Skip to Content

Every item on this page was hand-picked by a House Beautiful editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

How to Decorate with Jewel Tones Like a Designer

Incorporate the rich hues in timeless ways.

Headshot of Kate McGregorBy Kate McGregor
michael maher butcher pantry
Paul Raeside

While muted pastels and soothing neutrals have been all the rage in color trends these days, there's another group of hues that are preparing to take over: jewel tones. Jewel tone colors are those derived and/or named after gemstones and jewels, like sapphire blue, emerald green, and ruby red. The colors, vibrant and deep, are the opposite of pastels. These hues are known for their richness and depth, and they're ideal for making spaces like bedrooms and dens feel cozy or adding drama to small spaces like powder rooms.

Jewel tones are more versatile than you might think. In fact, jewel tone colors can be "inviting, captivating, and luxurious," says Natalie Ebel, cofounder of the paint company Backdrop. Backdrop recently announced a collaboration with Porsche that unveiled four new paint colors, all of which happen to be jewel tones: a rich green, fuchsia, yellow, and blue, all intended to be modern takes on heritage Porsche colors. Which is to say that Ebel has spent a lot of time contemplating jewel tones recently.

One potential pitfall is that decorating with jewel tones can easily make a space lean too dark or powerful, says Ebel. That's why she says it's important to pay attention to balance when using jewel tone colors in larger spaces. "I think any color can be modern depending on how you apply it and design the space," she says. "To make jewel tones feel modern, I would pair them with neutral colors and incorporate sleek textures and clean lines to create a balanced look."

Here's another designer trick of the trade: Use the color wheel to your advantage. Every color has a complement for a reason. Blue and orange are a natural pairing, as are violet and yellow and red and green. You can build a room off these pairings by layering in patterns and textures.

Ahead, we highlight eight ways to decorate with jewel tones. including tips for incorporating them in your existing decor.


Rust Orange

colorful living room
William Jess Laird

Instead of going full color on the walls, opt for a furniture swap to incorporate jewel tones into your decor. This rust-orange couch (reminiscent of topaz or citrine) pairs perfectly with its color complement, sage green. Tie in the color further with warm-toned woods and artwork.

Buy Now Rust Orange Paint


Jade Green

sexy bathroom with purple tub and mural wallpaper
Studio DB

To make a vivid statement, opt for a high-gloss paint color and equally vibrant fixtures in your main bathroom. To break up solid washes of color, use a wallpaper panel in the same verdant color family. offers the eye a focal point.

Buy Now Jade Green Paint


Emerald Green

room, furniture, interior design, table, building, bar stool, shelf, architecture, hutch, cabinetry,
Victoria Pearson

In social spaces like a bar or den, choose contrasting shades for the ultimate glamour. Mirrors and gold lighting reflect light around the closed space to make it feel bigger despite the jewel-toned emerald ceiling.

Buy Now Emerald Green Paint

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Cobalt Blue

metal grate cabinets
David A. Land

Navy is a classic kitchen cabinet color for its timelessness and versatility. But rather than going almost black in tone, instead choose a slightly more cobalt shade to add vibrancy and depth to the space.

Buy Now Cobalt Blue Paint


Ruby Red

living room, room, furniture, interior design, pink, turquoise, red, property, green, wall,
Eric Piasecki

Red is a fiery and strong color, and when swathed on the walls it can be overwhelming (and not in a good way). However, opting for a slightly subdued ruby shade, combined with cooler pinks and blues for balance, is a great way to incorporate the hue into your space.

Buy Now Ruby Red Paint


Eggplant Purple

bathroom with penny tiles
Heidi Caillier

Bathrooms are the one space where no (okay, maybe just a few) rules apply. Jewel tones are known for their dramatic tendencies. Where better to show off their rich tones than in a dark and moody bathroom like this one by Heidi Caillier?

Buy Now Eggplant Purple Paint

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Burgundy Red

bedroom color ideas
Heidi Caillier

Create a cozy and cocooning bedroom by swapping stark white walls for a deep jewel tone. This burgundy bedroom by Heidi Caillier is soothing without feeling like a cave.

Buy Now Burgundy Red Paint

Watch Next
preview for Home Tours

Color Is Everything


29 Bathroom Color Ideas to Redo Your Space

joana gaines wallpaper

Joanna Gaines Used the “Loudest” Wayfair Wallpaper

rainbow home decor

Rainbow Home Decor Guaranteed to Make You Smile

modern kitchen interior with green wall

The Cabinet Paint Colors to Consider This Year

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
twitter icon
youtube icon
facebook icon
instagram icon
pinterest icon
Hearst Lifestyle and Design Group - A Part of Hearst Digital Media

A Part of Hearst Digital Media

We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back.

©2023 Hearst Magazine Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy NoticeCA Notice at CollectionYour CA Privacy Rights/Shine the LightDAA Industry Opt OutTerms of UseSite Map
Cookies Choices