Is it me, or is bottle green decor everywhere right now?
I've seen this color all over: lacquered on a coffee table sold by Instagram-famous vintage shop Home Union, painted on Cameron Diaz's kitchen cabinetry as designed by Kelly Wearstler, as a mainstay colorway by buzzy cookware brand Great Jones, in the rug and Bruno Rey chairs lining blogger-influencer-podcaster Kellie Brown's dining table (these same Rey chairs c. 1971 were name-checked by writer-editor Haley Nahman in her newsletter Maybe Baby — the interiors equivalent of thirsty on main). Even the hot coffee table book du jour, 'Out in the World with Gaetano Pesce,' a compendium of the radical Italian designer's most avant-garde works for sale at maybe every cult interiors retailer, delivers a secondary, decorative purpose with its bold, green hardcover.
To understand why this one shade of green has taken over our homes and our feeds, we only have to look at the pervasive resurgent nostalgia for the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Leading the charge of this color craze is some of the most sought-after Space Age furniture and decor — so much of it ABS plastic and Italian-made. This retro-futuristic style has reigned for some time, with its primary color palette and high-gloss material capturing our playful and transcendent fantasies. While 2020 saw the return of interiors (and fashion!) bathed in its royal blue, canary yellow, and fire engine red tones, the 2021 evolution of this bright, kindercore aesthetic prominently features secondary color bottle green.
Over the years, we have associated the color green with the environment, health, wealth, renewal, luck, and even aliens. The 60s-70s climate saw all of these associations in flux: A 1973 oil embargo straining the US economy and calling energy resources into question; Hippie culture and its natural lifestyle and community health values entered the mainstream in response to this instability, while others turned to space, looking for other planets for fear that this one would end. Today climate anxiety is at an all-time high and conversations of mental and physical health are evermore urgent in the wake of a global pandemic. Is it a stretch to think the return of this particular shade of green marks our need for bold, yet earthy color to meet the moment and calm the instability?
Keep scrolling for a quick study of Space Age designers and their highly coveted designs in bottle green to know. (Click the links to purchase!)
Joe Colombo was an Italian designer who specialized in eye-catching, industrial designs that combined the water of functionalism with the oil of a bold aesthetic. Colombo designed the Quattro wall lamp (1965) and the Universale chair (1967) for Kartell, the Boby trolley (1969) for Bieffeplast, Eclipse table lamp for Lightolier, and Luster Bell pendant for Stilnovo — all of which were manufactured in this dynamic green hue.
Vico Magistretti was an Italian architect and furniture designer whose oeuvre reflected his values of humanist experimentation and the strength of mass production. His big break came in the form of the Carimate chair he made for Cassina, a classically beautiful chair boasting a woven wicker seat and a colorful, lacquered frame (go on, guess what color). Though much has been written about Magistretti's collaborative working relationship with Cesare Cassina, his green streak continued in his designs for Artemide: Tessera table (1965), Selene chair (1969), Gaudi chair, and the Stadio table series (1970).
Anna Castelli Ferrieri was an Italian architect, designer, and protofeminist well-known for cofounding Kartell and for being one of the first women to graduate Milan Polytechnic Institute with a degree in architecture. Ferrieri's Componibili modular storage has dominated the apartments of influencers and vintage-enthusiasts for the past few years, though the most widely available units sold by Bi-Rite and Design Within Reach skew more muted and pastel in tone. For bottle green saturation, you'll need to find a true vintage piece. Also on our watch list? Ferrieri's 4870 stackable chair (1986) in, you guessed it, green.
Giancarlo Piretti is an Italian industrial and interior designer whose background in the fine arts no doubt shaped his iconic seating designs. While working as an interior designer for Anonima Castelli, Piretti conceived the Plia chair, Plona folding deck chair, and Platone folding desk table. Prietti's Alky chair for Artifort has been bought, sold, and recreated in the bouclé-mania that captured us all last year. You already know what feature all these models have in common: bottle green color.