Skip to Content

What color scheme goes with brown?

What color scheme goes with brown?

Brown is a versatile neutral color that can work with a variety of color schemes. When selecting colors to pair with brown, consider the shade of brown and the mood you want to create. Lighter tans and browns work well for airy, natural color schemes while deeper, darker browns pair nicely with bold, saturated hues. Here are some of the most popular color combinations that go with brown.

Earthy neutrals

Sticking to a neutral color palette is one of the easiest ways to decorate with brown. Light browns and tans pair nicely with other earthy neutrals like cream, beige, tan, light grey, and taupe. This creates a calming, natural color scheme perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, and offices. Try combining different neutral textures like linen, cotton, wool, rattan, and wood to add visual interest.

Warm metallics

Metallic accents work beautifully with brown’s natural, earthy qualities. Warm metallic colors like copper, bronze, pewter, brass, and gold make an elegant pairing. Incorporate these metals through lighting fixtures, hardware, decor items, or furniture legs. Just make sure to stick with matte finishes rather than high-shine since brown has a casual, organic look.


Green is an ideal color match for brown. Nature-inspired greens like sage, olive, moss, and forest green complement brown’s earthy vibe. Cooler greens can work too, like teal, seafoam, and minty hues. Try pairing different brown and green tones throughout a room. Use olive bedding with tan walls, a mossy green sofa with espresso tables, or sage green accessories with cream furnishings.


From pale sky blue to deep navy, blue is a versatile color that pairs beautifully with brown. Light blue adds an airy, tranquil feeling to a tan color scheme. Use crisp navy blue with brown for a classic, nautical vibe. Earthy blues like denim, periwinkle, and slate blue work well with lighter browns. For a bold contrast, try an intense sapphire or cobalt blue with very dark chocolate browns.


Though an unexpected color pairing, pink and brown actually complement each other quite nicely. Soft dusty pink, blush, and nude pink tones pair with brown for a feminine, romantic look. Or go bold with a hot pink on an accent wall or pillows against chocolate brown furniture. Try layering different brown and pink hues like mauve with espresso, rose with beige, or salmon with cocoa.


Rich purple hues make beautiful accent colors with brown’s neutral base. Light lilac and lavender work with lighter tans or caramels. Jewel-toned purples like amethyst, plum, and eggplant pop against chocolate or coffee-colored brown. Cool tones like mauve, lilac, and violet contrast nicely with warm medium to dark brown shades.


Orange is a vibrant, energizing accent color that brings warmth and brightness to brown. Spice up a tan color scheme with pops of tangerine, peach, coral, or pumpkin orange. Earthy terracotta and rust orange tones complement deeper chocolate browns. For fall inspiration, pair rich maple browns with burnt orange and pumpkin accents.


Bright yellow brings a cheerful, sunny feeling to brown color schemes. Mustard yellow, gold, or lemon accents liven up light tans or caramels. Pair cocoa and chestnut browns with ochre, amber, or saffron tones. Try an intense canary or citron with very dark espresso brown for striking contrast.

Bold brights

If you’re looking to make a colorful statement, use brown as a neutral base for bold brights. Brown balances out and grounds the intensity of primary colors like red, blue, and yellow. Try a vibrant coral chair with chocolate brown sofas, an azure coffee table with caramel walls, or goldenrod pillows on an espresso sofa. Mixing brown with brights brings energy while still feeling grounded.

Deep jewel tones

Rich, saturated jewel tones like ruby red, emerald green, sapphire blue, and amethyst purple give rooms gorgeous drama and elegance. Deep chocolate, espresso, or coffee brown hues complement these colors perfectly. The brown acts as an earthy, neutral anchor against the intensity of the jewel tones. Use jewel tones sparingly on accent walls, artwork, pillows, or focal furniture.


Don’t overlook a monochromatic palette! Using different shades, tones, and textures of brown throughout a space can be warm, welcoming, and very sophisticated. Try light brown walls with dark brown furniture and medium brown accents. Or make it modern with glossy chocolate brown paired with matte caramel and textured taupe. Add interest by mixing up brown materials like leather, wood, linen, wool, rattan, and metals.


A triadic color scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel for visual harmony. Triads with brown might include:

Color 1 Color 2 Color 3
Brown Orange Blue
Brown Red-violet Yellow-green
Brown Yellow-orange Blue-violet

Triadic schemes offer high contrast and visual interest. Use one color dominantly like brown, then sprinkle in the other two colors for accents.

Split complementary

A split complementary scheme uses one base color, an adjacent color, and the two colors on either side of the adjacent color’s complement. For brown, this might be:

  • Brown
  • Blue-green
  • Yellow-orange and Red-violet


  • Brown
  • Red-orange
  • Blue-green and Blue-violet

Split complementary provides a nuanced take on complementary colors. The three color scheme is harmonious yet complex.


Analogous schemes use three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, creating a elegant, monochromatic look. Analogous options for brown include:

  • Cream, Brown, Beige
  • Brown, Olive, Sage
  • Rust, Brown, Burnt Orange
  • Mauve, Brown, Burgundy

Vary shades and tones of the three analogous colors for subtle interest. This type of color scheme is easy on the eyes.


Brown is a versatile neutral that works with both warm and cool palettes. From earthy neutrals, to bold brights, to rich jewel tones, brown acts as a steady, grounded base. Consider the shade of brown and the ambiance you want when selecting accent colors. Browns offer a welcoming,organic look that suits many decor styles.