What Colors Match with Brown

Francesco Dolfo

Fifty shades of brown might not have quite the same ring to it as the titular literary franchise it calls to mind, but it’s arguably a better design proposal. If you’re considering new ways to decorate with color, the humble hue is suitable for just about any design style and myriad tastes.

From a variety of earthy tints to all of the sumptuous wood tones nature can muster, brown is an elevated color choice that’s perfect for boosting a room’s style factor. Ready to give it a chance? Scroll down for 11 creative ways to decorate with every shade of brown.

Designer Martha Mulholland created an inviting bedroom retreat using a palette of deep walnut wood tones and greige accents. The upholstered headboard runs the width of the wall, bringing warmth and dimension to the space, while twin vintage Brazilian rope chairs pick up the color story and add a dose of texture.
The custom bed in designer Charlie Ferrer’s Manhattan studio is designed by Robert Stilin after Charlotte Perriand. The warm wood tones are offset by Anichini linens and accessorized with an Hermès blanket for a muted but crisply classic color story.
A-List designer David Kaihoi hand-painted and installed this “tumbling block” wallpaper in the entryway of his Manhattan home himself, with a matching floor design to boot. The use of tonal brown shades feels cleverly kaleidoscopic yet comfortable.
The A-List design firm Hendricks Churchill created an eye-catching kitchenette using Farrow & Ball’s muddy pale pink Dead Salmon on cabinetry framing a tiled backsplash in a glazed mottled khaki. The sink skirt picks up the grid pattern and ties together the brown tones with the kitchen hardware and vintage dining set.
Oral surgeon-cum-decorator Paolo Castellarin doused the walls of his Milan bedroom in RAL Pale Brown, smartly accented by the brand’s Green Beige, a cutting citrus hue that creates a fashionable feast for the eyes.
The custom brass bed of Apparatus designer Gabriel Hendifar is dressed in Zak+Fox linens, creating a delicious golden umber cocoon offset by velvet Decortex drapery in a subtle sage hue.
The fashionable Emiliano Salci of A-List firm Dimorestudio created a multipurpose studio space outfitted in varnished cocoa, offset by oxblood drapery and a patterned daybed in a custom Dimoremilano fabric.


Mahogany + Alpine Green

Paris-based architect and A-List interior designer Hugo Toro created this striking bathroom with green Alpine marble encasing the bathtub and sink. While dark wood tones can feel dated, here they were thoughtfully incorporated to perfectly complement the tub, as well as the red and white marble used for the flooring.
The honey-toned cabinetry in the open kitchen and dining room of this Workshop/APD triplex pops thanks to black hardware and shelving and a concrete countertop.


Terra-Cotta + Oil-Rubbed Bronze

This monochromatic powder room, in a Lake Tahoe cabin designed by Sara Oswalt, celebrates the livability of warm rust tones, accenting the terra-cotta-clad space with oil-rubbed bronze hardware.
Designer Heidi Caillier let the dark wood tones in the flooring and furniture of this Bedford, New York, primary bedroom ground a mishmash of patterns executed in muted olive, parchment, and terra-cotta, with pops of cornflower blue courtesy of a Robert Kime fabric on John Derian for Cisco chairs.

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