possibility for shade and pattern pairings—and none of them require a neutral path. 

“Chartreuse looks snappy paired with shades of blues, chocolate, animal prints, dusty roses, and old florals and ikats,” says Brockway. Arthur agrees and even lists plums and other shades of green as complementary colors. No matter how you play it up, the potential is unlimited. “It’s a little unexpected, so it’s the perfect way to energize a space,” says Arthur. 

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