Every Spring, I drive my kids nuts as I comment on the fresh greenery that emerges almost overnight. The foliage bursts with such vibrancy that I can’t help but point it out in wonderment. There is something very exciting about seeing nature coming back to life and breathing again. Pantone made this ‘Greenery’ their Colour of the Year 2017 describing the colour as ‘A refreshing and revitalizing shade, symbolic of new beginnings’. I find it fascinating that this is a trend we can always rely on when we need it most.

In times of uncertainty we turn to nature for support and reassurance. Over the last 27 years in business I’ve seen it happen multiple times - during the recession in the 90’s, the beginning of the Iraq war and the Great Recession. In 2016, we had the double whammy of Brexit and the US election. When tired, polarized and overwhelmed, green symbolizes hope, rebirth and health. Nature is the one thing that unites us all, it is constant, truthful and strong. It persists.

The importance of green, especially in 2017, also feels like a backlash to technology and the media. People want to connect in a real way, with each other and with their surroundings. There’s a desire to go back to basics. To what is simple and honest.

This ‘Greenery’ trend applies not only to the colour schemes of 2017 but also to design practice and materials. For the last decade there has been a strong drive towards sustainable design solutions. However, with efforts to prevent climate change coming under threat, eco-friendly design appears to be an urgent priority this year. Consumers are becoming more aware and sustainable design is becoming more sophisticated. Projects of every scale can now balance aesthetic and the environment. 

Scandinavian and Japanese interiors are currently very on-trend. They both look to nature for their inspiration and have long been associated with relaxation and serenity. Our homes are our safe places, where we can retreat from the outside world. It is becoming more and more important for these spaces to contribute to our well-being and the use of natural, renewable materials benefits us both mentally and economically. Studies have shown that the use of exposed wood in design schemes can help relieve stress and reduce fatigue. In Scandinavian design it is used to add warmth, both in appearance and as an insulator, to beat the winter blues. There has also been research connecting the durable and timeless qualities of these materials to people's levels of comfort. Our day to day lives are so far from our natural environment that the use of real stone worktops and real wood floors reconnects and grounds us.

Earthy greens and browns contrasted with fresh whites and paired with natural woods help the mind relax and work very well for spaces like home offices and bathrooms. All paint colours in the imagery of this blog post are available at Saal Design.


Plants at home improve air quality and are very beneficial. They will also add that fresh ‘Greenery’ zing to your room! Bamboo Palm, Spider Plants and Boston Fern’s are great purifiers and humidify the air, while Peace Lilies are great for removing mold from spaces like bathrooms and other damp areas. Air plants are my current fascination. Aesthetically, they are beautiful and are extremely easy to incorporate into any scheme or space. Plus, they don’t require soil and don’t don’t attract any bugs!

LED lighting has advanced hugely over the last few years and is now an extremely efficient and economical design solution. They use up to 90% less energy than an incandescent or halogen bulbs of equivalent brightness. Lighting is available in a whole range of colour temperatures and can be dimmed to create the perfect atmosphere. Candles, after daylight, are the most natural sources of light. They are a very simple and effective way of bringing nature and warmth into your home. 

Avoid volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are health hazards. These can be found in various paints, household products, furniture, carpets etc. Luckily, all our paint suppliers at Saal Design only offer low VOC content products.

Choose real and sustainable materials. When choosing new furniture or when redesigning opt for the real or sustainable material over the synthetic. Although they may be more expensive at the time of purchase, they will be more durable and offer you and your home far more in the long run.

For any questions or enquiries regarding the paint products featured in the imagery of this post please don't hesitate to contact us: info@saaldesign.co.uk or 01926 334 556.

Images supplied by Little Greene