While some trends come and go, the affinity for earthy colours is here to stay. Want to find out more about the trend and how to use it in your home? Read on as we explore the different earth tones out there, why they’re so popular, and provide a bit of inspiration using Frenchic earth-tone paints.

What are earth tones?

For anyone who’s unfamiliar with earth tones, the clue is in the name. They are brown-based colours that echo the natural shade of the earth itself. We’re not talking about the green and blue of the globe – but the beautiful rich brown you get when you break ground.

Think that’s a narrow scope? Think again. Brown itself can range from light pastel tones such as sandy Fennec to rich, dark shades like Liquorice, which add a hint of warmth that blacks and off-blacks often lack. Not to mention mid-browns like Take The Biscuit and Moleskin, which are characterful, warm and rich.

But dig a little deeper (pun intended) and you’ll find a plethora of brown-based greys, off-whites and even reds, pinks and purples, including:

  • Clay Pot – A soft, pinkish red with an earth feel.
  • Dawlish – An earthy red underpinned by rich brown umber tones.
  • Swayed – Café-au-lait in colour with a subtle purple hint.
  • Donkey Derby – A soot-toned deep brown sitting somewhere between chocolate and charcoal.
  • Smoke Signal – A warmish neutral brown with smoky grey undertones.

Why are they on-trend?

The liking for earthy tones started in the pandemic, when the calming effects of nature were most needed. Restricted to one walk a day, people relished a closer connection with the natural world and wanted to bring that inside their homes.

During the pandemic, many Australians took up gardening, with two-thirds of adults saying nature helps their mental health. Many in apartments even opted for window boxes and indoor plants to bring nature into their space.

But that wasn’t the only pattern in pandemic behaviour. Collectively, Brits spent over $12.3 billion on home improvement in the space of a year. For those who were redecorating, it seemed the logical choice to incorporate some of those calming, natural colours into their homes.

Thus started the earth tones trend. But it’s not faded away like many expected. Brown shades have continued to dominate throughout 2021, 2022 and now into 2023.

What colours do they work with?

Natural and often neutral, earth tone paint can pair with practically any colour scheme in both contemporary and classic spaces.

The myriad of brown-based grey tones can be paired with all kinds of colours, depending on the type of grey in question, soft greys can work well with a dusky pink, bright red, sage green, blues and even black. On the flipside, darker greys are the ideal backdrop for small amounts of bright colour.

Alternatively, you can pair colours based on their undertone. A subtle, soft red like Clay Pot, for example, can work well alongside a stronger red if you want to tone down a colour drenching scheme. Equally, however, it would look great as a contrasting accent against blue and grey tones.

Keep in mind that these are only suggestions – what works for you is the most important factor. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out our blog post on how to pick complementary paint colours.

How to use earth tone paint colours

Because there are so many shades to choose from, you can easily pick an earthy colour to suit your needs. If you want to go subtle, a grey or pink with brown undertones can work wonders. Or jump into the nature-inspired trend with an earthy brown shade.

The same approach applies when it comes to what you’re painting. You can easily add earthy touches with small pieces of furniture, complemented by soft furnishings in earthy colours. Or go all in by painting walls or larger pieces of furniture like wardrobes and cabinets.

That applies in rooms throughout the home too. The calming influences of earthy colours are ideal for the bedroom, creating a relaxing sanctuary. That’s demonstrated perfectly using our earthy neutral, Corker…



Equally, however, earthy colours look great in the bathroom. That could be a subtle choice like Salt of the Earth to freshen up your bathroom vanity… 

Or you can go bold with rich browny-red Dawlish on your bathroom tiles. Be sure to check out our video on how to paint ceramic tiles, if this is up your street.



@frenchicaus 🌟 Tile Transformation 🌟 Looking to add a deep, comforting and more grounding feel to your bathroom? Warm up the space with our rich brown with burnt umber tones shade 'Dawlish' from the luxurious and practical Chalk Wall Paint Range. 🧡 Frenchic Fan @Megan Marchant used the shade to transform her ceramic wall tiles from cold to cosy. We can't wait to see it all come together! ℹ️ Frenchic Al Fresco and Chalk Wall Paint ranges can be used on interior wall tiles. Areas of high humidity and standing water however, should be avoided, for example in a shower cubical. #Frenchicaustralia #FrenchicPaint #frenchictok #bedroommakeover #bathroompaint #bathroomtile #tilepainter #bathroomdesign #budgetrenovations #renoonabudget #bathroomtransformation ♬ original sound - Frenchic Paint Australia



If you want people to notice the earthy tones as soon as they walk in, why not paint your hallway in a brown-based colour? If you’re stuck for which to choose, you can always order a few samples like the Frenchic Fan below!



@frenchicpaint I’m leaning towards 3 Pampas?! I already have this in the playroom - it’s just such a perfect neutral colour.'... 🤍 🌾 Help Frenchic Fan @Olivia Bowen choose a fresh new neutral hue for her hallway! Which is your favourite? 1. Cool Beans 2. Swayed 3. Pampas 3. Smoke Signal ℹ️ Hallway previously painted in our balanced taupe - not too grey, not too beige shade, 'Stone In Love from the scrubbable Chalk Wall Paint Range. #Frenchic #FrenchicPaint #frenchictok #frenchicfan #paintsample #paintsamples #frenchicsamples #wallpainting #wallpaint #frenchicwallpaint ♬ original sound - Frenchic Paint


Give earth tone paint a try

Earthy colours are here to stay. So, there’s no reason not to try earth tone paint on your walls, furniture or other surfaces throughout the home. At Frenchic, you’ll find all the paint you need to do exactly that in a choice of beautiful, brown-infused colours – from subtle neutrals with brown undertones to striking reddish browns.

Our chalk paints are a fantastic choice for a wide range of projects, whether it’s ultra-matte Chalk Wall Paint, soft satin Trim Paint in matching colours, The Lazy Range for interior furniture, or our Al Fresco range for both indoor and outdoor use.

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