30Decorating with Brown Ideas for Every Room

By Interior Designer TRACY SVENDEN | Published March 18, 2024 |

Decorating with Brown: Warm, earthy browns are staging a comeback, and with good reason. Brown is a remarkably versatile color that infuses a space with sophistication and a sense of comfort while adding approachable elegance and a timeless appeal to any room. With its understated grace, top interior designers often use brown as a foundational shade, as it can complement a wide range of styles. 

In this article, I will share ways to include gorgeous shades of earthy browns, from decadent dark chocolate hues to shades of espresso and light caramels to warm honey accents, making your home look like a sun-drenched autumn forest. Brown can be used to color drench a room, as a feature wall, in fabrics and decorative objects, or incorporated through wood tones in ceiling beams, furniture, and flooring.

“Our lives are woven with a vivid tapestry of colors that shape our days, memories, and unique preferences. Amidst this vibrant palette, a hue patiently awaits its turn to take the spotlight and captivate with its quiet charm and timeless elegance: brown. This earthy shade holds a profound significance—from nature to design, its hues embody a sense of grounding, connecting us to the organic world and creating an inviting sense of warmth.” – Shea Mcgee of McGee & Co Design. 

Feature image courtesy of Amber Interiors

Here are a few design ideas and tips on how to infuse brown into your home:

How to Decorate with Shades of Brown

Decorating with Shades of Brown in the Living Room
Image courtesy of Lindye Galloway Design

1. Choose a Harmonious Color Palette 

When decorating with brown, it is important to create a harmonious color scheme. Brown is a versatile base color that can be paired with a wide range of other hues to create different moods and aesthetics. 

Brown pairs well with other earthy tones such as olive and sage green, cumin, terracotta, creamy whites, warming oranges, and deep reddish browns. These colors are inspired by nature and enrich the design with contrast and character.

Decorating with Brown

Decorating with Brown
Image courtesy of Katie Hodges Design

2. Using Different Brown Tones

The color brown, often associated with nature and earth, is a versatile color that can add depth and warmth to any space. It comes in a wide range of shades, from deep chocolate to caramel, umber, espresso, bronze, almond, and tan, allowing for endless possibilities in decor. When used correctly, brown can create a sense of coziness and elegance in your home.

When selecting different tones of brown for your decor, consider the mood you want to create. Deep browns, such as espresso or mahogany, can add a sense of richness and sophistication to a room. Light browns like beige or taupe create a softer and more relaxed feel to the space. 

Different Shades of Brown

Different Shades of Brown
Image courtesy of Lindye Galloway Design

3. Pair Warm Browns with Orange and Cream Hues

Using browns, creams, and oranges in a space creates a warm and inviting living area that celebrates the beautiful hues of Autumn all year long. Orange accents uplift a brown living room with warmth and energy.

Pair with layered textures such as brown velvet upholstery, an earth-tone area rug, oak accent furniture, chunky cable knit throws in creamy whites, rustic pottery, tree branches, and floral arrangements that embrace this stunning palette. 

Pairing Brown with Other Earth Tone Colors

Pairing Brown with Other Earth Tone Colors
Image courtesy of Amber Lewis Design

4. Decorating with Brown Tones in the Kitchen

This incredibly versatile color adds a rich, earthy elegance to a kitchen, saturating the space with timeless appeal. Brown kitchen cabinets create a dramatic look and pair beautifully with white marble countertops and backsplash. Consider adding natural wood flooring, warm metals, and a stone accent wall in light sandy-brown hues to add a rustic and organic feel to your kitchen. 

Decorating with Brown
Decorating with Brown

Using Brown Tones in the Kitchen
Image courtesy of Amber Interiors

5. Include a Brown Accent Wall as a Focal Point

This past decade has focused on using cool shades of gray in interiors. Recently, trends have shifted, with warm beige and brown tones again becoming popular. Including a light or dark brown accent wall in your space can add a dramatic focal point while infusing it with warmth. 

Depending on the shade of brown you choose, it can create a sense of richness and add visual interest and texture. With an organic, easygoing elegance, brown paint can elevate any room in your home with a back-to-nature vibe. 

When choosing a brown tone to paint your accent wall, take inspiration from natural wood tones throughout your home and choose a lighter shade. Opt for dark browns ranging from chocolate to mahogany for a more dramatic look. These darker, saturated hues make a bold and stylish statement, adding depth and drama. 

Brown Wall Painting Ideas

Painting a Feature Wall Brown
Image courtesy of McGee & Co.

6. Brown Window Treatments

Brown curtains can add warmth, depth, and sophistication to a room. Depending on the shade of brown you choose, the curtains can complement a wide range of styles, from modern to traditional design. Lighter brown curtains, such as taupe or beige, can create a soft and soothing ambiance, while deeper brown hues, such as chocolate or espresso, add richness and drama. 

Brown curtains also pair well with other earthy tones, such as olive green or terracotta, creating a harmonious color palette. Additionally, brown curtains can provide a neutral backdrop for other decorative elements in the room, allowing them to stand out and make a statement.

Dining Room with Brown Window Treatments

Dining Room with Brown Window Treatments
Image courtesy of Katie Hodges Design

7. Consider Brown Custom Cabinetry 

Brown built-in cabinets with open shelving add drama, depth, and dimension to a space, making it feel substantial and inviting. Pair brown cabinetry with warm metallics such as copper, bronze, or gold to add a touch of glamour and elegance to earthy brown tones. 

In addition, you can incorporate warm metallics through decorative objects such as vases or lamps, which can add a touch of shimmer and shine to a room. Consider using metallic picture frames, wall art, mirrors, or candle holders to add a touch of sophistication and elegance to brown walls. 

Brown Built in Cabinets with Open Shelving
Brown Built in Cabinets with Open Shelving

Brown Built-In Cabinets with Open Shelving
Image courtesy of West of Main Design

8. Pair Brown with Natural Elements

To truly embrace the concept of earthy elegance, it is important to incorporate natural elements into your brown design scheme. Achieve this by using materials such as wood, stone, and natural fibers. Include large-scale trees, organic sculptures, camel-colored curtains, rustic pottery, and bowls. These materials add texture and visual interest to your space and create a connection to the natural world.

When selecting furniture and accessories, opt for pieces made from natural materials. Look for wooden tables, chairs, and shelves that showcase the beauty of the grain. Consider adding stone accents, such as a marble countertop or a slate fireplace, to create a sense of timeless elegance.

Combining Brown Tones with Organic & Natural Elements

Combining Brown Tones with Organic & Natural Elements
Image courtesy of Jake Arnold Design

9. Consider Brown Velvet

With its astonishingly soft fibers, velvet is a universal and sumptuous textile that brings luxury and style and can transform even the simplest sofa or accent chair into a beautiful statement piece. A single velvet piece of furniture or accent, such as a throw pillow, provides a plush and upscale feel. 

Brown Velvet Furniture & Throw Pillows

Brown Velvet Furniture & Throw Pillows
Image courtesy of Amber Lewis Interiors

10. Incorporate a Brown Sofa

Brown furniture is a classic choice that never goes out of style. It adds warmth, depth, and sophistication to any space, making it a popular choice among interior designers. Brown furniture comes in various shades and styles, from light oak to dark mahogany, and can be incorporated into any design aesthetic.

Consider incorporating different textures and patterns into the space to create a cohesive look. For example, pair a brown leather sofa with a plush area rug and patterned throw pillows. Or, mix and match different shades of brown furniture, such as a dark wood coffee table with a light oak bookcase.