Color Palette of the Week: On The Rocks

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See color in even the most mundane of things with this palette inspired from beach rocks. Here’s how to use it to rock your home decor.


You only need to look at a Van Gogh painting to understand that color is everywhere around us. Sometimes we don’t pay much attention to it because we’re so saturated with sensations, but every once in a while, observing an ordinary object like a rock can reveal lots of color we didn’t see before.

In my ongoing effort to provide more neutral palettes, I saw this beautiful array of rocks on a beach to inspire an earthy yet neutral palette that’s very flexible and adaptable to any space or style.

color palette on the rocks

I call this “On the rocks”. This neutral palette of greys and taupes takes us back to the earth, to the paths where we walk alone with our thoughts, to the rocky rugged beaches of the wild West Coast. These rocks, eroded smooth by water over thousands of years, actually provide an interesting array of shades to decorate your home with subtle yet stylish colors.

Using “On The Rocks”

Given its flexibility, this palette can be used anywhere in the home. You can choose three or four or take the entire palette as inspiration–the choice is yours.

A living room in these shades would be cozy, welcoming yet understated. If you prefer your family and guests to sit down and chat around a pot of tea and a warm fire, this is the perfect color palette. It won’t overwhelm the space, and it gives you enough flexibility to add dashes of bright color through patterns and small accessories. The grey and taupe are wonderfully gender-neutral, making this living perfect for the entire family to feel at home.

In the bathroom, this palette is definitely suitable for a wild beach-inspired decor. I love how I can imagine water flowing through these rocks and how happy it makes me feel. These colors would recall the beauty of this tiny, rugged, isolated beach you found on your last visit to the West Coast.

This palette is also suitable for a comfortable and relaxing bedroom. The shades are gender-neutral, making it perfect for a couple–or anyone who doesn’t care about “feminine” or “masculine”. The colors aren’t overly bright, which means a comfortable night’s sleep.

Walk on the rocks

I really like the organic feel of this palette and find it inspires a beautifully natural bathroom. How about you? Where do you feel this palette should go in your home? Are you willing to put it on the rocks? Let me know in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.