5 colors to decorate with if you're over 'quiet luxury' but still want your home to look rich

If you are ready to leave quiet luxury behind – but not quite ready to embrace maximalism – then you will want to decorate with these five colors

Quiet luxury colors
(Image credit: Sean Anderson / Haris Kenjar Photography / minotticucine London / Original BTC)

Quiet luxury has dominated interior design trends for most of 2023, but if you are feeling a little jaded by the onslaught of muted, pale color schemes and beige room ideas, you're certainly not alone. 

While we still adore the quiet luxury trend and aesthetic for expensive-looking rooms, we have been left wanting to introduce a little more color into our lives and homes, so we asked the experts for their advice on the best room color ideas to use for when you want a room that looks rich but not bland. 

Here, designers, and color experts reveal how to approach choosing luxury color schemes with confidence, from using the color wheel to create strong color combinations to using accent shades and 'louder' neutrals. 

1. Ochre

yellow and green laundry room with tongue and groove

(Image credit: Original BTC)

If you're over the beige tones associated with quiet luxury, then it's time to invite this earthy amber in.

We love a shade with history and it would seem the fashion and design world agrees – you don't get much more original than ochre. One of the earliest pigments known to man, it appeared as an accent color when cave dwellers used it to decorate their walls 32,000 years ago. Earthy and mellow, it last found favor in the Sixties, but now, with the popularity of quiet luxury color schemes, more and more designers and decorators are looking for ways to make a home look expensive using just clever color choices. 

Not only that, vibrant ochre has warm, sunny associations, so it's no surprise that it works both as an eye-catching accent color, as well as lending itself to, say, brightening up a narrow entryway or a formal living room

2. Terracotta

Terracotta painted living room with beige curtaining

(Image credit: Stephan Julliard / Damien Langlois-Meurinne)

If you want to recreate an expensive, rich aesthetic in your home – minus the beige – then inject warmth and depth into your interior with inviting terracotta tones reminiscent of the sun-baked surfaces of warmer climes – from rich reds to burnt orange.

Terracotta is a giving shade, either playing its part as an accent color, or as the main backdrop in a decorating scheme. Its generosity of character means that terracotta has the ability to wrap its arms around your home with its all-year-round mood of warmth. This baked earth tone is sometimes interpreted with hints of burnt orange, chalky plaster pink or rusty reds, but moreover, it represents the richness of the soil from where it originates.

When it comes to deciding how much terracotta to use in a scheme, Sue Jones, Oka’s co-founder, says: ‘People can be a bit wary of using red as it’s naturally quite a vibrant color, but I think it all comes down to the tones you choose. Richer shades such as terracotta and blood orange can bring a real sense of warmth to a space. I would suggest using them as accent colors and mixing them with a calming, neutral palette.’

For added interest and luxury, try mixing terracotta with ochre. Terracotta and ochre are a color combination made in heaven as they are both derived from natural clay pigments. The grounded nature of reddy-brown terracotta underpins the vibrancy of golden ochre, creating balance within a scheme.

3. Taupe

Small dark brown living room with gallery wall

(Image credit: Gross & Daley)

Reminiscent of velvety cocoa, a mid-brown taupe is a striking color if you want to achieve a quiet luxury look that isn't devoid of color. Depending on the furniture and accent colors introduced alongside, it has the flexibility to range from looking neat and tailored to soft and welcoming. 

There is just something oh so luxurious and classic about decorating with brown, and taupe in particular is a designer favorite. 

‘For me, neutrals such as taupe are grounding wall colors,' says Henriette Von Stockhausen, creative director, of VSP Interiors. 'It’s important to remember that sometimes a classic interior is just the ticket: calm colors, gentle schemes, traditional furniture and antiques – no pattern clashes, no huge color pops, just comfort and a quiet space to relax in.' 

4. Metallic

Modern kitchen with wood island and marble countertop

(Image credit: minotticucine London)

Metallic color schemes have been all over the runway for the past few years, and now they've filtered through into home decorating ideas too. There's a notable swing back towards chrome, gold and copper in interior design. Pitched against dark timbers, these accents of bright, shiny metallic tones cut a sharp silhouette.

It's certainly not a shy or mellow color, but when used in a considered manner, metallics such as gold, silver, and copper can add instant luxury and glamor to a room. 

Beautifully understated, colors from the metal palette reflect light and open up a space, so use them to give a dull room an interesting, unexpected touch of quiet luxury. 

5. Charcoal

Black living room with white sofa

(Image credit: Project by Sean Anderson / Haris Kenjar Photography)

A daring and decadent choice, decorating with black will always be an elegant and sophisticated choice. A strong, robust shade, black is guaranteed to bring drama and verve to interiors and is becoming increasingly popular as we become more confident with color.

‘Dark and dramatic paint colors such as black have a way of adding ambiance and sophistication to a space,' says Tom Howley, founder of the eponymous kitchen company. 'This daring color can look luxurious and courageous while still having a timeless, intimate appeal.'

However, a black decorating scheme is a brave choice, as it requires careful editing and a strong design eye. This type of interior can also appear ‘flat’ if you don’t introduce texture and subtle tonal variety. But put together carefully, it’s a great way to add drama and style.

What colors give a luxury feel?

Dark colors are great for creating a sense of luxury and intimacy as well as a strong impact. Inky hues work perfectly in both snugs and classically proportioned living rooms because they immediately anchor the space and infuse it with elegance. 

Combining darker colors with texture, such as this linen-effect milk chocolate wallpaper, creates a wonderfully cocooning space. Floor-length curtains in an even deeper shade, such as charcoal or squid ink, will heighten the sense of drama. 

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.