Design Dilemma: Making it Earthy
There’s nothing more soothing than a home that feels grounded, settled and earthy. These are homes that, wherever they may be, make you feel connected to nature and which give you a sense of inner peace.
A perfect example is this Tuscan countryside home located near Siena, Italy. With a setting like that, of course, it’s easy to use Mother Earth as inspiration. This home does so joyously by incorporating the colors of the Sienese countryside right into the decor. Rich reds, golds, yellow ochres, tans, and beiges all figure in. So does liberal use of natural materials, such as terra cotta floors and wooden rafters, as you see in the photo above. And below in the living room, check out the rattan sculpted chair by Tom Dixon for Cappellini and the wooden panel embedded with rocks from Arpes.
The burnt sienna rug combined with the natural-toned slip cover and burnt sienna throw seem to pick up on every earth tone in the countryside outside the window.
Above, the real star of the show is the dappled pale ochre wall, which is a fitting backdrop to a room outfitted in various gradations of honey, cream and beige. Earth tones also set the stage in the bathroom, below, which feels serene in its simplicity and celebration of wood and simple concrete.
So what’s the key to bringing a sense of earthiness into your home?
- Make use of lots of earth tones in walls and textiles. You don’t find bright colors in these homes. Colors are usually pale beige and brown, or deep jewel tones, such as burgundy or deep purples.
- Use lots of texture. This Sienese home is filled with rough natural materials such as terra cotta, wood, stone and rattan. Textiles include furs, wool and leather pieces. There are no synthetics here!
- Ethnic touches fit right in. Art and textiles from India, Africa or Asia can help infuse an earthy home with vibrancy that doesn’t overwhelm.
- Keep things simple. Choose few and simple furnishings and perhaps fewer and simpler pieces of art. Avoid chrome and glass. Rough-hewn and natural is the way to go if you’re in search of that earthy vibe.