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What is the color to combine with brown?

What is the color to combine with brown?

Brown is a versatile neutral color that can be paired with a wide variety of shades. When choosing colors to combine with brown, it’s helpful to consider the undertones of the particular brown you are working with as well as the atmosphere you are trying to create. Warm browns work well with other warm earth tones, while cool browns pair better with muted and icy shades. Vivid brights can make brown pop, and complementary shades like blue, purple and green balance it nicely. With so many options, what is the best color to combine with brown? Here we will explore some of the top choices.

Warm Neutrals

Warm shades of brown have undertones of red, orange or yellow. These brown tones look beautiful paired with other warm neutrals in creamy tans, golds, peaches and camel. Combining warm browns with these colors creates an earthy, natural and cozy feel. Some great options include:

  • Beige
  • Tan
  • Peach
  • Mustard
  • Gold
  • Camel
  • Clay

Warm metallics like copper and bronze also complement and enhance warm brown tones. For those wanting a monochromatic look, cream, beige and tan make perfect partners for warm browns. Together these colors work very well in rustic, boho, desert, western and earthy styles.

Cool Neutrals

Brown shades with blue or ash undertones are considered cool browns. Their muted, icy vibe looks best when paired with other cool-toned neutrals. Gray, beige and cream take on a modern, sleek and sometimes moody look when combined with cool browns. Some great options include:

  • Gray
  • Light gray
  • Charcoal
  • Silver
  • Ice blue
  • Taupe
  • Ivory

Cool greens like sage also complement and contrast nicely with cool browns. Together these colors work well in modern, minimalist, Scandinavian and contemporary styles and spaces.

Earth Tones

Pairing different shades of brown together can create depth and visual interest. Dark browns work as beautiful backgrounds that allow warm medium or light browns to pop. For a harmonious earthy vibe try combining:

  • Light brown
  • Medium brown
  • Dark brown
  • Mocha
  • Rust
  • Ochre
  • Umber
  • Sepia

Other earthy tones like olive green, burnt orange and terracotta also mix and match seamlessly with different brown tones. Use textures like wood, leather, linen and wool to further emphasize the organic feel.

Pops of Color

Vivid bright colors create excitement when combined with brown. Primary colors red, yellow and blue make bold statements that allow brown to recede into the background. Other impactful options include:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Chartreuse
  • Royal Blue
  • Cobalt
  • Purple

Pops of black or white also stand out dramatically against brown. When using brights, look for shades with warm undertones if pairing with warm browns and cool undertones if pairing with cool browns. The contrast of a neutral brown with vivid hues creates lively, playful and eclectic spaces.

Complementary Colors

Colors opposite brown on the color wheel nicely complement and balance it. These analogous pairings create harmonious and soothing combinations. Complementary colors to pair with brown include:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Turquoise
  • Teal

Soft muted shades work best for creating tranquil environments. To make the combinations more dynamic, pair light browns with darker complements and vice versa. Adjacent colors like blue-green and red-violet also beautifully accompany brown.

Best Color Combinations

From warm neutrals to bold brights, brown pairs well with so many shades. Here are some of the most popular and aesthetically pleasing brown color combinations:

Color Combination Description
Brown and Cream Warm, natural, calming
Brown and Gold Rich, elegant, bright
Brown and Rust Earthy, cozy, rustic
Brown and Olive Green Outdoorsy, organic
Brown and Light Blue Crisp, soothing, serene
Brown and Charcoal Sleek, modern, sophisticated
Brown and Blush Pink Warm, feminine, romantic
Brown and Purple Royal, elegant, mystical
Brown and Turquoise Vintage, eclectic, retro
Brown and Yellow Happy, cheerful, lively

Choosing Your Best Brown Color Combinations

When putting together brown color combinations, consider the following tips:

  • Determine if your brown has warm red/orange or cool blue/ash undertones. This will help guide what colors work best.
  • Neutral creams, tans and grays are easy, go-to combinations that are always stylish.
  • For drama, pair brown with black, white or very vivid bright colors.
  • Stick with three colors or less for a simple, elegant look.
  • Add secondary accent colors in small doses like on pillows or artwork.
  • vary textures like glossy, matte, smooth, nubby and woven for visual interest.
  • Use lighter browns with darker accents and vice versa.
  • Incorporate metallics like copper, silver and gold for sheen.
  • Repeat colors throughout a space for cohesion – like brown walls and tan furniture.

Trust your personal taste and style instincts when combining colors with brown. There are so many beautiful options to create exactly the look and feel you want.


Brown is an extremely versatile color that allows for countless color combinations. Warm browns look best with other warm earth tones like cream, tan, gold and rust for a cozy natural feel. Cool browns pair well with grays, icy pastels and sage creating sleek modern ambiance. Vivid brights and complementary colors make brown pop. No matter your style, brown can be combined with all sorts of hues to produce calming, elegant, earthy or eclectic spaces. From neutral beige to vivid turquoise, explore all the options to find your perfect color combinations with brown.