Tips for incorporating earthy neutral tones in interior design


Rich and vibrant colours are making a comeback in the current trend, following a period of minimalist design and predominantly muted colour schemes. But there’s good news for people who aren’t sure whether to go for the bold and maximalist colours that are currently in vogue. In 2024, earth tones – especially different shades of brown – will make a big comeback. “Brown can range from soft beige to rich amber to deep cocoa. The colour can be purple, grey or green; it can be subtle, inviting or intense. Regardless of the shade, brown can be comforting, thoughtful, elegant and suitable for any interior style. Today, designers increasingly use the classic colour and sometimes even replace black with brown. Brown colours from dark chocolate to lighter caramel bring a comfortable and inviting atmosphere to the rooms,” says Geeta Lunial, Founder of GoodWood. (Also read: Interior decor tips: 5 creative ways to use rugs for a stylish home makeover )

Tips for incorporating earthy neutral tones in interior design(Freepik)

Tips to use earthy neutrals in interior design

She further shared with HT Lifestyle, “Furniture and interior design today often feature wooden elements such as walnut or oak, adding a natural touch that balances modern style with a warm feel. Brown leather upholstery is also becoming popular for its classic and sophisticated look. Not only in furniture but also in walls, people use earthy colours to create a calm and comfortable atmosphere. A rough surface treatment such as brick, or brown reclaimed wood adds personality. Chocolate brown has much more depth than black. While black can help create contrast in a room, using chocolate brown will give you the same effect, but much richer and more layered.”

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“This means combining different textures, materials and shades to create elegant and timeless spaces in our homes. My favourites are chocolate brown and more brownish-purple tones. Pink, purple and some shades of orange and yellow go well with brown. Hermes orange chocolate brown shade looks amazing. It’s all about contrast and colour against it. The background is brown, but put a magenta pad against it or the perfect shade of yellow and it can come to life. The colour brown is a great way to make a room more dynamic, as the layered power of the colours allows the whole design to pop up. Brown is very versatile and can be used with many other colours,” says Geeta.

She added, “Choosing the right brown can be difficult, so you should first determine your goals and then proceed. For example, will it be used as a pipe to highlight the fabric of a pillow, or will the walls be varnished to create a chocolate-brown room? Either way, if you are going to use a lot of brown, be sure to vary the tone and texture of how you use it.”

Bringing his expertise to the same Aashish Khandelwal, Founder and Interior Designer of Hanumant Design and Developers with Principal Architect Surbhi Arun Gupta shared with HT Lifestyle, “In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the design industry toward earthy neutrals, particularly brown hues. This trend marks a departure from stark minimalist designs that dominated for over ten years and reflects a return to more sophisticated colour schemes that emphasize warmth and cosiness while complementing their surroundings. Brown’s resurgence is not just temporary but part of larger cultural trends emphasizing wellness, sustainability, and peaceful environments. The colour works well in both business spaces and residential interiors as well as materials used in construction due to its natural connection with the environment.”

He added, “Warm tans and rich chocolates are great examples of how these tones create harmony within any space by fostering serenity. It also serves as an antidote against our technologically advanced urbanization lifestyle where people seek comfort amid indoor spaces capturing nature’s beauty outside. The revival touches all aspects of interior design: warm-toned wood furniture pieces coupled with leather upholstery or incorporating jute/wool textiles – designers can’t get enough! With different shades incorporated into various elements beyond those mentioned above help achieve a timeless inviting appeal guaranteed to enhance one’s space substantially.”

“Additionally, brown provides an outstanding canvas for other design components and perfectly enhances various colour schemes due to its adaptability. Being a neutral tone, it effortlessly harmonizes with distinct design genres, whether paired alongside soft pastels to establish a calming ambiance or vibrant accent nuances to introduce liveliness. Brown is a popular colour in the construction industry, both for building materials and for interior finishes. Terracotta tiles, natural stone accents and brick facades are commonly used in residential as well as commercial buildings to create an earthy feel that complements the surrounding landscape while providing excellent durability.” says Aashish.

He suggested, “The rise in popularity of brown exceeds just visuals. Presently, with the trend towards sustainable construction practices, designers are opting for more eco-friendly techniques that make use of recycled bricks and reclaimed wood to demonstrate thoughtful usage and impressive environmental responsibility. Brown provides a welcoming and comfortable alternative in architecture and interior design. It satisfies our need for warmth and connection while also being as elegant as traditional colours such as black or grey.”

“The rise of brown’s popularity is evidence that our tastes are changing, moving towards environmentally friendly designs that create inviting spaces. Its earthy tones continue to impact both homes and buildings alike, promoting the idea that sophistication can be achieved through natural charm rather than extravagance. This trend will likely persist as designers prioritize aesthetics with well-being in mind creating integrated living environments for years to come,” concluded Aashish Khandelwal.

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