Brown living room ideas – beautiful brown and taupe schemes that work with leather and wooden textures



Brown is officially back for decorating our homes. Not since the 1990s have shades of tan, taupe, burlap and bronze been so en vogue, their renewed popularity cemented when Dulux named Brave Ground as its Colour of the Year 2021.

Brown is the perfect choice for a living room, warm; cosy, and inviting. Its varied shades can be layered together or injected with contrasting shades such as teal, blush pink and rich navy blue.

And, of course, brown tones blend seamlessly with natural materials such as wood, leather and terracotta. So if you’ve got a living room with wooden floorboards, or have your eyes on a tan sofa, brown is a choice that’s easy to work with.

Here’s a selection of effortlessly stylish  brown living room ideas.

Brown living room ideas for decorating

1. Layer tones for a sophisticated take

light brown livving room with gallery wall

Image credit: Desenio

Brown has got a bad rap as being an old fashioned, trad shade when it comes to decorating. However as this fine example shows tones of brown and gentle taupe can exude an air of contemporary style, that feels both cosy and sophisticated in equal measure for a favourable living room colour scheme.

Layering is the key to mixing a brown tonal colour palette, working different depths of the shade on walls, flooring, furniture, wall decor and soft furnishings to create a beautifully harmonious brown scheme.

2. Cocoon with grounding neutrals

Brave ground Dulux colour in the living room

Image credit: Dulux

A soft earthy shade on living room walls aims to create a safe space in which we can take comfort from the busy world outside. To be brave with this grounding colour a great living room paint idea is to incorporate the ceiling in the same shade, to create a cocoon effect of colour, making it feel more immersive.

Dulux’s Brave Ground, seen above, is a warm and grounding neutral shade as ‘that will enable people to draw upon the strength of nature to help them find the courage to embrace the future.’

3. Set the scene with bark brown woodland wallpaper

Brown living room idea with woodland wallpaper

Image credit: Future PLC/ Dan Duchars

Embrace the brown tones of nature with a woodland themed decor. The best way to make a decorative statement is with a hero feature wall. The dominating branch and foliage pattern of this bark-brown coloured wallpaper helps to captivate in this cosy living room. Surrounding a traditional log-burner it’s the perfect pattern to create a rustic country-feel.

Lighter brown tones of taupe on the armchairs and the earthy tones of the accessories helps to build upon the beauty of this brown living room scheme.

4. Make it feel retro

Brown living room with retro wallpaper

Image rediti: Future PLC

Brown is the perfect shade to anchor a retro decor around. With accents of punchy burnt orange and versatile grey this nostalgic look can be enhanced with plentiful touches of wooden furniture to inject the brown element.

5. Use wood panelling on walls to introduce natural hues

Living room with wooden panel walls with brown tan leather chair

Image credit: Around The house Furniture

Wall panelling ideas are more on-trend than ever right now, offering a great way to decorate walls with warming brown tones without having to commit to paint shades. This approach is a more contemporary way of decorating with solid shades of brown, as natural wooden textures lend more depth to look.

Wooden wall panelling pairs beautifully with solid wooden floors to create a cohesion of texture and colour. Tan leather furniture pieces, like this statement Massimo curved ribbed lounger in brown tan leather, are a great way to keep the look modern.

6. Add pattern with wallpaper

Brown living room with geometric wallpaper and brown leather sofa

Image credit: Future PLC

Avoid colour-blocking with brown walls by choosing a decorative wallpaper instead. This subtle brown wallpaper features a stylised geometric pattern to introduce both the colour and pattern, without overwhelming the room. Heavier accents of brown are felt with the addition of a large leather sofa and statement dark rug.

7. Welcome a feature wall of colour

Living room with cream wall and brown wallpapered feature wall with duck egg blue sofa

Image credit: Future PLC/ Jeremy Phillips

To avoid the shade from overwhelming a small space use the power of a focal feature wall to draw the eye and make the space feel bigger. This cream living room welcomes a brown feature wall idea along one dominating wall to create a sense of space.

Rich wooden furniture placed on the opposite wall helps to pull the colour outwardly, into the rest of the room.

8. Compliment earthy brown with warming reds

Brown living room ideas sofa dressed with cushions

Image credit: Future PLC/ Dan Duchars

Create a warm and inviting space by mixing chocolate brown hues with earthy red pigments. The rich colour palette works perfectly with natural brown wooden flooring, adding a warming element.

In a living room or bedroom cushions and throws in this warm colour combination, especially in touchy-feely textures, invites you to cocoon and retreat – feeling at one with nature.

9. Combine golden brown with pale mint green


Image credit: Dulux

In this space, Dulux has combined two consecutive Colours of the Year – the caramel-beige Spiced Honey and minty-sage Tranquil Dawn. The contrast in colours creates a statement look that is both cosy and fresh, soothing and strong.

10. Let white features pop against honey brown

Living room with honey brown walls and white doorframe with white sofa

Image credit: Dulux

Brighten up your whites by placing them against a backdrop of warm brown. In this living room, Spiced Honey gives a strong definition to the skirting and door frames, as well as the simple structured white sofa and monochrome prints ready to be hung on the walls.

11. Embrace country living with burlap shades

country cottage loving room with cosy layers, log burner and candlelight

Image credit: Future PLC

Texture is everything in this rustic living room, from the burlap-coloured wallpaper to the tweed sofa to the chunky wooden mantel. Hints of red and orange add heat to the more neutral brown tones.

12. Sink into brown velvet

Neutral living room with brown velvet sofa

Image credit: Future PLC

Choosing a luxe fabric like velvet in an earthy colour like brown gives a living room a smart yet not too stuffy look. Expand on this further by mixing in shabby chic painted wooden pieces with chic grey accessories.

13. Mix sandy browns with soft blush pink

neutral living room with sofa loaded with cushions and low wooden coffee table

Image credit: Future PLC

Fresh sandy browns can look so pretty with soft candy pinks, and by choosing a soft brown sofa, you can use it to tie together furniture in different wood finishes.

14. Introduce tones with timber cladding

barn conversion living room with timber cladding

Image credit: Future PLC

Timber cladding needn’t scream Swedish sauna. By breaking up this brown backdrop with a cream sofa laden with country textiles featuring trailing florals and stripes, and painting the walls white, the walls add warmth and character without overwhelming.

15. Use a tan sofa to add character

White living room with tan sofa and colourful cushions

Image credit: Future PLC

A coppery brown sofa can transform a living room lacking in features, its rugged looks tipping a hat to American Colonial interiors, particularly when teamed with bold Ikat prints.

16. Stay sophisticated with taupe

grey and brown living room with original black fireplace

Image credit: Future PLC

Can’t decide between brown and grey? Taupe brings the best of both – a neutral backdrop that is warmer than grey, but that can also blend with it.

17. Go bronze for an opulent feel

bronze living room with jewel coloured furniture

Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore

If you’re looking for a more glam look but still want to welcome the warming tones of a brown colour palette, seek a metallic finish to add an element of luxe to the look. Bronze brown walls are a great way to add an opulent feel to any living room.

Enhance the look further by adding pops of jewel colours, like rich teal and burnt orange on sumptuous velvet furniture and accessories.

Does grey and brown match in a living room?

Grey and brown match in a living room, because both are grounding colours that don’t fight each other for attention. Of course it depends which tone of grey and which tone of brown you are considering, but generally speaking most colour combinations work in harmony. Try going to the darker end of the colour spectrum in one tone, to the opposite for the other – so use a light grey with a deeper, rich brown for instance. The different tones will help to balance the contrasting colours.

How do I add colour to my brown living room?

You can add colour to a brown living room with accents throughout soft furnishings, furniture and accessories. If you have chosen brown walls but are looking to add a mint accent colour you can add this secondary colour with a luxe rug or statement cushions on a sofa.

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