What Colors Go with Brown? 19 Stunning Color Pairings


The color brown too often gets a bad rap for being lackluster or boring. But there’s a warming trend going on in neutrals: Grays are giving way to mid-tone browns that are just as versatile. If you’re looking for a way to add warmth to your home, use shades of brown to create a comforting backdrop that works with almost any color. Or, pair chocolate tones with crisp neutrals for an elevated and sophisticated living space.

Clockwise, from top right: Transcend by PPG, Gingersnaps by Benjamin Moore, Turbinado by Clare, Toffee Crunch by Behr, and Oak Creek by Sherwin-Williams.
Carson Downing

Deciding which brown is right for your walls depends largely on how you want the room to feel. “Do you want it to feel open and airy? Then go lighter,” says Nicole Gibbons, designer and founder of Clare paint company. “Do you want it to feel cozy and moody? Go darker.” Warmer than black or charcoal gray, deep browns are rich, enveloping, and dramatic. Either way, plan on decorating with multiple browns of the same temperature but different tones. Here are our favorite ways to pair brown with colors.

Brown + Gray

Julie Soefer

Create a sophisticated living space with deep brown walls and neutral accents. Here, a white chair, gray rug, and neutral artwork balance the darkness of the wood paneling, while a white ceiling with rustic wood beams adds interest. A potted tree brings natural texture and color without disrupting the brown palette.

Brown + Blue-Gray

Adam Albright

Create a cozy finished basement or living space by pairing brown furniture with moody gray-blue walls. Here, a painted accent wall provides a calming background for brown leather chairs and soft textures. A gold picture light above a large art print adds sophistication and ties the space together.

Brown + White

Jared Kuzia

The earthy hues of brown will always be enhanced when contrasted with crisp white. The bright white shiplap in this living room is a winning combination with the chocolate brown fireplace below it, the two working together to increase the drama. Without the white wall treatment, the space might feel too dark with its dark brown sofa, flooring, and furnishings.

Brown + Khaki

Victoria Pearson

Bring warmth to a neutral room by incorporating rich brown hues. Here, a cozy brown leather sofa and dark wood floors add depth to the room. The deeper tones ground the otherwise bright beige space, accented with shades of khaki and cream.

Brown + Olive Green

Werner Straube 

Elevate a formal dining room with bold brown walls. Black accents and olive green furniture give this sophisticated space a modern edge inspired by midcentury style.

Brown + Pink

David Tsay

Lighten the look of dark brown flooring with feminine pink accents and plenty of patterns. The two warm shades blend harmoniously when set against clean white walls. Various shades of pink repeat on this dining room’s curtains, framed artwork, and furniture upholstery.

Beige + Brown

Kat Teutsch

This sandy beige has red undertones that bring out the richness of chocolate brown for a perfectly balanced pairing. When pairing similar colors, texture is everything. “If you’re going to use one color and you don’t have different textures, the room can feel flat,” says designer Lauren McGrath. A shag-style rug, bamboo blinds, and wood furniture prevent this family room from falling flat.

Brown + Green-Blue

Max Kim-Bee

Lean into an antique decorating scheme by accenting various shades of brown with a mid-tone blue-green paint color. In this cozy home office, the warm tones of the vintage wood desk, brown leather chair, and gold mirror are softened by the cool tone of the walls.

Brown + Charcoal

David Greer

Brown hues go well with a modern rustic aesthetic, as seen in this cozy family room. Deep charcoal walls and built-ins provide a cool backdrop for the warm tones of the stuffed brown armchairs, wood mantel, and coffee table.

Brown + Green

Carson Downing

Kelly green is a cool shade that contrasts nicely with the warmth of brown and instantly energizes this family room. Choose patterned accent pieces, colorful pillows, and plenty of houseplants to rejuvenate a space anchored by brown walls or furniture.

Brown + Yellow

John Bessler

In a room with a warm palette that blends tans, taupes, and medium-tone browns, sunny yellow accents partner nicely. The large-scale abstract artwork, bright accent pillows, and vibrant yellow chair pop against a neutral background in this stylish living room that combines traditional and midcentury modern style.

Brown + Blue + Gold

Werner Straube

The eclectic color scheme of this home library is grounded by a brown leather sofa and khaki-color armchairs. The gold curtains, red rug, and various accent pieces complement the cool tones of the rich blue wall color.

Chocolate Brown + Cream + Red

Werner Straube

Lean into brown’s copper side by pairing it with orange or red of equal intensity. In this formal living room, the crisp white ceiling balances rich dark-brown walls. An area rug, draperies, and upholstery finished in a warm shade of white help counteract deep hardwood flooring. Small pops of bright red add energy to the built-ins and furnishings.

Brown + Blue

Anthony Masterson

Brown and blue are made for each other since the cool tones in the blues harmonize with the warmer ones found in wood furniture. The judicious use of bold blue on the walls, pillows, and curtains of this relaxing bedroom adds modern flair to traditional furnishings.

Brown + Neutrals

Annie Schlechter

Who says gray and brown can’t work together? Opt for a shade of gray with warm undertones to keep the color palette cohesive. In this family room, a cappuccino-color sofa and pale beige walls warm up a charcoal rug, marble coffee table, and blue throw pillows.

Brown + Warm Hues

Edmund Barr

Nature puts on a vibrant display in the fall. Capture the popular hues of 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 + Pastels

David Tsay

Restful shades of green and pink pretty up a sitting room but a good dose of brown will ground the pastel hues and lend a sophisticated touch. Pale pastels never appear juvenile when dramatic brown fabrics or wood furniture are near. In this living room, brown upholstery and a wood coffee table ground a soft pink sofa and light beige walls.

Brown + Purple

Dark-stained wood cabinetry paired with plum walls heightens the drama in a bathroom. These deeper colors aren’t timid or shy; their depth together enriches the small 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.

Shades of Brown

Stacey Branford

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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *