Earthy interior designs are often super cozy, so maybe that’s why this time of year leads many people to look for ways to add natural elements to home decor. Earthy designs generally have a number of things in common: they have textures layered upon textures, the overall color palette is neutral and the room includes natural materials and greenery. This doesn’t mean that the space has to be bohemian or eclectic. Rooms with a natural feeling can also be modern or contemporary as long as the lines are clean and the major furnishings are the right style. So what how can you change up your decor for an earthy vibe, perfect for the fall and winter? Check out these ideas:
A Limited Color Palette
More than just neutrals, a restrained color palette limited to a few hues is ideal for an earthy space. A textural sofa from Verellen with a printed Amadi rug on the floor sets the right tone, while the rug on the wall has a bold graphic that makes the space pop, thanks to the black lines. In fact, any neutral space will take on added edginess if black accents — or even a piece of furniture — are incorporated into the design. The black elements are a strong addition that make the space feel modern and far from boring.
The addition of greenery in any room is a good idea for many reasons, not the least of which is better air quality and improved mental health. Even low-maintenance cacti are a fabulous green accent for a natural space. This room has a minimalist neutral color palette yet has plenty of interesting details in the textures and materials that are used. Organically formed pottery, plenty of natural wood, hair-on-hide seating and super textural lighting fixtures transform what could have been a very basic space into a spot that is earthy and very inviting.
Fringe & Tassels
Fringe has generally been associated with a hippie vibe, but today’s fringe and tassels are upscale versions that add a textural accent to throws, cushions and even lamps. This marvelous light fixture features tassels of multiple lengths, each with a color-banded neck in navy and a gray-blue, which are ideal colors for accenting a neutral color scheme. Swapping out standard lighting for a pendant like this is an easy way to add more texture to a room.
Unexpected Natural Pieces
Of course, the fringe on these pieces are almost a given for adding earthiness, but how about an unexpected piece like this indoor swing? While plants are the most obvious way of bringing an outdoor element inside, an indoor swing is a fun and quirky option. Tucked into a corner, an indoor swing is more about gently swaying than vigorous swinging, but much like a rocking chair, the motion is very soothing for people of any age. If the swing doesn’t fit into the decor, a lavishly fringed leather stool is another earthy option. Both of these pieces were designed by Brazilian designer Marta Menente.
When creating a natural vibe it’s best to avoid textiles that are sleek, shiny and smooth. Especially for major pieces of furniture, choose upholstery options that have a good deal of texture. This plump chaise from Verellen is covered in a super-textural fabric that is soft, nubby and neutral. An added throw adds even more texture, but even on its own, the piece conveys a cozy and practical atmosphere.
Layer the Rugs
One of the latest popular techniques that adds comfort as well as style is layering your rugs. The standard rule applies when it comes to choosing the largest rug in that it needs to reach past the front of the furniture surrounding it. The ones that you layer on top can and should be smaller. This method lets you swap out a rug whenever you want to change up the look without having to buy a large. For the larger base rug, pick something with a tight weave in a neutral color and pattern, which will make it more versatile and keep the focus on the top layer. For the smaller ones, go as bold as you like. The range of hand-loomed options made with natural fibers, like these rugs from Amala Carpets, is very expansive, so you’re sure to find something you like.
Textured Cushions and Pillows
Pillows, throws and cushions made with textiles that have plenty of embroidered textures, fringe and other elements are the absolute fastest way to add an earthy element to a room. This selection from Langdon Textiles is handwoven and ideal for adding texture and interest. Combine these with any number of other earthy elements and you’ll have a welcoming and natural space, cozy enough to see you through the coldest seasons.
Furs and Skins
Fluffy and inviting, sheepskins and fur pieces are another option for adding a big dose of texture to a room. Whether a piece of furniture is upholstered in the skin or whether it is used as a blanket or accent, the soft and comfortable material is very earthy. This bench from Blue Ocean combines a natural-looking wood with long-haired hide upholstery for a rustic accent piece. Another route is to just use a fur or sheepskin throw if a new piece of furniture is not in the budget.
Natural materials like sheepskin and leather are being used in some unexpected ways, such as on this lamp base. This provides another way to add texture to a room and is good choice if a sheepskin rug or throw is not an option.
Layered Textures in the Bedroom
The bedroom might be one of the easiest spaces for achieving an earthy vibe because it’s meant to be a cozy space virtue of being private and relaxing. Layering the textures used ion the bedding is a really simple way to add a natural feeling and earthiness to the space. And, not all the layers have to be completely natural. For example, this bed arrangement by Cloud 9 Design includes a few elements of shine and sparkle, but because they are used sparingly, the overall look is still very natural and cozy. One of the keys to doing this successfully is the monotone color palette, which is highlighted by the textural wicker headboard.
Organic Table Settings
Not everyone will want to have an earthy vibe throughout the living space all the time, but might just want to have this feeling for guests and special dinners. For those times, an organic, natural table setting is the ticket. This is a way to add these earthy elements on a temporary basis and create a welcoming table. In addition to the obvious natural centerpieces and textural linens, choosing dishes that are hand-formed and have a very organic vibe, like this Mend collection from DBO Home are ideal. In fact, any small-batch handcrafted ceramics will do the trick.
Handcrafted, Artisan Furniture
One-of-a-kind, handcrafted furnishings always convey an earthy vibe, because they’re made of natural wood and typically show off the grain in some way. This beautiful Alma credenza from Dzierlenga F+U is a great example because of the unique wood, pale finish and artful hardware. Styled with some natural accessories as it is, shows how earthy this can look.
When we talk about designers using materials in unexpected ways, wood in a lighting fixture is a good example. The shape of these pendants by Hollandslicht is modern but the earthiness comes from the warm, natural vibes of the wood. In fact, mixing styles and contrasting contemporary with rustic or traditional is another way to achieve an earthier space in a very modern way.
Artfully Featured Flaws
This stool from Ian Love Design is a hand-carved piece that highlights the natural grain and, moreover, flaws in the piece of wood. In today’s more conscious consumer society, reusing and recycling is big, so wood that has natural knots and kinks is now more acceptable. Actually, turning blemished wood and what previously would have been considered undesirable wood features into artful elements creates very natural and earthy designs.
Highlighting a Natural State
Less can be more when it comes to highlighting organic elements. Woodworker Mark Oliver crafted these tables to focus on the natural beauty found in a raw slice of wood, from the color variations to the inner cracks and the age rings. Using simple hairpin legs keeps the focus on the tabletops. Pieces like these are another easy way to add earthiness to a room.
Rustic With a Live Edge
Live-edge tables are a popular way to add a natural feeling to a room, and rustic, rugged versions can feel even more organic. Designer and woodworker Samuel Moyer focuses on using whole materials, flaws and all. The natural forms he handcrafts are very earthy and add a distinctive wood element to a space.
Rustic Wooden Accessories
Accessories are a key detail in crafting a room that has an earthy feeling but that doesn’t mean you need lots of tchotchkes. One grand statement accessory is all you need in the middle of a table or console to set the stage. These bowls from Mexico-based Rastro are a fabulous example. Set one of these rough-hewn bowls out and fill it with fruits, nuts or natural materials and you have an instant earthy upgrade.
Staying away from glitz and shine does not mean you should shun metal accessories as a whole. Pots, bowls and other metal pieces that have an ethnic or time-worn appearance are very fitting accents for earthy decor schemes. These vessels from Roost are perfect for combining with textural fabrics and greenery. Metal with an aged appearance has just the right amount of shine to accent a room that has a natural vibe but does not veer into the modern and shiny.
Hefty, Rustic Elements
If the decor scheme tends toward the rustic, then there’s nothing more fitting to include than pieces made from upcycled materials. This lighting fixture is crafted from an old beam and handcrafted glass elements. It’s a hefty, substantial look that can be balanced with lighter pieces to prevent the overall space from having a heavy feel.
Global Natural Materials
Global design styles often use rattan, wicker, bamboo and other natural materials, which make them perfect additions to a room when you want an earthy feel. These lanterns from Vagabond Vintage are smaller accessories that can be added to an existing decor scheme for a natural touch. Of course, a larger piece of wicker or rattan furniture can do the trick as well, but smaller accessories can be a more affordable option for altering the feeling of a space.