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Decorating with Brown

Brown's neutral, earthy tones give rooms a familiar and comfortable feel. See how you can use brown paint in rooms throughout your home.

Offset strong colors

The gray-influenced brown (Benjamin Moore AF-720 Sparrow) acts as a great midtone neutral in this modern room and subdues the impact of the strong black and red accent pieces.

Coordinate with wood

Brown harmonizes well with stained wood furniture. In this Indiana dining room, the rich dark coffee bean brown walls (Glidden 196 Stewart House Brown) and wood floors are relieved with blocks of light cream in the drapes, seating and accessories.  The choice of just these two high-contrast colors adds drama to the room.

Define white

Brown (Glidden 2107-20 Mocha Brown) is a great choice for highlighting white trim and other light accents. In this back entry, brown gives crisp definition to the architecture.

Comfort with warm brown

This warm wall color (Benjamin Moore 2096-30 Chocolate Truffle) will be even more comforting by lamplight at night when the owners are heading to bed. Yet it is also the perfect sophisticated foil for the black and cream accents that give exotic style to the room.

Spice up small spaces

Most homeowners paint small rooms a light color so the rooms appear larger. But if the room is to be used for quiet pursuits, such as this Chicago-area home office, a dark brown (Benjamin Moore AF-170 French Press) offers a calming, cocooning effect. A window and large pieces of white-matted art break up the deep color.

Paint a ceiling

Visually lower a high ceiling with a dark color. The chocolate brown ceiling in this dining area warms the room and helps coordinate the colors of artwork and upholstery fabric.

Offset strong colors

The gray-influenced brown (Benjamin Moore AF-720 Sparrow) acts as a great midtone neutral in this modern room and subdues the impact of the strong black and red accent pieces.

More about decorating with colors

See a color you like? Most home improvement stores are happy to mix colors if you show them a picture or a fabric sample you're trying to match. They're also usually able to match discontinued colors. Remember that colors can look different depending on factors such as light and the size of your room—plus colors can look different on a computer screen or a printed sample. Always buy a small container first and try the shade out before painting the entire room. Get more color inspiration by browsing any of our slideshows below.

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