One of Sarah Sherman Samuel’s Signature Colors Is Officially a Design Classic
Eight reasons to embrace ochre.
Published Jun 24, 2021 2:10 AM
The most celebrated colors these days pop just as much as their names. Millennial pink, Miranda Hobbes green, and Gen-Z yellow are undeniably fun, vibrant, and made to be ’grammed. But if you’re over bubblegum and can’t quite get on board with citron, there’s another, subtler option. Consider ochre, a color trend that comes without a generational prefix and feels so much more elevated than its punchy counterpart.
Somewhere between mustard and brown, ochre is a more palatable shade of in-your-face yellow. A big reason it feels so elevated is because it’s hardly new. In fact, it’s a retro color tied to the ’70s, similar to other earthy tones like avocado green. And you can trace it farther back than that. We’re talking back to the Renaissance. In Tuscany, centuries-old ochre-colored homes still line the streets of Florence and Siena, proof that this hue is timeless and super-versatile.
While ochre has always had its place in interiors, it’s definitely enjoying something of a comeback. (Peep the sofa in Sarah Sherman Samuel’s Michigan home.) Lately we’ve seen it cropping up in our favorite retailers’ collections—hello, Hawkins New York—and in some of the coolest Brooklyn shops, like the Gray Matters showroom. It’s never been easier to find ochre furniture and decor; here are our favorite pieces.
If You Want to Zhuzh Up Your Walls
For a big dose of that old-school Tuscan charm, bring ochre into your home via paint or an antique-y finish like plaster or limewash. Obviously that’s a commitment—not to mention a renter hazard—so if it’s not in the cards, try a leafy wallpaper or abstract print instead.
For just a whisper of the color, consider Tortuga’s minimalist shelf. Featuring geometric ochre brackets, it won’t clash with the rest of your space.
If You’re Craving Some Texture
Throw pillows are the fickle decorator’s best friend, and this ochre option works with both neutral and equally saturated sofas. Pair it with rusty terracotta tones if you’re after a ’70s look. For a bolder splash of the hue, treat your floors to a plush new rug. With its abstract design it will compete for most dramatic detail in your living room.
If Your Kitchen Needs a Hint of Color
Swap out your tattered tea towels. This linen option brings a dose of French style to your space. If your dining room is less an actual dining room and more a multipurpose bistro table in a corner of the kitchen, give it a spotlight with the full ochre treatment. First, add a checkered tablecloth, then top it with an amber-colored bud vase. It’s the only centerpiece you’ll need.
If You Want to Splash Out on a Major Statement
Willing to splurge? Bring the ochre trend home with a new piece of furniture. A Milo Baughman chair works just as well in a bedroom as it does in a common area. For something more traditional, a Rove Concepts sofa is a solid mid-century choice. Layer in a cozy rug for the ultimate reading nook—might we suggest the aforementioned option from Tantuvi Studio?