the theory behind modern earth tones.
by Ezz Wilson comment


white walls with earth toned decor. / sfgirlbybay
We’ve seen a major resurgence of earth tones in the last couple of years, and it’s got me theorizing about why certain color palettes are embraced during certain times. Why are earth tones becoming so popular again, when not long ago, many thought rust, brown, ochre and mustard were ugly relics from the 1970s? Being the human behaviors nerd that I am, I did a little Googling and came across some interesting theories and opinions on how herd psychology, sociology and the political/economic climate can influence our color trends. This Reddit thread was also insightful if you want to read more about it.

earth toned bohemian modern bedroom decor. / sfgirlbybay

Some say the earth tones of the ’70s were a backlash against the candied pastels of the peppy ’50s and psychedelic colors of the experimental ’60s. Factor in the back-to-the-land movement that was in full swing during that time and that the U.S. was recovering from the Vietnam War, and you can see why so many were seeking colors and textures that provided warmth, comfort and grounding. During these frenzied and uncertain times, with plenty of people feel fatigued by social media and the news, it makes sense why so many are moving toward the more natural and earthy. It’s curious to think about how brown-averse I used to be when it came to clothing and home decor–it seemed so drab. But I’m biting my tongue these days and have fully embraced a wide range of autumnal tones in my home, and just looking at them helps warm my cold bones and provides a little respite from the world right now. I think we could all use a little comfort and grounding these days, don’t you? Here are some of my favorite, modern examples of earth tones done right–and there’s no gross, wall-to-wall shag carpeting to be seen!

cheers, ezz.

metal and rust fabric upholstered chairs. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring earth toned fashion. / sfgirlbybay

earth toned fashion and decor. / sfgirlbybay

wood walls and cabinetry with neutral decor. / sfgirlbybay

modern living room with earth toned home furnishings. / sfgirlbybay

earth toned home furnishings. / sfgirlbybay

kitchen with modern earth tones. / sfgirlbybay

living room with modern earth toned decor and furnishings. / sfgirlbybay

dried floral bouquet and terracotta blouse. / sfgirlbybay

dried grasses in ceramic vase on earth toned tiled staircase. / sfgirlbybay

rustic modern earth tones. / sfgirlbybay

modern earth toned decor. / sfgirlbybay

• Photography Credits: Sadie Perry;

Georgia Righetti for Les Eines; Giselle Hernandez for Someware Goods; Tinta Luhrman; Wij Zijn Kees; Aleksandra Zee; Theodora Melnik; Becky Kimball; Carrie Grafstrom for Lesamissales; Aurelie Lecuyer; www.Selva Floral; The Frankie Shop.

4 responses to “the theory behind modern earth tones.”

  1. That all makes sense to me. Earth tones are very calming and undemanding – I love white interiors but they do make my mind race a trifle. And wood, especially, is so soothing. Off to buy some toffee coloured candles, I think.

  2. I love your theory ! And it makes sense a lot for me. We need more and more to connect back to the earth, to us, to humanity. For me it’s colors of earth, and colors of skin as well.

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