white and brown dining room with minimal decor

Brown Is In: Here’s How To Decorate With It

Modern farmhouse style has seen many trends come and go over the years, but the new “it thing” is now brown. Yep, you read that right, brown is the new black! Luckily enough modern farmhouse lends itself perfectly to incorporating rich brown hues into your interior decor if you choose to.

Although adding brown into your farmhouse decor should be easy enough, I would be careless not to mention that it can also be extremely challenging. Brown is a fickle color. One that can add depth and warmth to a space, but it can also be overdone, creating a dark one-dimensional space.

So how do you find the right balance of hints of brown without going too far? There’s a balance and a few key tips and tricks that I’m excited to share with you. If you’re interested in hopping on the brown train trend, then follow along for the low down on how to decorate with brown.


Start With Brown That’s Already In Your Home

Brown hardwood staircase

Before you go out looking for brown home decor, start by identifying what hues of brown already exist in your home. Do you have brown flooring? Or perhaps Brown cabinets or accent walls? Start snooping around and get yourself familiar with the colors already in your home.

You will want to round up the brown hues already in your home and start to understand those colors better. Are they warm or cool? Light or dark? Once you identify and establish the browns in your home you can then head out and start to find decorations that compliment those same tones.

Set The Backdrop

Brown sculpture & can against warm white wall

Similar to a beautiful painting, where a flawless canvas is the key to its success, the background you choose for your brown decor will be a key feature for the overall design concept. To help bring your brown decorations to life, you’ll want to pick a bright complimentary background for your space. If you’re curious what that could be, here are a few paint color options for your walls:

  • Warm white
  • Terracotta
  • Blue
  • Beige
  • Greige

Incorporate Various Hues

brown and glass tray with different brown hue decorations

After you identify the brown hues in your home and set your backdrop, now you can start to have some fun! Grab a few pieces of decor that have varying brown tones from your space. Start to organize them together in a complementary way. You can play with varying brown color palettes, but I have a few suggestions. Here are a few brown-toned color combinations that work well together:

  • Tan, brown, white, blue
  • Terracotta, brown, tan, green
  • Black, white, brown, grey
  • Brown, tan, beige, pink

Keep in mind, that brown can be a might bit tricky. Although it’s technically a neutral it’s a very heavy one. When considering which color palette to follow, you might want to gather inspiration from online to help you find complementary colors.

Use Furniture For Impact

Brown chairs in moody farmhouse dining room

Don’t think small! If you’re looking for something with a little more va-va-voom, consider starting your brown color scheme with larger furniture pieces. I know recently the furniture trend for modern farmhouse has been to go light, but darker furniture is back in and you should highly consider bringing back out grandma’s old mahogany chairs.

Think of your furniture as the foundation. These will be your larger statement pieces and help you embrace the brown colors in your home. These pieces should be the base of your decorative items. Instead of trying to match these pieces, you will want to select your decorative items to help complement these larger, more impactful items.

What Not To Do

Brown bedroom with brown decorative accents

To help demonstrate what happens when you match your furniture to your decorative items to your furniture, please see the picture above. Do you see how it looks dark and one-dimensional? Instead of creating contrast with varying browns, the larger, more impactful decorative pieces all match creating a dull and less than exciting look.

So I’m sure you’re asking how you would fix this, right? Well, here are a few swaps I would make:

  • Swap the lamps for a brighter, lighter white
  • Add a few accent decorations to the side tables that pull in some lighter browns, taupes, and greys
  • Update the hardware on the nightstands for something brighter, like a silver or brushed nickel
  • Switch the dark wooden frames with padding for thin black ones with no padding leaving all white space around the drawings
  • Replace the dated bedding with a solid creme or white comforter and layer on pillows & blankets with different patterns & texture
  • Adjust the fabric headboard to a lighter tan or cream

Finish With A Few Pops Of Color

Brown wicker chair on patio with pop of blue and green

No neutral color palette is ever truly complete without a pop of color. Brown is very versatile so you can really grab almost any color you want to help bring your brown color palette to life. You can go as bold as red fabrics or as simple as adding a few greens around the space. The key here is to just find a little balance.

To help create that balance, I highly recommend you follow the 60-30-10 rule. The 10% should be what you do with your pop of color. At the end of the day though, brown is still neutral and you can’t really go wrong with whatever you chose to do! After all, it is your original farmhouse.

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