Now that you’ve figured out what colour of brown that you are trying to co-ordinate, you can think about accents and paint colour. The best accent colours to go with your particular brown are dependent upon having nailed down your specific brown.
Warm reddish brown, warm golden brown, cool black brown, are at their best with different colours and intensities of colours.
Do you wish to make a strong accent statement or a subltle one? Do you want your colour scheme to have bright colours that pop or soft colours that accent slightly or monochromatic variations of your existing brown.
For example with a dark brown sofa:
If you want a lot of contrast and colour to brighten up your room, paint the room a soft, muted (brownish) yellow such as Benjamin Moore CC170 ‘Honey Harbour’ or a little brighter one CC216 ‘Buttermilk’ and get some cushions and accessories with bright turquoise and dark brown in them. Terra-cotta accents add some interest with brown and turquoise. Experiment with adding a little more soft, muted yellow here and there . This room will be bright and cheery.
If you like a peaceful, more monochromatic look, choose a selection of lighter values of your sofa colour for the walls and cushions, varying the textures and throw in a little black and cream or warm, off-white for contrast. If this look is too neutral for you, experiment with a touch of colour by adding some pastel accents. Pale blue rather than turquoise, pale muted pink and pale creamy yellow will add some colour but maintain the calm and peaceful feel of the room. For your paint colour, you could go with a pale tint of one of the above mentioned colours or a totally different choice could be a neutral, pale brownish-grey such as Sico 6213-21 ‘Whitish Clay’ for your walls which will blend well with many browns and yet not be beige.
With some browns, the walls would look great in a pale, soft blue or turquoise Benjamin Moore CC790 ‘Polar Sky for pale blue, Sico 6151-11 ‘White Coral Reef’ for turquoise. NOTE: I said PALE turquoise. Experience has taught me that you get really sick of bright turquoise paint really quickly. Go for bright turquoise if you enjoy repainting frequently but if you want a colour that you can live with for a few years – keep it pale.
In the illustration I have tried to show some of the combinations that would look good with different kinds of brown. The paint program limits choosing the exact colour that I want to show but it should give you some ideas.
- Tip: For thoses who haven’t read the articles on Colour Basics, muted & toned colours are colours that are softened or ‘muted’ with grey or brown or the colour’s complement. These colours are much easier to decorate around and live with. They provide a backdrop rather than a statement.
These are just examples. You need to experiment with colours to get just the right accent colour. Using paint chips as colour swatches really helps you figure out what looks good and what doesn’t.