Skip to main content

What colors go with brown? How to make this seemingly drab hue look glam in your home

Brown doesn't have to be boring. Here's how it can jazz up your space

Room with brown walls.
asbe / Getty Images

Brown tones have a reputation for being “boring.” These earthy hues often have a tendency to feel dull and bleak for many people. However, this is largely due to poor design execution. If used well, brown shades can enhance a room’s design and bring a new sense of vitality to a space. Brown can be a wonderful hue to add to your home if you’re looking to create a luxe and vibrant environment. These rustic shades can be natural, rich, and earthy when paired with complementary colors that let this hue shine.

Unfortunately, many homeowners struggle to find the best shades to pair with brown, which leads them to create spaces that feel drab, bland, or unfinished. Today, we’ll cover some of the best colors to pair with brown and how this stunning color can help revitalize your space.

dark brown accent color in home office and library
Bulgac / Getty Images

What color matches well with brown?

Brown comes in many hues. Depending on how light or dark your shade of brown is, the matching color could look different for each room. Additionally, warm browns pair better with cooler accents, while cool browns are better matched with warmer accents.

Typically, brown pairs best with another brown-based color. For example, a dark, rich chocolate brown will look best with a grey-beige. Alternatively, a light tan will look fantastic with a reddish-brown. Aside from pairing browns together, black and white are also wonderful additions to a brown palette. These colors are neutral and easy to pair with almost any color, depending on the look and style you’re going for.

brown monochromatic color palette for room design
jafara / Shutterstock

What is a complementary color to brown?

While neutrals tend to be the best-suited colors for a brown palette, there’s no denying that one of the best brown complementary colors is green. Dark green, especially, pairs beautifully with brown. Whether you prefer light creams or dark browns, dark green can add a sense of luxury and vitality to a space. Often, this color is introduced to the color palette through decor, house plants, and accent walls. Luckily, green is one of the trendiest colors right now, so this is a perfect palette for your home.

Orange is another excellent complementary color to brown. Both shades are rich, vivid, and warm, making them fantastic partners in a color palette. If you’re working with light brown shades, a vibrant orange will make the perfect accent color. On the other hand, dark brown hues pair better with a muted orange. If you’re going with a shocking shade of orange, be sure not to overdo it — a few pops of color work best.

teen bedroom canopy with lights
Ground Picture / Shutterstuck

What is a fun color to pair with brown?

If you’re looking to spruce up your space with a fun and unique pop of color to add to your existing brown palette, then you can’t go wrong with mauve and pink. Mauve is a beautiful subdued hue that invites hints of reddish and purple undertones into your space. As a more neutral and relaxed shade of pink, it creates a beautiful canyon or dusk-like feel when situated alongside brown tones. Mauve is a luxe color that adds a bit of personality to a space without going overboard. However, if you want something brighter and bolder, pink hues also look stunning against a brown backdrop.

Copper tones are also great additions for a luxurious and elegant appeal. Add copper accents with a brown-dominant palette to enhance the earthy aesthetic of brown and elevate it into something more regal.

Brown living room walls with neutral color palette design
JennaWagner / Getty Images

How to incorporate brown in your home

If you want to incorporate brown into your home, you have plenty of hues to choose from. Knowing what colors go with brown can help you furnish these spaces by using complementary shades that suit the room’s needs. Below, we’ll go over which shade of brown looks best in each room and how to style it to suit your home’s design.

Opt for rich tones in the living room

A rich, earthy brown shade looks best as an accent wall in living rooms. Pair this color with light cream or cool beige to make the brown stand out. If you have a rustic home or favor that design style, don’t be afraid to go all out with natural wood paneling or ceiling beams to help this color shine.

Additionally, brown is a fantastic accent color in living rooms. Design styles like traditional, modern, and contemporary may prefer a dark brown leather sofa, coffee-colored accent pillows, or muted brown curtains to incorporate this shade into their designs. Use white or pale cream as a base color when using dark brown as an accent.

Add an accent shade of brown to the bedroom

Bedrooms are perfect for a deep dark brown accent wall. Use a lighter but equally warm brown shade on the other walls to make the room feel rich, relaxing, and seductive. Dark brown in bedrooms looks great with muted orange accent pillows and blankets. Additionally, gold decor items and plush white linens can make this color pop in your bedroom.

Bathrooms are best suited for natural tones

When using brown in your bathroom, err on the lighter side with a reddish undertone. Boho designs look stunning with a reddish-brown wall and tan accent colors. Use pampas grass, yarn decor, and tan-colored picture frames to adorn the space. Natural woods pair gorgeously with these canyon-colored rooms and can help your bathroom feel like an oasis.

Use complementary colors in your dining room

In the dining room, try out a deep green as your wall color and go bold with dark brown chairs paired with a lighter brown table. Focus on using natural woods and coffee-colored decor items to blend the dark green and brown colors together. This combination works best for traditional and farmhouse-styled homes but can also do wonders for vintage lovers. If you want a more rustic appeal, use a lighter green with a white-washed table and lots of dark brown or wooden accents.

Brown is a wonderful color that can be incorporated into almost any space. While it can feel dull and dark in some homes, knowing how to pair the richer shades with lighter versions of this color can help add new life to a boring space. Additionally, try to use vivid oranges and greens in your room to help offset the brown, bringing more energy and excitement to your room. Brown is a lovely color that can be fun to experiment with, so don’t neglect considering it in your color palette!

Editors' Recommendations

Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
A polka dot plant adds color and life to your home – here’s how to care for it
Your lovely polka dot plant can thrive indoors with these plant care and maintenance tips
Top view of a polka dot plant

Houseplants have a lot of benefits, like elevating your mood and purifying the air. Arguably their best benefit, though, is that they liven up a room with style and color. That's why the polka dot plant is so popular. It has bright, colorful foliage that comes in a variety of shades, like pink, white, green, and red. That's how this lovely plant adds a splash of color to match any decor.

While they certainly brighten up the room, polka dot plants can be finicky, and they do have a strict care routine. We'll discuss what you need to do to help your polka dot plant thrive indoors.

Read more
This is the best home design advice we’ve seen on TikTok
What if your personal style affects your resale value? Check out this TikToker's home decor advice
Orange and wood kitchen cabinets in brightly colored kitchen

Chances are you’ve seen those Instagram-worthy maximalist home decor designs or the retro-revival aesthetics on Tiktok, but you may have asked yourself whether or not it’s a good idea to personalize your space to that extent. What if your personal style affects your resale value? After all, you might adore the hot pink accent wall, the purple and yellow painted kitchen tiles, and the disco ball chandelier, but it’s unlikely a future homeowner will feel the same.

Recently, we came across a motivating piece of advice from one TikToker who argues that it’s okay to personalize your home. Here’s what we learned.

Read more
What color light helps you sleep? Here’s why you should invest in some red lights for your bedroom
How to choose the right color lighting for your every mood
Red light in bedroom

Color psychology tells us many things about how we're influenced by what we see. Aside from cultural significance, most colors trigger similar psychological reactions in people. Some colors agitate or excite and others calm and pacify, putting you in a relaxed mindset.

You can use relaxing colors in several ways to help you design a room or aesthetic and alter the ambiance, depending on your mood. For example, even if you don't choose a specific color, certain bulbs like incandescents or fluorescents have their own warm or cold light. These dramatically change the way a room feels. If you want to achieve a certain look with color, here is some insight into which to choose if you want calm zen before you hit the hay each night or a wake-up call before you leave for work in the morning. Find out what color light helps you sleep and what one doesn't.
What LED light color helps you sleep and what light color keeps you up?
The number one way to help you sleep at night is no lights at all. Blackout curtains are the definitive sleep solution, next to white noise. You'll find that any light source isn't ideal for fully restful sleep, but this may not be an option for you.

Read more