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Using Warm Earth Tones in All Spaces

18 February 2021

Earth tones like chocolate brown, terracotta, and mustard are all shades that are rooted in nature. They are soothing, relaxing, and instantly bring a warm vibe to any space. However, many people tend to think of them as boring or that they just don’t know how to use these shades with their existing decor. 

The beauty of warm earth tones is that you can use the colors with any design style. Whether you like a rustic farmhouse effect or prefer bright, modern interiors, warm earth tones can blend right in. if your objective is to create a cozy and inviting room, warm tones should be your tool of choice.


Where can you use earth tones?


The answer is literally anywhere. Bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms can use a dose of red or brown to bring nature indoors. You can complement the earth tones with natural materials or not. The choice is up to you. 

The trick with using warm earth colors is to decide whether it is a base color or you just want to use it for accent pieces. A deep reddish-brown color can pair wonderfully with white cabinets or countertops in a rustic or vintage style kitchen. If your living room has a cool and modern palette, use warmer accents with artwork or throw pillows to add instant coziness. If you have a dark-toned fireplace in any room, the existing colors are a good place to start your color palette. 

Select the right color palette

earth tones color palette

As with any interior design project, start with your base colors and work your way up from there. Select one ‘hero’ color such as warm terracotta or burnt sienna. Then pick a complementary shade or two for some variation. These secondary colors can be lighter or darker shades of the hero color. Dusky pink, muted lavender, and warm mustard are all great earth tones to play with.

Once you have 2 or 3 main colors, it’s time to pick some neutrals. Unless you want your entire room to only feature warm colors, it’s a good idea to pick some neutrals like beige, white, ivory, or even light grey. The neutral colors can go on the walls or you can use them for accent pieces like rugs and bedcovers.


Use natural and sustainable materials

Warm earth shades lend themselves to using natural materials for decor. Think rattan chairs or a cotton rug. Other natural materials like stone, concrete, jute, and wood are also perfect for earthy colors. Consider incorporating existing features of your home when sourcing furniture. If you have exposed wood beams or a large fireplace, use decor that highlights these architectural elements.

Another fun way to bring nature into your home is using plants. Potted plants in a variety of sizes can punch up any room. You can even use hanging baskets in the bathroom which is the perfect moist environment for plants to thrive!


Metallic accents

Metallic colors like gold, bronze, copper, etc. work exceptionally well with earth tones. The thing with metallic accents is to use them as accents and not overwhelm any room. For example, if you are using them in the kitchen, the faucet is a perfect option. Metallic frames for artwork will look good against a brown or reddish-brown wall. 

You can also use metallic accents through fabric such as curtains, throws, or area rugs. A rug with golden vines or throw pillows in light silver can brighten up a heavy couch or dark hardwood floor.


Using warm tones in various rooms


Colorful kitchen trends

Warm earth tones are right at home in the kitchen, especially if you have a large window or doors that open to the outside. Burnt orange or sienna walls contrast nicely with green herb containers and light cabinets. Cool greys or shades with grey undertones (beige, tan, etc) will work as secondary colors.


modern bathroom accessories white bowl sink

You might not think it but the bathroom has many options to incorporate warm tones. Many people prefer light colors here which make small rooms look bigger. So if you have white or soft pastel shades on the wall, you can use warm tones for the shower curtain, towels, and for any artwork. Metallic faucets and mirror frames will also bring the room together.


Who doesn’t want a warm and cozy bedroom that invites you to relax at the end of the day? Unless the bedroom is really small – and sometimes even then – you’ll find warm colors are deeply relaxing. These colors work exceptionally well if you have a fireplace. You can mix and match fabric colors as well here. From the pillows and sheets to the curtains, the options are endless.

Earth tones work well for any design style from modern minimalist to a traditional or farmhouse aesthetic. Remember to select a broad color palette, use metallic accents as well as natural materials and you’re all set to create the ultimate cozy living spaces.

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