This Just in: Earth Tones in Trend for 2020

Living room in earth tones with pink, yellow, beige, and browns.

Earth tones are IN TREND for 2020! If you’ve been following Pantone’s Colour of the Year releases as judiciously as we have been, congratulations: you love colour, and we love you. From 2015’s earthy wine-red Marsala hue to 2018’s Greenery and 2019’s Living Coral, it’s clear homeowners prefer colours that are abundant in nature, hinting at man’s desire to immerse himself in the natural world. And what better way to foster that than by celebrating the resurgence of earthen tones in design?

In a nutshell, earth tones can be described as colours that have just a hint of brown in them. Think olive greens, rust reds, dusty pinks, corn-husk yellows – you get the idea. Basically? Neutrals, with a twist!

Bedroom in earth tones with blue green painting, dusty pink sheets, and grey, beige, and olive green accents.

Why are earth tones in trend?

A hallmark of recent design is growing appreciation for all things ‘vintage’ and ‘aged’. This means rusty and dusty shades are in, as they are natural partners for furnishings of this style, whether antique or antique-look. Earth tones are also great for adding warmth to a space, often lending a calming, grounding aura that promotes contemporary good vibes without being overly bright. Don’t worry if vintage isn’t your cup of tea – earth tones are just as beautiful in classically luxurious spaces amongst neutrals!

Because earth tones are rooted in (you guessed it!) natural colours, they’re easy on the eyes. This means you’ll really be able to foster that comfortable, relaxing vibe!

Earth tones in armchairs, dusty pink and moss green with wooden legs.

How to use them

While not exactly strong, earth tones can still be eye-catching when brighter shades are used. In this event, you’ll want to make sure you use them only sparingly; consider limiting them to a section of the room as a pop of colour or to spark interest. On the other hand, if you’re using darker shades, feel free to add more – on the walls, on your upholstery, or as a part of your soft furnishings!

Don’t forget that colours affect the psyche in very interesting ways. Dark tones, while promoting melancholia, can also be effective for focus. The best way to figure out what works for you is to try try try. Don’t commit until you’re sure; if it’s a wall you’re planning on painting, test it out for a week by painting on a small patch. Best case: you love it and paint the rest of the wall. Worst case? Just cover it over or pick again!

Related: The Ultimate Modern Furniture Design Guide

Close up of warm earth tone leather tufted sofa.

Where to use them

As with any other colour palette, it’s important to consider the purpose of your space before committing to a scheme. Choose warm reds and dusty pinks for the dining and living rooms; it will help promote family togetherness and warmth, while also boosting appetites! Greens and blues are great for the bedroom and study, as both these hues are calming and focus-inducing. Yellows are the perfect colour for the playroom, and are great for boosting creativity and good, cheerful vibes all around.

If painting a wall isn’t your cup of tea, opt instead to add a bright pop of colour by painting the door! Otherwise, consider using the hues in your furnishings; how about a gorgeous velvet dusty pink sofa to promote cosiness in your living room?

Living room with earth tones and woven side table, with green cabinet.

What to pair with them

Here’s the best part about earth tones: They go with absolutely everything! Because these colours are rooted in nature, wood makes the perfect partner in furnishings and accessories. However, for those who want a glitzy, glamorous vibe, they’re also perfect with metallics like gold or rose gold. Marble also makes a sleek and sophisticated partner for earth tones, especially in the kitchen, where dark colours are making a splash this year!

Because they are so easy on the eyes, it’s easy to understand why earth tones are in trend this year! What’s your favourite hue? Share with us in the comments below!

Related: Why Wood Furniture Will Never Go Out Of Style