Brown furniture comes in many different shades and materials, so it pretty much works with any design style and pairs well with a variety of colors. Decorist designer Rita Schulz agrees, saying: "For interiors, brown is often considered a neutral, making it a very versatile color." On the flip side of that coin, it can be hard to narrow down your choices, especially when trying to decide what color to paint the walls. Whether you have a lot of wood pieces — like a coffee table, dining set, or dresser — or upholstered items flaunting a brown hue, the first thing to consider is: What's the overall vibe you're going for? Brown is a very grounding color, and depending on the shade, it can lean dark and moody or light and airy.
For a high-contrast and timelessly chic look, you can never go wrong pairing brown furniture with bright white walls and ceilings. For example, this modern dining room feels fresh and inviting with a darker wood table and chairs.
The color combination is perfect for just about any decor style, plus it will add natural warmth to your light and airy scheme. Here, shiplap wall paneling is painted in the darkest shade of ebony, while a traditional dresser and matching throw pillows add warmth. Off-white curtains and bedding provide just the right amount of contrast and keep the bedroom design from feeling too dark and heavy. Look for shades of red that lean more orange than blue on the spectrum to bring out the warmth in your pieces of furniture.
"Since brown is actually a deep shade of orange, earth tones like terra cotta are a good wall color," says Schulz. For example, in this bedroom, the cool and refreshing shade on the wall acts as the perfect backdrop to the caned headboard and petite nightstand.
Two dark hues like brown and hunter green come together seamlessly in this stylish living room. Chocolate and caramel browns look sophisticated surrounded by navy blue walls, as proven by this reading nook from Emily Henderson. Try the same color (Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue) in your own home with a leather couch or lounge chair perched against the wall. Layer in decorative accents like pillows, a throw, and an area rug to complete the scene. This is especially true if your furniture leans a bit more rustic, like this live-edge wood dining table. The raw, unfinished look and coloring of both materials will add loads of texture and visual interest.
Bring out the golden undertones of your brown furniture by painting your walls a sunny shade of yellow. Brown and green are colors represented in nature, which makes them a match made in design heaven.
Another soothing color to surround your brown furniture with is blush pink, as witnessed in this space.
The light wood furniture complements the warm undertones in the rosy wall color and lustrous brass accents lend a bit of sparkle. This chic dining room by Amber Interiors demonstrates just how well a dark charcoal gray shade with cool undertones can work with brown furniture. In this case, a midcentury modern table and chairs look positively radiant against the lead-colored backdrop.
In this industrial setup by Leanne Ford, cool plaster walls and ceiling complement the cognac leather accent chairs. A jewel tone like this rich teal wall color makes an ideal backdrop to show off darker wood furniture, as seen in this charming dining nook by Emily Henderson. The reddish undertone often found in brown wood furniture complements the green tint in teal, resulting in a striking and handsome effect.
There's no denying the soothing power of neutral color palettes, and it doesn't get any better than brown and greige. The grayish-beige walls add a dash of color but still allow the midcentury furniture pieces to take center stage. For example, this setup by Reath Design still enjoys the benefits of a complementary pairing without losing that light and airy look and feel.
Pair your dark or light brown furniture with a beige paint color, as shown in this living room. The neutral walls complement the earthy nature of brown and result in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Take the scheme a step further with a brown and beige area rug and wood picture frames.
The team over at Ciara Tapia Design framed the brown leather couch in this Scandi-chic living room with a mint green accent wall. Dark purple, plum, or the rich eggplant shade in this dreamy dining room by Giancarlo Valle look gorgeous with brown furniture. Go for high drama by coating board and batten walls in a moody shade and paint the ceiling, too.
If white feels too stark for the walls in your space, consider an off-white or cream color instead. The amount of light and the size of your space are also very important factors to keep in mind when finalizing the colors of the walls.