Decorating with Earth Tones

Using Earth Tone Decor to Create a Natural Look

Decorating with earth tones can help refresh your look and cultivate a calming, relaxed atmosphere. These earth tone decorating ideas will help you find the perfect furniture and decor options for your living room, dining room or bedroom.

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • What colors are considered earth tones
  • How to use earth tones in living rooms
  • Updating your dining room with hues inspired by the outdoors.
  • Using natural palettes to create a calming bedroom
  • Choosing earth tone decor to pull together your design.
Using neutral hues inspired by the outdoors creates a relaxed, timeless look that's easy to adapt as your style preferences change.
Using neutral hues inspired by the outdoors creates a relaxed, timeless look that's easy to adapt as your style preferences change.

What Are Earth Tones?

Contrary to what many people think, earth tones are more than just brown. An earthy color palette can feature any shade found in nature, including woodsy hues like deep reds, burnt oranges and lush greens. You may even see bolder accents like blues, pinks and purples that pay homage to the sunset.

Some examples of popular earth tones include:

  • Browns: Walnut, cedar and chocolate
  • Neutrals: Beige and taupe
  • Greens: Moss, pine and sage
  • Warm shades: Sienna, mustard and burgundy
  • Cool hues: Sky blue, graphite and silver

Earth Tone Living Room Ideas

Whether your family room color palette features dynamic reds and yellows or soft blues and grays, adding earthy colors to your den can help you create the charming design of your dreams. Here are a few suggestions for how to integrate earth tone couches, chairs and tables into your layout.

Earth Tone Sofas and Sectionals

A rich brown sofa can create balance and contrast when using other vibrant natural hues in your living room. The various shades of beige and gray sectionals bring a lighter look to the space and blend beautifully with a cool or warm palettes. You can even brighten things up with a lush green loveseat to bring the tranquil vibe of the forest to your home.

Other couch options in earth tones include:

Neutral Chairs and Eye-Catching Ottomans

Seats in neutral colors can help the more striking tones in your living room stand out. Choose greige armchairs, white recliners or black accent chairs to balance out a vivid color scheme. In neutral living rooms, try decorating with yellow or orange chairs, benches and ottomans for a sunny pop of color. If you prefer cooler hues, consider a blue chaise to evoke the soothing feel of the ocean.

Earthy Accent Tables and TV Stands

Light and dark wood end tables are a suitable option for almost any palette. Unique coffee and console tables with wood, metal and marble accents offer an easy way to incorporate outdoor elements into your design. Additionally, an earth tone TV stand or wall unit serves as a lovely complement to color schemes featuring shades like chestnut brown, snowy white or cloud-gray.

Complete Earth Tone Living Room Sets

Shopping for coordinated living room furniture sets in earthy tones is an easy way to achieve a cohesive look. A rustic brown leather living room set adds a rugged, lived-in aesthetic. Consider a striking red sectional against a beige wall to create a warm and dynamic vibe. Many of these ensembles come with coordinating earth-tone tables and accent chairs that add to their curated appeal.

To get a unified look in earth tones, consider sets in:

Outdoor Inspired Dining Rooms

The next best thing to dining al fresco is bringing a little bit of nature indoors. Using earth tones in your dining room is ideal for creating a relaxed atmosphere that’s easy to adapt for more formal meals. Here are some ideas to inspire you as you choose your own perfect dining set.

Earth Tone Furniture for Eating

Wooden dining room furniture is a tried-and-true option for incorporating earth tomes into your decor. Try dark wood dining sets with tables in a brown or cherry finish for an elegant look that’s sure to impress or build your own unique set by choosing separate tables and chairs.

Prefer something a little more family-friendly and casual? Consider a counter or bar height set with vibrant red or green stools. Those who need more flexible seating for larger crowds or guests may prefer the organic look of rustic dining benches. In addition to extra elbow room, these options often include padded upholstered or leather seats and come in a range of earthy hues.

Dining room sets are also available in gray, black, white and light wood.

Wooden table sets provide a simple way to get a natural, earthy look in your eat-in kitchen or dining room. For a more casual feel, consider bar or counter height designs with stools that are easy to rearrange as needed.
Wooden table sets provide a simple way to get a natural, earthy look in your eat-in kitchen or dining room. For a more casual feel, consider bar or counter height designs with stools that are easy to rearrange as needed.

Stylish Dining Room Storage and Service Options

Whether you need a china cabinet for stashing formal dishes or a bar cart for organizing glasses, storage is a must for any functional dining room. Dining room storage furnishings are also a great way to work other earth tones into your design. Look for credenzas that combine multiple wood tones for rustic themes or servers in hues like red or blue to bring a playful pop of color into your decor.

Sideboards offer plenty of storage space for extra dishes, serving trays and flatware.
Sideboards offer plenty of storage space for extra dishes, serving trays and flatware.

Harnessing the Elements for an Earth Tone Bedroom

Since comfort is paramount when decorating your bedroom, it’s best to opt for more muted and soothing earth tones. These hues complement an array of designs, so feel free to experiment with combinations to find the perfect earthy palette for your suite.

Naturally Beautiful Bed Frames

Using a cool earth tone bed in gray or blue as the focal point for your bedroom layout helps give your space a relaxing vibe. Choose the natural beauty of a rough-hewn light wood bed frame to complement a neutral color scheme, or create contrast using an upholstered bed covered in auburn, sage or navy fabric. Whatever your preference, the addition of an earth tone headboard can add a touch of warmth and charm to your space.

Other Earthy Bedroom Furniture

A necessity for any bedroom, earth-tone storage furniture helps promote a relaxing atmosphere. Solid wood dressers and chests of drawers with brown or gray finishes balance a room with light-colored decor. Similarly, nightstands featuring natural embellishments like wood inlays, metal hardware or even crystal drawer pulls add a hint of the outdoors to your space.

Earth tone dressers offer plenty of surface area to bring in other natural touches like baskets, plants and earthenware vases.
Earth tone dressers offer plenty of surface area to bring in other natural touches like baskets, plants and earthenware vases.

Bed Linens with Organic Colors and Patterns

Switching out your pillows and comforters for earth tone bedding is an easy way to incorporate these stabilizing hues into your room. While brown and green comforter sets are obvious earthy choices, colorful linens featuring botanical flower and leaf patterns give your bedroom an extra boost of natural beauty.

Other nature-inspired bedding choices include beige, blue, gray, orange, yellow and red in crib, twin, full, queen and king sizes.

The Finishing Touch: Earth Tone Decorating Ideas

Creating a nature-themed bedroom layout or an earthy living room design can be as simple as introducing a new color scheme or adding a few decorative items to the space. Here are some tips on using paint, throw pillows, wall art and other earth tone decor to create a natural look.

Wall Colors

Sometimes, creating a soothing vibe is as simple as a fresh coat of paint. Wrapping the space in rich earth tones gives your living room or bedroom a beautiful baseline that allows vibrant decor to stand out. Neutral color combinations like greige and granite or tan with brown undertones are go-to options that complement a range of colorful furnishings.

If you prefer a bolder choice of paint, opt for auburn, burnt sienna or forest green. Pairing these eye-catching fall colors with caramel-colored sectional sets or harvest gold accent chairs creates a warm and inviting feel. You can also paint a bright orange, deep navy or dark purple accent wall for a more dramatic look to contrast with subtler decor.

Monochromatic color schemes in vibrant hues like orange, red or purple are a bold and playful way to use earth tones throughout your home.
Monochromatic color schemes in vibrant hues like orange, red or purple are a bold and playful way to use earth tones throughout your home.

Rugs

Layer on the warmth with plush earth tone rugs. Beige and gray rugs complement seating sets in colors ranging from chocolate brown to burnt orange. You can also use refreshing green, cool blue or dynamic red, orange or yellow rugs to liven up a neutral palette. For entryways or kitchens, protect and soften hardwood or tile floors by including runner rugs in your design.

Rugs come in sizes suitable for nearly any room. In dining rooms or dens, large area rugs are ideal for adding texture and visual interest to your layout. Consider putting a patterned 9×12 or 8×10 carpet under your table or near a seating set to create a cozy ambiance. If your home is an apartment or studio, small rugs work well to help define areas used for different purposes.

Light Fixtures

Playing with light is another wonderful way to use earth tones in your decor. Bedside table lamps or floor lamps with off-white shades and gorgeous aqua bases give the whole room an inviting glow. On the other hand, the elemental tones of metallic silver, bronze and copper chandeliers add a hint of glamour to your living room design.

Earth tone light fixtures help highlight the beauty of other naturally inspired furnishings.
Earth tone light fixtures help highlight the beauty of other naturally inspired furnishings.

Accents and Wall Decor

Well-placed wall art and accent pieces can help carry an earth tone palette throughout an entire room. Arranging sculptures or vases atop wooden accent cabinets is an easy way to add a personal touch to your design. Canvas prints and paintings featuring nature themes or hues like orange, blue or gray blend well into multiple decor styles, including traditional, casual and rustic motifs.

Throw Pillows and Blankets

Accent blankets and throw pillows provide balancing splashes of color to living rooms or bedrooms while increasing your comfort. Pair a forest green afghan with a leather recliner for extra warmth or use beige or blue throw pillows on a neutral white bedroom set to create a soothing bedroom retreat.

Pillows and throws in earth tones add comfort and color to your layout while making spaces feel calm and inviting. Choose styles with interesting patterns or textures to add more interest to your design.
Pillows and throws in earth tones add comfort and color to your layout while making spaces feel calm and inviting. Choose styles with interesting patterns or textures to add more interest to your design.

Plant Decor

Biophilic design is all the rage. It focuses on directly connecting people to nature through live foliage. House plants and low-maintenance silk florals are a refreshing way to bring the outdoors in and help energize your room’s layout. Choose lush flowers, gorgeous ferns and stunning succulents in colorful planters for a dynamic addition to your home.