What Colors Go with Brown?

The color brown too often gets a bad rap by those who label it as lackluster or boring. Instead, the focus should be on the rich earthy quality that brown possesses. Warmer than black or charcoal gray, deep browns are rich, enveloping, and dramatic.

Brown and White

Smart Style

It's important to note that brown will always be enhanced when contrasted with crisp white. The tall wainscot in this bathroom is a winning combination with the chocolate brown color above it, the two working together to increase the drama. Without the white wall treatment, the bathroom would feel too dark, but with it the walnut stain on the vanity becomes a focal point.

Brown and Warm Hues

living room

Nature puts on quite the vibrant display in the fall season. Capture those popular hues experienced in autumn year-round with oranges, yellows, and warm brown tones repeated throughout the home. A brown sofa is a practical choice, as is wood furniture. Up the energy and create a more inviting space by peppering it with artwork, throw pillows, or decorative accents in shades of rust, mustard, and amber.

Brown and Blue

Rich Color Palette

Brown and blue are made for each other since the cool tones in the blues harmonize the warmer ones found in wood furniture. The judicious use of bold blue on the upholstered dining room chairs and decorative vases adds modern flair to these traditional furnishings.

Brown and Pastels

Cool Down

Restful shades of blue and pink pretty up a sitting room but a good dose of brown will ground these pastel hues and lend a sophisticated touch. Pale pastels will never appear juvenile when dramatic brown fabrics or wood furniture are near.

Brown, Green, and Blue

Nature's Hue

Kelly green and pale blues are cooler colors that contrast nicely with the warmth of brown and energize this family room. Choose patterned accent chairs, window panels, and colorful pillows in these hues to rejuvenate a space anchored by a brown sofa.  

Brown and Yellow

living room

In any room that possesses a warm palette fusing together tans, taupes, and medium-tone browns, any accent color will partner nicely. The large-scale botanical yellow artwork and bright accent pillows pop against a neutral background in this stylish living room that combines traditional and modern style.

Brown and Purple

purple bathroom

Dark-stained wood cabinetry paired with plum walls heighten the drama in a bathroom. These deeper colors aren't timid or shy -- their depth together enriches the space and conveys an air of sophistication. Look to less saturated purples with a gray or brown undertone as the best complement to brown cabinets or furniture.

Brown and Brown

Living Room 2

Calculated layers of latte linens and mahogany furniture against mocha walls work together to create an enveloping living room. White and natural light helps to brighten a timeless space layered with a traditional rug, framed art, and textiles.

About Kate

Kate Riley is the author of the decorating blog Centsational Girl where she features her own DIY projects and remodeling stories and writes regularly about great interior design. 

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