Olive Obsession (and a Bathroom Sneak Peek!)

Sometimes I get really excited about a color or a fabric or a style of furniture mostly because it feels really fresh, or at least not too played out. I’ve been really drawn to shades of olive lately because they look new again to me! And I’m especially loving olive paired with pale blues.  I have…

Sometimes I get really excited about a color or a fabric or a style of furniture mostly because it feels really fresh, or at least not too played out. I’ve been really drawn to shades of olive lately because they look new again to me! And I’m especially loving olive paired with pale blues. 
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I have a post coming up where I’ll share all the details on the millwork we added to the bathroom here, but I wanted to put up a few peeks now of the finished guest bathroom. I am SO happy with the room and the fresh color on the walls!
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I think it’s so important to find a good color temperature balance in a space. The light in this bathroom is very cool – approaching blue. The tile I chose for the floors was also pretty cool, so I knew we could go very warm on the walls and it wouldn’t feel off balance.
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The brass fixtures also help to add back some warmth in the sink and tub areas. Oh, you guys – the sink turned out so well! I can’t wait to share this with you soon! We are getting a new wide angle lens since the shot is almost impossible to get without one. Such a tight space!
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The wall color is Farrow & Ball’s Olive and the ceiling is Pale Powder, a barely there blue, and I love the combo together! The blue is so subtle, and the olive color has plenty of gray in it, so it’s not too Army green and not too dark, which I was a little worried about. I was able to round up some inspiration images beforehand that helped me feel better about just going for it. This one, from the (seriously great) book French Accents, really sealed the deal for me though. I love that all the moulding floor to ceiling is the same color! So striking!

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And remember this total classic from Domino? So good.

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And further proof that soft blue and olive are BFF:

And remember this amazing Harlem home? Gah! So, so pretty, warm and inviting!

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The great thing about paint is it’s a pretty inexpensive commitment. So if I tire of the olive at any time it would be easy to switch it out. But for now, I love it even more than I thought I would! :)
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43 thoughts on “Olive Obsession (and a Bathroom Sneak Peek!)

  1. Maybe you've already given this info in another post, but can you identify the artist of the painting in the first photo / where it is from? It is GORGEOUS!!

  2. Yay! I love olive! The stand that my living room TV is on is olive, although it's a darker olive. But I'm in love with any shade of it! Also, the little peeks of your bathroom look to die for. I can't wait to see the whole thing!

  3. This is one of my favorite combos! I have been using a darker version in my house and seriously have to stop myself from using it everywhere.

  4. You know why you are amazing? Because things, especially color combinations, come into your mind THAT NEVER, EVER, EVER ENTER MY MIND! That, and the fact that you can dream how to use materials that also NEVER EVER ENTER MY MIND makes you my design hero. Remember when you used those weird little wood pieces from Michael's to make those nightstand things for Heather's room in Brooklyn? I mean, that is 1 of like 20 million examples, the most recent being this sink and the onyx table brilliance.

  5. I was on a huge green kick a number of years ago but have been over it for awhile – retreating back to my favourite blue and white. However, a house a couple of blocks from me got painted in the most gorgeous, luminous olive colour and I am in love again! Now that I can see how lovely it looks with pale blue I am all over it. That bathroom looks stunning!

  6. This isn't a color I would be naturally drawn to but you make it look so beautiful. And the olive with that marble sink?! Shut the front door. Can't wait to see the wide shot!

  7. So gorgeous!! This really is one of my favorite color combos! I'm currently doing my office in olive, powder blue, plum & persimmon. I can't wait to finish it up. I just need to reupholster two more chairs, and give my gorgeous walnut Art Deco desk some love, and I'll be finished!! Thank you so much for the beautiful almost daily inspiration!

  8. I think you just sealed the deal for me as well! I bought I bought a vintage hutch this weekend and have been thinking to paint it olive but wasnt sure it would jiive with my china which is laced with blue. I'm boarding this train, olive + pale blue = perfection

  9. Jenny – You might have mentioned it – actually I'm pretty sure you did but now I can't remember where or when – but the photo shoot you were prepping for last month – what publication is it for and when will it be coming out? I'm excited to see everything as a whole!

  10. Gorgeous! Thank you for pointing out considering what color the light is from outside affecting the room thus the paint and accessories. Makes so much sense to me, such a great point. I will now consider in my own home decor. Luv!!!!

  11. So gorgeous! I can't wait for more. We painted our home office olive with a barely sky blue ceiling a few years ago and I still love it. I also love olive with periwinkle, so that painting really speaks to me. Who is the artist?

  12. Gorgeous!! I love the marble sink. And the ceiling fixture! Is it vintage? Please say it's new and available… Where?!
    Really amazing job on your bathroom.


  13. So nice! These are the colors I have in my living room – olive sofa, with soft blue and gold accents. You validate my choice as I respect and love your design style Jenny! That sink looks amazing by the way!

  14. Absolutely stunning ( per usual! ) but I have to ask…Weren't the gossip girl sconces over the fireplace? They look great here so what beauties have you found to replace them in the family room? And the sputnik looks like a million dollars. Fabulous before and after :)

  15. I can not wait to see the full reveal!!! I already know it's going to be incredible because you are a genius and I love love love everything you do! Keep up the inspiring work!

  16. okay, this is too funny … i wrote a book (for a crafts publisher) back in early '08, and the cover art was a piece i made in honor of my love for turquoise and olive. i'm feeling so very ahead of my time right now! also, we painted our kitchen island a soft olive three years ago … one of my favorite colors, for sure. love how your space is coming together!

  17. This looks SO beautiful! I love the architectural elements you added and the light fixture!!

    The olive/light blue or turquoise comb has been one of my favorites for several years. It's part of my business logo and I have a couple of versions of it in different places in my home. Can't wait to see the rest of your bathroom!

  18. I was kind of having this conversation with myself the other day. We just recently redid our couch in a silver sunbrella velvet and have teal velvet curtains up and I was looking at our mostly olive living room rug (which I thought I'd have to get rid of) and really liking the possibilities. I'm about to do a skirt for our tv console and keep getting drawn to pale blue fabrics and now I know why!

  19. Thank you for this post. My living room was painted olive just before we bought it and I've had trouble loving it. Your post has given me some great ideas and makes me appreciate it so much more.

  20. So I'm kind of blogstalking you (totally blogstalking) and have resorted to going back to your very first post to see how it all started – I love seeing your design journey! So inspiring! Anyway… I was reading this old post and noticed the Duralee fabric is totally pale blue and olive! I only noticed how pretty it was because of the current post!

    PS, can't wait to try a ton of your DIY's on our new house! Plywood wide-plank floors, here i come! Eeee!

  21. Do you have a recommendation of an olive paint color close to the one you used here? I tried to get the same color you used, but it said they discontinued it. I have a Benjamin Moore shop close by, but they have so many versions of olive!

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