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The Lovely Shades of Classic Earthtones

Martha Stewart has become an American icon, and her favored color palettes, especially the green that has infused much of her books and publications are part of her brand. The carefully edited color palettes that identify her magazine, television shows, and books feature a soft green with analogous harmonies. What does that mean when you are looking for the perfect shade of green to give a calm and peaceful sophistication to your own home? Read on to explore this color, in its variations and home decor applications.

earth beige and ochre
Neutrals are backdrop for colorful flower arrangements and seasonal decor.

Martha Stewart’s signature colors may change incrementally over the years, but each re-imaging melds with the next and that makes for an easily updated innovation as fashion tastes change.

This is a look at the shades, perhaps the  origins, harmonies, and the look as it was in the past and for today from Martha Stewart’s name and brand.

Martha Stewart Decorating, Turkey Hill and Lily Pond Shades

Martha Stewart earth tones

Martha Stewart’s traditional style, in the early years, had the imprint of her own fresh look and edited palettes. Her homes, particularly ‘Turkey Hill’ had the soft earth tones that showcased antiques, flowers, and entertaining so well.

Turkey Hill Dining Room

Turkey Hill Dining Room

The softly neutral, earthy tones bring a cohesion and harmony that would work well with today’s leaning towards warm and natural earth tone interiors. This is something the Martha Stewart Brand has always done so well.

Pale ochre is classic. Ochre yellow is a yellow-brown pigment from natural minerals.  It is the perfect backdrop for styles ranging from Victorian to minimal. The warmer colors are a relief from the ubiquitous grays of the “Covid years”.

Because beige-based interior palettes can look so dated, it makes sense to observe just how Stewart blended and organized her color harmonies to achieve something so timeless.

Martha Stewart’s use of neutrals is a lesser known signature color palette, which often tends towards the warm side of the spectrum.  It works well with the deeper teal blues and makes oranges and yellow to shine and sparkle.

 

Colors: By Imaginatively Named Monikers

Once the Martha Stewart Living paint colors began appearing, a plethora of named colors sprouted.  One of the reasons her color choices are so attractive and relaxing is that they seem to be mostly taken from natural objects. If one views the “Araucana” color group the nuances of tints taken from the eggs of that chicken breed makes perfect sense.

An exhaustive listof those names, paint chips, and formulations exist on My Perfect Color .com 

Shades Of Earth

Martha Stewarts signature colors include names such as “Bee Balm Red”, “Sandstone”, “Pebble”. these are colors that one might find in Colonial America, as well as the Arts and Crafts Era.

Magazine Cover via Refinery29 blog
Earthtones circa 2007 as featured on one of the MSL magazine covers

 

“Martha Stewart Earth Tones” have Connections to History

Martha Stewart colors can be found in collectibles like McCoy Pottery, Depression glass, and Ruby Red glassware. Her designs for home goods can now be found on the Mayfair site and on her Amazon site.

Colors available now
Colors available now

Martha Stewart Miles Modern Diamond Anti-Fatigue Air-Infused Kitchen Mat, Spice Red, 19.6″x32″ If you have a kitchen that has warm spice red accents, the foot saving feature of an anti-fatigue mat is a comfort that you will be grateful for, over and over. I especially like it underfoot by the stove because I cook more than I do dishes! It comes in other hues like beige,etc. but I have spice red accents in my kitchen.

Twenties Interior Example

20's Interior Colors example
20’s Interior Colors example

It is easy to see the way earlier periods of interior color and decor have inspired Stewart’s own style sense. Her palette lightens the hues, and tweaks them with some clarity. She minimizes the clutter, which is a hallmark of her rooms (especially as her style evolves).

The twenties era, in this case as envisioned by ‘Armstrong Homes’, used earth tones with contrasts of teal and smokey blue, as well as the familiar moss green. It is more intense and heavier in feel with the layering of textures, complex color harmonies, and fine details.

Martha’s creates a more modern neutral look for the background of her rooms and sparks the color scheme with colorful flowers and accent pieces in stronger colors. She has chunkier statement pieces, less overall furniture and pattern. But you can see the same feeling within the colors chosen, in both her designs and this twenties example.

Martha Stewart colors on her instagram
Martha Stewart colors on her instagram

A Thirties Kitchen In Pale Ochre, English Oak, and Geranium Red

The Thirties Kitchen that most exemplifies the later decorative choices for rooms seen at Turkey Hill and other residences is painted in a pale ochre. Martha Stewart may have called it “Rice Grain”.

For a retro look in the warm earthy shades and tints that are popular now,

Thirties Era kitchen in the earth ones of beige and red.
Thirties Era Kitchen

In the Kitchen: Beige, Golds, Red

Martha Stewart Gracie Lane Porcelain Dinnerware Set – Gold/Gold Rim – Decorated, Service for 4 (12pcs)

Popular Reading Right Now

While looking into this palette of greens, I found that there is renewed interest in reproducing Martha Stewart Living articles and reminiscing about some of the favorite issues of the past. I know I have saved my past issues of Martha Stewart Living even after decluttering forced me to throw away many issues of other types of magazines (yes, I save magazines until forced to part with them- and I do mean forced by facing up to the fact that you can’t hold onto everything).

Martha Stewart’s site revisits the best paint color for neutral spaces.
Want to see?

The Woman Herself

Known for Crafts, Cooking, Gardening, Decorating, and as a Savvy Business Woman, there are so many books on these topics on which she has put her able hands into.

And her products help the rest of us to do it, as well.

Give her colors a try whether you are seeking theme colors for a wedding or kitchen renovation ideas, they are always an inspiration.

My Favorite Thing? Her Cooking!


Martha: The Cookbook: 100 Favorite Recipes, with Lessons and Stories from My Kitchen
One of the “good things” that we love about Martha Stewart is the fabulous cooking. This book has her favorites and many of her stories and photos.

Table Setting Tips with Vintage Martha Stewart

Featuring her chosen colors .