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Design Guide: Using Browns, Golds, and Other Warm Tones

The psychology of color suggests that there is more to it than just a personal preference. Each color has a unique effect on the psyche, and can have variations across different cultures. Comforting, nurturing brown is back, favored over the recent cool grays and stark whites. In color psychology, brown is the hue for stability, ruggedness, dependability, and Mother Earth. Perhaps evidence that people are yearning for peace and strength, the nostalgia for happier days when brown was previously in style, the use of brown and warm earth tones in modern interior design is interesting, balanced, and quite beautiful.

Warm Colored Walls

Whether painted, paneled, tiled, curtained, or slabbed, having warm tones on the walls of a space will make the biggest impact, due to the amount of surface area and the way the light will bounce and diffuse off of these large surfaces. Darker warm colors will absorb a lot of light, making the room a bit darker, but cozy spaces are often the way they are because light is dim and warm. If you want a cozy space that can also brighten up when you want more light, go for cream, beige, tan, or ivory walls.


Either to compliment warm colored surroundings or to serve as the warmest, most comforting thing in the room, brown furniture is sure to beckon someone to sit and relax. Leather furniture offers luxury, natural materials, and often earth tones. Paired with natural and stained wood, cream, gold, or brown based stone, and gold or brass metal materials, brown furniture is sure to help create an atmosphere of maximum chill and rugged protection.


Wood patterned luxury vinyl tile for floors and walls give a space that “log cabin” feeling while still maintaining an easy to care for, highly durable, and affordable practicality. The ruggedness of wood grain anchors the room into a steady, earthly personality, and the luxury vinyl tile that can effectively offer this texture to a space are also scratch and stain resistant and waterproof. Choosing wood-look tiles in warm browns brings a golden-hour calming energy to a space.


There are so many brown, gold, copper, and cream stones to choose for your countertops. Natural textures within, polished to a super hard shine, stone countertops achieve softness and strength at the same time.

Browns, golds, tans, creams, and other warm tones are naturally associated with stability, strength, life's necessities, and Mother Earth. Venturing away from the cool neutral grays and bright whites, current design trends are moving towards these humble, unpretentious earthy hues and textures. Brown is modest, but classy, timeless, and forever. Where can you add a little softness to your space?

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