Warm, earthy, and rich, burnt sienna is the kind of color that immediately imparts a sense of coziness in a space. The reddish-brown, toasted hue is orange's toned-down cousin and is reminiscent of raw clay (in fact, it gets its name from the heating of a natural element called raw sienna). It instantly lends itself to a rustic, organic vibe when used in interior design. In the mood for boho style? This is your color. Want to warm up a cool neutral room? This is your go-to.
According to Opendoor interior designer Yasmine El Sanyoura, it's no surprise why so many people are gravitating towards burnt sienna in their homes. "As a deep, earthy color, and it’s also an extension of the return to nature and organic colors that we’ve been seeing in home design over the last two years," she tells us. "Burnt sienna also acts as both a neutral and a statement color, so its versatility is especially appealing for consumers."
Want to learn how to decorate with this cozy, campfire-like color? We talked to designers about their favorite ways to add burnt sienna to a room.
Paint an Accent Wall
Burnt sienna makes for an excellent accent wall color, according to El Sanyoura. "People love that perfect mix of reddish-brown that’s not too overwhelming but still adds character."
To go bolder, she suggests painting an entire room from trim to ceiling in burnt sienna. Or, you can take note of what the designers at Arbor and Co. did here, and allow it to pop with white trim. This will create a cozy atmosphere for big gatherings or lazy nights at home.
Look for a Cool Couch
A burnt sienna couch becomes the focal point of this room—immediately drawing the eye and capturing your attention. It's bold, elevated, and sophisticated all in one. Complement the bright features of the couch with pillows, artwork, and lighting in similar warm tones.
Cover the Walls
Don't be afraid to use a deep shade of burnt sienna on your walls; the richness of the color envelops the room in soothing and elegant warmth. It's anything but understated, but it makes for a timeless finish—especially when paired with more neutral and traditional finishings and furnishings.
Select Striking Artwork
"Another way to easily incorporate burnt sienna in the home is through wall art—from desertscapes to abstract paintings," says El Sanyoura. Here, the designers at Brexton Cole Interiors transformed an otherwise neutral, cool-toned space with pops of burnt sienna through eye-catching artwork and a few strategically-placed throw pillows.
Opt for an Eclectic Feel
Although burnt sienna tends to veer more retro in feel, that doesn't mean it can't look incredible in a more traditional space. Opt for an eclectic vibe by adding it to your existing decor and embracing the juxtaposition of styles.
When it comes to decorating with burnt sienna, "don’t feel pressured to go big right away," says El Sanyoura. "It’s okay incorporating color little by little—start with something small like colored candles or even brightly colored foliage. As you live with the pieces, push yourself to incorporate more of the colors that you enjoy."
Play With Drapery
Drapes are an easy and fun way to test out burnt sienna in a room without going overboard. Pick a lightweight, sheer fabric so they don't feel too heavy. Here, orange-colored flowers tie the space together, making the drapes feel more intentional.
Warm Up Cool Tones
A palette of soft grays, taupes, and whites is instantly warmed with the addition of a few burnt sienna accessories such as a leather ottoman or a few clay-colored throw pillows.
Complete a Sunset Palette
No sunset color palette is complete without burnt sienna. Here, the colors blend together for a look that is unique, inviting, and totally one-of-a-kind. A burnt-sienna throw blanket adds depth and dimension to the multi-tonal bed.
Lean into the retro feel of burnt sienna with art, accessories, and furniture that caters to the groovy decor style. Don't be afraid to select an unexpectedly old-school loveseat like this one.
Enhance a Rustic Vibe
Due to its organic feel, burnt sienna looks stunning when paired with natural elements like unfished wood or jute. Opt for the color on custom upholstery (as seen on this couch) to tie together a rustic aesthetic.
Look for Statement-Making Seating
Bold seating can ground a room and draw the eye. "A burnt sienna velvet chair in the living room or reading nook is a statement piece that will never go out of style," says El Sanyoura.
Warm Up a White Space
Touches of burnt sienna in an otherwise bright white space can make the color feel softer and more balanced. Adding a few accessories is a great way to test the waters of the tone in your home.
Use It as a Powder Room Focal Point
"I like using warm colors like burnt sienna to liven up an otherwise cold space, like a kitchen or bathroom,” says designer Amy Lefernik of Interior Impressions. “I recently used burnt sienna as a cabinet color in a bathroom and it instantly brought so much life and depth to the room, and helped us build the other design elements in a layered way.”
Have It Be Your Pop of Color
Soft goods in burnt sienna—such as throw pillows or an area rug—are an easy and commitment-free way to incorporate a fresh pop of color into your existing space. Interior designer Heather Mastrangeli suggests looking for rich velvet pillows, along with an area rug that features multiple colors that complement your interior space. "Layer different textures together in similar colors to create a curated designer look," she says.
Burnt sienna area rugs will help to disguise dirt from foot traffic and will help the space to feel updated.
Try Out a Burnt Sienna Bedspread
Go all out by trading your boring white bedspread for one in burnt sienna. It's cozy and unexpected. Pair it with macrame pillows for a true boho style feel.
Layer in Boho Style Textiles
"This warm and earthy color works best with the design themes of Southwestern, Tuscan, Bohemian, and cabin," Andra DelMonico, lead interior designer for Trendey tells us. She suggests incorporating the color with textiles like a tapestry. Balance the burnt sienna with lighter neutrals to keep your room feeling fresh.
Create Contrast With Neutrals
If you're looking to create contrast in a space that is dominated by neutrals, burnt sienna should be your go-to. It gives richness and dimension to the room without distracting the eye.
Use Burnt Sienna Floor Tile
El Sanyoura predicts an increased interest in burnt sienna for tile in time. It's easy to incorporate, too. For example, if you like the Mediterranean style, she says to opt for terracotta-look floor tiles in a burnt sienna hue. Or, you could go for a burnt sienna stacked shower tile in the bathroom for a mid-century modern look.
Punch It Up With Jewel Tones
Burnt sienna looks even more striking when paired with colors of equal richness. For a luxe look, select jewel tones and burnt sienna in the same room.
Make It the Focal Point
Make burnt sienna the focal point of your space by letting it stand out. Here, the bold color is juxtaposed against a raw-wood background, making way for a grand entry into a sophisticated dining space.