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For the Love of Color: Seafoam Green

What? Seafoam green? Seriously??


Yah, seriously.

This 1950s color is making a comeback! It made it onto Pantone’s Spring Forecast in the form of the color “Hemlock” and it’s showing up in fabric lines that are already starting to come out. For instance:

Anna Maria Horner’s Dowry:


Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics:


Denyse Schmidt’s Florence:


Heather Bailey’s True Colors:


To name just a few.

I expect it will be popping up quite a bit next year as well. For this post I went and grabbed all the seafoam green I have in my stash. Here is the grand tour.


And in all honesty, two of these prints I bought yesterday so I’d have something to photograph! Fortunately, it looks like I’ll have plenty of opportunities to add this color to my stash over the coming year.

But what do you do with it? It’s close to aqua on the color wheel but it has a very different feel to it. Seafoam is a light blue-green with a bit of grey mixed in. The green makes it an earthy, fresh color, while the blue adds a restful quality.


When figuring out color pairs, I like to start with the analogous and complementary color schemes. If we look at the color wheel, we see that red-orange is seafoam green’s complementary color, or the color directly across from it on the color wheel.


For analogous colors, we look at the colors next to it on the color wheel. They don’t have to be the same distance apart, as you can see in this pairing of aqua, seafoam green and chartreuse. These aren’t the only colors that will work well with seafoam green, but it gives you a good starting point.


Here’s the complementary color scheme in action. Peach is the light version of red-orange, and plays really well with seafoam as it is also a lighter color. Because the colors are complementary, this color scheme is very dynamic.


Using analogous colors on the other hand makes a more subdued color scheme, but it has enough variation to keep it from getting boring.


As for neutrals, because of the earthy feel to seafoam green, it plays quite well with brown. Browns have a strong orange component, which is close to seafoam green’s complement.


However, if you want something lighter, greys also work. A cool grey will give a more monochromatic feel to the color scheme. This is because seafoam is low saturation which brings it close to grey, and cool greys have blue or green in them.


A warm grey on the other hand has more contrast. This is because warm greys have yellow, orange, or red in them, which is closer to the complementary color scheme.


However, my favorite (always) is the low volumes. Given how well seafoam green pairs with browns, I went for the cream (which is a light brown) end of the low volume stack.


You can really branch out from there! I posted this palette earlier that was made using Palette Builder. The gorgeous photo is by Adrianne @ Little Bluebell. You can see the peach, brown, and cream (complements), as well as fuchsia for an extra pop of color.

What do you think of seafoam green? Are you looking forward to seeing more of it next year, or are you hoping it will be a passing fad?


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