Colors That Go With Brown: The Best Shades to Pair With This Earthy Tone

Brown is useful as an accent and foundational color, and we are here to help you find the best colors that go with brown. Brown is a well beloved color by some and disliked by others.

colors that go with brown

However, none of us can get away from brown as its shades surround us in all settings. You can find shades of brown in natural colors of the earth as well as in the infinite shades of home decorating. 

Colors That Go With Brown: The Best Shades to Pair With This Earthy ToneView in gallery

However, you are not alone if you find these shades tricky to complement. We want to help you fill in the gaps and to see this color in a new light both as a bold addition to your home decor and as a foundational tone that brings warmth and texture to your indoor spaces.

Colors That Go With Brown

Colors That Go With Brown: The Best Shades to Pair With This Earthy ToneView in gallery

Let us first begin with broad color families to find out what colors go with brown. In a sense, almost any color works well with brown provided that you choose the right shade of each. In general, it is best to pair warm browns with other warm shades and cool browns with cool colors.

  • Pink – Various shades of pink work well with brown. Blush is a current favorite to pair with brown. Fuchsia is a shade between purple and pink. Adding fuchsia accents to a room with brown is stunning.
  • Green – Together, brown and green shades mimic the colors of the forest which is pleasing and natural to the eye. Both dark green and light green have wonderful shades that work with brown tones.
  • Blue – Brown and blue tones work together as a study in contrast. Also, the bright and vibrant shades of blue will balance out the neutral background of brown. The shades of blue that work best with brown are navy blue, turquoise, and pale blue.
  • Red – Red and brown both have warm and rich undertones. Shades of brick red or burgundy look amazing with brown accents.
  • Orange – Orange and brown are another natural color combination as, together, these are reminiscent of autumn. Many oranges work well with brown including copper and bright orange.
  • Yellow – Yellow adds a splash of a vivacious color to the staid sophistication of brown. Pair brown with Sunshine yellow and deep yellow ochre for a look with brilliant contrast.
  • Purple – The moody look of purple is a great look with brown. Pair deep and earthy plum with red undertones with brown for a dramatic look.
  • Black and white – Both black and crisp white are neutral shades that complement many shades of brown.

All About Shades of Brown

Brown is a color well beloved in interior design for its warm and solid presence. It represents both stability and reliability. Thus, it is understandable that the color brown has been a feature in art and design for thousands of years. It was first used in the form of umber, a pigment derived from the earth, in cave paintings and then in fine art and home design.

There are various words used to describe the many brown shades. Here is a quick primer on what those words mean. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but here are some of the most popular shades of brown.

  • Tan – This is a pale brown shade that takes its name from tannum, the substance used in tanning leather.
  • Taupe – Taupe is a gray brown color that takes its name from the French word meaning “mole”.
  • Khaki – This is a light shade of tan with a yellow undertone.
  • Chocolate brown – This is a member of the brown family that takes its name from chocolate which is a deep shade with red undertones.
  • Russet – Russet is one of the darker hues of brown with undertones of red and orange.
  • Sepia – Sepia is a shade of brown that takes its name from the ink sac of the cuttlefish, Sepia.
  • Walnut brown – The shade of brown represents the color of walnuts. It is a deep brown with yellow undertones.

Color Inspirations That Work With Brown

We have rounded up some stunning pictures of interior design that pairs brown with different color families. After you finish, we think you will agree that brown deserves a place somewhere in everyone’s home.

Neutral Shades

We won’t enter into the debate about whether brown is a neutral shade or a color. Instead, we will show you just how beautiful brown looks with neutral colors of all types.

Bright White and Chocolate Brown

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Look at the contrast in this classic bathroom. This designer brings together the stark white paneling with rosy chocolate brown walls. The rich color of the walls and textured wood accents balance the cool tones of the chrome fixtures and bright white.

Black and Russet Brown

Black and Russet BrownView in gallery
Miss Lolo

The pairing of neutrals with a good dose of russet and black hues combine to create a pleasing overall atmosphere in this sitting room. The bright and vivacious shade of russet adds depth with just a few touches. The black and russet are natural foils and together work to create balance.

Beautiful Blues

There are a variety of blue tones and many of them look fantastic with brown.

Pale Blue and Brown

Even your bathroom can benefit from the perfect shade of brown. This room achieves its elegant design by pairing brown with pale blue. The wallpaper is Strawberry Thief from William Morris with a background of gray brown. The pale blue leaf accents lighten up the dark wallpaper without looking too stark.

Pale Blue and BrownView in gallery
Wallpaper from the 70s

Even your bathroom can benefit from the perfect shade of brown. This room achieves its elegant design by pairing brown with pale blue. The wallpaper is Strawberry Thief from William Morris with a background of gray brown. The pale blue leaf accents lighten up the dark wallpaper without looking too stark.

Brilliant Turquoise and Brown

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Brown is versatile and forgiving. It grounds a color scheme as well as adds depth and complexity. Therefore, you can use both bright and muted shades of blue to pair with brown.

For example we love the way the bright shades of turquoise counterbalance the dark moody color of the brown furniture in this sitting room.

Bright Navy and Rich Tan

Bright Navy and Rich TanView in gallery
Nicole

This is one of the best color combinations that we have seen yet! This room pairs a warm and rich tan leather sofa with a bright navy paneled wall.

The colors complement one another well because they are both a warm and rich shade in their color families. Also, this room features different tones of earthy brown furniture and accents to provide greater depth to the overall design.

Striking Pink

Pink is a natural complement to many brown tones as it plays down the staid elements in brown making it more playful and exciting.

Radiant Fuchsia and Dark Brown

Colors That Go With Brown: The Best Shades to Pair With This Earthy ToneView in gallery

The combination of dark brown and fuchsia is unexpected, but it looks natural in this living room from Liz Levin Interiors. Brown pairs best with other warm colors and fuchsia makes sense in this context. The light blue touch in the wallpaper cools the overall warm design.

Blush Pink and Brown

Colors That Go With Brown: The Best Shades to Pair With This Earthy ToneView in gallery

Blush pink and warm browns play off one another and create a look of contrast that is pleasing. Mandarina studio designed this living room with the foundation of blush pink walls, brown furniture, and rose accents. If you like this look, consider paint colors that go with brown. One of the best pinks is called Pink Ground No. 202 from Farrow and Ball. This color is a sophisticated pale pink with an undertone of yellow to keep it from veering into the sugary sweet category of pink.

Earthy Green

Green is a natural complementary color for brown. Green and brown colors work well together because they look familiar to us. We see these when we look around the natural world every day.

Dark Green and Camel Brown

Dark Green and Camel BrownView in gallery
Living Letter Home

The camel leather headboard and wooden furniture stand out against the dark green textured wall. The dark green color gives the room a more grown-up look that is still super sleek and modern.

Sea Glass Green and Walnut Brown

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A front porch with the right shades of green and brown will never be dull. Rather, this porch, painted with colors of walnut brown and green sea glass, has a vibrant character that adds a cheerful look to this comfortable space.

Sunshine Yellow and Chocolate

Colors That Go With Brown: The Best Shades to Pair With This Earthy ToneView in gallery

Jerry Jacobs Design designed this elegant home library with shades of rich chocolate brown and bright yellow. Together, these colors create a look that is timeless but never stuffy.

Dramatic Red

Many may shy away from this strong combination, but pairing warm reds and browns is beautiful in its deep earthiness.

Brick Red and Natural Brown

Brick Red and Natural BrownView in gallery
Benjamin Moore

The color palette of earthy red with the brown foundation brings to mind warm baked earth and terracotta tiles. If you like this look, use Benjamin Moore Bricktone Red (2005-30) with textural natural browns like seagrass rugs, wooden furniture, and clay accents.

Turkey Red and Deep Brown

Turkey Red and Deep BrownView in gallery
Caitlin Wilson Design

Is there any such thing as too much color? Not in this chocolate living room at least. The deep brown accent wall provides a sophisticated backdrop for this design and the turkey red rugs add to the depth and complexity.

Moody Purple

Moody PurpleView in gallery
House and Home

The deep purple walls create a rich backdrop for this wooden chest. Try this look in a foyer to create a look of drama. If you like this color purple, use Brinjal No.222 from Farrow & Ball. Don’t be afraid to mix it with brown furniture and a rug with deep colors to create a foyer with immediate elegance.

Vibrant Orange

Colors That Go With Brown: The Best Shades to Pair With This Earthy ToneView in gallery

Brown and orange are a natural combination as brown is a dark version of orange. Also, notice how the bright hues of orange give this living room more immediate interest than a neutral color.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What colors make brown?

Because brown tones vary so much, you can create brown tones with a surprising number of colors. The easiest combination of colors that create brown is red and green. However, you can also mix the three primary colors red, blue, and yellow to create brown.

Does gray go with brown?

Gray and brown are both neutrals and natural colors. These colors work well together; however, it is important to choose browns and grays with the same undertones. For example, choose both warm toned browns and grays to complement one another.

What paint color goes well with chocolate brown?

Chocolate brown is a deep brown with warm undertones. Pair this color with many tones of white and other neutrals like gray. Also, pair with blush pink and sage green if you want a more colorful look.

What are the colors that go with a brown couch?

There are many colors that work well with a brown couch. The color palette you choose depends on the look you want to create. If you want to lighten the look of your couch, pair it with light neutrals. If you want to create a more textural look, pair the sofa with earthy tones like green and terracotta and natural textures like rattan and seagrass.

Colors That Go With Brown: Conclusion

Brown is a color with a complicated history in interior design. While it lingers in the minds of many because of its overuse in the 1960s and 1970s, current interior design is embracing it.

There are wonderful color combinations that give this color a new look. Whether it is with leather accents, wooden furniture, or paint colors, we can’t get away from brown.

In the end, it is worth embracing in some measure for the depth of beauty and complexity it brings to your home.