Tips for decorating with earth tones

When you decorate with earth-tones, the result can’t help but tug at our memories of the outdoors. Soil, clay, trees, lakes, and the sky are all represented in this palette of mainly browns, tans, greens, blues, grays, off-whites, and certain rich reds.

Browns and other earth tones

Browns are the most stable- and secure-feeling of the earth tones. They call to mind, literally, the ground we stand on. They’ve also become associated with luxury items such as coffee, which has only boosted their popularity in home decor.

To Start Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth Untitled Fringe Benefit Male Nude on Rocky Outcrop  c.1900 Derec's Pear I On the Fields of Wisdom II

Earth-toned prints with nature subjects

Nature, the outdoors, and pastoral scenes are what might first come to mind when you think of earth tones. These prints

Zebras and Giraffes Cranes Over Moon Elephant Safari Full Moon Afternoon Light in Tuscany African Style Falcone Sunny Meadow in Arles  c.1890

Earth-toned prints with urban and active subjects

Here’s an interesting contrast. These prints are not quite earthy in subject matter, but they convey that appearance at first glance through their use of earth tones. So you get one impression, then another.

USS Macon  San Francisco  1933 Portofino Waterfront Los Angeles from Space - ├é┬ęSpaceshots Jazz du Jour The Dinner Party Lodge on Lake Como Gillette Stadium - Foxboro  Massachusetts Campionato Mondiale  Ciclo  1965

Prev: What is complementary color?

Next: Designing with bright, contrasting colors

Share this content