10 Stunning Color Combinations to Pair with Brown

Last Updated on February 28, 2024 by SampleBoard

Cozy and comforting, shades of brown go hand in hand with our need to feel safe and secure.

It comes as no surprise then that the color brown, literally the color of the earth, is associated with ‘grounding’.

Grounding also called earthing, is a calming and self-soothing skill that can assist you in times of stress and uncertainty by simply walking barefoot, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground.

Brown has been used in art since prehistoric times and is often described as natural, down-to-earth, and conventional. But brown can also be sophisticated.

Shades of Brown

The Psychology of the Color Brown

Following color psychology - how colors affect moods and emotions - it’s understood that using shades of brown enhances feelings of warmth, comfort, and security.

The color brown is often associated with earthiness, warmth, and a sense of stability.

It is a natural color commonly found in the environment, such as in soil, wood, and certain animals. And as a result, it carries a variety of psychological associations:

Earthy and Natural

Brown is strongly connected to the natural world, representing the earth and the organic elements of the environment. It evokes feelings of grounding, stability, and a connection to nature.

Warmth and Comfort

Brown is a warm color, reminiscent of autumnal hues and the coziness of wood or earth tones. It often creates a comforting and nurturing atmosphere, making it a popular choice for interior design in living spaces.

Reliability and Security

Brown is perceived as a stable and reliable color, evoking a sense of security and dependability. This is why it is often used in branding or design to convey a trustworthy and down-to-earth image.

Timelessness and Tradition

Brown is associated with timeless and traditional elements. It can convey a sense of history, permanence, and durability, making it a popular choice for classic and vintage designs.

Simplicity and Practicality

Brown is a straightforward and practical color. It is often seen as unpretentious and down-to-earth, representing simplicity and a lack of pretense.

Seriousness and Formality

In some contexts, brown can also be associated with seriousness and formality. It is a subdued color that doesn't draw excessive attention, making it suitable for professional settings or formal attire.

Warm Neutrality

Brown serves as a warm neutral that can easily complement a variety of colors. It works well as a backdrop, allowing other colors to pop or stand out when used in combination.

Warm Inviting Spaces

In interior design, brown is often used to create warm and inviting spaces. Whether in furniture, textiles, or wall colors, it can make a room feel cozy and welcoming.

It's important to note that individual perceptions of color can vary based on personal experiences, cultural influences, and context.

While brown is generally associated with positive qualities, its impact can depend on how it's used and combined with other colors in a given setting.

What colors go with Brown?

Brown and Cream or Beige

These light, neutral tones work particularly well with warm shades of brown such as caramel or chestnut.

Pairing cream or beige with brown creates a soft, inviting palette reminiscent of natural elements like sand and stone.

For example, you might use cream-colored upholstery on a brown sofa, accented with beige throw pillows and curtains.

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Brown and White

White provides a clean, crisp contrast to brown, making it an excellent choice for modern and minimalist interiors.

A combination of white walls with brown furniture and accents can create a timeless and sophisticated look.

Additionally, incorporating white trim or molding can help highlight architectural features and enhance the overall design.

While incorporating brown into your interior design can bring warmth and depth, it's crucial to strike a careful balance to avoid the space feeling overly dark or heavy.

To counteract the potential weightiness of brown, consider incorporating other softer neutrals, with crisp white and off-white being excellent choices.

The juxtaposition of brown and white creates a harmonious and contemporary aesthetic, infusing the space with a light, airy feel.

The clean lines and brightness of white provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of brown. Preventing the room from feeling closed in or visually overwhelming.

This combination not only imparts a modern and sophisticated look. But also draws inspiration from nature, evoking the timeless appeal of earthy tones found in the natural world.

Consider using white for larger surfaces like walls, ceilings, and furniture, while integrating brown in smaller doses through wooden accents, furnishings, or decor items.

This approach ensures that the overall ambiance remains inviting, balanced, and effortlessly chic.

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Shades of Brown


Accent Pillow Cover


Brown and Blue

Blue complements brown beautifully, offering a wide range of possibilities depending on the shade chosen.

For a calming and serene ambiance, pair soft pastel blues with warm browns to evoke the tranquility of a coastal retreat.

Alternatively, deep navy blues can create a sense of elegance and drama when juxtaposed with rich chocolate browns in a more formal setting.

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Brown and Green

Earthy greens like olive, sage, or moss can enhance the natural warmth of brown, bringing the outdoors inside.

Consider incorporating greenery through houseplants or botanical prints to add freshness and vitality to the space.

Additionally, textiles such as green throw blankets or accent pillows can introduce subtle pops of color against a backdrop of brown furniture or walls.

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Brown and Gray

Gray and brown can combine to create a sophisticated and versatile color scheme suitable for a variety of design styles.

Lighter shades of gray, such as dove or greige (a blend of gray and beige), can provide a soft contrast to darker browns while maintaining a sense of warmth and coziness.

On the other hand, charcoal or slate gray can add depth and modernity to a space when paired with lighter shades of brown.

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Brown and Orange

Warm and vibrant, shades of orange can infuse energy and personality into a room when paired with brown.

Terracotta oranges complement earthy browns, evoking the colors of a desert landscape, while brighter oranges like pumpkin or tangerine add a playful touch to the decor.

Incorporate orange accents through artwork, decorative accessories, or upholstered furniture to create visual interest and warmth.

Brown and Yellow

Soft yellows or mustard tones can brighten up a space and add a cheerful vibe when combined with brown.

Yellow accents can range from pale buttery hues to deeper shades reminiscent of sunflowers or goldenrod.

Consider incorporating yellow through decorative pillows, area rugs, or wall art to create a sunny and inviting atmosphere that complements the warmth of brown.

Brown and Red

Deep burgundy or rust reds can create a sense of coziness and intimacy when paired with brown, making them ideal for creating a welcoming atmosphere in living rooms or bedrooms.

These warm, earthy tones can be introduced through upholstery, drapery, or accent walls to add richness and depth to the color palette.

For a more subdued look, opt for muted reds like brick or terracotta, which harmonize beautifully with browns while still providing a touch of warmth and sophistication.

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Brown pairs surprisingly well with all tones of red - rust, terracotta, burnt orange, primary red, and sienna.

We wrote about how to decorate with muted reds a while ago, which only affirms that brown is right on track with the earlier prediction.

As well as the rust color trend, it seems all shades and hues of reds are here to stay.

Combining shades of brown with various tones of red offers a rich and dynamic palette that can infuse a space with warmth, vibrancy, and a touch of earthy elegance.

The versatility of brown allows it to serve as an excellent backdrop for the bold and diverse spectrum of red hues.

Whether it's the deep warmth of rust, the earthy appeal of terracotta, the fiery intensity of burnt orange, the classic charm of primary red, or the timeless sophistication of sienna.

Brown provides a complementary canvas for these red tones to shine.

This color pairing taps into the enduring popularity of reds in interior design, and the flexibility of brown allows for seamless integration with different shades. Creating a harmonious and visually engaging composition.

As trends continue to embrace the resurgence of warm, earth-inspired color palettes, the combination of brown and red proves to be a timeless choice. Offering a cozy and inviting atmosphere that stands the test of time.

Whether incorporated through furniture, textiles, or accent pieces. The marriage of brown and red provides a captivating and enduring design statement.

Reinforcing the notion that these hues are not merely trends but lasting elements of timeless and sophisticated interior aesthetics.

Shades of Brown

Brown and Black

Pairing black and brown in decor is a timeless strategy that infuses spaces with a sense of drama, sophistication, and versatility.

This classic combination can be employed in various design styles, from contemporary to traditional, and it effortlessly adds depth to any room.

To strike the right balance and prevent the ensemble from becoming overly weighty, opting for lighter shades of brown and incorporating light woods becomes essential.

Choosing lighter shades of brown, such as tan, taupe, or caramel, serves as a strategic approach to temper the intensity of black.

Lighter browns provide a softer contrast, contributing to an overall look that feels more open and less imposing.

This choice is particularly effective in smaller spaces where a lighter color palette helps to create a sense of airiness and avoids overwhelming the room.

Black and Brown Decor

The introduction of light woods, such as oak, birch, or maple, further mitigates the potential heaviness associated with black and brown decor.

Whether through furniture pieces, flooring, or decor accents, the inclusion of light wood tones brings a natural, organic element into the design.

This not only adds warmth but also establishes a connection to nature, creating a balanced and inviting ambiance.

When implementing this color scheme, it's important to distribute the black and brown elements throughout the space harmoniously.

Consider a black leather sofa paired with light brown throw pillows, or dark wooden furniture against walls painted in a softer shade of brown. This distribution ensures a cohesive and well-integrated appearance.

To enhance visual interest, incorporate accessories and decor items that bridge the black and brown palette. Artwork, textiles, or decorative objects in both colors can create a cohesive design narrative.

Additionally, metallic finishes like matte black or brushed bronze can be introduced to add a touch of glamour and unify the overall aesthetic.

In conclusion, the fusion of black and brown decor offers a classic and versatile foundation for designing spaces that exude sophistication and character.

By strategically incorporating lighter browns and light woods, the resulting look is not only dramatic but also bright, inviting, and adaptable to a range of interior styles.

Black and Brown Decor 
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Black and Brown Decor 
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Black and Brown Decor 
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Black and Brown Decor 
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Create a Rustic, Laid-Back Feel

For a more rustic vibe, try using darker shades of brown paired with natural woods.

For a more laid-back feel, try using darker shades of brown paired with natural elements like stone or wood. This combination is perfect for creating a warm and inviting space that has a rustic feel.

shades of brown
Image credit: Kim Egel
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Image credit: Furniture Village


The brown color trend allows us to focus on creating intentional living environments within our homes that offer our weary souls a chance to recoup and rest after two hard years by surrounding ourselves with nature-inspired decor and design.

No matter what your style, decorating with shades of brown is a great way to create a warm and inviting space.

So experiment with different shades and combinations until you find the perfect look for your home.

No matter what style you're going for, there's a shade of brown that will help you achieve the look you're after. So don't be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect combination for your home.

In the end, we think the color brown will have staying power. What do you think?

Brown Interior Color Trend
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