Take a moment to picture Earth’s leafy greens, sandy browns, and dusty roses, and you’ll probably feel a little more at ease. There is something special about the planet’s naturally occurring hues. It can be hard to put your finger on it at first, but earth tones can invoke comfort, stress relief, and balance. They are welcoming by their very nature.

It’s no wonder, then, that earth tones are so ideal for interior design and decor. In fact, Behr just named its 2024 color of the year and, you guessed it, it’s an earth tone. Cracked Pepper to be exact, a deep, neutral gray reminiscent of the darkest shades of slate or basalt. Needless to say, earth tones are having a moment.

Earth tones’ strongest asset, however, is their versatility. Ranging from light to dark and cool to warm, earth tones can be incorporated into any space with ease. However, when it comes to adding earth tones to your interior design, versatility is just the snowy white tip of the iceberg.

Why Choose Earth Tones for Your Space

Connection to Nature 

A mosaic with earth tones displayed in a living room.

Bringing the beauty of the outdoors in allows you to foster a more grounded and balanced atmosphere. Earth tones encompass a range of natural hues that help to evoke a strong connection to the natural world and create a sense of calm and tranquility within your living space.

Timeless Elegance of Earth Tones

A room decorated with earth tones.

Earth tones have a classic appeal that transcends passing trends, making them a reliable choice for a lasting and sophisticated interior. Earth tones can be effortlessly incorporated into a variety of design styles, from rustic and farmhouse to modern and minimalist.

Versatile Palette

A room decorated with earth tones such as dusty rose and deep brown.

These colors can be easily combined to create a harmonious and visually pleasing palette. Whether you’re using them as the main color scheme or as accents, earth tones work well with a wide range of other colors, materials, and textures. This versatility provides endless opportunities to experiment and create unique, personalized designs.

Warmth and Comfort

A living room decorated in earth tones with a fireplace.

Earth tones are inherently warm and inviting, making them perfect for creating cozy interiors that make your space really feel like home. These colors have the ability to make it easier for occupants to relax and unwind. Whether it’s a living room, bedroom, or kitchen, the use of earth tones can transform any area into a haven of comfort.

Enhanced Lighting and Space

A bright room decorated with brown earth tones.

Lighter earth tones, such as warm beige or soft sand, can reflect and amplify light, making a room feel more open and airy. Alternatively, darker earth tones, like rich browns and deep greens, can create a sense of familiarity and ease, perfect for creating intimate corners within a larger room.

Stress Reduction

A bathroom with wood earth tones.

Earthy hues have a way of bringing us back to nature, which can ultimately help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and contribute to an overall sense of mental and emotional balance. By incorporating these colors into your interior design, you’re creating a soothing and nurturing environment for yourself and your loved ones.

How to Incorporate Earth Tones into Interior Design

Choose the Right Color Palette

A room decorated with white and green earth tones.

Start by selecting a range of earth tones that resonates with you. Consider colors like warm browns, soft greens, rustic oranges, muted yellows, and gentle grays. Create a cohesive look by including a mix of light and dark shades to add depth and balance to the space.

Wall Colors Featuring Earth Tones

A dining room with earth tones of beige and sandy brown.

Your wall color will set the foundation for your design. Soft beige, warm taupe, or muted olive green can serve as neutral and soothing backdrops that allow other elements in the room to shine.

Natural Materials

A dining room with rattan furniture in brown earth tones.

Incorporate natural materials into your decor, such as wooden furniture, stone countertops, rattan or wicker accents, and jute rugs. These materials not only add texture, but also enhance the organic feel of the space.

Furniture Selection

A living room with chairs in earth tones such as beige and green.

Don’t be afraid to choose larger furniture pieces, such as sofas, chairs, and tables, in earthy shades. Upholstery in soft browns, greens, or grays can create a harmonious and comfortable ambiance. Consider investing in pieces made from eco-friendly reclaimed wood, which doubles as an earthy element in your space.

Textiles and Fabrics

Textured pillows in earth tones on a couch.

Use earth-toned textiles for decor, accent pieces, curtains, pillows, or throws. Linens, cotton, and wool fabrics in natural colors are not only functional, but they can add warmth and texture to your space. Look for patterns inspired by nature, such as leaves, branches, or geometric designs that reflect the outdoors.

Art and Decor with Earth Tones

A bathroom with brown tiles and flooring with earth tones.

Decorative elements like artwork, pottery, and sculptures in earthy colors can be eye-catching focal points. Consider displaying nature-inspired artwork or incorporating pieces made from clay, wood, or stone.

Accent Walls

A bathroom with a white tub and an accent wall with tiles in a brown earth tone.

Create an accent wall using a bolder earth tone for an appealing visual interest. This can be achieved through paint, wallpaper, or even a textured wall treatment like tile or stonework.

Colorful Accessories to Complement Earth Tones

A dining room with decor in earth tones such as green walls and an orange print on the wall.

While furnishings like earth-toned vases, ceramics, and woven baskets will help create a cohesive look throughout your space, consider adding complementary tones to your decor for an unexpected pop of color. Deep blues, burnt oranges, and muted reds can tie the room together and provide captivating depth.

Kitchen and Bath

A bathroom with a white tub and a mosaic with leafy green earth tones on the wall.

These rooms are two of the most used spaces in the home, making them ideal for the timeless appeal earth tones offer to interior design. Use natural shades for decor and backsplashes or extend the color palette onto your kitchen cabinets or countertops. In the bathroom, consider earth-toned wall art, tiles, shower curtains, or towels to create a spa-like environment.

Reconnect with Nature

Earth tones are about more than just interior design. By embracing these natural hues, you can transform your living space into a sanctuary of comfort, style, and tranquility, ultimately creating an environment that nurtures your aesthetic sensibilities and your well-being. 

It can be easy to become disconnected from nature, but bringing the outdoors inside can have a powerful impact on your space and the time you spend in it. Whether you’re seeking classic elegance or modern chic, earth tones are an excellent choice that will stand the test of time.