From turquoise to ruby, emerald to amethyst, jewel tones provide a wonderful palette for fabrics, bringing a sense of richness and opulence to soft furnishings. Gemstone hues offer depth to interiors without being shouty or brash, making them easy to live with on a day-to-day basis. Here, we explore the different ways to use jewel-toned fabrics, from accent pieces to tone-on-tone layered interiors.
Unveiling jewel-toned fabrics
The beauty of jewel tones is that they are highly saturated, making them particularly suitable for luxurious fabrics. Velvets and chenilles are ideal as their thick pile works in harmony with rich, deep colours, as witnessed here with our versatile Alpha velvets in gorgeous gemstone hues. Silk fabrics offer a lustrous quality that makes them another good choice for jewel tones, although bear in mind that silks, like brocades, are often only suitable for soft furnishing projects that won’t receive much wear. Linen fabrics, on the other hand, are a little more robust, and really come into their own with jewel-toned patterns as they hold the print beautifully.
Enhancing the living room
Jewel tones are fantastic for bringing warmth and a sense of intimacy to a living room and they can be a wonderful way to ensure that a large space doesn’t feel cold. You can dip your toe into the aesthetic by introducing sophisticated jewel-toned pieces to a neutral interior – think upholstery such as sofas, armchairs or an ottoman in rich jewel-hued fabrics against a backdrop of neutral shades – or go all-out with layers of jewel hues for a scheme that exudes a sense of luxury. This room offers a masterclass in layering jewel tones, all of which are pulled from the colour palette of the glorious curtain fabric, Wild in Midnight. The sofa upholstery picks out shades of carnelian and topaz blue – Tango velvets in Terracotta & Petrol – while an opulent beaded trim introduces a touch of citrine yellow that is carried over to the punchy scalloped console table. Turquoise walls and accent pieces add to this layered, considered scheme that feels both sumptuous and comforting.
Creating a jewel-toned bedroom oasis
The wonderful thing about jewel tones is their depth of colour, allowing you to introduce hues that don’t shout out or jar in a room. This is particularly important in a bedroom, where the aim is to create a restful oasis that encourages relaxation. Think about introducing jewel tones with fabrics for the headboard, bedspread, cushions or curtains. Here, our soft Moleskin velvet in Gold was used for the frame and oversized headboard of the bed, and contrasted with a turquoise ottoman in Moleskin velvet in Petrol. The cushion’s beautiful printed velvet, Japanese Garden in Blossom, picks up on the turquoise and introduces touches of coral and emerald which are repeated with plain scatter cushions. Even the lighting has been carefully chosen to work with the jewel tones, and is designed to subtly light the room so that these luxurious velvets glow softly at night.
Dining in elegance
Jewel tones don’t have to be bold: shades such as rose quartz or aquamarine are beautifully subtle hues that are perfect for creating a quietly luxurious scheme. In this grand dining room, our classic Hester stripe in linen inspired a colour palette of rose quartz and tourmaline. The fabric’s stripe helps to emphasise the room’s tall windows, and is complemented with plain pink pelmets (Elba in Sorbet); the pattern of the fabric is carried through to the table with a runner and matching napkins. Coloured glassware chimes with the green and the touch of citrine yellow in the stripe – and comes into its own when the room is lit with candlelight.
Embracing jewel-toned accents
A lovely way to start decorating with jewel tones is by using them as accent colours within a predominantly neutral scheme. Jewel-hued fabrics can be used throughout a room for smaller pieces such as cushions, lampshades or footstools, and don’t forget more unexpected items such as a fireplace fender or even a wall hanging fashioned from a favourite fabric. In this neutral sitting room, an emerald green velvet sofa brings a pop of colour that is further enlivened with our opulent Double Dragon velvet cushions. The different jewel tones in the pattern offer lots of inspiration for accessories throughout the scheme, such as the ruby red plant pot pictured in the background.
Mixing and matching
Perhaps the bravest way to approach jewel-toned fabrics is to layer similar tones throughout the space, adopting slightly different hues to ensure a sense of depth whilst creating a truly immersive feel. In this room scheme, the emerald green velvets of the sofa and curtains – Omega in Mantis and Teal – almost clash with the turquoise hues of the walls and rug, giving the scheme a subtle edginess. Pops of carnelian orange, including a buttoned ottoman in Omega in Tango, are all-important for breaking up the tone-on-tone effect. This is a particularly wonderful way to decorate an evening room such as a snug or a den.
Making an entrance
It’s fun to introduce jewel toned fabrics in unexpected spaces: a curtain beneath a sink in a pantry, for example, or upholstery for a banquette in a breakfast nook. This informal entrance is a case in point, with its arresting patterned curtain and Roman blind bringing an unexpected touch of luxury to an otherwise pared-back space. For added sumptuousness, the curtain – which is made in our beautiful floral linen, Uhura in Tomato – was interlined and features a fold-over flounce; the leading edge and bottom of the curtain are trimmed in the same botanical print, this time in the Blue-Pink colourway. The Roman blind also has a border in the contrasting colourway, which was also used for a pair of sweet café-style curtains. A lesson in how to bring warmth and character to a transitory space.
Going for bold
For a rich, inviting room scheme, jewel tones lend themselves beautifully to a wrap-around approach that sees the same design used for both the walls and the window treatments. In this small study, English Oak in Blue – a verdant print inspired by an 18th century tapestry – gives the occupant the sense of being immersed in nature, while the rich tones, spanning sapphire to emerald, lend a cossetting feel. The Roman blinds, which were recessed into the width of the window frame so as not to encroach on the space, feature the same print in a velvet fabric that adds another layer of luxury. Note the brass accents and the colour of the woodwork, both of which tie in beautifully with the tones of the print.
We hope we have inspired you to embrace fabrics in a jewel box palette, whether it’s a flash of emerald in a neutral-toned interior or layers of opulent hues for an evening snug. Don’t be afraid to introduce jewel tones that almost appear to clash: turquoise and sapphire; ruby and pink quartz… the results will be all the more dynamic and inspiring.