Color of the Month: Decorating with Tan

Tan is the ultimate neutral. It’s earthy, organic, subtle, muted, safe and… trendy?


Tan was a big color in New York Fashion Week, popping up in a variety of styles and textures and pieces. And because home fashion often follows couture, we can definitely expect to see tan become a big color in 2017.

Tan is essentially a pale shade of brown, which doesn’t sound exactly like trend material, but it’s the perfect backdrop for many colors and a great alternative to colder grays and yellower-toned beiges. With off-whites already showing up as Color of the Year from Benjamin Moore and Glidden, warmer-toned neutrals are forecasted to become the new gray. Tan is a sandy, chic neutral that’s neither cold nor the dreadedĀ beige, and it’s going to be very big very soon. So pay attention to these rooms!

Because it’s a versatile neutral, tan doesn’t clash with anything; it offsets both deeper and lighter neutrals (perhaps with the exception of gray), including white and black on both ends of the spectrum, and serves as a gorgeous complement to virtually any color scheme, from brights to pastels and everything in between; even the subtlest shade will pop against it. Use it in any room of any style for a warm and elegant vibe.

Tan is a restful, calming shade for bedrooms and living rooms:

Bedroom by Billy Beson Company
Bedroom by Linda McDougald Design
Bedroom by Paula Grace Designs, Inc.
Bedroom by Cyndi Parker Interiors
Living Room by Anyon Design
Living Room Liz Levin Interiors
Living Room by West Chin Architects & Interior Designers

It’s an unassuming color to play with textures and materials, ideal for sophisticated accessories and fixtures even when not paired with another hue:

Dainolite Single Pendant with Tan Fabric Sleeve
Arteriors Niven Lamp

Tan in the dining room: tasteful, refined, and fashionable.

Dining Room by Shoreline Construction
Dining Room by Molly McGinness Interior Design
Dining Room by Hendel Homes
Dining Room by Unique Spaces

Try tan for a tranquil, productive workspace:

Home Office by Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home
Home Office by Certified Luxury Builder Network

Create a warm and welcoming kitchen:

Kitchen by Gonyea Homes & Remodeling
Kitchen by Erotas Building Corporation
Kitchen by LLI Design

And give your bathroom a spa-like zen feel:

Bedroom by Suyama Peterson Deguchi
Bathroom by DeForest Architects
Bathroom by Rockefeller Partners Architects

And it works on exteriors, too!

Exterior by Jay Vanos Architects
Exterior by Mosaic Architects Boulder
Exterior by Donald Lococo Architects

Ready for tanning season?