7 Desert-Inspired Color Combos You’ll Want to Copy in Your House

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Soothing hues, organic textures, and the occasional pop of green are just a few of the inspired elements that make up a desert landscape. From the midcentury modern abodes of Palm Springs to Joshua Tree's down-to-earth getaways, these days desert style can mean so much more than the typical sandy scene with billowing canvas tents.

The popular aesthetic champions an effortlessly cool vibe, using a combination of hues and patterns to evoke a zen-like scheme where an emphasis is placed on pairing high-contrast shades with each other to form an alluring finish. Read on to discover a few of our favorite desert color combos for your house and find the choice palette that speaks to you.

1. Terracotta and Clay

Earthy tones combined with textured accent pieces are a hallmark of desert style and a foolproof way to achieve a laidback aesthetic. Featured in the Tuscon Inn, this captivating bedroom brings together a color palette of browns, beiges, and splashes of terra cotta as an ode to its rugged terrain.

Get the look: West Elm Moroccan Leather Pouf, $299

2. Dark Sage and Off-White

Imagine an off-white abode with a stretch of oversize cacti surrounding the property. Now translate that into the living room, just as Amber Lewis did in this stunning Cali home. A dark grayish-sage sofa with a collection of patterned throw pillows steals the spotlight and isn't overshadowed by the pair of large desert landscape prints that drive the cool Southwestern vibe.

Get the look: Shoppe by Amber Interiors Grayson Armchair, $3,850

3. Pink and Orange

We challenge you to find a tonal pairing that better emulates the captivating hues of a sunset. Sarah Sherman Samuel's take on the iconic desert color palette comes in the form of this serene boho bedroom, where dusty rose walls set the perfect backdrop, allowing the terra cotta-orange bedspread to shine.

Get the look: Serena & Lily Positano Linen Sheet Set, $278 - $378

4. Red and White

The key to making this striking duo work, with desert style in mind, is to use their subdued counterparts. Instead of a brilliant white and rich crimson — which is going to feel too aggressive for what we're trying to achieve — try pairing an off-white and an oxblood or orange-red. This desert-modern California home did just that, allowing the patterned rug to double as the grounding element of the room.

Get the look: Rejuvenation Adair Hand-Knotted Rug, $1,199 - $3,299

5. Sky Blue and Beige

If you, on the other hand, prefer something a little cooler, then the dreamy desert color palette used in this bedroom, belonging to artist Lilian Martinez, is for you. A cool blue backdrop sets a soothing tone while the softer sand-like accents, such as the flax linen bedding and rattan headboard, take the zen elements to new heights.

Get the look: Lilian Martinez Worldwide Aura Throw Blanket, $200

6. Ochre and Cream

Among our favorite desert house colors, you'll find this duo, and it's about as cool as it gets. While we're partial to ochre, any variation of a jewel-toned yellow or mustard will work here. Featured in the Yucca Room at Posada by the Joshua Tree House, the inspired scheme makes us think of a field of desert flowers, accentuated by its muted surroundings.

Get the look: Benjamin Moore Ochre

7. Blue and Light Brown

Bright splashes of blue are the rare gems of desert color palettes, channeling an oasis in a sea of sand. The modern kitchen of #ThatDesertHouse personifies that scene with its cheeky blue backsplash tile and a healthy number of woven accents — such as jute and rattan, for texture — in its too-good-for-words dining nook.

Get the look: Zia Tile Nova, $9.75 per square foot


Anna is a New York-based writer and editor with a penchant for travel, design, and interiors.

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