Sage Advice

Back in, like, 2000 I’m pretty sure everything and their mother had something Restoration Hardware “Silver Sage” in their house. The paint (guilty), the bedding (guilty) and just about anything else they made came in this “it” color.  And then there was the “silver sage backlash” and I for one, rarely used this color for about a decade.  It was so over-saturated in decor that it turned me off.

And guess what, now I love it again! Proof that just about every trend will see a resurgence at some point (except, hopefully, lace curtains and doileys).

My favorite tone of sage is one that is based in grey, but adds interest with a cast of green.  Take a peek at these inspirational spaces and tell me you’re not a little tempted :)
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Natural inspiration.

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This shade looks slightly more gray, but with a hint of sage, which is great for someone not quite sure if this color is right for them.  Also, as you’ll learn if you’ve ever tested gray paint- MANY grays go green in certain light- so while the chip at the store may not look green, it could be a green-tinted gray in your home.

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A bedroom that reinforces that sage looks amazing with off white and black.

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Sarah Sherman Samuel used Farrow & Ball Pigeon on her lower cabinets, which is a color we used on some built ins and woodwork in a Beacon Hill kitchen too.  I LOVE this color- and look how gorgeous it looks paired with grey and white marble and brass.

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The built ins we painted Pigeon:

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Details in this calming shade.

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A bathroom using this color looks fresh and simple but anything but boring.

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Light wood, graphic details and ornate white molding all play nicely with a sage wall.

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This is a slightly more yellow tinged version, but I LOVE how it looks with all that reclaimed, raw wood!

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It also looks amazing with GOLD. Lots and lots of GOLD. :)

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Some shades to try out in your home:

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And just because I love this image from Style Me Pretty, I still love this color for weddings too! :)

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31 comments

  1. i also love and seem to use it somewhere if i am re-painting. i had in our bedroom and mixed at 50% – it was the perfect light-wispery shade.

  2. In the early 2000s I painted my small pantry/ laundry room R.H.’s silver sage. I have clear glass cabinets trimmed in white, and I find the combination to be fresh and perfect . I agree the color became redundant in decorating, but I have never tired of it in that room. In fact, even if I move, that might be my “forever” laundry room color.

  3. I totally had silver sage bedroom walls, complete with a RH bedspread. My mom and aunt still talk about that room! And the duvet resurfaced from my mom’s house recently; I’m thinking of using it in my basement guest room. The version I remember (and still have in a duvet) is a bluer green though. It really is a pretty traditional color. Remember when RH wasn’t all belgian linen and gray?

  4. We recently painted our LR & DR “November Rain” by BM. My husband commented that it reminded him of Silver Sage from RH. Based on the east facing light we get in those rooms, it definitely pulls more of the green out of that color -just less saturated than Silver Sage.

  5. My kitchen has been painted RH Silver Sage since 2000 and I love it still. Have moved three times in those years, but each time I repaint the kitchen the same shade. Paired with reclaimed wood farm table, brass hardware and white cabinets it keeps me smiling as I cook. What I like best is that it can as easily be a backdrop for spring and summer pastel and bright pink tablescapes as it can for deep red and black during the winter holidays. The best. (and I’m so thankful that I now – kind of – have your blessing to keep it!)

  6. My gray paradigm shift occurred when I saw Furlow Gatewood’s home with off white walls and gray trim. I painted my dining room walls White Dove and trim and doors SEA HAZE by BM. My husband loved it so much he insisted on using it in his office renovation. Paired with vintage pine or limed oak flooring it is stunning.

    1. Well well we just finally painted over our sage bedroom in brownstone renovated in the early 2000s! Did we make a mistake? Especially love the brass, grey, and green kitchen. Erin, can I trouble you for the name of the tweed fabric in the cozy Beacon Hill banquette? Like you don’t have anything on your mind???

  7. I love that color. Funny, I never thought of it as sage. Here in Greece, it’s more like 50 shades of olive. ;-)

  8. Our entry, livingroom and dining room are painted BM “Cape Cod Gray”, which is a sage green gray. I have been contemplating painting the room Swiss Coffee until this post. I have pinned some images to lead me back.
    Thank you for saving me hours of work!
    ~Lynne
    w/L

  9. Interesting how much the colors changed from photo to photo. To me, some of the photos looked completely gray and others, not so much. I do like the idea of colors with a little (or a lot) of gray tones because they can read so differently and have a lot more depth.

  10. While I was thrilled that funkiness and color were becoming the norm in decorating ala Domino roughly a decade ago I now see it as disconnected, try hard and overly youthful. I’m glad to see its being toned down and there is more diversity in tastes again.

  11. While most of my midcentury modern bungalow is painted white, I have found that the subtle Benjamin Moore November Rain is perfect for a master bedroom (or anywhere for that matter!)It can change from gray to green depending on the light. Another go to gray/green is Benjamin Moore Hollingsworth Green which I have in our guest room. Such a soothing pretty color that works with everything!

  12. I’ve always loved this color. I just painted my fireplace mantel and built ins BM Coastal Fog this weekend. It’s sort of sage with some gray and love it.

      1. you seem to make everything look pretty erin..but i think sage is kind of a sad color (all but that amazing shot of the grassy field). PB never got the memo that it was over, and hey, now it’s back! shows you that every doggy color has it’s day!

  13. Like some other readers I never quite got over sage either…. however I think the issue with the Resto version was that it was always paired with that chocolate brown! Would you believe my husband has that RH sage+chocolate duvet from college that he REFUSES to get rid of because of how much he paid for it? I have relegated it to the back of that closet because I don’t want that combo to ruin green for me forever. But sage combo’d with gold is just heavenly! And I think that sage bathroom took my breath away…

    -Stefanie
    http://www.thestylesafari.com

  14. love this colour, i just painted my bathroom in a similar tone! I would love to hear about what your plans are for maternity leave- are you taking any? can you even take any? what is your plan for the blog? I think it would be so interesting for other mothers, especially entrepreneurs!

  15. Erin,

    I so, so agree! I absolutely loved the Sage from RH and of course, the “Martha” green from Martha Stewart. The funny part is, I just re-did my Master in sage-y greens and for the life of me, it was SO hard to find any bedding or fabrics anywhere that were green! It was truly amazing. Literally every source, catalog, etc is either navy/white (very big!) or “Spa blue” which as you know, is most definitely not green! I ended up having to get older bedding from RH on Ebay! My new dilemma is I’m about to re-do my red accented family room with blue accents and now I’m having second thoughts because blue is now the Silver Sage of yesterday! It is SO in that I’m afraid it will soon be out, and out in a big way. I was actually just thinking maybe I should do soft greens because they are less trendy! Decisions, decisions…..

    Thanks for the post! I love that you did one on greens!

    Sheila Irwin
    http://www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

  16. My living room has been silver sage in 3 out of 3 of my homes over the past 10 years… Guilty guilty guilty. But its just so soothing and fresh… Looks great with black, cream, and beige! With pops of color as the seasons change!

  17. Another great sage is Sherwin Williams Techno Gray (terrible name for a beautiful color)! I painted my dining room this color a few years ago and it transforms all day the the changing light – from a warm gray to a sage green to a silvery-blue at night. If you are looking for a sage it is definitely one to consider!

  18. I painted my kitchen cabinets rh silver sage about 10 years ago in my old house and loved it at the time. My husband still loves the color and he never jumped on the grey or even griege bandwagon. I think I need some more time before I can embrace it again.

  19. Ha! I just painted my new bathroom silver sage. I hated myself for it but I just couldn’t fight that it was perfect with my faux slate porcelain floor tile and aqua/grey/white mixed wall tile. It looks exactly like I wanted it too.

    Your post made me feel less ashamed about it. Now if I could just stop loving provence prints…

  20. Our front entry and upstairs hall is November Rain. Those spaces don’t get a ton of light and it definitely reads more grey to me than green but I really like it! Probably the only color that our builder chose that I didn’t change!

  21. It’s so funny…I think that my bedroom in high school was decorated a slightly more pastel version of silver sage (okay, maybe it was just a light sage?). Anyway, I loved it and it was always super calming. And it looks so chic in all of these rooms — I especially love that kitchen with reclaimed wood, and I always swoon over Sarah Sherman Samuel’s entire freakin’ home! Thanks for sharing, Erin :)

    Luscious + Intuitive Eating | http://www.katieseaver.com/

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