Brown Paint Colors I’m Loving for Interiors

There was a 10-year-period where everyone (including me) was doing black or almost-black rooms or walls. These days, we want something moody and romantic, but we want warmth back in our lives. We want the “grown-up” version of that look. If you are craving a rich, moody paint color that’s a warm, inviting neutral, then brown is your color!

Chris Loves Julia | Primary bedroom painted in Farrow & Ball's London Clay

Floor Mirror | Floor Lamp | Leather Chair (similar) | CLJ x Lola Blanket | Linen Curtains | Blackout Shades | Smoke/Sand Rug

As we see beautiful wood tones coming back into vogue, we’re also seeing brown paint have a resurgence as an interior paint color scheme. I see a lot of people who want the warmth of wood but maybe don’t want the expense of paneling an entire room. That’s when you can go for brown tones.

And brown really works amazingly well as a color drench! Paint the walls, the molding, the ceiling all brown! That’s where it really shines.

Where to Use Brown Paint

Chris Loves Julia | Primary bedroom painted in Farrow & Ball's London Clay
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Brown is an amazing backdrop for bedrooms and living areas (it really makes art pop). I was 18 the first time I painted my bedroom brown and in almost every house since, I’ve gone back to painting my bedroom brown (our current room is Farrow & Ball’s London Clay). I would also use it in a powder bathroom or even an office to evoke that traditional feel that gives a home such character.

And also, I will never go back to a white pantry. Pantries are rarely going to have natural light, and a rich color like brown allows the food to pop off of the shelves.

How to Use Brown Paint

Chris Loves Julia | Pantry painted with Sherwin Williams' Van Dyke Brown

Pantry Sources

As I mentioned earlier, brown paint is really a good candidate to color drench a room. I chose a true deep brown — Sherwin Williams’ Van Dyke Brown — for the pantry in our previous house. I wanted the room to feel like chocolate. So I painted the walls, the trim, the ceiling all brown and — oh my — I loved it! It felt like an old-world, classic European shop in my pantry. After that, I was even more hooked on how this hue transforms a space. (If you skip the ceiling, it can cheapen it a little bit, so my recommendation is if you’re going to go for it, go for it.)

I’m also loving furniture and cabinets painted dark brown. Especially Farrow & Ball’s Mouse’s Back — there are so many cabinets painted that color. It’s a beautiful taupe-y brown that layers really well in an utilitarian space.

How to Pick a Paint Finish

Darker colors look their most sophisticated with a more matte finish. A lot of contractors will tell you to go with satin or semi-gloss, so you should know what sheen you want before someone asks you. It used to be that you needed some sheen in your paint for it to be scrubbable, but the formulas have gotten a lot better (just do your research)! I like an eggshell or satin finish — I used Farrow & Ball’s modern emulsion finish on our walls and trim in our bedroom that had the slightest bit of sheen (similar to an eggshell).

Choosing a Brown Paint Color

When I think of the best brown paint colors, I like to evoke the tones of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or a good worn leather. Brown brings in a depth that black can’t and a warmth that gray can’t. It feels romantic and intimate. It has a lot of character behind it!

Chris Loves Julia | Primary bedroom painted in Farrow & Ball's London Clay

Primary Bedroom Sources

Our bedroom gets quite a bit of natural light, and for those types of rooms, you get to choose whatever shade you want. If your room is north-facing, you usually want to go with a warmer paint color. And if your room doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you want to go for a moodier paint color — it should feel a little more intentionally dim.

Here are my favorite brown paint colors I’d recommend to update the spaces in your home:

Chris Loves Julia | Julia's Favorite Brown Paint Colors

Farrow & Ball Mouse’s Back
Benjamin Moore Whitall Brown
Farrow & Ball Salon Drab
Farrow & Ball London Clay
Benjamin Moore Middlebury Brown
Valspar Rue Bourbon
Benjamin Moore Mocha Brown
Benjamin Moore Van Buren Brown
Sherwin-Williams Sable
Sherwin-Williams Van Dyke Brown
Sherwin Williams Dark Clove
Sherwin Williams Turkish Coffee

Where will you use brown paint in your home?

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