When decorating with earthy and neutral hues like brown and beige, choosing complementary colors can help create an attractive, put-together aesthetic. Using the right accent colors allows brown and beige to enhance each other and keeps the overall color palette from becoming dull or muddy. This article will recommend some of the best color combinations to use with brown and beige and provide useful tips on incorporating accent colors into home decor.
Using analogous colors
An easy way to choose colors that go well with brown and beige is to select analogous colors. Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel, creating harmonious combinations. For brown and beige, analogous color choices include:
- Other earth tones like olive green, rust orange, mustard yellow
- Soft neutrals like cream, taupe, and ivory
- Rich tertiary colors like maroon, forest green, and navy
Choosing an analogous color a shade darker or lighter than your base brown and beige tones creates a monochromatic look. Accent walls, furniture, rugs, and decor in analogous earth tones, neutrals, or deep tertiaries provide a sophisticated complement. Focus on variation in material and texture rather than bold color contrasts for a relaxed, organic aesthetic.
Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, creating striking yet balanced contrasts when paired together. Great complementary palettes for brown and beige include:
- Blue and orange
- Green and red
- Yellow and purple
Use small splashes of a complementary accent color through accessories, textiles, and artwork. A crimson throw blanket over a beige sofa or teal decorative objects against rich brown walls make complementary colors go a long way. Stick to muted complementary shades like burnt orange, olive, navy, and mustard for a subtle pop of color.
Monochromatic color schemes use varying shades, tones, and tints of one color for a clean, elegant look. Sophisticated monochromatic combinations for brown and beige include:
- Different brown hues like chocolate, chestnut, mahogany, and tan
- Variations of beige from cream to oatmeal to tan
- Rich shades of green like sage, olive, moss, and forest green
Add visual interest by playing with texture and material rather than relying solely on color variation. Use velvet, linen, leather, wool, and other tactile fabrics in your monochromatic brown and beige color scheme. Metallic accents in bronze, brass, pewter, and iron also complement and enrich monochromatic earth tones.
Triadic color schemes use three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. Triadic combinations emphasize contrast while retaining balance and visual harmony. Appealing triadic palettes with brown and beige include:
- Brown, yellow-green, and violet
- Beige, salmon, and teal
- Brown, sky blue, and brick red
Accent walls, furniture, accessories, and art in triadic colors create lively energy. However, use the accent colors sparingly so they don’t overwhelm the neutral brown and beige base. One large statement piece per room in a triadic accent color is often sufficient.
Tetradic and square colors
Tetradic color schemes use four colors spaced evenly around the color wheel. Square palettes are similar but may have slightly unequal spacing between the four colors. Creative tetradic and square options for brown and beige include:
- Brown, blue, burnt orange, and green
- Beige, yellow, navy, and red
- Brown, cream, sage green, and plum
Tetradic and square palettes lend themselves to an eclectic, bohemian look. They create dynamic energy but can feel chaotic if overused. Stick to two accent colors in small doses to complement your core brown and beige tones.
Best colors to pair with brown
Rich brown hues pair beautifully with colors from analogous earth tone, neutral, and tertiary color families. Specific colors that look fabulous with different shades of brown include:
|Best Color Matches
|Cream, beige, nutmeg
|Olive green, ivory, navy
|Terracotta, mustard, pine green
|Oatmeal, charcoal gray, plum
|Blush pink, parchment, sea green
|Brick red, tan, emerald
|Coral, ivory, moss green
For dynamism, incorporate complementary colors like indigo, orange, crimson, or violet. Soft analogous triadic palettes also complement brown’s grounded, organic feel.
Best colors to pair with beige
From warm creams to cool tans, beige’s natural neutrality allows it to work with almost any color. Top accent colors for different beige tones include:
|Best Color Matches
|Chocolate, navy, sage green
|Charcoal, terracotta, turquoise
|Strawberry, bronze, seafoam
|Lilac, rust, sky blue
|Mint, coral, plum
|Chambray, goldenrod, cherry
Beige accepts both light pastels and deeper jewel tones with grace. Mixing metallic sheens, natural wood tones, and bright white provides contrast. Use beige’s neutrality to try eclectic color combinations with confidence.
Tips for decorating with brown, beige, and accent colors
When thoughtfully combined, brown, beige, and accent colors create timeless, inviting spaces. Keep these tips in mind:
- Use 60-75% brown/beige as your core neutral tones
- Add accent colors in small doses through paint, decor, textiles
- Repeat accent colors in different materials, textures, sheens
- Limit accent colors to 2-3 per room
- Display accent colors in asymmetric, irregular patterns
- Anchor rooms with neutral brown/beige on walls, floors, furniture
- Refer to color wheel if unsure about combos
Your personal taste also matters, so have fun testing out different accent colors! Curated trial and error helps develop an intuition for harmonious, pleasing color combinations.
Brown and beige make up a palette with nearly universal appeal. Earthy, grounded, and subtle, these neutral tones provide a soothing, welcoming backdrop for bolder accent colors. The right accents enliven brown and beige while retaining their steady, organic feel. Whether you prefer analogous earth tones, complementary jewel tones, or eclectic color mixes, brown and beige gracefully support any look.