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What color tones for brown?

What color tones for brown?

Brown is a versatile neutral color that can work with a variety of color tones. When decorating with brown, it’s important to understand how to create a cohesive color palette. Choosing the right accompanying tones can make the difference between a warm, inviting space and one that feels dull or muddy. This article will explore what color tones pair best with different shades of brown to help create stylish, put-together looks.

Warm Browns

Warm browns have undertones of red, orange, or yellow. This makes themperfect for pairing with other warm tones. Some examples of warm browns include:

– Camel
– Taupe
– Beige
– Latte
– Khaki
– Umber
– Sienna

Warm browns pair nicely with other earthy neutrals. Good options include creams, tans, light golds, and soft greens. Warm metallics like copper and bronze also complement warm brown tones. For accents, consider terracotta, mustard, burnt orange, and brick red. These colors enhance the warm undertones of the brown.

Cool Browns

Cool browns have blue, green, or gray undertones. They look best with other cool-toned colors. Some cool browns include:

– Mocha
– Chestnut
– Chocolate
– Coffee
– Pewter
– Charcoal
– Driftwood

Cool browns go well with soft blues, slate grays, sage greens, and violet-brown shades. Cool metals like silver, pewter, and gunmetal also work nicely. For accent colors try pale blue, gray-blue, soft pink, and muted jewel tones like ruby or sapphire. These cool tones balance out the blue undertones in the brown.

True Browns

True browns don’t have strong warm or cool undertones. They are versatile neutrals that fit with both types of color schemes. Some true browns include:

– Walnut
– Hazelnut
– Pecan
– Almond
– Raw Umber
– Sepia

With true browns, look at other elements like furnishings, artwork, and accessories. If you have some warmer tones like wicker, wood, or terracotta accents, pair the brown with other warm colors. If your decor includes cooler metallics, blues, and grays, accent the brown with other cool tones. True browns are neutral enough to go either direction.

Accent Colors for Brown

When using brown as a main color, add accent colors to create an appealing, finished look. Here are some examples of accent colors that pair well with different brown tones:

Brown Tone Potential Accent Colors
Warm brown Terracotta, mustard, burnt orange, brick red
Cool brown Soft blue, slate gray, sage green, muted jewel tones
True brown Look at other elements like furnishings to determine if warm or cool accents work best

Accent colors should be used sparingly to avoid looking too busy or mismatched. Aim for one or two accent colors in smaller touches like throw pillows, vases, artwork, or area rugs. This way they punch up the brown without overwhelming it.


Brown can make an elegant, soothing color for bedrooms. Here are some ideas for color tones to use in bedrooms with brown:

– Warm brown bedframes look great with peach, cream, or sage green walls and maple wood nightstands. Accent with cerulean throw pillows.

– Chocolate brown headboards complement dove gray walls and crisp white bedding. Add metallic gold and blush pink accents.

– For a zen look, pair cool browns like driftwood and mocha with soothing blue-gray walls and bamboo furnishings. Accent with jade green.

– In kids rooms, combine cocoa brown walls with lively accent colors like bright turquoise, lime green, or golden yellow. Add vibrant art and patterns.

The layered textures of wood, leather, suede, wool, cotton, and linen work well with rich browns. Use luxurious materials like these when decorating brown bedrooms.

Living Rooms

Brown living rooms emanate warmth and comfort when decorated correctly. Try these color combinations:

– Chestnut brown sofas look stylish with light blue walls and patterned azure throw pillows. Add wood and metal accents.

– For a modern look, pair chocolate brown leather furniture with cool gray walls. Accent with black and white patterns and mercury glass vases.

– In cottage style living rooms, use warm camel sofas and umber club chairs. Creamy beige walls and floral accents keep the look light.

– For an elegant study, use mahogany built-in bookshelves with tan walls and black leather furnishings. Add metallic accents.

Natural textures like jute, wool, linen, and terracotta work well in brown living rooms. Use layered rugs, soft throws, textured pillows, and ceramic vases.


Brown offers a classic, timeless look in kitchens. Combining it with other natural hues creates an organic, inviting space. Consider these ideas:

– Espresso cabinets look striking with slate-blue subway tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances. Accessorize with burnt orange and green ceramics.

– For a French country feel, pair coffee brown cabinets with beige walls and butcher block counters. Display antique copper pots and creamy porcelain dinnerware.

– Combine sienna brown cabinets with warm yellow walls and cream countertops. Add accents in avocado green, terracotta, and rust orange.

– Choose chocolate cabinets with cool gray walls and marble counters for a glamorous look. Brushed gold hardware and accessories keep it stylish.

Matte wood countertops, textured stone backsplashes, and funky retro appliances complement brown kitchen cabinets. Play with different textures.


Brown brings a relaxing, spa-like feel to bathrooms. Complementary color schemes include:

– Mocha vanities and wood paneling offset with seafoam green subway tile and white marble counters. Accessorize with navy blue towels.

– Umber-toned vanities with cream or pistachio green marble counters. Use an accent wall in cool azure or slate blue tiles.

– Chocolate cabinets with bronze hardware, beige stone floors, and golden travertine shower walls. Bright white towels and fixtures keep it fresh.

– Warm chestnut cabinets with brushed nickel faucets, camel stone floors, and taupe painted walls. Accent with jade green towels and glass vases.

Natural elements like stone, tile, wood, wicker, bamboo, and linen work well in brown bathrooms. Use textured, organic materials to enhance the earthiness.

Accessories and Decor

Don’t overlook smaller decor elements like throws, pillows, carpets, and accessories to highlight brown’s versatility. Some examples include:

– Toss sienna and umber wool throw blankets over cool gray sofas.

– Use mocha and navy pillows on a camel sofa paired with robin’s egg blue walls.

– Lay an overdyed azure and tan Moroccan wool rug under a warm brown dining set.

– Display burnt orange and green pottery on espresso shelves against a sand colored wall.

– Place sepia leather boxes on a chestnut coffee table alongside cream ceramic vases.

– Hang sepia and white photography on latte-colored walls above charcoal leather chairs.

Artwork, carpets, ceramics, pillows, and other accessories allow you to inject extra color into brown palettes. Use them to tie everything together.


Brown also pairs beautifully with other colors in fashion. Some examples include:

– Warm brown boots with an olive wool coat and burnt orange scarf

– Taupe jacket with a teal sweater and slate blue jeans

– Camel overcoat with a ruby cashmere scarf and gray wool slacks

– Chocolate leather handbag with a cream peasant blouse and watermelon pink skirt

– Mocha suede boots with skinny jeans, a hunter green tee and charcoal peacoat

– Khaki trench coat with a salmon collar worn over a steel blue sheath dress

Brown’s versatility allows it to be paired with any number of colors in fashion. Keep the silhouette and fabrics cohesive for a stylish look.


Brown is a timeless, versatile neutral that pairs well with a wide range of colors. Choosing hues that complement brown’s undertones is key to creating cohesive palettes. Warm browns look best with other earth tones and accents like terracotta, orange, yellow, or red. Cool browns pair well with blues, greens, grays, and cool metallics. True browns work well with both warm and cool schemes. Pay attention to textures and materials as well when decorating with brown. Natural fibers and wood pair beautifully. With the right accompanying tones, brown can be used to create stylish, welcoming spaces.