If you’re one of those people who prefers big washes of color to an all-neutral room with neutral paint colors, you might want to check out jewel tones. Jewel-toned colors are deeply saturated hues that tend to be named after gemstones. Think: emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple, citrine yellow. Gold—as a color and a finish—can also fall into this color family and complements jewel tones beautifully. In interior design, these colors add richness to your space.
What Decor Style Goes Best With Jewel Tones?
Many people may associate jewel tones with a specific design style—say, glam or transitional. But they’re actually much more free-flowing and multifaceted than that. You can take them in a lot of different directions and use them with many different design styles, as well as with other color families.
How Do I Decorate With Jewel Tones?
When decorating with jewel tones, it’s important to decide on a base color to help ground the space, then work around that color with accents of jewel tones. Consider finishes, fabrics, and tones within the space to help guide your use of jewel tone colors. For example, if you’re going for a warmer palette, try incorporating more yellows, golds, and reds, along with gold or brass finishes. For a cooler palette, opt for emerald greens or sapphire blues, with silver finishes.
Tips For Designing With Jewel Tone Decor
There are so many different ways you can decorate with jewel tones in your home—though fall and winter are actually a great time to try them out, as their saturated tones really suit the colder seasons. (But don’t worry, they work in your home year-round!) Keep reading for some stunning jewel tone color scheme design ideas, along with our best tips on the many ways you can decorate with jewel tones.
1. Go High-Contrast
If you love bold colored rooms, go high-contrast with a mix of jewel tones. Mustard and amethyst make for a perfect color combination that also creates a lot of contrast in the space (as evidenced by this wall and sofa combo). The addition of the rug adds playful vibrance to what might otherwise be a very stately space.
This is not a subtle look; rather, this room is a great example of a whole room being saturated in jewel tones—from the wall to the sofa and rug. It’s definitely a more maximalist approach to the application of jewel tones in color.
2. Make A Statement
You don’t have to paint your whole room in order to incorporate jewel tones. In fact, even a single pop of a jewel tone in an otherwise neutral space can make a major style statement. Jewel toned decor or accent furniture—like pillows, ottomans, wall art, and tabletop decor—are a great way to bring in those colors. This room displays that more subtle take on jewel tones, with just one big pop that is echoed in other small moments throughout the space. This subtle decor supplements the main piece of the room, the ottoman. (Check out our guide to decorating with white for more ways to bring this type of look to life.)
3. Tone It Down
Another way to bring jewel tone interiors to life? Go more subtle in jewel tones with toned down shades like pale reds and greens. However, it’s important to still use a bold jewel tone on the wall or through a sofa or rug to help ground the look. Without this high-contrast, darker element, the toned down jewel tones can easily take on a pastel look, which would really change the vibe. But against a rich, intense jewel tone—like with the wall above—the colors read more like jewel tones. Textures also help the toned down shades read more jewel tones. The velvet materials give off a more luxe vibe, which aligns with jewel tones. On the other hand, if the furniture were in a cotton weave or linen, the colors would read a bit differently.
Overall, this is a great approach for someone who’s on the fence about jewel tones, or even someone who likes pastels or lighter, earthier colors, but wants to glam it up a bit with some high contrast and golds.
4. Embrace Repetition
Drive home your bold color scheme through repetition of jewel tones. In this room, we used a deep ruby red paint color, and repeated that in accents throughout the space—both in the rug and the wall baskets. This creates a compositional repetition of colors. This is a great way to approach a more eclectic take on jewel tones (proof that this color scheme doesn’t always have to be paired with glam or transitional styles). Here, the deep red tones rule the look and pairs beautifully with rustic wood tones and natural materials. When applying jewel tones to an eclectic style, grounding it in the natural materials of the space helps balance out the look.
5. Make Sure Metals Are in the Same Color Family
Metallic finishes are a perfect pairing to a more glam take on jewel tones. However, when using metallic finishes, make sure your metals are all in the same family, or at least complementary. In this room, you’ll notice gold finishes throughout, and they all have the same color tone and finish to them. (They’re matte gold, rather than ultra shiny. You can go either way, but you just want those finishes to be uniform throughout a space.) However, you’ll also notice a pair of black iron side tables in the corner—proof that you certainly can mix metals. You just want to make sure there is a dominant metal in the space, like gold is here.
6. Mix Up Your Textures
When decorating with jewel tones, you can have a lot of fun mixing textures within your space. Consider throw pillows: you could choose a chunky knit pillow, next to a velvet pillow of the same color—but the different materials and textures add a ton of depth to the look. Another texture to mix into the look? Leather. It makes a perfect backdrop for these vibrant, saturated hues while also adding organic warmth, which is where jewel tones thrive.
This room portrays another eclectic approach to jewel tones. This room is earthy and natural—in fact, earth tones have the main stage in this look, while jewel tones are more supportive. Just remember: when mixing textures and colors, just make sure the colors you’re using are either the same shade or color family, so they’re complementary rather than competing for attention.
Ready to incorporate some jewel tones into your home’s design?