Chocolate, Buckwheat, Coffee: Rich Brown Colors for Your Home’s Interior

Some of the most comforting memories, particularly growing up in Pennsylvania, involve brown colors: pumpkin pie during the holidays; a rich, steaming mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter day; maple syrup over Sunday pancakes. So why not consider the rich, warm color of brown for your home? Browns hold some of the most subtle and pleasing tones. If you’re looking to change things up with a new color scheme for any of the rooms in your house, take a look at some interesting ways to use brown – you might be surprised how well it works.

Why Brown?

Opposite of what many people think, brown actually has the widest range of variation of any color. Because it’s made by blending two opposite colors (violet and gold, red and green, or blue and orange), there are lots of different looks it can take on: from a chic, cool look, with more of a blue-violet tint, to something deeply warm if it contains reds. This gives it a world of potential for creating different looks and feels throughout your home. So where to begin?

Making the Most of Mocha: Ideas for Painting with Brown Throughout the Home

Master Bedroom or Bathroom – The granite and tile many people use in their master bathroom meshes well with brown. Brown can play off their surfaces to flatter your skin tones in a bathroom mirror. See yourself in your best light with a warm, brown hue.

Warm brown tones can be flattering to the skin, particularly when paired with the reflective surfaces of granite or tile. | Image Attrib.: Flickr user High Peaks Resort

A taupe color (a shade of dark tan that tends to be a greyish brown) can pair beautifully with the crisp whites of linen bedsheets or drapes.

Using dark tan or taupe to pair with white bedroom features can create a comforting coffee-and-cream look. | Image Attrib.: Mirage floors

Dining Room – For a dining room, try a deep, chocolate brown. The rich, dark color creates drama and can be beautifully paired with a deep wine-colored curtain. Brown also works well with cobalt or sapphire (which are common colors to see in dining room features like chairs, dishes and plates, glassware, etc). You can create a luxurious, relaxing feel with brown in the dining room, and use some bold colors like blue, black, or white to make a statement along with dramatic brown. And if your kitchen is nearby, brown pairs nicely with white cabinetry.

Rich chocolate tones create both intimacy and dramatic effect in a dining room, and pair well with bold colors like black, white, and cobalt.
Brown kitchen walls with white cabinetry. | Image Attrib.: Flickr user williamskitchenbath

Children’s Bedroom People tend to think of bold primary colors or bright pastels when they’re looking to paint a child’s bedroom. But brown can, surprisingly, work well here too. Coffee-colored walls, or even stripes, can be both sophisticated and playful in a kid’s room. A light to medium coffee brown, in particular, looks great with a pastel pink or pale gold.

Brown can work surprisingly well with the bold primary colors and bright pastels typically found in kids’ rooms. | Image Attrib.: Flickr user amy.gizienski

Office The calm of brown also makes it ideal for an office space. Try a warm, medium value brown combined with dark green stripes for a room where you’ll feel focused and at home while getting work done. Light gold or pale peach fabric can really draw out the natural light and warmth of brown, so if you have furniture with any of these tones, you might be surprised by how well the two compliment each other.

Brown can create a studious, comfortable atmosphere for a home office.

Variety and Balance

Brown certainly gives you a lot of options, from tone to feel, whether it’s as an accent or the main affair – such a wide range of options, in fact, that you might want a color consultant to help you find the one that works best for your home. It’s important to balance the warmth or coolness of your brown with the wood inside your home as well. Be sure to keep in mind the different values of brown within the room. By pairing a lighter and darker value, such as a deeper brown on the walls with a light wood floor or furniture set, you create depth and visual interest. Oppositely, a dark wood desk or set of cabinets can tend to fade into dark brown paint, creating a flat look.

A lighter, peach-tan paired with dark wood kitchen cabinetry. Image Attrib.: Flickr user Dru Bloofield
Pale tan paired with dark wood window frames and a medium-toned wood floor. | Image Attrib.: Flickr user denise carbonell

To get a full picture of what your home might look like painted with brown colors, you can even try out your ideas with a virtual painting simulator! Nolan and Sherwin Williams offer this indispensable online tool – before committing to a specific paint color, you can give them a trial run. Experiment with a few shades of brown and see how your interior responds to warm shades and cooler shades, and give it time to simmer in your mind.

Go for It! Setting your Interior Redesign in Motion

We know the cold weather months are coming up, and you’re going to be spending some quality time inside – so why not make it the most inviting and soothing space possible? Whether it’s a pale wheat, rich coffee, or dark chocolate brown, these hues will add warmth to your home. To schedule a color consultation or plan your interior redesign, get in touch with Nolan’s experienced team today – we’re Southeastern Pennsylvania’s trusted painting professionals and we would love to help you make your dream interior a reality!

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