Friday, March 04, 2011

Rooms in Green

Do you know what a green room is?  No - it is not a room simply designed with green wallpaper or a green carpet, with a sofa in green and with green cushions. No - a green room has an entirely different meaning:

"In British English and American English show business lexicon, the green room is that space in a theatre, a studio, or a similar venue, which accommodates performers or speakers not yet required on stage. The green room functions as a waiting room, or as a touch-up lounge so that a performer need not return to wardrobe or to the dressing room, while remaining immediately available for a call to the stage. The origin of the term is often attributed to such an area historically being painted green, yet the modern "green room" is often not green at all.The specific origin of the term is lost to history, which has led to many imaginative theories and claims. One story is that London's Blackfriars Theatre (1599) included a room behind the scenes; this room happened to be painted green; here the actors waited to go on stage; and it was called "the green room." Some English theatres contained several green rooms, each ranked according to the status and the salary of the actor: one could be fined for using a green room above one's station

In addition to the preceding explanations, the term green room has also been attributed to numerous alternative folk etymologies, including the following" (I picked only a few which I found to be especially funny) (from Wikipedia):
  • Many actors experience nervous anxiety before a performance and one of the symptoms of nervousness is nausea. As a person who feels neauseous is often said to look "green", so the "Green Room" is the place where the nervous actors wait...
  • Some studies state that the green room was originally called the retaining room. The ensemble of a production would wait there for their appearance onstage, listening to the performance of the principal actors and critiquing their acting. When made aware of this practice, the leads began to call the retaining room the green room, mocking the (green) envy of these actors.
  • According to one theory, long before modern makeup was invented the actors had to apply makeup before a show and allow it to set up or cure before performing. Until the makeup was cured, it was green and people were advised to sit quietly in the green room until such time as the makeup was stable enough for performing. Uncured makeup is gone, but the green room lives on.
  • In Shakespearean theatre actors would prepare for their performances in a room filled with plants and shrubs. It was believed that the moisture in the topiary was beneficial to the actors' voices. Thus the green room may refer to the green plants in this stage preparation area.
  • In English theatres, a green floor-cloth was traditionally spread on the stage for tragedies. During the Restoration, when virtually all performances were comedies, the green floor-cloth for tragedies was stored in the actors' waiting room and used to deaden their footsteps so the sound of pacing actors would not disturb the performance. As tragedies were rarely performed, the green floor cloth became a routine fixture of the actors' lounge and the room became known as the green room.
  • In some theatre companies, the term green room also refers to the director's critique session held after a rehearsal or performance, since it is often held in the green room. This session is used for a pep talk, bonding among actors, and/or warmup exercises.
  • Green room is also a term for a room where plants are grown as the windows are made of glass, making it a perfect habitat for plants.
  • In the White House, the Green Room is one of three state parlors located on the state floor, it is traditionally decorated in green. (from Wikipedia)
But there are of course also green rooms which ARE designed in green shades and hues. Amazingly quite a lot of them although there hasn't been a single green hue nominated by Pantone since 2000 as colour of the year.

The choices from the fashion reports were different. There you could find a "vibrant green" and "kelp", the latter being rather a "khaki" green in the spring report of 2005. In the spring report of 2006 there was a "lily green" in their palette, in the fall report of 2007 appeared 2 green hues again: a "shale green" and a "green moss". In the spring report of 2008 appeared a "golden olive" and a "daiquiri green". In the fall report of 2008 Pantone said about "glady shade" that it delivererd a "natural elegance to the fall palette. Taking green in an interesting direction with its true green characteristics, this hue is a departure from greens of seasons past, which have had distinctively yellow undertones." In 2009 we suddenly had 3 green hues: "lucite green", "dark citron" and "vibrant green" again. This year's green hues are "peapod" for spring and "cedar" for fall.

So these are a lot of green hues for fashion. And there are a lot for room decorating which was really a surprise for me as I thought that green is not really a very common colour for interior design. But I was wrong.
The various examples of interior design with green are not meant completely serious - so please consider this collection with a little tongue-in-cheek...

(images are from:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


1 comment:

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