earthy sophistication

The photo from Architectural Digest June 2005 which kicked off this discussion:


Hi all. This post is a follow up to my newsletter article on earthy sophistication. The assertion: earthy sophistication seems to be a serious thread running through modern interiors. The evidence: some images pulled from recent publications.

These great examples highlight some overall themes:

  1. the presence of wood elements
  2. white as a key color: I think white helps to denote an earthiness because it indicates purity, or a more natural “undecorated” state, even when the space is very intentional
  3. earth tones as accent colors, of course, from deep browns to nutmegs
  4. heavy doses of texture, in wall and floor coverings
  5. interplay between cultivated and uncultivated

In this image from Elle Decor, textured walls and carpet, deep browns, wooly throw, and white spread make an earthy oasis. Glossy ceramic lamps and geometric print  on the drapes balance it.


I love this room from Domino Magazine. The inclusion of green is a fresh take on the earthy that I’ve been seeing, and so appropriate! The formalism in the arrangement here keeps it sophisticated.


Below, from Elle Decor, taupey white walls have a feeling of texture, dark wood on the floors, antler chair and other wood accents spell out earthy. The traditional table and floor to ceiling windows keep it cultivated.


This room from Country Living magazine definitely feels earthy, as one might expect. It is more elegant than sophisticated, with primarily traditional pieces. The skirted furniture, gilded mirror keeps it from going “lodge.”


This room is more formal than the others with tufted headboard and x-leg benches. But the texture in the carpeting, the appearance of texture in the wall covering, and the sculptural wood pieces are unexpected. Elle Decor again.


The house below, published in Elle Decor, is in the Bahamas, so earthy is perhaps a necessity with all that ocean. The living area has many woody elements from the beams down to the natural fiber rug. The dark floor in herringbone pattern with the all white in the dining area feels organic. In both these rooms clean lines in the architecture, furnishings and layouts are a counterpoint to the earthy elements.


Please feel free to post any thoughts you may have on earthy interiors to the message board!