What Are Good Wall Colors for Browns and Purples?

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Browns and purples in the right shade, tint or tone can add style and sophistication to your home furnishings. Wall colors that highlight these rich hues may be include light, medium and dark neutrals, analogous or complementary colors and can be more vibrant or less intense depending on your preference.

Look to the artist's or decorator's color wheel for inspiration and to find pigments that work in your home -- whether choosing brown and purples for the walls -- or selecting wall colors that create a subtle backdrop for purple and brown decor.

Tip

  • Use floor and ceiling colors to help coordinate wall colors with furnishings. For example, use a pale version of your wall color on the ceiling, or repeat a wall color in an area rug pattern.

Beyond Basic Brown

Light-to-medium brown walls draw attention to strong purples in furnishings by providing a vibrant, but neutral backdrop. White woodwork emphasizes architectural detail and frames the brown wall, while a beige or sand carpet keeps the room from becoming dark and stuffy.

Dark brown walls also form a striking backdrop for furniture in tinted browns -- sandy beiges, tans and creamy desert linens. A white floor, white window shade and a touch of lavender on an accessory such as a pillow soften the effect with flair. A palette of neutral browns ranging from pale beige to a buttery mid-tone brown, and from a warm tan to a dark brown toned with gray, creates a rich, sophisticated effect.

Passionate Purple

As a secondary color formed by mixing blue and red, purple is the color of royalty; as an emotional color, it can be bold or delicate, light or dark, warm when it leans toward red, or cool when it leans toward blue. Light sandy beige and desert bone tan in furnishings diffuse the strength of a medium purple wall to produce a lush, elegant effect.

Purple can serve as an accent color on a single wall or on the inside of a cabinet or bookcase. A powerful, confident hue, purple comfortably combines with red accents to create drama. When you mix yellow with purple, it becomes a rich ocher that creates stunning harmony with multiple shades of yellow or yellow-green or as a complement to purple.

Lavender -- purple with white added to it -- on the ceiling and walls effectively wraps a room in soft, subtle color, and blends with a variety of light to dark brown woods in furniture. Purple walls add personality to neutral wood floors or cabinets. Even in a kitchen, a purple-red accent wall adds a touch of warmth to balance neutral surfaces. Deep purple walls evoke mystery and intrigue, especially when contrasted with silver and gray furnishings.

Brown and Purple Partnership

A combination of brown and purple on the walls can tie the wall colors to your furnishings. Paint the walls a warm shade of brown, and then add a horizontal 6-inch wide stripe of purple around the entire perimeter or the room, 5 feet above floor level. Alternatively, paint three walls purple, and paint the fourth wall with alternating purple and brown vertical stripes. By fine-tuning the tones of these wall colors to your furnishings, you create unity and a stylish, sophisticated look.

Colors Friendly to Brown and Purple

If vivid color is your passion, and you have purple furnishings, paint the walls a pale wheat yellow to create a room with undeniable panache. Add white to crown moldings, baseboard, window and door trim to create a clean, classic feel.

Periwinkle blue -- a color near purple on the color wheel -- causes the purple accents in furniture to blend in with the background in quiet harmony. Rose walls enlivens brown furnishings and purple decor accents, adding both energy and flair to a living room.

Metallic soft golds, silvers and grays all serve as wall colors that can highlight and offset your home's purple and brown furnishings and accent decor to bring them center stage.

White walls and exposed wood floors form an airy neutral background for brown and white furniture with accents of pale lavender. White walls also support a strong color statement on a single piece of furniture, such as an over-sized purple hassock. Very pale tints of either brown or purple offer an alternative to pure white and combine with brown and purple furnishings for a unified look. Create a focal point by painting an accent wall in a deeper tone of one of your chosen hues.

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