How to Decorate a Living Room With Brown and Burgundy

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Burgundy and brown are rich, warm colors, perfect for creating an inviting living room. Brown describes an umbrella color formed by a mixture of the three primary colors; it includes light tones and dark tones, cool tones and warm tones. Burgundy is a deep red hue associated with wine.

Tip

  • Begin with the large color areas -- walls, floor, sofa -- and build out, combining a variety of browns with burgundy for a warm, distinctive room.

Not Boring Beige

Brown tinted up with lots of white forms cream, vanilla, or beige – a light, neutral backdrop for deeper brown or burgundy furnishings. Use pale colors on the walls to balance dark elements in the room such as dark-finished floors, a burgundy sofa or brown upholstered furniture.

Pale walls set the stage for a chocolate sofa paired with leather lounge chairs in antique brown or oxblood red. With a light tint of brown on the walls, create variety by assembling a collection of brown tones from light to dark on fabrics, floor and furnishings. Use burgundy to provide contrast and interest. For example, use a burgundy print for upholstery or drapery fabric or as a decorative accent like piping on a camel-colored lounge chair.

With light walls, choose dark painted or finished woodwork to highlight architectural features or keep it simple and paint the woodwork in a glossy version of the wall color. Play with unexpected contrasting colors in accessories. Use the complement of burgundy, a soft, sage green, as a harmonizing accent color on pillows or a throw. Use analogous tones such as orange and gold (next to red the color wheel) to enliven a deep red sofa hue. Light-colored walls balance dark-finished floors especially well. Area rugs featuring burgundy and brown repeat the theme colors and add textural interest. Rug patterns help establish the style of the room, traditional or contemporary.

Wrap It Up in Brown Paper

If you’re tired of pale walls, try kraft paper-colored brown walls for a medium-tone brown background. This flexible color pairs with darker or lighter tones of brown and is exceptionally attractive with burgundy. White woodwork draws attention to architectural detail and adds a crisp finish to neutral brown walls. Wood floors finished in a dark tone balance the medium-toned walls; use a paler tint of the wall color for a rich carpet tone. Kraft paper brown is slightly gray, making it a cooler tone of brown, perfect to complement the warmth of burgundy on a sofa.

Be Dramatic

Rich burgundy walls instantly transform a living room into an elegant, memorable setting. Commit to the color by painting the woodwork burgundy, too, or use white woodwork to highlight trim.

Warning

  • Be careful to relieve the deep, strong color with lighter, brighter tones to keep it from becoming oppressive.

A shimmer of metallic gold adds elegance and richness in a wallpaper pattern or woven into a fabric. Use a light floor finish or light-colored carpet or area rugs to lift the spirit of the room. Use gold-toned frames with light-colored mats on wall art. A warm burgundy background enriches furnishings in a variety of brown tones ranging from beige to chocolate.

Tip

  • Repeat the red wall hue in accessories to help unify the space.

Dark Chocolate Is Good for You

Painting your walls chocolate brown is a bit daring but quite sophisticated. This rich color, although dark, is not cold or threatening. In fact, deep brown creates a feeling of security and style. It will, however, close in your space, so consider the light sources in the room, natural and artificial, before committing to this striking color. A pale beige linen sofa pairs handsomely with cocoa-colored lounge chairs. Add a pair of burgundy leather hassocks and accent with burgundy and beige throw pillows.

Tip

  • Balance dark neutral walls with medium and light brown furnishings.

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