The burnt sienna color is a rich color that is a mix between red and brown. Many artists are familiar with this color as it plays a prominent role in fine art. As we move away from all-white spaces in interior design, bolder color is taking its place in our homes.
Thus, this color is the ideal way to add visual interest with dramatic foundational elements or just for an eye-catching accent tone.
What is the burnt sienna color?
This color has a long and storied past that make it as interesting for its history as for its color. Artists derived burnt sienna from the raw sienna color. In its natural state, the sienna pigment is a yellowish-brown color.
It is called an earth pigment because it is composed of iron oxide and manganese oxide which are natural elements found in soil. Sienna gets its name from the Italian words terra di siena because it was first found in soil around Sienna, Italy. Another name for sienna is terra gialla (yellow earth).
The natural color of raw sienna is similar but darker and more red than yellow ochre. However, when you heat raw sienna, the oxidation of the manganese minerals which forms a darker and deeper color results in the burnt sienna color.
Burnt sienna is a deep reddish brown that is also known as terra rossa (red earth) and red ochre. People have used this and the other sienna earth pigments in art for thousands of years. In particular, artists of the ancient Romans up to the Renaissance artists used these pigments. These earthy, warm colors were valued in the past as they are now for their vibrant hues and warm tone.
Best Burn Sienna Paint Colors
There are a variety of paint companies that feature colors that can be described as burnt sienna. Their versions of burnt sienna will vary as some will be darker or lighter and lean more orange or brown. Therefore, before you buy a particular burnt sienna, test some samples to decide which you like best.
- Red Earth (No. 64) from Farrow & Ball – They have described this as a light terracotta hued color that takes its name from warm earth pigments. While the color is brilliant during the day, it becomes more cozy as the sun goes down.
- Burnt Sienna (1196) from Benjamin Moore – This paint is the color of red clay with an orange undertone.
- Mexican Tile (1194) from Benjamin Moore – This is a less saturated tone of the burnt sienna color. However, it is still warm and rich.
- Sherwin Williams features a deep Burnt Sienna (SW 2092), but they have Subdued Sienna (SW 9009) which is another less saturated tone for those wanting something lighter and less dramatic.
Burnt sienna color inspirations
People are spending more time at home, and as a result, the popular colors in home design have become more warm and visually striking. Burnt sienna is the perfect color for giving depth to a room as an all-over wall color or as an accent color. We have rounded up some images of ways that others have incorporated the burnt sienna color palette into their home spaces.
Striking bedroom color
The designers have painted this bedroom in Red Earth from Farrow & Ball. This shade of burnt sienna has orange undertones which creates the look of terracotta tile roofs. Further, this color and the combination with white trim creates a pleasing contrast in this intimate space.
Complete saturation of color
If you want to go all in with burnt sienna, you will create a room with impressive presence. This entire room is covered in Burnt Sienna from Benjamin Moore. The designers have painted the walls, the trim, and the ceiling but the color doesn’t look overwhelming. Rather, it creates a room that is inviting with a rich sense of depth.
Burnt sienna covering the walls gives any room a striking sense of personality, but perhaps you want to use this color in a more subtle way. Consider painting one wall as an accent or a section of the wall with burnt sienna. Notice the thin line of a paler yet warm tone to separate the white and the burnt sienna. This is a more eclectic style that has a playful and artistic flair, and it is the perfect way to bring color into the room without full saturation.
If you have a neutral color palette and want to add a pop of color, burnt sienna is a good choice. While it provides a distinct contrast to the neutral tones, because it is an earth tone, it has brown undertones. Thus, these undertones are soothing and create a color that can blend well with other neutrals like gray and off-white.
Consider pairing two rich elements together, velvet and burnt sienna. The luxurious fabric is the ideal combination with a deep burnt sienna hue. Further, this is a bold choice for a large piece of furniture like a sofa, but this color creates a superb focal point for a sofa in a library or other cozy space.
Painting a piece of accent furniture
No matter what your kitchen style is, you can add a splash of color with a piece of painted furniture. For example, the warm color of the table provides the perfect counterpoint to this cool blue cabinet in this neutral kitchen. If you like this cabinet color, try Patina (1195) or Mexican Tile (1194) from Benjamin Moore.
Burnt sienna wallpaper
Keep your space from looking one-dimensional with the addition of some tropical wallpaper. The background color for this wallpaper is as beautiful as it is unexpected. Kingdom Animalia, the wallpaper in this space, is a hand-drawn design from Annet Weelink. The animals amongst the flora and fauna have a sophisticated but playful style that works just as well for a child’s bedroom as for a family living room.
Who says that opposites don’t attract? That is the case with this room featuring the contrasting colors of burnt sienna and blue. The deep and dramatic burnt sienna adds a touch of vibrancy to this room with the moody dark blue walls. Further, the pops of gold add just enough contrast to make the room shine.
Burnt sienna wall art
We love the pops of burnt sienna in this warm neutral room. The wall art features earthy warm tones and highlights the colors found throughout the room. Thus, burnt sienna works just as well within this continuous color palette of complementing shades as it does with contrasting hues.
Bold and beautiful curtains
If you want to highlight a window and bring richness to the color palette of a room at the same time, consider burnt sienna curtains. These textured linen curtains mounted at the ceiling are a strategic addition to this room to create a relaxed vibe and draw the eye upward and boost the ceiling height.
A touch of burnt sienna
Even a touch of burnt sienna will brighten up a room. It warms the colors of this tribal rug and brings an inviting tone to the gray sofa. Also, consider pairing the burnt sienna color with a leather sofa and wood textures in a rustic room design.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What color compliments burnt sienna?
If you want to create a look with complementary tones, try pairing burnt sienna with other warm colors like deep yellow ochre and lighter shades of orange. Also, deep red also looks beautiful with burnt sienna. Another great look is to pair burnt sienna with contrasting tones like deep blue and green. Further, neutrals look wonderful with burnt sienna; try black and gray as accent tones and pair warm whites to add contrast.
Is burnt sienna red or brown?
Burnt sienna is a good blend of red and brown.
What is raw vs burnt sienna?
Raw sienna is a deep yellowish brown color that people created from the soil around Sienna, Italy (terra di siena). The burnt sienna pigment is a darker and more reddish brown color.
What is burnt umber vs burnt sienna?
In the past, the pigment burnt umber came from raw umber which has an earthy brown hue. Heating the color burned off the iron oxide making the color more red. Therefore, burnt umber is a dark reddish brown color. Natural burnt sienna is also a reddish brown without the green undertone that is present in burnt umber.
What is sepia vs burnt sienna?
Artists used to extract the color sepia from the ink sac of the cuttlefish of the order Sepiida. It is a reddish brown color that has more black and brown than the burnt sienna pigment which has a more red undertone.
What is dark sienna vs burnt sienna?
Dark sienna is just a darker tone of raw sienna. In the past, artists used to create burnt sienna from heating raw sienna. Thus, this caused a dehydration of the iron in raw sienna giving it a darker and more reddish tone.
Is burnt sienna warm or cool?
Burnt sienna is a warm pigment.
What is the opposite color of burnt sienna?
The opposite color of burnt sienna is a medium shade of blue.
What colors can I mix to get burnt sienna?
You can mix purple and orange to create burnt sienna.
Burnt Sienna Color: Conclusion
Burnt sienna is a memorable color with a long history. Many have valued it over hundreds of years because of its warm and textural tone in fine art and home design. This color is useful in interior design as a dramatic foundational tone or as an accent color.
Combine it with neutral hues for a calm and serene style or with bold tones to create drama. Either way, it is a color with a presence that has stood the test of time and will last for years to come.