How to Decorate Beautifully with Earth Tones

April 20, 2022 3 min read

decorating with earth tone colors living room dining room

Earthy, natural hues have been dominating recent decor trends, perhaps because home-dwellers have leaned on calm, restful interior decor while staying at home. Earth tones are indeed an undemanding choice for your interior color palette. But to keep your space from being boring or unappealing, try these tips on decorating with earthy colors.


What are Earth Tone Colors?

Simply put, earth tones are colors we find in nature. These are predominantly natural browns and organic neutrals, but also include forest greens, rich reds, and even some water-inspired blues. Here's a quick rundown of earth tones:

Browns and neutrals:

  • Rich wood
  • Chocolate brown
  • Tan
  • Taupe
  • Mustard
  • Light gray
  • Charcoal

Earth greens:

  • Sage
  • Moss green
  • Olive

Reddish hues:

  • Terracotta
  • Burnt orange
  • Sienna
  • Rust
  • Dusty rose

Earthy blues:

  • Blue-gray
  • Powder blue.


Earth Tone Decorating Tips

How do you decorate with earth tones without making it look boring? Try these decorating techniques!


Layer two or three shades.

Earthy colors are best when they're layered, so add one or two accent shades to your predominant room color. Just make sure they all complement each other! One of our favorite color palettes is a base of taupe or sandy hues, topped with rich brown wood and terra cotta colors. Add a lush green indoor plant, and you're set!


Create a nice contrast.

If you want more impact with your natural colors, juxtapose them against a solid contrasting hue. It can be something as simple as white baseboards and trim, or something bolder like navy blue furniture. Or do it the other way around: use a bold predominant color for your walls, then pick accents in soft earth colors (see example above).

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Our Love Story" Premium Canvas


Fill it with vintage heirloom.

The rustic coziness of earthy colors make them a perfect backdrop for your own vintage items. Display your hand-me-down furniture, antique vases, old photos, and vintage lamps in the room to add dimension to your soft color palette. The best part is, vintage pieces make for interesting conversation with guests.

We love the dining room example above, filled with thrift-store finds and DIYs by decorator Shannon of Home Made Lovely.


Add just a hint of pastels.

If you're finding your earthy color palette a bit too brown or a bit too neutral, try adding a pastel-colored artwork or some pastel-colored throw pillows in there. Pastels are perfect because they're soft enough to complement earthy hues, but cheery enough to enliven the space.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "They Are The Beat Of My Heart" Premium Canvas


Sprinkle some patterns and textures.

Here's our little secret to keep a room from looking flat and uninteresting: Add items with obvious textures, shapes, or patterns! The best earth-toned rooms are rich with dimension because of things like woven chairs, unique rugs, lush plants, and printed throws. See examples above and below.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "So Good To Be Home" Premium Rustic Canvas


Feature bold, geometric shapes.

Sometimes, even carefully-selected accent colors can fade into the background, especially if they blend with the room a little too well. Make them pop by putting these colors into eye-catching geometric artworks and ornaments. In the example above, the living room becomes memorable with its large circular mirrors. And below, the rustic colors become punchy through fun modern typography.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Love - Names On Heart" Premium Canvas


Inject into a white room.

Still unsure how to decorate with earth tones? Try it the most foolproof way. Start with a simple, safe predominant color like white or beige. Then gradually add earth-toned elements to it: lamps, throws, artworks, and other ornaments you like. Don't overthink it. Just build the decor scheme as you go. Then, after some decorating, look around the room and edit as you wish.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized Family "Home Sweet Home" Premium Canvas


What do you think of this earthy decor style? We at Gear Den love it!

If you liked the wall art pieces featured here, you'll find tons more at Browse our customer-starred collections now!

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