A brown color scheme is a bit trickier than most people think. It's hard to believe, but wood and other natural materials in different shades of brown can make or break entire room color combinations.
Brown is such a complex color that it doesn't even appear on the color wheel.
(What colors make brown? Check out my free e-book to see what colors go into different shades of brown.)
On this page you'll find color schemes with brown paint colors, occasionally mixed with neutrals, as well as the best accent colors for brown color combinations.
↑ Here's an earth tone color scheme with different shades of brown, from reddish brown (maroon) to a yellowish fudge brown.
Best wall colors: Neutrals (e.g. milky white, warm grey).
Best wood stains: Dark hardwoods, with or without a reddish bias.
↑ An 'English cottage' color scheme for year-round summer!
'Milk chocolate' is a fairly warm, lighter shade of brown, so it's important to balance this brown color scheme with cool hues and tints: cool red, cool pink, and a clean innocent blue.
English country color schemes look sweet with fabrics in floral prints, solids, checks & stripes in gentle ice-cream colors.
You could add greenery, display some real pewter if you have it, or maybe even your very own Wedgwood collection :-)
Best wall colors: milky white, light silver grey, rose pink.
Best wood stains: Rustic pine, antique mahogany.
↑ A brown color scheme with warm orange-red hues is a perfect match for blue - this brown and blue color scheme is basically a blue/orange complementary palette. Blue hues (as well as neutrals) make great partners for reddish brown (paint) colors like Venetian red, red ocher or even cinnamon,.
Best wall colors: Neutral white/grey, pale misty blue, pale terracotta.
Best wood stains: Deep chestnut brown, antique cherry.
↑ Essentially, this is a dirtied-down 3-primary color scheme (blue, yellow, red). There is so much black and brown in the yellow and red that they now 'read' as brown (paint) colors.
Best wall colors: Cream, cool grey.
Best wood stain: Heritage oak.
↑ Like cinnamon, brick red is a warm and earthy tone of either red, orange, or brown (depending on how you look at it). If you add a green-hued (cold) shade of bronze, cool pink and deep bluish purple - none of them saturate colors - you get this contemporary, low-key but hip (and fairly brown) color scheme.
Best wall colors: Putty, pale terracotta, pale grayed pink.
Best wood stain: Dark walnut.
↑ Every year in June, cafés and street vendors all over London start selling English strawberries and cream. Even if you don't give two hoots about tennis, you know that the Wimbledon championships are afoot! In fact, I think coffee, strawberry and cream are our secret 'Wimbledon colors'. The color scheme above is a red-green complementary with added shades of brown. It's easy to create & always works!
Best wall colors: Milky white, palest pistachio, very light tan or écru.
Best wood stains: Dark hardwoods.
(P.S.: You'll find that strawberry and raspberry hues are very popular in French interiors, too.)
And here's some additional color inspiration (waaay beyond brown color scheme ideas):
Return from Brown Color Scheme to Great Color Combinations.
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