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Accent Colors For Brown Tones


I am building a house and we have a light brown/tan coach and navy blue chair in living room. We are painting the walls a light tan color and have a darker brown carpet color. I am wanting to know what accent colors would look best with these colors?

Melissa from Indianapolis, IN



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By Judi 18 938 08/29/2008

Yellow or gold

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By Cyinda 214 1,287 08/29/2008

I'm an artist who does custom tiles & hand painted wall murals so I get to see many beautiful homes & I'm often asked to choose room colors for these clients.

When I went to Floral Design school people asked "What color is the accent to wood & Brown tones?" & the instructor said "The accent color to wood & any color of brown is Blue because you think of wood as "orange". You could use ANY color of Blue, be it grayish blue or Turquoise blue. But since you already have a Navy chair, make sure the blue you choose goes with Navy. Like a medium blue.

I disagree with the previous post. I don't think you need any more yellows or golds. You really want something that POPS & blue is on the opposite side of the color wheel, so it's the "accent" of brown & tan (remember brown is to be treated like it's orange).

One more way you can decorate your room is to use TWO accent colors. This is how I am doing my living/dining room area. I have Tan cupboards & blue wall to wall carpet & I wanted to use Sage & Olive green as my accent colors. So I bought a large throw rug that has ALL of these colors in it: Tan & Browns, Dark & Light Greens & Blue. So, I'm using THREE basic colors in my color scheme: TAN & browns, olive & sage GREENs & BLUE. This is a tri-colored scheme (3 colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel) & the best way to decorate with 3 colors (or any color scheme) is to buy a large throw rug or a large piece of art that has the colors you love in it (one of the colors should be brown or tan & one blue in your case) & the other color could be anything (Even red!). Just as long as it's in the rug or artwork. But Tan, Olive & Blue work great together.

If you want a more modern looking color scheme, that REALLY has pop, you could go with Navy, Gold & Red. These are basically "Primary" colors. You don't see all 3 of them together very often in living/dining rooms unless it's a very modern/upscale look, with super-modern furniture, but once in a while you do see these colors in a traditionally decorated room.

---> Before you choose your colors, I suggest you FIRST look for a throw rug or a fairly large picture (or set of prints) that you love & uses this as your starting point to choose your colors from. Pick something you LOVE as your inspiration for colors. If you choose something you love, you can never go wrong. Years ago, I found a set of old botanicals from the 1930's or 40's at a used book store then had them framed & matted. I then decorated the whole room around these botanicals. That room turned out fabulous, & I think it's because I loved those prints so much.

To repeat myself: Find something you LOVE to use as your color inspiration in the room & you can never go wrong. Just make sure 2 of the colors are brown/tan & Blue because you already have these colors. Remember, it's easier to match paint to a print, picture or rug, than it is to find a rug or print to match your paint, because you can always blend your paint colors to match.

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By Jessica 3 18 08/29/2008

My walls are painted to different shades of brown, I have many colors that I am using as accents but I'm keeping them muted, nothing bright or too flashy. Brown and Navy Blue are both considered to be base colors that any other color can go with...tan, black, white are also bases. So if you want something a bit brighter like a melon or lime green you can do those instead but don't do too many of them mixed together. Have fun!

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By joan pecsek 88 545 08/30/2008

try coral or peach

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By Kendy 5 130 08/30/2008

I agree with Cyinda- I think a light blue, like a sky blue and a light green, like a celery green would be perfect accent colors for a cool, calming feel- after all, brown, blue, and green are such common colors in nature, they can never look wrong or grow tiresome to you.

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By attila (Guest Post) 09/03/2008

Yes, I'd say blue, a pale blue or medium greyish blue. I had a brown room which looked fabulous with pale blue. You could try putting a scarf or tshirt of the chosen colour in different places in the room to see how it looks.

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By jann weitman (Guest Post) 09/03/2008

Get some paint swatches or you can buy small amounts of a desired color to try. Maybe a tone of pink would look nice even with the blue chair. Or how about a dark chocolate brown in enamel? Jann

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By Beth 25 1,120 09/05/2008

Accent colors are opposites, used in moderation. A terra cotta would look good. If you want to blend more, for larger items bringing more color into the room, use another shade of blue or a celery/sage color.

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By Jack (Guest Post) 09/15/2008

My wife is trying to find the perfect color for our living room, we have a dark chocolate floral rug and dark brown/mahogany leather chairs and dark broze drapes and sofa, and tan walls above the chair rail below the chair rail we are looking for a color. We decorated in a formal Victorian look like the 1860's, what color should we use?

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