Chocolate Brown Wall Color

December 27, 2012 § 313 Comments

Everybody loves chocolate, it seems. So no big surprise that some people are choosing to paint their walls a deep rich brown that invokes the inside of a truffle. Mmmm delicious. Brown is dark. There’s no way around that. So if you’re looking for a light and airy feel, brown is not for you. But if you’re longing for a cozy, warm, relaxing room that invites people to snuggle up, brown is the perfect color.

Brown has many shades, of course, from cocoa to almost black. There are warm browns, like Benjamin Moore’s cognac snifter (1148) and taupe browns like fox hollow brown (1235).Β  The one ingredient to a successful brown room is light. Before you roll the first swath of paint, examine your room’s lighting. Do you have large windows giving natural light? Do you have adequate light from the ceiling (recessed cans)? Do you have enough lamps in the room? Lighting is the key to showing off the beautiful nuance of brown.

Once you paint the room, you can add light and contrast by placing light furniture in the room, whether it’s a cream-colored slipcover on your sofa, a champagne comforter on the bed, or white or cream woodwork. You’ll need the contrast to balance the dark color on the walls. And the dark wall color will highlight all your light-colored furnishings. Embrace brown.

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§ 313 Responses to Chocolate Brown Wall Color

  • Daye says:

    I love your website and wish I had run across it sooner! Brown is one of my favorite and flattering colors. But since we might have to sell the house within a year, I am wondering how buyers here in a neighborhood of vintage 1930s and ’40s homes are going to react to that color.

    Also, I have several questions about how to stage our home. One question is, do we try to squeeze in a pub table by the window for seating but sacrifice counter space in the 10 x 12 kitchen? And how do we stage a 10 x 10 room that is connected to the master bedroom? Tv room? Computer space? Potential nursery? (We have used it as that and more in the past.)

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Daye,

    Regarding the chocolate brown, it tends to make a room feel cozy. But what buyers are usually looking for is light, open, spacious, and airy. So I would wait for the chocolate until you move to your new home. Stick with light to medium neutrals that go together (in the public spaces) and enhance your architecture.

    As for the kitchen, space is everything and you don’t want to make it feel crowded even if you have a terrific pub table in the room. So I would opt for either a smaller round table by the window or just seating for four. Let the new buyers figure out how to feed more people.

    The 10 x 10 room connected to the master bedroom sounds like a perfect reading room/study with a big cozy upholstered chair, a reading lamp and small table to put a cup of coffee in the morning, and a small desk for a laptop.

    Hope that helps.
    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Daye says:

    Thank you Barbara. Your advice was quite helpful! I am definitely going to mention you on the two message boards I frequent. Hopefully it will help generate some comments for your blog.
    Would you please answer two more questions?
    We have brown plastic stair treads on one set of interior stairs and no slip stair grit (it’s like you glued sand to your stairs) on another set of interior stairs. These are both enclosed stairs. What can we do to make them stageworthy?
    Also, what do we do with our tall entertainment armoire that holds a 27 inch tv, HD tuner, other electronic entertainment equipment, and the items –CDs etc. — that go into them? Will we reduced to a small tv set on a stand –lol?!
    A gracious thank you!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Daye,

    I can address the armoire question. If it totally dominates the room and makes it look crowded and small, then it might be worth a different arrangement, but my sense is that if it works for you, it’s fine. Everybody has a tv and at least you have an armoire to enclose it and all the associated electronics. On open-house day, I would close everything up. Hide as many wires as possible to make the room look restful and not cluttered. That should work.

    As for the stairs, honestly, I haven’t run into that around here, but I know what you’re talking about. I’m not sure you have to do anything with them. Another owner might like to scrape all of that off or cover over it with a stair runner (also an option for you, of course), but at least nobody will slip and fall down the stairs as they’re touring your house. I don’t think anybody would NOT buy the house because of the stair treads, but if you’re really concerned, just call your local realtor and get their opinion on the stairs. If they say, ohmygawdthat’sawful, then you’ll know what to do.

    I would focus on clutter elimination, an airy feel, good flow (no furniture in front of doorways), and that sort of thing. You already have a really good sense of what is required so I’m sure you’ll have the house ready for the best buyer.

    Good luck and thanks for your comments.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Colleen says:

    I love the brown and have just painted my 20 year old sons room chocolate kiss, accented with black/cherry furniture and brown shag rug on red oak wood floor…. The trouble I’m having is I painted the ceiling the color called parchment paper and I’m not sure that is correct? It’s an off white color? Any suggestions? I know the color splash guy said 2-3 shades lighter but that seems really dark for a ceiling?
    Thanks in advance Colleen

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Colleen,

    I’m not sure exactly what those specific colors look like but you have a few options. You can paint the ceiling an icy blue, which would look terrific with the brown and lift the ceiling up a bit. Or you can bring the ceiling down with a darker color, like gold. If you’re concerned about light in the dark brown room, you can go with a bright white. That will reflect as much light as possible. I think what you’re getting is kind of a dull tea-stain color which together with the brown doesn’t add enough life to the room.

    I suggest painting up some poster boards and taping them on the ceiling. That will help you pick your color.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Erin says:

    Hi!
    What a great website!!! Your ideas and tips are wonderful!

    Here’s my brown-room dilemma-

    We just bought a townhouse and are repainting everything before we move in. So i’m extremely tired of painting!
    Last night we decided to put the 1st coat on the bedroom- it was originally a darkish red colour with unpainted panel that comes halfway up 2 of the walls overtop of the red. I’ve painted the panel parts a nice bright white (which matches the trim around the 2 big windows which are new). So i had chosen a darkish neutral grey-brown (more grey i’d say) to paint over the red, since i tend to like a darker bedroom and then i didn’t have to lighten up the red before painting over it.
    Well turns out the guy at the paint store mixed the paint wrong. We bought 2 big cans and he mixed one into something called “C-base” and the other in “B-base”. Both my husband and i thought it looked rather dark when we were applying it, but paint can look so different before it dries so we assumed it was correct since the label was totally correct with the name and number on both.
    Well after 3 hours of painting we opened the 2nd can to realize that the 1st can had been totally wrong! Thats when we noticed the different bases.
    So now the room had 1 coat of a dark espresso-like brown. DARK espresso brown. I just about had a meltdown when we realized it was wrong, after all that work (we repaired a whole wall in order to paint properly).
    Thing is- now that i’ve had time to cool off, i think i am actually ok with the colour and maybe even rather like it. The white of the panel and windows balances it just enough i think if we buy some white wardrobes etc.
    My question is lighting- what kind of lighting would you suggest? I like lamps on bedside tables, and there is a ceiling light-fixture that i am planning on changing-any suggestions?
    Thanks so much!
    Erin

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Erin,

    Wow, that was close. Glad you’re happy now.

    It’s best to balance the lighting around the room. Light coming down should balance light coming up and there should be light around the room in at least three locations: two bedside tables and maybe a dresser or table on the other side of the room.

    As for ceiling fixtures, they tend to diffuse the light so much that they’re practically useless for anything other than not tripping over something as you enter the room. You don’t want a ceiling fixture on for very long.

    I like sconces on the wall. You can use them by the bedside or maybe on the opposite wall alongside a piece of art. They’re great because you can put them on a dimmer to create nice mood lighting.

    Another idea is to spring for recessed lighting around the perimeter of the room. Those are put on dimmers as well so you always have nice soft light in the room.

    The key to good bedroom lighting is to have not only good task lighting for reading but also something on dimmers to create mood lighting.

    Good luck.
    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Elaine says:

    Hi! : ) I am so glad I found this website! I love browns and just painted my living room wall[just one] dark brown. I have a small living room with bay windows on left wall,high ceilings on right side. My question is, should I leave the reminding 2 walls right and left[windows] white? or, should I paint them a lighter brown or caramel color[dark tan]? my furniture is leather, brown with accent pillows in white, and a big silver mirror, white shelves,[ should the shelves be a SHINY WHITE[GLOSS WHITE]? i have white cream carpet in living room. Thank you so much for your time and help! Elaine

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Elaine,

    This one’s a little tough to visualize (not sure about the tall ceiling on the right side of the room). But from your description, I would paint the other walls caramel to provide a little less contrast with the brown. Also that will make your white and silver furnishings stand out more. Yes, I would go glossy and metallic to add some light to the room. Make sure you have adequate lighting (overhead recessed/sconces/task) so you can see the beautiful brown color at night.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi again Elaine,

    If you do go with the caramel, make sure to add some pillows or other accessories in that color to tie the room together.

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color coach

  • Jeff says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I am redesigning my home office and want to go with a chocolate brown on the walls and am not sure if i should do them all or just do maybe one or two and use another lighter color. I am going to be gutting the office and plan on using recessed lighting. I also have a L-shaped desk i am building and painting(not sure what color to use). I am putting down a hard wood floor, probably a lighter color with a darker border. I am trying to make a painting i have the focal point of the room its a sunset seen with a alot of browns, and some greens and orange. If i do one wall the chocolate brown i was thinking the one with the painting.
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and i love the website!
    Jeff

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Sounds terrific! Painting all four walls will give you a dark, wood-paneled library-like feel to the room. If you’re at all concerned about light during the daytime, you might not want to do all four walls. But if you don’t plan to work in there during the daytime and will use your recessed and task lights whenever you’re in there, then I would suggest going with all four walls. You get a wonderful cozy warm room that’s inviting to be in. It all hinges on the light.

    As for your painting, if you only do one wall, make that your focal point wall (the one you see when you walk in the room) and put your painting there.

    For the desk, if you want it to stand out against the brown, choose either a lighter or accent color. If you have a small office and want to blend the desk into the wall color to make the room appear larger, then go with a brown. It doesn’t have to be the same as the walls to blend in.

    Hope that helps a little. Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tracy says:

    Hi,
    I just painted my living room a medium chocolate brown below the chair rail, a taupe above it. ( The paint is flat -recommended by the painter but I find it “soaks” up the light. I wish I had used satin as I usually do). The trim is a wood oak tone stain. Basically I love the wall colors but don’t know what color sofa and accent chairs to add. I would like to keep the furniture neutral – but a darker neutral or lighter one? ( I have both a dark and light on the walls as described above. )
    Although I love the neutral tones I would love to add some splashes of color. Would it make sense to add sage green and pale apricot accents? Should the window treatments and rug include those colors or should they be shades of brown and taupe?
    I hope you can help!
    Thanks,
    Tracy

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Tracy,

    I would bring in some cream to lighten up the room a bit. Maybe with a slipcover on the sofa. Then you can add color in the accessories like pillows, etc. But the rug and window treatments should have either brown or taupe in them to pull the whole room together.

    Don’t forget the metals. Something shiny will also add light to the room and add the finishing touches.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sharon says:

    Hi! We just bought a new house and I really want to do chocolate brown and a baby blue in the living room, we are discussing different ways to do it and I thought you could help, we have two large cut-outs in the walls one going into the kitchen and one into the hallway, the layout of the kitchen and living room is open with only a partial wall dividing them, we have large windows on the right side of the room. We can’t decide if we want to paint one or two of the four walls brown and the remaining blue or put up a chair rail with blue on top and brown on the bottom. I also wanted to paint my kitchen a peach or apricot and was wondering if that would be ok with the living room colors. Thanks! Hope you can help!

    Sharon

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sharon,

    If you’d like to paint one wall brown and the rest blue, then I suggest painting the focal point wall the chocolate brown. Your focal point wall is the one you look at when you come in the room from the front hallway. Or at least the most prominent wall in the room. Make sure the blue has a nice restful amount of gray in it so it doesn’t look like a baby’s room).

    Then pull the brown over to the other side of the room with furniture and accessories. I think you’ll get the most bang for the buck by doing that. As opposed to painting above and below a chair rail. If your house is very traditional, that would work fine, but for a more contemporary look, just work in big blocks of color.

    As for the kitchen, since the rooms are connected, you might want to stick to a neutral for the walls and use peach in the accessories. Otherwise you’ll need to pull some peach into the living room in order to create flow.

    Hope that helps.
    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Denise says:

    Greetings,

    I just painted our living room (great room) Churchhill Hotel Bronze by Valspar (powdered cocoa) and I stained the trim traditional mahagony. The process was painstakingly tiresome but I love the way the room looks. My concern is what colors should I accent with? I have medium brown carpet, one corner window, white popcorn ceiling with a mahogany beam. I have a pair of recessed lights in the opposite corners of the lower parts of the ceilings and a large glass dome in the center of the beam but the lighting stops there.
    Initially, the walls were Powder Puff (peach) because I have an open floor space. Therefore, the kitchen, diningroom, and office have the peach colored walls eventually I will repaint those walls.

    What suggestions do you have for slipcover, window treatments, and area rug color? I have two kids and a dog.
    Since the office was suppose to be the formal living room our great room is the formal living room and den.

    Denise

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Denise,

    Since you have the peach in the other two rooms, I would stick with cream in the living room with rust/orange accents. That will make the peach look intentional, and the rust/orange (darkest version of the peach) will update the space.

    When you repaint the other two rooms, you can move to a different color scheme (for example, very light blue or cream for the walls) and move away from the peach without spending tons of money to replace pillows/accessories.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • TB says:

    I was reading the archives on chocolate brown wall cover and absolutely love the picture at the top of the discussion page-outdoor scene with a bridge, water, trees-any idea where this photo came from? I would love to get my hands on it.

    Thanks

  • Swapna says:

    Greetings,

    We had got the wardrobes and dressing unit of our new bedroom using Mahogony veneer.

    Can you suggest some color combinations for the bedroom walls. We are looking for a calm/peace/relax theme for the bedroom.

    Hope you can help us.
    Thanks,
    Swappi

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi TB,

    Check out the wordpress.com blog-maker page. They offer lots of photo options, and that’s where you find that beautiful photo.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Swapna,

    How about a soft gray blue, like Benjamin Moore’s gentle gray– that color conjours up serenity to me.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lisa says:

    Hi –

    I need help with my living room paint color. I have black leather furniture, end tables and center table are light colored. ( pine I think) No carpet picked out yet. Tall ceilings. Any ideas?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Well a couple of options come to mind. You can stay neutral with walls and furniture and choose some solid bright accent colors for pillows and maybe a funky chair. Any bright color would work as long as it’s somewhere in an adjoining room.

    Or you could go trendy and select an icy blue to contrast with your black and pine furniture.

    Either look would be terrific.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Earth says:

    I have beautiful red sofas. I want a room with a dark color, because our family room will double as a media room. Is brown on the walls to dark?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Earth,

    I don’t think brown walls are too dark. I love brown and red together as you can tell from the photo at the top of this post. You can always add cream accents (pillows, throws, an extra chair, artwork) to lighten up the room. And make sure you have really good lighting for when you’re NOT showing a movie. The room will be warm and cozy.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Eldrick says:

    My trim (throughout my Charlseton Style home) is a coffee color. The wall colors are primarily a mid-tan color. However, in my dinning room the walls are sage, in one bedroom the walls are baby blue and in one bedroom a lite lavendar. The mid-tan is the dominant wall color. What color should I paint the face of my hardwood stair threads? Would the coffee color be too much?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Eldrick,

    It depends on where the stairs are. You might consider an accent color like the sage from your dining room if the room is near the stairs. I love painting the face of the treads something other than white. It’s so much more practical and kind of an interesting place to put unexpected color.

    You can certainly use the coffee trim color. It won’t be too much at all. And would hide all the toe marks.

    Good luck. Sounds like a pretty home.

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shane says:

    Hi. I just painted the walls in my kitchen Hasbrouck brown (HC-71) by Benjamin Moore. I live in a very old stone farmhouse and we just took out the stone wall between the kitchen (original front porch) and the living room. I am now having a hard time deciding what color to paint the living room walls. My furniture is burgandy, red, and tan with orange accents. Also, could you make any suggestions as to what would be a good color to paint the trim? I am not sure whether to stick with the antique white or go a bit crisper? THANK YOU. -Shane

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Shane,

    Try a lighter version of the tan in the living room. It sounds like you have a lot of color in the room and you need more of a neutral backdrop to set it off. It’s a bit of a safe bet, but it works.

    As for triim, you’ll need to go a bit lighter if you go with the lighter color in the living room so there’s contrast between wall and trim. Just keep it soft and forgiving. Not too white.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Marielle says:

    Hi,
    I am moving in with my boyfriend and we’re looking to completely redo his small apartment so it feels like ours as opposed to just his. I have Thomasville bedroom furniture that’s about 40 or 50 years old! (It’s my Grandma’s) I want to use it but its a light cherry and his bedding is like an icy blue. I was thinking of using my brown sheets with his blue comforter, but I cant think of a good wall color to paint the room to tie everything in. I want something interesting.. im tired of boring white and taupe but its a small space and i dont want it to look cramped. Do you have any recommendations for color? Or maybe if there’s a way to paint like one wall an accent color? He has a large window on one wall and a two door mirrored closet on another. Any suggestions would be fantastic.

    Thanks!!!
    Marielle

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Marielle,

    You could try an ice blue on the walls and then play up your brown sheets and blue comforter. I would focus on dark brown accents like lamps and maybe a dark brown throw for the bottom of the bed. The combination is very nice and should look fine with the cherry furniture. Blue also makes a room look larger since it’s a cool color. But with all the brown accents, the room should feel warm and cozy.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • nonib17 says:

    I’m surprised that there not more comments about using the yummy brown color for a nursery. All of the traditional and modern colors in baby nursery furniture and bedding coordinate so well with chocolate. When Baby grows up a bit, then those brighter shades for older children still go so well with the same walls. I did an internet search to check on my own idea and did verify this.
    n.kateus nurserybedding.pepperminx.com

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi nonib17,

    I totally agree. What a great idea for a nursery. Whether it’s with baby blue, ice pink, butter yellow, mint green or white — all the colors coordinate beautifully with chocolate brown walls. The color is also very soothing and conducive to napping. Sounds perfect for a nursery.

    Thanks for the tip!

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Christie says:

    I am having a lot of trouble coming up with a blue for the walls in my living room. I tried a blue in the dining room that I now hate, too cold. So I bought a couple benjamin moore colors to try. Northern air and then ocean breezes I believe. It is hard to tell it one will be like and not baby blue or country. I have chocolate brown drapes. A deep cocoa couch and a large striped ottoman with blues and beiges.
    ANy thoughts???

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Christie,

    Did you try Ben Moore’s gentle gray? It’s a really soft blue that looks great with chocolate and brushed nickel.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jim Lullo says:

    Hi Chrisitie:

    I am a Bachelor and am not very good w/ accenting pieces and paintings. I recently painted the living room and dining room a medium beige and have a dark brown accent wall. My couch and sofa are black leather and the dining room set is espresso color. What color should I get for draperies or valances? The trim and ceiling are white and lend themselves to lighten up the wall colors. I also have two large windows that ALLOW alot of light in. I need to accent w either wall hangings or pillows etc. and I am at a lost as to the colors. The floor will be a light oak.

    Thanks from a man lost in the color/decorating world !!!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jim,

    You’ve laid the foundation with all the neutrals and now you need to add some pizzazz. Since your color scheme and furniture are modern, I would continue on with that trend. Instead of draperies or valances, how about some woven Roman shades (I’m not sure how big your windows are, but they come in all sizes — check out JCPenney’s catalogue/website — they have a huge selection). That way, you add texture and not a lot of “foofiness.”

    Then, you need COLOR! I suggest you pick out a modern geometric colorful area rug for the dining room under the table and/or in front of the sofa. That will establish your color scheme for the rest of the accessories. I would stick with warm colors like reds/yellows/oranges, but any bright colors will work. Light blues and teals are also nice with brown.

    After you find your rugs, choose some colors from the rugs to accessorize with. You’ll need some pillows (hopefully bright colors from your rugs) and a couple of colorful lamps with white shades. Then get some pre-framed large colorful geometric art or any other modern-looking pieces that you like. You can buy all you need at your local home goods store.

    Keep it simple, stay away from anything too traditional, and focus on introducing color into the room. With your neutral backdrop, you can add one color as an accent or many. Your choice.

    Good luck. Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jodi says:

    hi we just bought a 120 year old house and it has an open concept living diningroom with a window into our kitchen. Our kitchen is white and brown and our floors are espresso. We just picked our paint and i am a bit scared as it is a huge decision. We went with sico paint. White/beige for the trim—icy landscape for the accent wall and ice castle for the rest of the walls. Our home is a balance between traditional and modern. There is a small hallway and stairs that are the white/beige. So it is a lot of color…yet no color at all. What color sofa would go in there?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jodi,

    If you’re leaning toward modern for the sofa, I would pick any solid color — a light blue microfiber would go great if it’s up against the accent wall. But any solid color would work. It depends on the other furniture and what other colors you have in the room. Then add in more brown and cream with your accessories.

    If you’re leaning toward a traditional sofa, then I would go with creams, maybe tone-on-tone and then add more color in with the accessories, pillows and lamps.

    You have created a very neutral backdrop so you can be very creative with your next step to add the wow into your room. Just about everything goes with brown, from ice blue to raspberry to orange and even lime green.

    Good luck. Hope that helps a little.

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sheryl says:

    Hello!

    I love all of the advice! I could definately use some in regards to my basement! I am so happy I found this site!

    We are in the process of finishing our basement. The only color we have at this point is a large dark chocolate leather sectional and an espresso vanity for the bathroom. All other colors (wall, carpet, trim, tile) need to be decided. It is a very large, open basement with the staircase in the middle. No doors except into the bathroom.

    I love the brown/blue scheme. Since my couch is dark brown and we are in a basement, I am worried about painting my walls dark brown. Would a lighter brown/toupe on the outside walls and a couple shades darker on the two inside walls (that are actually the outside of the staircase) be better? Or do you think darker brown would be okay?

    I am thinking of painting the trim a dark chocolate/espresso brown.

    What about carpet, should I stay lighter if the walls and furniture are dark?

    How about bathroom tile? Can I go dark brown?

    And then could I paint the bathroom light blue and use light blue accents thorughout the basement?

    Sorry for so many questions! Thanks so much for any advice!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sheryl,

    You have lots of options for your basement. You’ve established the dark brown in the palette with your sofa and bathroom cabinet. If you really want them to stand out, I would suggest something other than the brown family for the wall and carpet colors. Perhaps the ice blue could go on the walls and trim with a blue/gray mixed carpet. That way the chocolate sofa will be a real feature of the room and you can add other chocolate pieces and accents as well as blue to pull the room together.

    You could certainly paint the stair walls a deep chocolate brown to add more of the sofa color to the room.

    Same deal with the bathroom. If the cabinet is a feature, then choose something other than brown for the tile. If you want the cabinet to blend in with the floor, go with brown tile.

    It’s all about contrast. Just decide what color you want to feature, and then choose a contrasting color or a contrasting shade or tone of the same color behind it.

    As for trim, painting the trim an espresso will definitely call attention to that architectural feature. If that’s what you want, then that’s perfectly fine to do. But if you don’t want to call attention to the trim (and sometimes basements have low ceilings), then keep the trim close to the wall color, either the same or a shade or tone of it (darker or lighter).

    Hope that helps. Good luck with your project.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Amy says:

    Hello –

    I’ve enjoyed reading about different color combinations – especially the browns.

    We are painting our great room and I would love some color help. The room is approx 20×20 with 20 foot ceilings and 3 large windows. The fourth wall leads to our kitchen which is a sage green. Our furniture in the great room is forest green with mahogony tables. The curtains are forest green with red/gold accents. Since the room is so large, I am hoping to warm it up but still maintain the brightness from all the windows. Any color suggestions? Tan?

    Thank you
    Amy

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Amy,

    Tan would be great for your room. Since your furniture and curtains are dark already, you need a lighter wall color to give you the contrast you need. Have a look at Monroe Bisque (HC-26 — Ben Moore) and see if that works. But any warm camel will work great.

    Good luck with your painting project.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Ashleigh says:

    Barbara,

    Hi there! We just decorated our master bedroom with new linens. The curtains are steel grey/blue, as well as the comforter and bed skirt. The throw pillowas are an assortment of steel grey/blue and chocolate brown. I was trying to go for the Restoration Hardware silversage and chocolate look without paying that price. My questions are
    1.) What color would you suggest painting the walls
    2.) What color would you suggest accessorizing with? Should I bring in other colors to brighten or tie the 2 colors together?
    3.) What color(s), color scheme etc., would you suggest for the master bath?
    I appreciate your help, as I’m anxious to complete the room!
    Thanks so much,
    Ashleigh

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Ashleigh,

    You can certainly try a dark rich chocolate brown on your walls. It does make it dark in there, of course, but it is primarily a night room anyway.

    The key to using a dark brown in the bedroom is adding sheen and sparkle to reflect light. One option is to put the sheen on the walls with a brown metalic paint. (Use a dark brown base coat of paint and then cover with a single coat of brown metalic paint.) But if you don’t want to fuss with that, you can bring silver metal into the room with lamps and picture frames and a mirror.

    As for the bathroom, you might want to put the bedding color on the walls in there and bring in dark brown accessories like towels and rugs. That will tie the two rooms together without darkening up the bathroom too much. We do need to wake up in the morning eventually.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your home & Color Coach

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Barbara, I stumbled upon your site this morning after painting my livingroom chocolate brown.
    After painting it I realized how dark it made the room look and was looking for ideas to brighten it up a little bit.
    I love brown, red and kacki colors. I read somewhere that a brown room will be cozy.
    This is what I have in the room. A large bay window that I bought red curtains for, a couch and two recliners that are a kacki color, and I threw in some red pillows and a red throw blanket and my lamp shades are red. My carpet is a very light brown cream color. (not sure how to describe the carpet color) I have track lighting on one side of the ceiling. I also have dark wood trim around the fireplace and base boards and the ceiling is white.
    We were wanting to put in some crown molding and was thinking that white would be a good choice. I was wondering what you thought of this and if the white crown molding would be ok or should we go with wood crown molding and do you think I made the right color choices. What color do you think I should use for my pictures on the wall? Thank you so much and I love your web site!!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Melissa,

    You have a cozy, richly colored room with the chocolate brown and red. Now you need some “bling.” I suggest introducing some shiny metal, either in your picture frames or lamps. You also might want to replace the red lamp shades with white to brighten up the room just a bit. (Maybe you can use the red lamp shades in an adjoining room to tie the two areas together.) You can add a chocolate brown pillow or two to the sofa to tie in with the wall color. Crown molding is always terrific, and white molding and window trim will brighten the room as well.

    Make sure you have enough lighting in the room, and you should be all set. Enjoy your cozy room.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Steph says:

    I’m moving into a rental apartment which is in a lovely street with lovely view from the front balcony down a wide road with a lot of trees and things outside in the suburbs.

    The walls are a warm white (not cream) with the odd feature wall in a textured (feels gritty) charcoal. The carpet is dark brown.

    At this stage, I don’t have a sofa or dining suite, so was hoping for recommendations on which wood for the dining setting and the colour for the sofa. I have a desk (Mikael from Ikea in beech) and a range of bedroom furniture in beech (pale blonde wood) and some Ikea Oak (more honey toned than blonde with an almost grey effect?). Previously I’ve loved pale blonde furniture and clean lines, but this place feels like it should have dark woods and deep colours like purples etc.

    One bookshelf (in the Ikea Oak, it’s the ‘Enetri’ unit for any Ikea fans) will be going in the open plan lounge/dining area so I’m assuming my dining setting should be in a similar tone of wood. Add to that, the wooden blinds throughout the unit at walnut/cherry. And furniture is all pale blonde. What should I do?!

    so…

    1. Any rec’s for sofa colour or dining suit wood or material?
    2. Any rec’s for how I can make my pale furniture work with dark brown carpet, cherry wood blinds, white walls and charcoal (even in the bedroom) feature walls?!

    This site is fantastic, I’ve really enjoyed perusing the articles!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Steph,

    I would stick with the pale wood tones for your furniture — they’ll look great against the dark brown carpet. Then you can tie in the cherry wood blinds with color– consider either a dark red or purple sofa. Either one will make the cherry blinds look intentional.

    Since the color palette sounds very contemporary (the white walls and charcoal accent walls), I would stick to contemporary furniture and bright solid colors. I think your apartment will look smashing!

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jaimi says:

    We are adding on an upstairs playroom/media room. The room will be 30’x16′ with vaulted ceilings, with only one large window on the 16′ side. We will be putting chocolate leather couches and a tan recliner chair up there for the media part and the carpet will be taupe brown with flecks. My question is what color do you suggest for this huge room to make it feel warm and open when you come up the stairs? I tend to like the browns, reds and blacks color decor. For the long 30′ wall, I was thinking of adding a red stripe across the upper part of the wall to give it something so it didn’t stand out as so bare, since i don’t have anything to put on it. What do you think? Also should I make the stairway paint the same as the upstairs? The downstairs that leads to the stairs will be painted brown most likely. I would really appreciate your thoughts!
    Thank you for you time,
    Jaimi

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jaimi,

    Sounds like quite a room! First of all, I suggest a tan for your stairway to give you as much light as possible leading up to the big room. If you have a tan recliner in the room already, then just use that color for paint. As for the room itself, media rooms are generally dark for optimal movie-viewing so you might consider a dark rich red (not too tomatoey) that would be a beautiful backdrop to the chocolate leather couches and would give the room energy, kind of a “men’s club” feel.

    If that’s too dark for you, then try gold (Ben Moore has several in it’s historical collection). Gold is warm but not too dark and looks great with leather.

    As for the stripe, you might just end up accenting the length of your wall. I would rather put a great big clock on the wall and maybe a series of dark wood shelves with “stuff” on them to break up the long wall. Great place for trophies, etc.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shelley says:

    Barbara, I am so so glad I found your site. I need some major help! We have just moved into a new house and everything is white. So blank slate woo hoo! The problem is I don’t know what colours to paint my family room. I have dark, dark chocolate brown leather couches a 3 seater and a love seat along with espresso coffee tables and white contemporary lamps. Everything is very clean lines and modern. In the room there is a a white fireplace with creamy marble surround and beige carpet. On either side of the fireplace wall is a window with white blinds- california shutter style. I’d like to make that my accent wall with a dark rich chocolate brown, or maybe red with perhaps a lighter colour on the other walls… tan, taupe, lighter brown??? I don’t know. Our living room is next to the kitchen but separated by a half wall with a white column. The cupboards in there are espresso colour and we have stainless steel appliances with cream floors and counter tops. There is also a large sliding door so we have lots of light. Please any specific colours or combinations and suggestions would be so very appreciated. I guess I’m just over thinking it and would love some input. Thanks in advance.

  • Lori says:

    Hi Barbara,
    We are planning to repaint our living room (currently light blue) and are struggling with the color. I love the idea of cocoa brown but need some help to ensure we will not clash with the room decor. The room has a cathedral ceiling with a tall gray brick fireplace and light oak mantel. Tall oak wall unit next to fireplace. Above the fireplace is a huge picture of a cowboy riding a horse up a snowy hill and a blue sky background – dark brown wood frame. 2 light brown leather chairs and a colorful floral folkart rug on a light hardwood floor. The rug has a navy blue base with brick red and a hint of gold tones. The room gets morning sun through a skylight and sliding door. No recessed light, just 2 lamps in the room – I think our lighting is another issue! Note: this living room is more for “show” as we have a huge family room where we spend all of our time.
    I appreciate any advice can you can give us! Thanks.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Shelley,

    I like the idea of a tan backdrop behind your chocolate and espresso furniture and white shutters. Look at Ben Moore’s bone white or barely beige (1066). If you end up with a chocolate accent wall, you can use a silvery blue for the other walls (silver mist or gentle grey). If you do red for the accent wall, you can pull that over to the couch with pillows and other accessories. With your contemporary decor, I would stick to neutral for the majority of the walls and use bright rich color as an accent.

    Sounds terrific. Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Lori,

    Instead of a cocoa brown, which tends to have pink undertones, why not try a warmer brown like Ben Moore’s camel back (1103) or desert beach (1104). Either of those browns should go better with all the yellow tones in the oak and provide a nice rustic backdrop for your decor.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Linda says:

    This is a great site!! Thank you for what you do!
    Our living room and dining room (all white walls) are separated by white columns on a half wall You walk into these rooms from the kitchen and family room which is painted a sage green color. I am wanting to do a brown color in the new rooms with a chair rail and the bottom half painted white, to make it look a little more formal. There is a grey/tan rock fireplace in the living room with french doors on the wall right next to it. The dining room has 2 long windows, farther down on the same wall as the fireplace. My question is what color do you suggest for these rooms so that it will flow with the sage green but make this part more formal looking but still cozy? And what do you think of the chair rail idea? Should I do walls different shades of color? We have white trim and black tables. The stairway, that leaves from the living room is a light tan and the railings are iron wrought. Any ideas or suggestions would help so much!! Thanks in advance.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Linda,

    I love the idea of chocolate brown above the white chair rail. It doesn’t really matter what color you choose for the dining/living area as long as you bring in some sage green from the kitchen, either with furniture, art, window treatments, or accessories. Similarly, if you bring the dining/living color into the sage kitchen, you’ve got flow between the two areas.

    Doing walls in different shades of color is tricky — the outcome depends on the light in the room. You can lighten up a dark wall with a lighter shade and the result is a room that’s all the same shade (no dark shadows). You can certainly try it.

    I love wrought iron and white columns. Sounds like a really pretty home.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jengi says:

    Hi Barabara, I’m so glad I found your site and I enjoy reading your advice.

    Earlier today I met with a professional painter/artist for an office project. He introduced my to a new line of paints from Benjamin Moore called Aura ( I think), and they replace Fine European Paints and use multiple pigments to make the colors. They are gorgeous!

    Anyway, I was sharing with him how I’m struggling choosing paint for my own home. My engineered hardwood by Mannington is called Oregon Plank. It reads of what I call an orange-brown, maybe I’d say like a whiskey or cognac color? Well, he suggested whatever colors I use they have a brown base.

    I know earthy reds work, but I’m looking for a neutral. How do I know which neutrals have a brown base? Recently I’ve been contemplating Shelbourne Buff by Benjamin Moore…but I really don’t know.

    Would you please share your thoughts on this, and thanks again!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jengi,

    Yes, Aura paints are the latest craze. The coverage is amazing and they give a nice rich color. But how you paint with them is different from conventional paints because they dry really quickly so you can’t keep rolling over a spot like you can ordinarily. Experts suggest you cut in a wall’s perimeter and then wait for that to dry before rolling the paint on the wall.
    Anyway, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more Aura paint before long.

    As for your floor and wall color, Shelburne buff should work fine. I’m not sure what the paint expert meant but brown is just a version of orange and since your floor is orange-brown, any light brown color will go nicely. I would avoid colors that look too pink (mauve/taupe) as they will clash with the floor. I think that’s what he meant by keeping with a brown base.

    You’re on the right track. Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Randi says:

    Found this site by accident (or luck) and so glad I did. I just painted one wall in my very neutral living room, chocolate brown and love it!

    I painted the wall that goes outside to our pool. We have 4 sliding glass doors so there is a lot of light. I also have glass top tables and cream leather furniture. So far, I’m crazy about it.

    Now I need to get some new lamps and accessorize.

    Thanks,
    Randi

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Randi,

    Thanks for visiting my site. Sounds like you’re on your way to a spectacular room!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kim says:

    Hello! I’m happy to have found your site. I need help. I’m moving into a studio that is painted dark brown. Most of my furniture, lamps, pillow and accesories are dark blue. I was wondering if I should get some slip covers for the sofa and chair? Since the bed is in the great room with the sofa what color of bedding would you suggest? Also do you think the other blue accent pieces will go with the room. Thank you! Your help is really appreciated!

    -Kim

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kim,

    Yes, I would get cream colored slipcovers (or white) for your sofa and chair. That way they will pop off the dark brown walls. Then I would continue with the dark brown for your bedding since you probably don’t want to highlight that — dark brown will camouflage the majority of your bed. Then you can put cream/white pillows on top of it.

    I think the dark blue accents will be fine in the room. But you might want to add a splash of orange here and there to warm it up and give the eye some candy. Maybe a couple of orange pillows for the sofa and chair. And some orange artwork.

    Sounds terrific!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • lramp says:

    Hi Barbara, we just remodeled our kitchen with white cabinets, brown countertops & have painted the walls a chocolate brown. The hardware on the cabinets are black & the trim around the windows plus all the baseboards & doors are painted white. I am looking for a curtain to match & bring a little color to a wall that has no cabinets (right now it’s just the window with the brown wall). It is a small kitchen (9’x11′) so I don’t want anything too long or bulky. Would you do a valance or a curtain? What color would be best?

    Thanks!

  • Julia says:

    I want to paint the upper half of the dining room a cocoa brown, which is above the white bead board. I love the brown, however, the dining room flows openly into our softer, yet brighter yellow living room. Is that too much of a light to dark contrast? The living room is yellow and light and you’ll see the dark brown beyond it. Is it too off or can I incorporate the two rooms with earthy themes? How so?
    Thanks for any feedback.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Iramp,

    I would do a valance over the window. The key tip is to hang the valance about two inches from the ceiling (assuming you have normal ceiling height) and make sure it hangs long enough to cover the top of the window frame. That way you have color above the window but haven’t covered up the window — maximizing your light.

    As for fabric, you can introduce a third color (like light blue or orange, perhaps) that you can carry over into accessories for the kitchen.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Julia,

    Sounds terrific. Yes, you can do the dark brown in the dining room and yellow in the living room. Just incorporate some brown into the living room — you may already have it with wooden furniture — or pillows on the sofa or artwork. Just bring some brown in there and you’ll be all set.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • mike says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Finally, an expert offering advice for free. How refreshing.

    I’m trying to choose a curtain color for my den/home theater room. The room is dominated by dark real walnut panelling with a red brick fireplace taking up half of a wall. The ceiling is white and the floor is a light colored terrazzo with brown chips in it. There is a large brown leather sectional couch in the room and little else other than electronics. A friend of mine has gone as far as calling it the man cave. I’d like to subtly and functionally add color to the room since there are no drapes, it seems like a reasonable place to start.
    Thanks,
    Mike

  • Penny says:

    Hello

    I have a family room 24 x 24 that has nine ft walls with seventeen ft. ceiling at peak. It is a continuation of a 9ft ceiling before entering kitchen or adjoining dinning room.

    My question. Would chocolate (Brown) walls work throughout, or would just the end wall that can be scene from all parts of the house work? If so, what would you suggest on the two adjoining 9ft walls?

    What a great site. I love it.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Mike,

    Since you want it dark in there for optimal viewing, I have no problem with the “man cave” comment. But to add some color, I suggest taking a red brick color from your fireplace and using that for your drapes. Then take that same color and put it a couple of other places in the room. Add a couple (just a couple — I know they may end up on the floor) of brick red pillows for the brown leather sofa and maybe a red lampshade.

    Think cozy, not light and airy, and you’ll have a great place to watch football and movies.

    Enjoy.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Penny,

    Your room is huge so you can certainly support a lot of rich color in there. If you like the chocolate, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it on the whole room. It will cozy it up a bit in there and make it seem less vacuous. Just be sure to put some off-white in front of it (slipcovers work great for the family room) and make sure there’s a lot of light, both natural and from other sources.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • sharon kennedy says:

    my living room has basically 3 walls. one with the fireplace flanked by 2 windows and beside it the door to the backyard. the other wall abuts this wall and is the wall the sofa faces (the tv wall). i also have a wall behind the sofa which abuts the entry way and also on the other side the breakfast bar and open kitchen. the entry is open to the living room. the living room is definitely not huge.

    i painted the “TV” wall what i thought was a darkish brown, turned out to have aslight purple undertone – but is still definitely in the brown family (briarwood by behr). i painted the wall behind the sofa a sort of a medium stone/brown color. it turned out a little dark than i expected. should i continue this color on the wall with the fireplace? also what color should i paint the entryway that opens to both the brownish purple and the stone/brown color?

    i’m afraid the room will be too dark. i have an espresso leather sectional, espresso tv cabinet (short, not tall), oak floors. the windows are skinny and not huge. what color can i accessorize to make the room brighter? the fireplace is a beige tile surround. with the large tv wall having that purplish undertone, i’m afraid red accessories would look strange. should i paint this wall over with a different color?

    Thanks, Sharon

  • Colleen says:

    Hi Penny,

    I am planning to purchase a new condo which is quite small (922 sq. ft.). There are 3 color choices for the hardwood floors and kitchen and bathroom cabinets: white/cream cabinets with light colored hardwood flooring; medium brown cabinets with same color hardwood flooring; and chocolate brown cabinets with same color flooring. My preference is the chocolate brown color. I know this color will give warmth to the condo but will it make it appear smaller? Do you think a combination of lighter cabinets and chocolate brown floor would be better for a small space? Thank you for your help.

  • Colleen says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am sorry but I addressed my message to the wrong person. Please accept my apologies. My questions were regarding chocolate brown cupboards and hardwood flooring in a small space condo. Thank you for your help.

    Colleen

  • Kristine Reyes says:

    Hi!

    My new apartment has white walls and the inner doors and cabinets are a periwinkle shade. The backsplash in the kitchen and the bathroom tiles are also a light shade of blue. The living area is narrow. I’m thinking of repainting doors and cabinets robin’s egg blue. I’m also thinking of painting the narrow wall in the living area a darker color. This wall has windows a a door to the balcony. Is chocolate brown ok for this wall? Should I paint the balcony door brown as well?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sharon,

    It sounds like you have two focal point walls. One with the fireplace (the natural focal point to the room, most likely) and the accent wall that houses the tv. I would paint the fireplace wall the accent color (you can use the same one which will make the fireplace pop). Then paint the other three walls in the room a warmer neutral. Try going to the top of the brown paint chip. If that’s a color that will work for you, terrific. If not, try a neutral like Ben Moore’s carrington beige(slightly green) or putnam ivory. Either of those should work with the dark brown wall.

    Once you get the livingroom repainted, the hallway should be much easier.

    Let me know if you have trouble.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Colleen,

    Although I really love dark hardwood floors because they conjure up old historic Southern homes in my mind, they do suck up a lot of light. But they would be fine with light and airy furnishings (cabinets, fabric).

    Light floors will give you maximum light reflection for your small space and you can certainly pair them with dark cabinets — a very trendy look. Chocolate cabinets will certainly stand out, however, and it’s that characteristic that will make your rooms feel smaller. Stylish, but smaller. But cabinets can always be painted later if the chocolate gets stale over time.

    Not sure if I’m helping you or not. You have to look not only at your square footage but the amount of light that comes in your windows. Try using dark and light sheets and towels to simulate the two scenarios. That might help you decide.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kristine,

    First, I suggest painting the cabinets and doors a nice creamy white in a semi-gloss finish. That will give you an almost clean (except for the backsplash) slate to color the rest of the apartment.

    Then since your apartment is narrow, blue is an ideal color for the walls so they recede and give you the feeling of more space. You can even do the ceiling in the same blue (if it’s not popcorn or something funky).

    As for brown, I would pick your focal point wall, the one you notice first when you enter the livingroom, and paint that brown. It might not be the window wall. One brown wall will look great with the other light blue walls, and you have a color scheme.

    Keep the doors and trim white and you’ll have a fresh look.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am moving into a townhouse next month that has dark brown carpeting, and white walls throughout. I have black leather living room furniture (sofa & loveseat). I am free to paint neutral or light colors, but I can’t do much about the carpet. Any suggestions for tying in the furniture with the carpet? Or should I get slipcovers?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

    Sarah

  • Kristine Reyes says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for your advice! I can’t wait to start our repainting project. Looking forward to your other articles. God bless!

    Kristine

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I suggest purchasing a modern area rug, one with a bright colorful geometric design or even a bright shag (whatever you like) and putting it over your carpet and under your black leather furniture. Then you can add wonderful artwork and colored pillows and you won’t even need to paint the walls, unless you want to.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • JL says:

    I WOULD LIKETO PAINT THE EXTRA BATHROOM A CHOCOLATE COCOA, BROWN, LIKE BY bEHR PAINTS, MY ACCENTS ARE A CLAYISH RED, AND CREAM…THE BATHROOM IS A DOUBLE SINK AREA,AND IM EVENTUALLY GOING TO CHANGE IT OUT ALONG WITH SOME BRUSHED NICKEL FAUCETS AND LIGHTS…DO U THINK THIS WOULD WORK…THE WINDOWS ARE IN THE WET AREA , NOT THIS AREA AND SMALL…
    IS THIS A GOOD PAINT COLOR TO USE, OR DO I NEED TO GO LIGHTER, MY CABNIETS ARE A MED BROWN…

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi JL,

    As long as you don’t mind having the lights on when you’re in there, the color combination sounds perfect. It will be dark in there, but with some new lighting over the sink, you should be in good shape.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Mark says:

    Hi Barabara.

    Just as the first post said…”I love your website…” I too am feeling the love, especially if you can help me in my Delimna.
    I have a open floor plan house. After months of researching and seconding quesing myself I settled on a yellow neutal for my family room and kitchen..which has beige carpet and tile and maple cabinets. The color I chose was Teepee Brown from Behr. I have not painted the living roomyet. I painted my bedroom a baby bluewith expresson furniture. Furniture.. I have a burgundy leather couch with beige chairs and stained matchstick roman shades. Its a shotgun type house ( You can see from the front door all the out the back) and the kitchen windows faces out to the west and the family room has windows on the Notrth side..The living room has a window North and East The hallway is to the left when facing west same diraction as my Master Bedroom thats painted that baby blue.

    I hope that was enough detail to help me. My questions are what color should I paint the Living Room? Since the the family Room wall colors are warm should I still use the leather couch as an accent color?what about the hallway what color should I paint it to blend/coordinate all my colors together, ifits even possible. I bought a gallon of BM Middlebury Brown thinking I would use it as accent. I was going to paint the little room approx 5×5′ laundry room that leads to the garage Middlebury..but felt I skipping ahead by not doing the hallway first.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Mark,

    Have a look at either palace white (BM 956) or papaya (957) for your hallway. Since you used a yellow-based neutral in the family room, the hallway can be a very light version of that.

    Then for your living room, you might consider a gray blue (like silver mist -1619- or gentle gray -1626) since you’ve used blue elsewhere in your house already and the blue will compliment your furniture. You can certainly use the middlebury brown on an accent wall in the living room, but with your burgundy sofa, it’s probably best left to the laundry room. The blue will make the room feel bigger as well.

    Make sure you bring in some bright, warm accent pillows as north-facing rooms tend to be cool, but you probably don’t use the living room in the daytime anyway (if you’re like the rest of us).

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Mark says:

    Thank You for your help! It really helped me with my decision, and so sorry for the bad grammar and spelling errors, It really does help to reread what you’ve written.

    Anyways,I believe the choice of a lighter shade of the Behr Teepee (which to me looks like coca )would be a perfect match for the hallway and I plan to paint the hallway first thing tommorrow!
    Even though I really love the color grey/blue, it scares me a little. My bedroom is already that baby blue color and after painting it I wish I would have used a …grey blue color, but thats what happens when you buy impulsivly (it was a $5 5 gallon return I couldnt resist) But I was thinking, although I really dont want to do it,I should is paint the living room a shade of the Teepee Brown. The living room, family room and kitchen are essentially one big room except for the 6 ft wall with a 2×6 passthru in between the family room and living room., do you think the blue would conflict much with with cocoa teepee brown color. Can I use lighter or darker color of burgudy/merlot leather couch in textile, vase picture as accent around the house? If I decided to have one, what about an accent wall color? Would the blue/grey clash with the yellow toned family room? My dining table is black can you suggest a color type chair or table covering? Also for the trim I have been using Swiss Coffee from Behr but it seems tome too white do have any suggestions for a more beigey trim color.

    Again thank you for taking the time to answer my question, I really apreciate..I really do!

    Thank You again
    Mark

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Mark,

    Actually, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to paint the living room the same as the family room and kitchen since it’s one big room. The whole house will see bigger that way. As for accent walls, I wouldn’t do the blue grey. Wait until you get the furniture back in the room and see what accent color catches your eye. The merlot color would be terrific on the wall as an accent. With the burgundy/merlot as an accent, you’re looking at purples and purple reds as placemats and other accessories. But you can throw light blue in there as well.

    As for trim, I don’t think you’ll mind the white once you get all that brown back in the room. Throw in some other white accents (lamp shades, etc) and you’ll be glad for the contrast. But if it’s still too much, there’s Ben Moore’s Bone White. Check it out.

    Hope that answers all your questions.
    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lisa says:

    Hi
    I just bought an apartment with very dark wood flooring throughout and the open kitchen with black cabinet. All the walls now are white but I would really love to see some colors on the walls other than white. What color should I choose for the living room and bedrooms to lighten up the darkness of the floor and at the same time add warmth onto it. I really love choco colors, like mocha etc.. a lot but I’m worried about how the very dark brown floor(almost Black) would look like with the choco wall color. Any suggestions?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Dark floors are very rich-looking. You’re lucky to have them, but they are a bit of a challenge if you want dark walls too. I suggest either sticking with light neutrals for your walls and picking up color in your furniture and accessories or putting an area rug over much of the middle of the dark floor and then painting the rooms whatever you want. But the dark floor really needs a contrasting light wall (not white but just light) or you will live in a cave. We don’t want that.

    Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Mark says:

    Barbara

    Hi Barbara!

    Its me again:) Karma..I actually stumbled on your site again looking for advice on accent colors. Ok this will be the last question πŸ™‚
    Ok, Since we last chatted I have moved some furniture around and am quite pleasedd with the results. I had a cherrywood dining set in the other room (the one that not painted yet) to the spot where I had the black dining room set. I must say it looks pretty nice. Also I moved a dark expresso amoire into the family room (in front of the two windows..I know this is not ideal because it kinda dominates the room..but not really),and it too looks nice ..like it should be there.
    Ok as I said previously, the room(kitchen/dining/family) is a NW room (the other side is the unpainted living room is a NE side which is where the front door is located) Anyways I like how it all looks. What Im trying to do now is find a accent color because I feel like there something missing. I have the same color couch as the chair you show above. Which goes nicely with the cherrywood dining set. Medium maple kitchen cabinets with white tile. Im using red pillows on the beige chairs to kinda tie it together. I was trying to find what color accent (runner, placemats, etc) to use on the cherrywood dining set.
    I dont know:) What do you think?

    Thank You again for the help..I really appreciate it!

    Mark

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Mark,

    Black always works for things like candlesticks and accessories and it will tie in with your espresso armoire. But for placemats, you can introduce another color into the room. Like light blue, which looks fabulous against the cherry wood and leather and even has some precedence in your bedroom down the hall. I would distribute the light blue and black around the spaces and that should tie all spaces together.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Niomi says:

    Barbara,
    I am in the process of choosing a color for our home office. The 3-piece office credenza going into this room is a very orangey-colored wood with nickel drawer pulls. I’m stumped at picking the right color scheme. I thought a gold would be a nice contrast, but when I stumbled on your website it got me thinking about a rich chocolate color instead.
    The room is 12×12 with a double window, quite bright all day. Could you give a list of Benjamin Moore shades to consider…caramels to dark chocolate? I’m getting overwhelmed with my master palettes in front of me. You seem to have the expertise in this area. Thanks.

  • Niomi says:

    Barbara,

    Just to add – I believe the color of the new desk furniture is Bourbon Cherry after researching online all night. Hope this helps in narrowing the type of brown to choose.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Niomi,

    Have a look at Georgian brick (HC-50) as it’s a very warm rich brown that will blend with your furniture and make the room seem a bit bigger. For contrast (and if you have enough light), try Hasbrouck brown (HC-71). It’s VERY dark, but can really provide a great backdrop as it appears to fade away leaving the furniture and other accents in the foreground. But you’ll need lots of light in the room.

    That should get you started.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Caleb says:

    Barbara,

    Must say I’ve enjoyed reading through all of this, and I have some advice to seek from you! I am moving into a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment with a friend, and I have 2 areas which I am seeking some help decorating.

    First, my bedroom, a 10’8”x14’4”. I’ll have in there a bed with a headboard that I’ve made with a long mirror in it, horizontally. A night stand to one side and 2 black and white pictures of mine to the left and right of the headboard, a little elevated. Across from that, a wide dresser which is black, and my wide screen tv on the wall above it. To the right, a tall, and once more black standed fish tank that is a nice 6ft tall. I’ve also got a black leather chair in the room. I’m not afraid of color, but truly *love* black, the floor is a cream and the walls are all white, is there another color which may help make the room cozy? I was interested in a lighter brown, but was wondering what you might suggest.

    We will also have an 18’7”x13’3” with a walkout door to the balcony on one of the 13′ walls. We’d like something comforting and home like that we can toss up some black and white pictures with. I especially like browns but also have liked the look of a maroon and such, as you can see I like dark colors :).

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Caleb,

    How about a nice warm rich camel color for your walls in the bedroom. It will feel cozy in there with all the black furniture, but very masculine. Kind of like a men’s club/library feel. You might get some dark brown/multi-colored accessories to give it a little punch in there. I know guys don’t like extra pillows on the bed, but a couple of big comphy ones wouldn’t hurt.

    A little red in the room would warm it up as well.

    As for the living room area, I would stick with a lighter neutral, something like Ben Moore’s Powell Buff (HC-35). It looks great with black and provides a nice neutral backdrop for your furnishings.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jenniferr says:

    Barbara,

    I just bought a white counter-height dinning set. Not the norm. I love chocolate brown walls and was orginally going to paint the dining room Classic Brown by Pottery Barn (a nice chocolate shade with an eggshell finish).

    However, with the white (well, it’s almost a cream) table set, will this look to off?

    Thanks.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi! I posted the above comment also, but needed to add more clarification. I was thinking of painting my dining room a chocolate brown. All the walls in my house are currently a off-white (not stark) shade. I have a traditional two-story white with dark green shutters coastal Carolina home with medium wood floors.

    If you think the chocolate is a good color, would you suggest all the walls top to bottom or just above the chair rails? Also, the kitchen is seperate but has a cut out window with a bar and large entry (it’s a gallery style kitchen). What color would you recommend for that?

    I have a white dinning set similar to this one, but counter height.

    http://www.amazon.com/Camden-White-Dining-Room-American/dp/B0012G7PNQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1210034803&sr=1-3

    Also, the first thing you see upon entering the front door is the staircase which divides the kitchen and dining room from the living room.

    If you think chocolate is a good color for the dining, what would you suggest to coordinate for the kitchen, stairhall and living room (I have neutral tan couches with wooden furniture in the LR).

    Thanks for your input. I love your site!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I think chocolate brown would be fabulous in your dining room. And the white/cream dining set will really be the focal point. Try painting just above the chair rail first and see if you like the look.

    You might consider painting the wall below the chair rail a cream color and applying some molding to the wall (just make boxes with the trim pieces– it’s pretty easy) and painting that white like your dining set. That will tie the room together with the rest of the off-white walls elsewhere in your house and also coordinate the pretty white set with the dining room.

    As for coordinating the chocolate brown with the rest of the house, all you really need to do is pull some dark brown into the other rooms, either with furniture (like in your living room) or accessories and artwork (in the kitchen). You don’t have to expand your palette if you don’t want to. But if you decide to paint a color on the walls in the kitchen, just put some of that color in the adjoining dining room, either with dishes or linens or accessories, and you’ve coordinated the two rooms.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jennifer says:

    Barbara,

    Thanks to your reply above. I will try painting chocolate brown from the chair rail up as you suggested and possibly cream underneath.

    I really, really want to paint the kitchen, stair hall and living room, too. I was thinking a sand or cream shade. What do you think? Can you think of any other non-boring shades instead? THanks!

  • Kelli says:

    Barbara,

    Hi I recently painted my living room chocolate brown. The ceiling and crown molding is an off white and I want to paint it white to brighten it up a bit. I have a beige sofa. I was curious what color pictures or frames should I put with it? I want to add some color with teal and green throw pillows and rugs. I was wondering if I should add pictures with color or do black and white prints but then what color frames? Thanks, Kelli

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Lots of colors go with the natural tans and browns. Have a look at a light grey blue like Gentle Grey (1626 Ben Moore) for the living room and maybe a neutral like Ocean Beach (958) for the kitchen and hallway. Then start mixing the accessory colors from room to room so you achieve what we call “flow.”

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kelli,

    I would pick a metal color for the room. Silver works well as it contrasts beautifully with the warmth of the chocolate walls and adds sparkle at the same time. Then throw in some more silver with candlesticks.

    Your accent colors sound great. You’re almost there!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Ang says:

    Barbara,

    I’m trying to figure out what color brown to paint my master bedroom. I have dark colored bed with a high headboard (5’5”). The duvet is a taupe color and accented with a chocolate brown quilt and shams. The carpet is a light brown. I have a large steamer trunk acting as a night stand and I’m thinking of using metal nesting table as the other night stand. I’m planning on getting a bombay chest and a reading chair. I’d also like to use either silk duponi or velvet curtains for the windows, just not sure which ones or color. The room does have two windows but doesn’t get a lot of light because it’s on the east side of the house. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    BTW I painted a swatch of BM Clinton Brown and Davenport Tan on the walls but still can’t decide.

  • Desparate girl says:

    Hi,

    I have black leather furniture and was looking at painting my livingroom walls. I was hoping to do a color combination of brown and red, the red wall being the main wall behind the couch. All other 3 walls would be a neutral brown. I have always heard the myth of not pairing black with brown. Do you think this would look ok, bringing in red and tan accents, or is it too much? Should I just stick with tan walls and use the red in accents only. I am hoping for a rich look but not too dark as there is little light in the room.
    Thanks.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Desparate girl,

    You can certainly do a focal point wall in red, but with your dark furniture, I suggest painting the other three walls in a rich camel tan. Then you can really add red accents to play off the wall and add some jazz to the room while still contrasting with the furniture so it doesn’t get lost.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jessica says:

    Hi there! Thanks for all the advice. I am about to buy living room furniture and paint, and I want a second opinion. The furniture we love is a light blue couch, chair and ottoman. Our living room is about 12X16. One wall is mostly windows and a french door to the entryway. (All white.) Another wall is the fireplace with a mirror above it, flanked on both sides by built in bookshelves with cabinets at the bottom. (All white also.) A third wall is mostly a wide opening into our blue (two tones – dark, then a white chair rail, then light blue) dining room. The 4th wall is the only full wall, and it’s the long part of the rectangle (16′).
    So, my question is, with light blue furniture, decent lighting (we’ll add more) and blue tones in the dining room, am I ok to paint the room brown? I have a rug I love already that has stripes and squares of blues and browns, and I think I’d pick a medium brown from there for the walls. I figure the white built ins, windows, and large cutout doorway to the dining room keep most of the room light, and the brown would be mostly on that one wall… I am just paranoid about it being too dark.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jessica,

    You have all the elements you need for a fabulous chocolate living room. Tons of light, a mirror, white trim and cabinetry, light blue furniture, and a rug with brown in it. Go for it!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Diane says:

    Hi Home & Color Coach,

    I need an office space that’s quiet. The three bedrooms in the house are occupied. There’s a large living-room that opens to a foyer area, kitchen and eating area. What would be your recommendation concerning the addition of a dividing wall between half of the living-room and the dining-area?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Diane,

    I did that once before. My client wanted her computer and rather large workspace in the living room so she could keep an eye on her children while they were on the computer. We found a very large almost floor to ceiling shelving unit with open cube shelving and a vary large base. It was black and came out about 2/3 of the width of the room. You could still see back behind it, but the workspace was camouflaged.

    We put sculptures and other artifacts on the shelves (one per cube) and the unit made a dramatic focal point in the living room and divided the room into two adequate spaces.

    So it’s been done. And it’s a fine idea. The one thing to keep in mind is building in adequate storage so you can quickly tidy up your workspace if you’ve got company coming.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I posted a few weeks ago about painting my dining room (chair rail and up) BM Classic Brown. You then suggested I paint the lving room Gentle Grey (1626 Ben Moore) and Ocean Beach (95) for the kitchen and hallway.

    Well, I did and I LOVE the look in my dining room and living room. I then painted the other rooms Ocean Beach. While I love the color, it makes the off-white trim look dingy. I don’t want to paint the trim as I want it to be the same throughout the house.

    Can you suggest a slightly darker or more in depth shade of Ocean Beach? When searching online, I saw a color called Stone House (a Pottery Barn color by BM), but wasn’t sure if that was too close in color.

    Please help!

    THANKS!!! I value your suggestions.

    Jennifer

  • Jennifer says:

    In addition to the message above, should I go darker or brighter? Can you suggest some shades? TIA!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I think the stone house would be a nice bump-up in richness on the wall and make more contrast with the trim color. Glad you like the other colors.

    As for going brighter, I wouldn’t. I have a very soft muted palette right now and I would reserve the bright colors for the accessories.

    It’s okay to go darker, but make sure you have enough light. I would try the stone house first — it may be just perfect with your trim.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jessica says:

    Hi again,
    thanks for your response before. We took the plunge and painted the living room brown last weekend. I don’t know if it’s our light (which I am going to replace and get more to compliment that replacement) but when the artificial light is on, the brown looks too warm (pink.) For some reason, I don’t love it with our hydra blue couch… It was Ralph Lauren paint called “Elm.” Do you have a good color that is a little cooler that you’d suggest if I wanted to do a new coat over the top to cool it down? Or maybe I should go a little lighter?? For some reason, I just dont LOVE it like I thought I would.
    Thanks again for your help!

  • Mandy says:

    Hi Barbara…you’ve given some wonderful advice on chocolate browns here and I hope that you might be able to help me out with my current decision.

    I am moving into a new office space and have the ability to select a new desk and paint colors for the walls.
    In my old office, I have been building toward a color combination of chocolate brown, light green and light blue…with occassional platinum metal accents (and black slips in here and there with photo frames). My bookcases are maple colored.

    I have selected some preliminary choices for paint in the new office – Floating Lily Pad and Chocolate Brown from Dunn-Edwards, but I don’t know if it would be better to do three of one and one of the other. I want it to be warm and inviting (as I do therapy in my office) but also professional.

    My new office has one wall across from the door that has a huge window that lets in light in the evening, and a smaller window to a hallway on the same side as the door.

    I don’t know if I should get a maple desk to contrast with the chocolate paint on the wall (or walls) and match the existing maple bookcases, or if I should go with a chocolate desk and get new chocolate bookcases.

    What thoughts do you have? What should I be considering?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

    Mandy

  • Mandy says:

    Hi Barbara…me again πŸ™‚ Just one other question related to this room….the windows in the new office are already covered in ivory vertical blinds….
    on the one to the hallway I will have to change it to something that provides more privacy (the blinds have holes in them)…what style and color might you suggest?

    Thanks again! You’re so wonderful for offering your ideas to us all….

    Mandy

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Mandy,

    Sounds great! I like the idea of using either the green or the blue for three walls and using the chocolate on an accent wall. Then pull that chocolate color into the room with your furniture (desk and bookcases). I would keep all the woods the same if you possibly can to make it as simple and “clean” as possible. Then use the metal and black for accents. If you have room for a small sofa, I would get chocolate and use the light blues and greens for pillows and a throw. (Or you could do the same with a large leather chair.) The whole idea in your office is to keep it simple with clean lines and not a lot of pattern. It should be soothing and relaxing to both you and your clients.

    You’re on the right track!!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Mandy,

    I would get a shade that matches your wall color on that wall. That way the window will completely go away and will provide privacy at the same time. You might just get a honeycomb shade, double-comb, for privacy. Measure well so the shade fits perfectly into the window well and offers no chance of a glance by someone passing by in the hallway.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Rebecca says:

    Hi Barbara!
    This site is a treasure! I recently painted all the walls in my living room in a clay red color, RL Suede finish. Although i love the effect, i think perhaps it’s a bit too much and thought maybe an accent wall could simmer it down a bit. The room does not get a lot of light but I am making attelmpts to increase the lighting. I have wooden floors that are on the yellow side so, what color would you suggest for the wall and perhaps furniture. Would the accent wall have to be in the same finish as the other walls?

    Thanks! You’re the greatest!
    -Rebecca

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    Accent walls are usually darker or at least richer than the other three walls so in your case, with the clay red, how about that chocolate brown? Yes, it will be dark. So you would need to invest in some recessed lighting around the perimeter of your room to light up those walls. The finish does not have to be the same, but I think it should stand out. Perhaps a dark chocolate metallic? What do you think.

    As for furniture, you’ll have to lighten things up with lots of creams/whites and light metals. And you can pull in some cool accent colors like lime green, turquoise, or sky blue. That will also help to cool things off in there.

    Sounds beautiful!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Heidi says:

    Hi Barbara
    I live in a Bi-Level and I just love the color Brown. As well as most neutral colors. As you know, with a Bi-Level it is very hard to paint the living room/dining room, since they are combined. I am looking to repaint the entire house, and I want to start with those 2 rooms first.
    My first choice is to paint the living room a neutral tone of a taupe color and then bring it on into the dining room, but my dining room is decorated in many colors, the theme is cafe/france. So I have greens, rust, beige, purple, burgandys, blacks, in my area rugs as well as my pics in my dining room. I was thinking about doing my accent wall in a dk. brown, but wasnt’ sure if it would go with the decor colors. Also, wasn’t sure which wall would be my accent wall, since when you walk into my dining room, the main wall that you first see is my doorwall wall, which is hardly a wall at all. Would it be wrong to paint 2 walls in the dining room the dk brown, and would it make it cozy or to closed in.
    Also, my kitchen is right next to my dining room, with a very large opening leading into the kitchen.
    My kitchen is decorated in wines and grapes and I wanted to paint it in a tuscany yellow, very deep yellow. Do you think that would go with the brown? If not, what color would you suggest?
    Thanks and God Bless
    heidi

  • Jewels says:

    Hi Barbara! Lots of great advice here. I hope you can help.

    I fell in love with this brown microplush comforter and shams which I adore on my new espresso colored platform bed. I even stained my oak chest a deep mahogany. I’ve also purchased a couple of pillows, one is a deep rich amber with a hint of the brown and the other is a sort of neutral stripes with shades of tan, rust and some sort of greenish-blue. I purchased a beautiful piece of inexpensive artwork that brings the colors I envision together. It contains the deep brown with rust/caramel and splashes of green running into turquoise.

    I’ve been looking at paint colors and can’t decide between “jade” greens and colors that get pretty close to turquoise. How do I find a shade that will tone down the dark furniture and bed, allow the amber tones to warm but cool it down just a tad? I’m looking for that warm and sexy boudoir feel.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Heidi (#123),

    Sounds like you have a very workable old-world color scheme already. The dark brown should work well in your dining room but it will be dark. The good news is that you usually use the dining room in the evening with artificial light and the dark walls really add a nice ambiance to the room. As far as which walls to paint, I would start with one, the largest wall with no doors. Paint that one first and see how it feels in the room. I would not paint just two walls. Either one or all of them.

    As for the kitchen, the tuscany yellow should also work well as long as you have adequate light in there. Sometimes a rich yellow can soak up all the light and seem too dark. But the Tuscan color will complement the rest of your decor.

    As for the living room, I would paint that room last. See how you like the rich colors in the other room. You may want just a light tan (not too gray as taupes can be) to brighten up the space. But you’ll know after the other two rooms are painted.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jewels (#124),

    Have a look at Ben Moore’s ocean air (2123-50) and gossamer blue (2123-40). You’re looking for a slightly greyed-down turquoise that will contrast with your furniture and bedding and give a spa-like, relaxed feel to your room. Another great color is quiet moments (1563).

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • ashley says:

    HI, I need help deciding on an accent color to add to my living room. My walls are a cream beige and white trim my couches are sage and we have an area rug with green tones and beige in it. I cant decide what color curtains and accents to add to it. Ive tried different greens and the just blended with the couch and beige looked kinda the same as the wall. I like the earth tones , right now I have white sheers because I cant decide. Any help would be appreciated. thank you

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Ashley (#127),

    Why not try a dark chocolate on your focal point wall or behind the sage couches. Keep the white sheers on the windows and add more white accessories as well as dark brown items (like pillows/baskets/frames on pictures). You can always add a punch of color with a citrus shade like a bright yellow orange pillow on the sofa or a vase of flowers on the table.

    Sounds like it’s going to be a beautiful livingroom!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jewels says:

    Thanks, Barbara. That was what exactly what I needed. I have a better idea already. I’ll go out to the paint stores to check out the shades you recommend, but even online I can see that one of those will do the trick.

  • Tina says:

    Hello Barbara
    What a wonderful and helpful site. I hope you can offer me some advice. I am renovating a bathroom and so far i have a white tub and toilet, a marble-grey “carrarra white” ceramic tile, with a border that has a creamy kahlua colour in it, surroundng the bathtub and a more whitish grey tile on the floor. I have a rich “espresso” coloured vanity and matching medicine cabinet. The vanity top/sink is white also. What colour should i paint the walls? What colour accents do i use?
    Signed a rookie renovator. LOL

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Tina (#130),

    You can go in several directions with your wall color: a sophisticated gray blue (like Ben Moore’s Gentle Gray or Silver Blue) with silver accents and dark chocolate towels; a warm gray on the walls with butterscotch and white towels and silver accents; or maybe the creamy kahlua on the walls with silver and espresso accents. You have tons of possible options with your neutral foundation. These are just a few.

    Hope they help.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tina says:

    Hi again,

    Thanks for your response!

    I tried the creamy Kahlua on the walls, but it really seems to clash with the white/gray colour in the tiles.
    :o(
    I think i’m going to try the silver blue / gentle gray paint on the walls.
    Do you think it will make the room look really “cold”?
    How do I soften up the very white/gray room. Except for the “espresso” cabinets, everything is pretty much the same white/gray colour.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Tina (#132),

    I think you’ll really like the silver blue on the walls. It sounds like the floor tiles are quite dominant and that’s why the kahlua was just not right. Try the blue. Yes, it’s a fresh, clean, look for a bathroom but it’s not cold. White bathrooms are cold. Color adds warmth. And you can certainly add that with art (if there’s room), towels, a rug on the floor. You can throw a fuzzy orange rug on the floor and you’ll have instant warmth. And the same with towels. Go for the warmth there.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • lyndsay says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for your website! I have questions…
    I want to paint my living room coco brown…but I live in an apartment and have only 2 areas of natural light in the living room (one big one from sliding glass doors and another smaller window, they are both next to each other) but all other walls are solid and there is no other natural light. I was thinking about painting only one wall, and leaving the others cream….but which wall? Should I paint the wall I see when I walk into the apartment (this one has the sliding doors)? OR the wall I see when I walk into the room from my bedroom (solid and largest wall)? OR should I paint more than one wall? I can always add lamps if lighting is a concern….
    Please Help!!
    I will have a brown couch and dark brown wood tables if that adds anything to help…. I want to do brown and neutrals so i can switch accessories easily to have fresh looks whenever I wish.

    Help!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi lyndsay (#134),

    In your case, since the focal wall is mostly glass and since you want cocoa brown, I would paint the largest solid wall that you see when you enter from the bedroom. A bit unconventional, but it will be easier to see the beautiful color if the wall is not back-lit. The brown couch etc. sound perfect for swapping accessories in and out.

    Hope that works for you.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Theresa L says:

    Hello,

    I have read through many of your posts regarding brown wall colors. We are looking to paint our basement walls. We do not have windows in the finished part of the basement. There is a white drop ceiling with florescent lighting. There is currently a chair rail and wainscoting on the lower half of the wall.

    We have paintings around the entire upper half of the basement. There is also an office with french doors leading into it. A friend of ours suggested a rich chocolate brown on the upper half to “pop” the paintings, and then silver on the lower half. Do you have any paint suggestions given it is a basement? Also, we lost our carpeting due to a sump pump failure last fall. We will probably install allure wood-look flooring in the future; not sure what shade though.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Theresa

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Theresa,

    Painting the upper part of your wall a rich chocolate brown will pop the artwork, but it will also make the ceiling feel lower. If the ceiling height is not a problem in your basement, then go ahead with the brown upper wall. But if you’re worried about making the ceiling feel too low (often the case with a drop ceiling), then I suggest painting the brown on the lower part of the wall and reserving the upper portion for a lighter color that will blend better with the ceiling and make the room feel more spacious.

    As for the flooring, I would go dark to ground the room. Since the light is all artificial anyway, there isn’t much of a problem with trying to optimize light reflection from windows. And dark won’t show any dirt.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Theresa L says:

    Thank you Barbara,

    I think you are correct. The chocolate brown on the top part of the wall would probably make the drop ceiling feel too low. Would a caramel color be O.K. on the top and then the rich chocolate on the bottom portion? Do you have specific benjamin moore paint colors you would recommend for the top and bottom portion of the wall?

    Thank you for your advice; dark flooring sounds like a good idea. With two kids and two dogs anything that hides some dirt is a good thing.

    Theresa

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Theresa L (#138),

    Have a look at roxbury caramel (HC-42) with something like hasbrouck brown (HC-71). Make sure you have lots of light and white to brighten up the room and add a light accent color like light blue for contrast and you will have a cozy basement.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sarah says:

    Hi I have a question about paint color in our bedroom. We have white trim, cream Berber carpet, and light oak furniture. I wanted to paint the room a dark brown since I like the color brown, but wondering if it’ll look good with the light colored oak furniture. I don’t want to get rid of the furniture so I need to work around it. Our bed and dresser are the oak color but I’m planning on getting some end tables in some other color…any suggestions??

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sarah (#140),

    The light furniture will be fine with the dark brown. You’ll need lots of light in the room and other white to give you some contrast since the furniture will kind of blend in with the walls.
    As for end tables, white works. Or another color. Otherwise stick with your oak and get white/colored lamps instead.

    Don’t forget to add a shiny metal that will help reflect light into the room. Picture frames, candlesticks, whatever you want.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Allison says:

    Help!! I have a gigantic bedroom and a decent sized bathroom. I want to do the walls a nice chocolate with the tray part to the ceilings a darker khaki/tan. (The actual ceiling will be white). The bathroom I was thinking a leather style. Any suggestions as to how I can spice this up a little? My bedroom has 6 walls…..aaarrrgghhh!!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Allison (#142),

    You have tons of options (maybe that’s part of the trouble, right?), but you’re off to a great start. What you need to add or consider are the floor (if it’s hardwood, you’ll need a big area rug), bedding/windows (silk provides a shimmer that bounces light around a dark bedroom), lighting (if you don’t already have recessed lighting installed around the perimeter of the room, now’s the time), a reading/TV area with big comfortable chairs (maybe bring in the tan), and then a really good accent color like light sky blue, bright orange, or lime green to spice up the room and make it a little less formal.

    Since you have six walls you have lots of room for family/vacation photos framed in a silver metal, again to reflect light.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Amy says:

    Hi Barbara-

    I did a faux finish paint (Trenchcoat bye Sherwin Williams) in suede on my dining room wall. I painted this on the top part of the chair rail. Now I am trying to decide if its a good idea to go with a cream color on the bottom part of the rail. Will cream go with this color? Or do you suggest another color? I plan to get a new dining room table set after I complete my walls. Not sure what to get but I was wondering if a Cherry dining room table would go well? I am looking for a rustic contemporary look and would like to have some red or purple accent pieces? I also have a white sheer curtains to hang…. I had this curtain for several years and have not had a chance to use them. Would this look good with the rustic contemporary theme Im looking for? What do you suggest?

  • Amy says:

    I have also thought of using a light color gray on the bottom part of the chair rail? Would that look better than the cream?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Amy (#144),

    Trenchcoat actually pairs up very well with a warm brown neutral (like SW 7705 Wheat Penny), recommended on their own website, and I agree. The warm brown will give you that contemporary rustic theme even before you add the furniture.

    You might get a rustic farm table for your dining room and some upholstered chairs to go around it. I like that combo of rustic/comfortable. As for the window treatments, I would hold off until you get the whole room pulled together colorwise. The sheers may be perfect but you might want something with a little more color. Some of that red/purple you mentioned. Work on the paint and furniture first.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Elizabeth says:

    Hi, Barbara

    I am having a VERY hard time with choosing paint colors for my front room, which is about 12′ by 10′. It is supposed to be a dining room, but I want to use it as a casual and cozy sitting room for reading or having a cup of coffee with friends instead. It has two long windows on one wall; they come down to the floor. The room faces east, so it gets a ton of early morning and afternoon daylight. I need to use my existing furniture, which is a sage green loveseat, a medium golden pine side table, a walnut coffee table, and a mission style wood side chair also in medium golden pine, with the seat only upholstered in dark brown leather. I have also already accented the room with pieces in both bright and dark red. The room has a chair rail, baseboard trim, and crown molding, along with a textured ceiling, all of which are a creamy white.

    Initially I wanted to paint the room a rich dark brown, but when I hold the swatches up to the sage couch, I am not sure they “go”. So then I thought of painting just one wall brown, which leads to my next dilemma…If I paint the focal point wall (the most prominent wall seen from the front hallway) brown, that is the wall with the loveseat, so back to the question of whether brown works behind sage green….Or, could I make the wall with the windows the focal point wall and paint it brown? And, if I just go with one brown wall, can I use a pale yellow for the other walls, or should I try for something with less contrast? I considered dark caramel colors, but they don’t seem to do anything for the sage green loveseat nor the golden pine wood furniture. And lastly, can I stick with leaving all the trimwork and ceiling creamy white, or would it be best to paint them some other color, and if so, what?

    I would SO appreciate any ideas or insights you could share! And one last thing, I want to use Behr paint, so if you have any specific color recommendations, have at it! Thanks so much!

    Liz O.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Liz (#147),

    You might consider using an accent color with a little red in it to go behind the sage couch, something like Behr’s Boston Brick (160F-6), since red is green’s complementary color and the combination is very warm and dramatic. Then paint the remaining walls a creamy color like Behr’s Cottage White 1813 to keep the room light and open. I think the combination will look great.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Emily says:

    Hello everyone!

    My living room has sandy-cream walls (the paint is called Cord by farrow & ball), light pine floor and a cream sofa. It has horrible pine wardrobes and shelves…what colour can I paint them?

    Thanks

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Emily (#149),

    If you want the wardrobes and shelves to disappear in the room, then paint them the wall color. If you want them to complement the room, then paint them the trim color (white?). If you want to accent your pieces, then paint them an accent color (black, dark brown, red).

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kathy says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Great site! There are so many colors to choose from, any advice on what to put with what is so helpful!

    We recently moved into an older home and are doing some minor renovations. The entrance to our living room is off the front entrance, a doorway (not totally open). As you enter, the wall immediately on the left (the shared wall with the front entrance on the other side) is the only wall for our beige couch and it pretty much fills the wall. I am thinking about painting that a chocolate brown of some sort (not sure what shade, how light/dark, what undertones) to help our couch stand out a bit more and so that we can hang a painting above the couch with some yellows and oranges. Next to this is a wall that is pretty much one enormous window facing the front of the house. Essentially covers the entire wall, almost floor to ceiling. Straight ahead as you enter the living room is a long wall with a fire place in the living room portion and also shared with the attached dining room which is off to the right (the living/dining is an L shape). The fireplace and surround (floor to ceiling) sticks out from the wall and we were thinking of painting the fireplace portion (which is drywall around the gas fireplace and above where our TV hangs) a different color from the wall it sticks out from. Bad idea? What would you suggest we paint this wall and what contrast with the fireplace (with the TV hanging above the mantle) would you paint it? The remaining wall, to the right of the living room, is just a plain straight wall. Again, thoughts on the color? From what I have been reading, the accent wall is usually the first wall you see when you enter the room, which would be our fireplace wall. But I really want to put some color behind the couch which is against the wall opposite the fireplace wall. In addition to the beige couch , we have a ivory shag carpet, dark almost cherry coffee table and two chocolate brown chairs that sit infront of the fireplace. No pot lights, with an entire window wall, it gets a lot of natural light.

    Sorry so long…just really stuck!
    Kathy

  • denisse says:

    Hi, I just painted my office a dark brown, which is very similat to the color you have in your room. I have chery office furniture and I am trying to complete the room. Could you please let me know what color of courtains do you have? I just love them. I am still scared about the color

  • denisse says:

    Can you enclosed extra pictures as a way to get new ideas? Please

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Well, yes, ideally the focal point/accent wall is the fireplace wall, the one you see as you enter your living room. But I understand why you’d like to put some rich color behind the beige couch. I would go ahead and do that first before painting the rest of the room.

    After you paint the wall, you can evaluate whether to a) paint the rest of the room the rich brown with an accent color on the bump-out fireplace area; or b) paint the rest of the room a neutral taupe/tan with a third color (rusty red, perhaps?) on the fireplace bump-out.

    Either way, yes, I would paint the fireplace bump-out an accent color. Just not brown. Your two brown chairs will tie the couch wall into the scheme and you can pick another accent color for fireplace and pillows/art.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Denisse (#152),

    Those curtains in the photo were champagne silk but I wouldn’t recommend that color for your office (unless you want to be lulled to sleep when you should be working — the photo was of a bedroom). I recommend either a cream or a light ice blue that will add light to the room and energy that you need to work. And don’t forget a bold accent color like orange or red to get those brain cells humming.

    Adding a balance of white/cream or light blue plus an accent color will make the dark walls recede into a wonderful backdrop. And make sure you have adequate lighting in the room too.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi again Denisse (#153),

    I’ll get busy on adding more photos. Time to update them anyway. Thanks for the reminder.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jo says:

    Hi Barbara

    Great site and advice! I wonder if you would be able to offer me some guidance? I rent a one bedroom flat with high ceilings. I want to paint the walls in the living room first, but I need to keep the dark blue velvet curtains and carpets and white window frames. So was wondering if you have any colour ideas that may be suitable? i was thinking rustic colours or a feature wall but part from that I’m open to ideas!
    I have lots of plants and am working on decluttering too!!

    Thanks in advance!

    Jo

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jo (#157),

    I suggest keeping a monochromatic color scheme for your living room but adding a little pizzazz to a feature wall. Since you need to keep the dark blue, have a look at Ben Moore’s gentle gray for a wall color. It’s a very soft gray blue that is soothing and will make your space seem larger, which will balance the high ceiling.

    Then on your focal point wall, you can either paint the entire wall an accent color, like a deep orange for drama, or you might paint a large horizontal stripe, about two-three feet in depth, across the blue focal point wall. The stripe can be white or an accent color, like the orange. Then you can add art or shelves or ledges to that wall and really create some excitement in your space. Pull the accent color into the rest of the room with pillows and other accessories and you’ve got a knockout.

    Good luck. Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • tia says:

    hi,

    i just bought this new house and confused with the colors which would go in my living room, dining room and hallway? my main concern is that i have got a navy blue sofa and am open to add additional pieces of furniture for instance a chocolate brown ottoman. also my area rug is black with grey color squares in it. i am in love with the brown colors that are in now and would like to paint the walls brown but don’t know which color to pick as there are way too many choices with benjamine moore. would you also suggest that if i should paint my brick fireplace? my husband is not even helping me out so finally found your site and got a relief. i would love it if you could suggest me with your ideas.

    thank you so much
    await your reply

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi tia (#159),

    You might consider painting your living room a very light blue gray like Ben Moore gray cloud 2126-60 that will provide a nice soothing backdrop to your navy blue couch, black/gray rug, and brown accessories. If you have enough light in the room, you could paint the focal point wall a rich brown, like Ben Moore bison brown 2113-30. Make sure you bring in lots of shiny metal like nickel or chrome and glass to sparkle up the room.

    Then you can carry the brown over into the dining room for a dramatic backdrop. Use light silvery blue and silver accessories in the room and make sure you have a great chandelier for adequate lighting, and you’re all set.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • tia says:

    do you think chocolate brown ottoman would go with the navy blue sofa?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi tia (#161),

    Yes as long as there is other brown (wood tables?) and blue (fabric? art?) in the room somewhere.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • cheryl says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I have a brown leather coach and 2 brown chairs. My woodwork/fireplace are white and my carpet is beige. My accent will be bright green. (pillows, rug,etc). Should I paint the walls a dark brown (benjamin moore-mocha brown) or a warm beige color. The room has good lighting.
    Cheryl

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Cheryl (#163),

    Since you have all brown leather furniture, I don’t think you want to go with all brown walls or the furniture will get lost. I suggest either a brown focal point wall (the fireplace wall) with beige on the other three walls or a warm beige wall color for all the walls in the room.

    I love the bright green accent color!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shellie says:

    Hi!

    I got married a couple of years ago and we moved into his 100+ year old Victorian. I HATE the livingroom as it feels very, very cold and impersonal. It is painted in a medium lavandar with a wains coat and a dark blue underneath the wains coat. There are 2 very tall windows on 2 walls, a door with a medium window on another and a small black wood stove on the 4th wall with yellowish firebricks behind it. above the yellowish bricks, there is a large mural of clouds. The sofa is too large for the room and is red.

    I want to warm the room up, but don’t want to make it a dungeon. I love the thought of browns but worry it will be too dark as there is only an overhead fan with a light. I am thinking about purchashing a seafoam color loveseat and 2 chairs that match that have cherry stained wood on them, would like to get an accessory rug to put the furniture around. I also want to get a very unique coffee table that is an odd shape, also stained in cherry.

    I am lost as to what color to paint the walls. I would like a room that is multipurpose and cozy, somewhere the whole family will feel comfortable.

    I loved your comments to others so I was hoping you might help me out as well.

    Thank you!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Shellie (#165),

    Have you considered a warm neutral like Ben Moore’s Powell Buff with white trim? It’s a terrific color behind cherry wood, will not close in the space, and allows almost any other color to look good. You might consider a warmer green color for your upholstery (a little more on the sage/olive side than the seafoam which is a very cool color — great for Florida!). The warmer greens will help to warm up your room and paired with some brick reds and the cherry wood, I think you’ll see a HUGE difference.

    Don’t hesitate to paint the brick your white trim color. That will help too. (Make sure the paint is approved for high temperatures — made for fireplaces — since it’s behind your wood stove.)

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • SJ says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I just moved into a new home and only have the furniture in from the old home. My furniture is dark brown leather that sits on a very light wood floor. The walls in the room are a light cream color. The room has an open floor plan and it has a 2 story window flanked on either side of a fireplace. Could you suggest what color drapes I could get for this room? I also intend to get the same color pillows and decorative accents to put on the entertainment center.

    Thx

  • Nicole says:

    Hi. I have a large great room with a very large accnet wall with a stone fireplace and oak mantle. I am wanting to go with a chocolate brown/blue color scheme. My window treatments which are cornice boards with chocolate brown fabric with ice-slate blue paisleys are on opposite ends of the room on tan walls. My problem is do I do my large accent wall chocolate or do I do it a dark ice blue grey. Lots of light in the room, but it will be a lot of brown. If I do the large accent wall brown, I do have a smaller opposite wall shared by the great room and kitchen I could do in the blue with the reamining walls a tan??

    My next issue is what color picture frames on a chocolate wall? It is my only big wall to place family photos, so I don’t want to lose that option. Any advice or insight would be great.

    Nicole

  • Steve says:

    Hello,

    My wife and I have a couple of dilemas.

    First issue: We have dark espresso bedroom furniture with a chocolate brown leather patch within the headboard (framed by the dark wood).

    The carpet is very light and we really want to go with a dark brown colour for the bedroom (BM – Hiking Trail CC-514). We have very modern lamps (crystal/acrylic blocks) with light beige lamp shades.

    Will painting the walls Hiking Trail brown go over well with the dark espresso modern furniture?

    Second issue: We are planning on painting our 15 x 15 family/tv room BM’s Driftwood (2107-40) which is a dark brown. Our hardwood floors are a natural lighter stain (brings out the natural colours/tones of the wood) and our furniture is dark brown (Chocolate brown leather sofa’s, dark brown wood endtables). Will our furniture get lost in the dark brown walls?

    The rest of our house is/will be lighter colours, and we really want to take the risk on brown in the bedroom and family room.

    Thanks in advance for your help, and sorry for the long post.

    Steve

  • Steve says:

    πŸ™‚ PS: If you don’t think the dark brown would go over well in the master bedroom, would something along the lines of a rich beige such as BM’s biscotti (CC-448) work much better as a lighter colour?

    Thanks again πŸ™‚

    Steve (aka “one stressed out husband trying to help wife out with colour selections”)

  • Steve says:

    Wow……..sorry mean BM’s biscotti (CC-488).

    Thanks,

    Steve

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi SJ,

    The first thing I would purchase is an area rug to go under the dark brown leather furniture. That will provide a cozy seating area and a bridge between the dark furniture and the light floor.

    Then pick a color out of the rug and use that for your accent color in the drapes and accessories.

    That should get you started. Congratulations on your new home!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I would either go with the rich slate-gray-blue accent wall against your fireplace or an ice gray blue for the whole room. Then you can use the dark brown for picture frames and use brown elsewhere in the room to pull the scheme together.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Steve,

    I think the hiking trail will work out fine in the bedroom since you’re leaning toward dark anyway. The bed will blend quite a bit and the floor will be highlighted since it’s light, but with some accessories in a contrasting color (just about anything from ice pink/ice blue to lime or rust), you will have a cozy bedroom.

    As for the family room, yes, the furniture will be camouflaged by the wall color, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Unless you really want to feature the furniture, choosing a wall color in the same color family can actually make the room look bigger. But, there needs to be a contrasting color somewhere in the room — large colorful art on the walls and brightly colored pillows on the furniture. The color will provide the warmth and keep the room from becoming a cave. Also make sure you have metal represented somewhere as well as cream lampshades to add light.

    It’s just paint. If you hate it, you can repaint it. But why not give it a try!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Beth says:

    Hi there! So glad I found this site! We are moving on January 1st into a newly purchased home that is currently and unfortunately covered in pastel pink and blue paint! The great room/family room is huge with beautifully refinished wood floors and I am in love with the idea of a dark chocolate with white trim for this room as I will be using white plantation blinds on the many windows…my question is this….If I go with something like a chocolate for the room, which shade would be best for the entryway and foyer? Thanks!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Beth,

    Since the entryway and foyer probably do not have as much natural light, I suggest something like bone white (a Ben Moore hue), a cream (there’s cameo white and rich cream), or a pastel version of one of your living room accent colors, like blue or green.

    The idea is to “cross-polinate” within the color palette, bringing brown into the foyer as an accent color and the foyer color into the living room.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • SJ says:

    Thx for your reply. Could you give some suggestions for area rug color?
    Should I go with a contrast ie aqua, or light green or should I go with neutrals like cream, brown beige?

    Thx again!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi SJ,

    I would go for a multi-color with some contrasting shades in it. See what’s out there that you like. The blues/greens would be great with your furniture. So would orange. Your palette is really wide open with the neutrals you have in the room so far. I would go for color now.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • That wall color looks so much better than what I actually picture as chocolate colored wall. I picture a hershey’s color, which would be disgusting. Your shade looks perfect!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Non-Slip Stair Tread,

    Well, you’re right. I lumped that color into the discussion of brown walls, but it really isn’t chocolate. The color is called Cognac Snifter, more of a golden brown.

    Thanks for visiting.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Mark says:

    Hi Barbara,

    My wife and I are preparing to re-carpet our living room, stairway, landing and master bedroom. We want to stick with the same carpet type and color throughout. Our dilemma is that we cannot decide on a carpet color. The living room is the driving force here. It is very dark, long and narrow, and has high steep vaulted ceilings consisting of exposed 6″ wide tongue and groove light brown cedar planking with big white support beams. In this room, one long entire wall consist of a masonry fireplace with a floor to ceiling red used brick facing and built-in light blond maple cabinets and shelving. Two of the other walls consist of 8″ wide medium brown rough-cut cedar siding (sigh!) and another wall holds the three unfinished wood windows, which let in minimal light, and is painted white. The trim and molding are white. The room is very rustic and has a real cabin feel. We tend to like darker carpet and want to stay away from white, gray and light tans. Could we pull off a light brown, slightly darker brown or dark brown carpet color with such a dark room. I like dark blue, but everything I’ve read on the net about blue carpet has been negative. What goes with red used brick, blond cabinets, darker aged cedar, a white wall (which could be painted) and white trim? The furniture for now is country green, blue & tan plaid. Don’t worry too much about matching the the furniture. That can change. Thanks.

    Mark

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Mark,

    Traditionally a room that you describe might have dark rustic wide-plank hardwood floors with a large area rug on top. If that and all the other “hardwood alternatives” are a budget-buster, then carpet is the next best thing. I would go ahead and get a medium brown carpet that will go with everything. Not too dark (to avoid looking white with lint and dust) and not too light (to avoid looking dirty too soon).

    The brown carpet will simulate the hardwood color and will look fine in your house. Yes, blue is not great for carpets. It fades easily and calls too much attention to the floor.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Paula says:

    Hi, I am glad to have found this site. I hope I can make this short. I have a long lv/dn combo with white tile floors. I also have a large red persian carpet in the lr and a much smaller one in dr. The dr table and chairs have clean rectangular lines and I recently painted it a shiny black. I recently bought a “largish” armoire that I love. It is unique –old Chinese armoir again with square/rect. lines nothing elaborate except it is refinished with a bronze sort of gilded crackle finish, light grayish calligraphy all over and the occasional red stamp. I fell in love with a brown velvet couch –clean traditional/contemporary lines with a slight arch in the back and the arms are straight lines from the top of the couch that sort of curve down — like a sleigh. So I love the armoire, love the couch and also have two antiqued Chinese side chairs — worn dullish red. I need to tie the dark and reds together and was going to do so with chair pads for the Chinese chairs, and black dining room ones — some pillows and accessories. Walls are white (rent — no paint allowed), with large sliding glass door at far end of room opening to green space. It needs “bling” — in fabric and accessories — gold? gild? (muted), camels, silver? Suggestions to tie all this together would be great. I have a lot of artwork from travels all over the world so that’s a little “complication” as well. I like eclectic — but don’t want to be over the top. Help please. Thanks. Paula

  • Paula says:

    One more thing — the couch is chocolate brown velvet — but lines are slender. Thanks

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Paula,

    You’ve established your palette of black, chocolate, and red and have found some great furniture pieces. Now to add the finishing touches. What you need is some metal, the jewelry of the room. You can use gold if you want to — great with black, brown, and red. Picture frames, candlesticks, lamps, other unique pieces to display — all in gold. Then you might add a couple of stationary panels (gold would work there too) on either side of the glass doors to dress up that area.

    Some red/gold silk pillows (all the home goods stores have them at very reasonable prices) on the brown sofa will tie that piece into the scheme and yes, chair pads as long as they’re elegant and not too country. You have a traditional, formal, South/East-Asian look and don’t want to add American country to that, for sure.

    I would start putting your artwork up on the walls. Try to group them if possible, either by color or by frame style (you can add a touch of gold metallic paint to black frames). But you can be pretty free with what goes up. Don’t worry about sticking with your decorating theme. Art is art and you can mix and match for interest. You don’t want your home to look like a hotel lobby, necessarily…

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • coolmom says:

    Hi,
    We just painted a bedroom with dark chocolate accent wall and beige on the remaining 3 walls. We wanted a more blackish look on the accent wall but it looks like brown milk chocolate. How do I give this wall a blackish look, which is more brownish black and not completely black. Any ideas/suggestions?
    Thank you.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi coolmom,

      It sounds like your paint color was a little too milky for your tastes. Just darken up the wall with a couple more coats of a darker brown, something like the ben moore historical colors — branchport brown hc-72 and clinton brown hc-67. They’re dark.

      -Barbara
      Your Home and Color Coach

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi coolmom,

      It sounds like your chocolate is a little too milky. Try ben moore’s branchport brown hc-72 and clinton brown hc-67. They’re both the dark rich chocolate I think you’re looking for.

      -Barbara
      Your Home and Color Coach

  • Annie says:

    Hi,

    I just moved into my new apartment and I am decorating my living room. I would like to paint one of my walls a dark chocolate brown and place a red microfiber sofa in front of it. I’m afraid these two colors would clash. Should buy a different color sofa?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Annie,

      Not a problem at all to put red and dark chocolate together. The only thing is that they are very bold and will give a masculine look to your living room. Be sure to mix in lots of cream or white and you might add a third color in the accessories. Something either from nature’s colors, like sage/tans/rusts/golds or something a little more edgey, like lime green or turquoise. Have fun creating your palette. You’re off to a great start.

      -Barbara
      Your Home and Color Coach

  • Julie says:

    Barbara,

    I was searching for coffee table ideas for my great room and came across your blog. I love it! I have red sofas, almond/light khaki walls, white trim, light carpet, and one accent wall of Brown Suede (a Lowe’s color, I think). My cocktail table, end tables and sofa table are of that distressed pine finish and they have seen better days. I am considering painting them black. I do have some black accents on the walls and in candle sticks,picture frames etc. Is this a good idea? Also considering painting them a dark coffee color (darker than my brown wall). My living area is pretty open and the dining room furniture is close by, it an eclectic mix of darker finishes…cherry (maybe), walnut. Does this matter in selecting paint color for my coffee tables? I also get lots of natural light all day long. Thanks so much!
    Julie

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Julie,

      If you want to show off the newly painted coffee tables, then I would paint them black — the accent color. But if you want them to kind of blend in with the other dark wood furniture (and the accent wall), then paint them the dark coffee brown. They will serve as an additional backdrop for your accessories and will not stand out as part of the “decor.”

      Hope that helps. Love your color scheme!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Keith says:

    I really like the light/cocoa brown used in the picture on the top left. Do you know what paint what used for this photo?

    Thanks,
    Keith

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Keith,

      The paint color in the top two photos is Ben Moore’s cognac snifter 1148, but it’s quite a bit more golden than a light/cocoa brown. I do love the color, however, and have used it a lot. It’s very warm.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Bekki says:

    Barbara,
    We are remodeling a very small 4’x6′ bathroom with no window. There we will be white 4″x4″ tile on the floor and shower. Everything else will be white (sink, counter, cabinetry, celing, trim around the ceiling, toilet etc.) The shower door will be clear glass which will make the room look larger. We installed a custom mirror that is the length of the main wall and it will have a plain/clean white trim around it, this also makes the small area roomier. All the fixtures will be satin nickel, including the contemperary light that is already installed. My boyfriend is set on everything being white and dark brown with clean lines. I am afraid it will look to dark and dull. I know i can accent with satin but there is not enough room to accent with any color (little counter space and boyfriend does not like clutter).
    What do you think about this?
    Is the room too small to paint all four walls chocolate brown?
    What color dark brown should we go with?

    Love your site!
    Thank you,
    Signed colorless in Seattle

    Bekki

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Bekki,

      Since you don’t have a window in the bathroom anyway, the lighting is all artificial so just make sure you have adequate light to see your face in the morning. As for wall color, you can certainly go with dark chocolate brown — there will be tons of contrast between the brown and all the white fixtures and floor/ceiling so it will be very dramatic. What I would suggest is adding a pop of a more feminine color (like hot pink or turquoise) for your hand towels.

      Another idea, for a less masculine and more spa-like look is to go with an icy pastel, like soft light sage green, and use dark brown rugs and towels. That will solve the lighting issue and make the room feel more spacious.

      But dark brown will work. The effect will be that the walls will actually recede, leaving the white fixtures to pop off the walls. Not sure if you want to highlight the toilet that way… just a thought.

      Hope I’ve helped.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Molly Summers says:

    Hi – I stumbled on your wesite this morning and yeah! We bought our first home this summer and all my walls are a creamy off white color. I want to paint the dining room. I was thinking of a choc brown on the bottom (there is also a chair rail), but am undecided what to put on top. I was thinking a very light minty green or even a turqoise. Any suggestions? Also, our den is paneled in a natural wood and there is just no color! Any ideas what I could do here? I look forward to hearing from you!

    Molly

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Molly,

      Congratulations on your new home. I like the idea of chocolate brown beneath the chair rail to anchor the room. What you paint above it depends on the other colors in your color scheme. If you’re starting from scratch with no fabrics or furniture, then you can go in either the green or turquoise direction. To avoid making the room look like mint chocolate chip ice cream, choose a green or turquoise that has a little gray in it, just to tone the color down. Something like Ben Moore’s natural elements (1515) or moon shadow (1516) would work for green. And turquoise mist (695) would work too.

      Then you can build the rest of the color scheme with warmer tones like rusty reds and burnt orange.

      See what you think, and good luck.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Michele says:

    Barbara,

    I’m so glad I stumbled on to your website. We have a bedroom we converted to our TV room. We have thought of choc. brown walls. What color do you recommend we paint the ceiling? The room does not get much light which is fine as it gives it an cozy feeling. I do like the advice you gave Colleen on an icy blue ceiling to accent the brown walls.

    Thank you!

    Michele

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Michele,

      Your situation is a little different from PJB’s (number 201) since you’re not concerned about reflecting light into the room. It is, after all, a TV viewing room and home theater rooms are everything from dark charcoal gray to brown to navy and black, walls and ceilings. In your case, you can choose a ceiling color that plays off of other colors in the room. Icy blue or green will work especially well if the ceiling is low (cool colors recede) but you can also go with a tan or gold tone to bring the ceiling down, add more warmth to the room, and blend with the wall color. Even though you usually start with the ceiling when you paint, I suggest painting one wall first to get an idea of how dark you’re going to make the room. Then you can adjust the ceiling color to achieve perfect TV viewing conditions.

      Hope that gives you some direction.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • PJB says:

    I am looking at painting a small powder room a dark brown. The room has white trim and white toilet and sink and shiny silver faucets and lighting. There is no window. Will the brown look too dark? Can you suggest a paint color? What color should I paint the ceiling? Any contrast colors (towels) you suggest? I can’t afford new fixtures right now so will the shiny silver look o.k. with the dark brown paint? Thanks for any help and tips you can provide!

    PJB

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi PJB,

      The thing about small powder rooms is that they’re small. Period. And there’s no sense in trying to trick your guests into thinking they’re in a large bathroom. So why not paint the room whatever color you love and chocolate brown is a great color. It will look wonderful with white trim and shiny silver. You might want to add more silver to reflect light, like a shiny silver picture frame or just stick with white. Pick an accent color for your towels, like turquoise or pink or light green or you can, again, stick with white. As for the ceiling, you will need to reflect SOME light down so that your guests will be able to see themselves in the mirror, so I suggest a white ceiling.

      Hope that works for you.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Barbra says:

    Hi Barbara,
    We just moved into an older home (1916 craftsman). The Living room is painted Pratt and Lambert Petaluma (a greenish brown). There’s lots of beautiful white molding and details. I want a natural garden look (that still looks urban); I want to keep the brown walls in the LR. I have a white couch and chair as well as a limey green accent chair. I want to use the green and also introduce turquoise or teal accents. The Dining room which is open to the LR is currently painted red. This room has white wainscotting that goes up 3/4 height of the walls so there is very little area to paint. I thought I would paint the Dining room a darker brown which would keep more continuity between the two rooms.
    Would that be too much? There’s lots of light and much white molding and wainscotting. Floors are oak. Dining room furniture is mahogany with lime green cushions on chairs (which can be changed). I love your site. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Barbra,

      Your plan sounds absolutely perfect. I love the dark brown idea for the top of the dining room walls — terrific with the mahogany table and lime green cushions (which, yes, can be switched out if you wish). Keeping the palette the same for the two rooms but just changing the value or intensity of the colors will give the two spaces unity and make the home feel not only larger but totally pulled together.

      You’re well on your way. Enjoy.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Brett Davidson says:

    Hello Barbara,

    I have a bedroom that we are making into more of an office. There is one window in the bedroom and we have painted that wall Harvest Brown. The other three walls we have painted Bayou Shade, which is a very light green. All of the furniture in the room is cherry. We bought some darker green accents (lamp, picture, etc.) to go with the room but now we are not sure that we like the shade of green that we painted it because it seemed like it was way too much. In your opinion, do you think we should go with a darker green on the other walls to go with the brown, or maybe with a classic red, or Posh red? We have painted and repainted for months and are ready to be done with it. Need your help.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Brett,

      It sounds like the brown accent wall may be back lit since it’s on the window wall — that affects the light in the room. Also, the brown wall may be affecting the other three walls and making them seem a bit off. My suggestion is to paint the window wall the light green which will make the room feel bigger and will highlight your cherry furniture. Once the walls are all one color, they will kind of disappear behind the artwork, furniture and bookcases. Green is a very good color for offices — besides being the color of money, of course, the color green brings life to a room. I would take back the darker green items and make brown your accent color. Throw in a little orange for warmth and you’ve got a great office.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Darla says:

    Hi Barbara,

    We are redecorating our living room and wanted to paint one wall a dark brown. We have plenty of lighting and the other walls will be accented in a cream color. Our entry way is painted a deep red and our new furniture is cream leather (which will be against the brown) and our coffee table and end table are a maple to match our maple hard wood floors. We have a black sofa table at the entry way and a black leather bench in the bay window.

    I have two questions.

    1. Can the art work be framed in black that will be on the dark brown wall?

    2. Can dark brown paint go next to the dark red paint?

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Darla

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Darla,

      The answer to both questions is, yes. Black is your accent color since you already have it in the entry and bay window areas. And it’s fine against the brown although it won’t show up as well as a polished metal would, but it’s fine. Let whatever is framed take center stage.

      And yes, you can paint brown next to red as long as it goes around a corner or has some architectural break between the two colors. I have seen several houses where one color stops and another begins right on the same wall. Yikes!!!

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kim says:

    Hi Barbara–

    We have just finished adding on a new master bedroom to our home. I painted the walls a Magic Wand blue and have purchased chocolate brown bedding. Carpet is a light cocoa/wild oat color. Any suggestions for a great accent color for draperies and also wall shelf???

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kim,

      You can add a dark wood wall shelf to tie in with the chocolate bedding. Then for curtains, you could stick with the wall color (if you can find the right blue) and use dark wood curtain rod and finials for the curtains. Chocolate brown is also an option with the blue walls but that will highlight the windows more than blue would. Either one. Then if you want to add an accent to the room (like hot pink, orange, or lime green), I would do that with the accessories.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Paula says:

    I have just painted my living room/dining room area a color that resembles light chocolate milk called Amber Glow. I am having a very difficult time deciding what color to paint the trim. I have purchased a color that is one shade darker than the walls but I’m not too satisfied with the contrast between the two colors. I’m wondering if I should forego the darker color for the trim and go with some sort of creamy off-white color instead.

    In addition I am not sure what color to paint the staircase risers which are in the living room leading to the upstairs. Should the risers be the same color as the walls (Amber Glow) or the same color as the trim (stringers)?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Paula,

      You can either paint your trim the same color as the walls for a contemporary look or paint the trim a creamy off-white for a more traditional look. (I like cream, personally.) Then for the stairs, I would keep the same color as the trim on the stringers just for ease. I like to paint the risers when the staircase is between two walls. Then the stringer (against each wall) is white and the riser is an accent color. But when one of the stringers is exposed, it’s easier to just keep the riser the same color. Hope you followed all that.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Francesca says:

    Hi,

    I just found this website and am thrilled there is someone out there to talk to about my addiction to color. I have a very colorful house. Last summer I decided I wanted to get rid of the cream colored walls in every room and spice things up. I started with my bathroom and painted it a fresh medium blue which looks fantastic with the white vanity and cabinet. My living room is a warm gold accented with similar colored curtains and a greenish-brown couch. My rug is also of the same color. The living room opens up to the diningroom where I decided to bring in the greenish-brown of the couch onto the walls and it looks stunning. My kitchen is on the other side of the house so I decided to stay in the warm hues and paint it a reddish-orange color. It looks great with black furniture and granite counter top. I recently painted my entryway a deep brown and although my front hall does not receive a lot of light it does open up to the gold colored livingroom which gets a lot of light, that light seems to bounce into the entryway. My one question is this. I have a hall that goes from the kitchen to the dining and living room, it also passes through the bathroom and the entryway. Currently it’s a cream color, but it just seems so absent and dirty with all the vibrant colors I have in the rest of the house. I know I need to stay neutral, but I don’t know which color to paint it that will compliment all the other warm hues I have in the house. It’s a major hallway that you can see from any room in the house, so it’s in every angle of the room. What color or color family should I paint this wall?
    I look forward to all your responses!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Francesca,

      First of all, good for you! Sounds like a house with a lot of wonderful energy. In terms of the hallway, have a look at Ben Moore’s Rich cream 2153-60 or the lighter version Ivory tusk 2153-70. Either of these (or the lightest tone on your living room wall color paint chip) will give the eye a place to rest from room to room and will allow the room colors to pop. Using a darker richer color in the hallway (although it might make the house less divided colorwise) will only make the hallway too dark and you’ll lose the impact of the rich room colors.

      Another option that works for me in my home is bone white. It’s a tint of color on the wall but it’s not too yellow so it allows a variety of bolder colors to pop. That would work too.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi,
    I just found your website and it seems like you have a lot of great ideas. I have a brown decorating dilema as well. When you walk into my house from the front door, you walk into a creamy tan living room with a smokey blue couch. Directly behind that couch is my dining room, painted chocolate brown with a glazed maple dining room set. The two rooms are divided by two pillars at either end of the room, in the creamy tan color. I really like the chocolate wall looks as the backdrop for the blue couch. However, I wanted to put up a chair rail in the dining room and was torn between staining it the color of the dining room set, or painting it white. (all of the mouldings are white and we plan on installing crown at some point). So, I was then not sure if I should leave the walls in the dining room entirely chocolate, or add blue to the top or bottom of the chair rail. The dining room only has two walls, the back and one on the right. The right wall has a window that is 54×54, so it lets in a lot of light. Also, I wanted to add a smokey blue window treatment to that window, as it only has white blinds currently. I am open to all suggestions. Thanks

  • Yvonne says:

    Hi,
    Love your site. Great advice. I’m in sales and am setting up a home office. It’s key for me to stay motivated and driven. I had the notion of choc brown walls paired with white furniture. Do you think this will be an energy suck?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Yvonne,

      Not if you a) have really good lighting, both natural and artificial, in the room; and b) have some really punchy accent color/s in the room like lime green or red. Something to jazz you up when you enter the room. As long as you have white furniture and the lighting and color, I think the chocolate brown walls will look great. Very sharp!

      Good luck selling!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Suzanne says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I love this thread! Here is my problem. We purchased a house and all the walls in the house are a tan (yellow under tones). I would like to paint an accent wall in my living room. So here is the setup. My living room/breakfast nook/ kitchen is one long room. I have dark brown furniture. I have hard wood floors in oak with a abstract rug with red/black/brown/copper colors in it. My accent wall should be the wall on the one end with the fireplace on it. But here is the question: It has several “recessed” places on it. I would call them places to hang art in. The other one is made for a TV (very large), but we do not have a TV in there. Plus this wall has our TV on it (above the fireplace) and some storage cabinets, so there is hardly any wall space left on it to paint. Even though this wall should be the accent wall, could I make another wall in this room the accent wall? I have plenty of light in this room so that is not an issue. One of my long walls in this room is about 20′ long with no windows, the opposite wall has 2 very large windows on it. Could I make the wall that has no windows the accent wall, even though it is not the first wall you see in the room? I am really needing some color in this room as then entire space is some sort of tan/brown/taupe, including maple kitchen with dark granite. I really like the dark brown, but not sure if that is trendy enough. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Suzanne,

      I would rather see you keep the focal wall your accent color (even with all the niches and the bookcases) and then carry that accent color over to your windows (long panels in the same color) and then onto the opposite wall with artwork in the same color scheme. I think that would add color to your room without skewing the intended focal point off to the right. That might make the room feel unbalanced.

      See what you think. I love the idea of copper for your accent wall/fabric panels/art.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • amanda says:

    greetings!!

    i just want to ask for an advice for what color of furnitures and curtains for my living room my wall color is white and my living room is wood flooring….

    it would be a great help too if you could give me an advice how to decorate my living room its a small living room

    thank you very much

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Amanda,

      You might consider painting your living room a warmer shade than just white unless you have a lot of colorful artwork you’re planning for the walls. Have a look at Ben Moore’s Papaya (957). You’ll love the color, even for a small room. Then you can bring in some other earthtones for your furniture, like olive green for an upholstered chair and maybe a brown leather sofa. The curtains can be very simple panels in a coordinating color or just white.

      If you have to keep the white walls, then use the opportunity to bring in color in your artwork. Cover the walls in your favorite paintings and photos. It will create a museum look that will generate lots of interest from your guests.

      Hope that gets you started.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Rob says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Great website. I’ve spent a few nights on it already. I stumbled across your site because I put Hasbrouck Brown in google because I bought a gallon of it for my remodeled master bathroom but I’m having second thoughts because it’s so dark. The room is about 9×9 and has windows on two different walls. It has a 6 ft cherry double vanity with granite counter. The floors are ivory travertine, the corner roman tub is surrounded by ivory travertine subway tiles. There is a 42×42 inch shower with dark brown travertine all the way to the ceiling. All faucets are rubbed bronze. We haven’t picked the mirrors yet for over the vanity. There is not a whole lot of wall space because of the door leading into the room from the master bedroom, the door that leads into the master closet, the windows, the mirrors, a rubbed bronze towel rack and we plan on a decent size black and white framed print. On to my question…do you think the Hasbrouck Brown is too dark? I want a “rich” looking color based on all the natural stone. Any other suggestions?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Rob,

      You may be seeing the lack of contrast between the vanity and the wall color as well as the dark brown travertine in the shower. Also, the rubbed bronze probably does not show up against the dark brown. Other than that, I bet it looks really nice in your bathroom. One idea is to paint only one wall in the bathroom the dark Hasbrouck Brown and pick a lighter neutral for the other three walls, offering some contrast behind the towel racks, perhaps, or next to the shower. See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Brenda says:

    Hello Barbara,
    I have a small bathroom with no window approx. 6′ X 9′. The cabinetry is a medium cherry color. The vanity has a medium brown sink. My floor is white ceramic, and my tub and toilet are also white. The walls have a tone on tone white pearl wallpaper. I’m not sure what color of a shower curtain and rugs I should have. The faucet is chrome. My light fixture and handles on the vanity and linen closet are white with chrome. I decorating taste is victorian with antiques. I tried chocolate rugs, with a chocolate brown shower curtain, coordinated with a sheer cream and brown paisley curtain, but it looked to dark. Can I go feminine with shower curtain and rugs in a floral pink with pink rugs, or maybe a sheer aqua curtain with aqua rugs? Or do you think an olive green color would go better?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Brenda,

      I suggest white for your shower curtain in something textured but crisp-looking. Then you can add your color in your towels and rug– pink or aqua or both. That’s a contemporary scheme. For a more Victorian feel, go with the flowered shower curtain and coordinating rugs and towels.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Posted this on Rate my space..figured I’d get your feedback as well. Thanks in advance!!

    “I finally decided on an accent wall (burnt orange- Crisp Autumn Leaves by Behr). Now I am toying with the idea of painting the trim in these 2 rooms (connected L shape LR/DR) brown. Please look at the pics and let me know what trim looks better. I realize that I may need to “warm” up the other walls (Wheat Bread – Behr) but right now I want trim help while the painters tape is still down.

    Also (if you can imagine) the mirror wall is on 1 side of the accent wall. I am considering painting that the same color (this is the first wall you see upon entering the condo) I also included pics of my LR in general, the pics I plan on hanging over my couch (four 11 x 14 prints), the wall containing my tv (which sits to the left 90 degree angle to the mirror wall and the blasted rug that started all these color wars LOL.

    Questions:
    Which (if any) additional wall should I paint orange? (Tv wall or Mirror Wall)
    What color suggestions do you have for the other (non orange) walls?
    Should I go with brown or white trim in these rooms?

    p.s. On the window, I am going to get honeycomb/cellular shades.

    Thanks in advance, I am prepared (this time) for the harsh critiques some of you tend to give but hey, if its crappy enough – perhaps Angelo will pay me a visit LOL”

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi SimplyIntricate,

      I do like the brown trim idea as well as the Wheat Bread behind your wall art and sofa. I also like your color choices for the accents. My only question is about the location of the orange on that wall heading into the kitchen. Using that as an accent wall focuses your guests’ attention on whatever is in the sink, etc. through the passway in the wall. I would make the accent wall the one with the masks on it.

      The accent walls should be the actual focal point walls, the ones you see when you enter the room/area.

      Hope that helps. I’ll watch for your room on TV!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Matt says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for all the wonderful info you are providing on this site. I just recently painted my apartment a warm brownish beige color with white moldings. The wall color is not too dark and I am having a hard time deciding what color sofa to buy. Currently, my other pieces such as coffe table and cabinets are dark brown and flooring is of similar color. I will also have a brown leather club chair to go with the sofa.The general theme of the place is sort of a contempory colonial look. I have narrow down to 2 colors for the sofa, olive green or burgandy red, which do you think is better? I will also add an area rug but havnt decided on the color, perhaps you can give me a suggestion as well? Thanks!

    Matt

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Matt,

      Sorry for the delay. If you haven’t bought it yet, go for the burgundy red for the sofa. That will really create some interest in your neutral masculine space. Also, you can add even more color in the rug. Then go with creams for accessories and add some silver metal to make the room more contemporary. You’re on your way!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Courtney says:

    Hi,
    I’m so glad I found your website! I’ve just recently painted my dining room a cocoa brown (sherwin williams hot cocoa), and I am trying to decide what color dining room furniture I should place in there. I love darker, espresso colored, woods and was wondering if that would be too much with the cocoa color. Any ideas or suggestions would be helpful! Thanks in advance.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Courtney,

      Espresso-colored woods are fine with the cocoa walls. Just add cream or white or silver in your linens and accessories to balance the dark with the light. You might also add color in a rug under the table as well as panels for the windows. The wood furniture and walls will blend so you need to add contrast some other way.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Donna Marecle says:

    I have gutted a master bath and we have installed a new Mohawk Slate collection tile. I want a spa feel and have chosen BM Beachglass 1564 and I love it with the mutli colors in the slate style tile. Trim colors always throw me and I am preparing to paint all the way through my bedroom and sun room to tie all this in. I really ike BM Acadia White AC 41… can I go wrong here with this trim color as I move forward in the other rooms? Presently all the trim is very white throughout the other rooms. Also give me insight as to where to go with my master bedroom walls to tie in the BM Beachglass? Perhaps a Gray? I want calm relaxing colors.

    Thanks. Donna

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Donna,

      Sorry for the delay. If you’re still pondering your color scheme, here are a couple of ideas. Yes, you can bring the Acadia white into the master. And you might consider something like Paris Rain 1501 or Santorini blue 1634 for your master walls — I do love Beach glass and it will go beautifully with either the green of Paris Rain or the blue of Santorini. Then you can mix and match accessories in the two rooms to have a luxurious and restful master retreat.

      Good luck.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jaimie says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am planning to do dark chocolate colored walls for our master bedroom. I’m pretty sure we’ll do white trimmings. What color ceiling should we have? I really wanted to stay away from white but not sure how a light mocha would look with the dark walls & white trimmings. What do you think? The floors are a natural cherry wood & our furniture would be stained wood. We already have a ton of recessed lighting all around the room so I’m not worried about “lightening up” the room. I read some of your comments & you said to use cream colored accents & some silver…but I’m thinking about using orange-ish ambers and golds as my accent colors. What do you think?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Jaimie,

      Depending on the other colors in the room, you might consider a light blue ceiling or a champagne beige. Either one will avoid the “sheet over the bedroom” look of dark walls with a white ceiling. Blending the ceiling and wall colors in terms of value (not TOO much contrast) will make the room appear bigger. As for accents, ambers and golds will warm up the room beautifully. Sounds luscious. Enjoy.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Julie says:

    I am looking for a chocolate brown color to paint my vanity in my bathroom and I am having a hard time finding a good color. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks!
    Julie

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Julie,

      Look at the Ben Moore Affinity collection. There are a few nice browns in there. One is Barrista AF-175. See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lauri says:

    Hello Barbara,
    I am moving into a newly refurbished factory loft and am having difficulty with the color scheme. The walls are light gray, some brick and hardwood floors throughout. I have dark brown leather couches and a mix of dark brown, black wooden furniture. Is there any way to make this come together?
    Thank You,
    Lauri

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Lauri,

      Of course. All you need is to add some bright color in a rug under your conversation area, a brightly colored side chair, some pillows on the couches, and some LARGE artwork to hang on your big focal point wall. Then add some shiny metal (silver) to the mix and you’ve got a knockout loft.

      Enjoy!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Angel says:

    Hello,

    We just painted the wall that our fireplace sits on a dark chocolate (Italian Leather by Valspar) and we’re trying to figure out what to paint the other walls. The fireplace is painted brick (white) and the large sectional is a light tan color. I would love to do blue walls, but not sure how the tan sectional will look with it. It’s our family room.

  • Robin says:

    Hi,

    Could you please help me. Last year I painted my kitchen a mocha colour (Cobblestone) by Pittsburg paints. I am having a awfull time trying to find a colour to paint the cupboards. They are currently a dark burgandy which looked great before the wall colour, but I don’t think matches now. Could you please recommend a colour that will look great. The counter is dark charcoal grey, which might make it hard, but I do not want to replace right now. The floors are a wood oak colour. I have been thinking of going off white, but not sure which one. Could you give some suggestions. At this point, I am open to painting them any colour, as long as it will not clash with the walls. Thanks so much,
    Robin

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Robin,

      How about an off-white like Ben Moore’s Maritime White 963? Or China White to coordinate with the countertop even better. The greyed-down white will allow contrast with the walls and counter but won’t stand out as much as white would. You might even consider using some of your mocha paint to “age” the cabinets by painting it in the corners and cracks and wiping it off for a great look.

      See if that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Robin says:

    Hi,

    Also, what address would I contact you, to do a one -on one email design consult?

    Thx Robin (again)

  • lacey says:

    First of all, thanks for your blog and thanks for continuing to reply to comments even know you did not write the blog this year.

    Secondly, my husband & I are painted our kitchen wall an earthy red with a slight hint of orange sponge. Our livingroom is being painted right now and we are painting it brown, it is like a chestnut brown (originally had it darker but made the room look too dark in our opinion). I have two questions actually,….

    Our kitchen wall connects to the livingroom (so there is no doorway between the two) – should I paint that connecting wall from the kitchen to the livingroom earthy red to help blend? That’s what we were planning on doing. Let me know what you think

    Secondly (and most importantly), we are going to remove the carpets in the living room and put in hard-wood flooring this month (once the painting is complete). i have always dreamed of having that “antique dark wood hard-floor” in my house. Would that be too dark with the living room walls being chestnut brown. A lot of our furniture is like a “stained light brown” (using stain – not nearly as dark as the walls). I’m afraid it will be too much brown and too dark.

    Help!

    Thanks,
    Lacey

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Lacey,

      I would paint that connecting piece as if you’re coming into the kitchen from the living room. So that would be the brown. (But either way will work ultimately.)

      As for the flooring, you will need some contrast with the dark walls, but I am a big fan of dark wood floors and since they would be there permanently (although the wallcolor might change), I would pick the floors you like best. If that’s dark, then go ahead with dark. Once they’re in, you might want to put a jute/sisal rug on top of the floor to provide some contrast and lighten up the room. Also add cream to the room (pillows, window panels, accessories) and that will help too.

      Bottom line: If you have enough light coming into the room, then dark walls will be fine. Otherwise you might want to keep only one of the dark walls (the accent focal point wall) and paint the other three a lighter neutral. But it’s only paint, right?

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

      PS Yes, I’m so busy answering questions that I have no time to write additional blog posts — every so often you’ll see a new one though. I’ll keep at it.

  • Linda Reynold says:

    I was searching the internet because I’m in such a delimma and came across this website! I just bought new furniture for my family room and am now having SERIOUS second thoughts.

    I’d decided on a set from rooms-to-go for my family room(trying to be frugal); it’s the cindy crawford avenues aqua set. It’s modern and trendy and light blue; not something I would invision liking, but I do. Anyway, I planned to paint the family room a rich chocolately brown. However… today I bought a few samples of brown and put them up on the wall and eeeck-aaaads; they all seem awful. It may have something to do with the transition from the other rooms. My kitchen is completely open to the breakfast room, which is completely open to the family room. They are really just one big room. The kitchen and breakfast room are painted a purplely-gray mauve color that I really like. The kitchen cabinets are dark; mahogany reddish and go well with the purpley mauve color. The breakfast room furniture is dark as is the furniture I bought for the family room- a large espresso entertainment center and tables – as is the trim on the light blue sofa and love seat. It’s obvious that the browns I selected aren’t going to work in this room.
    I would be grateful for your advice. Do you think I can use this furniture in the family room,? and if so, what color do you think I should paint the walls? It’s probably not too late to change my mind about the furniture since my delivery date isn’t for another week or so. Do you think I should go with another color? They have the same style in off white leather, which I also like…. or I could go with something completely different.
    The family room is rather small, 13×13 roughly. One wall is completely open to the breakfast room and kitchen, and the opposite wall is the one that will house a rather large entertainment center. One of the adjacent walls is mostly window facing west and the opposite wall has a door to the patio.
    I’d really appreciate your advice on a paint color to transition the kitchen/breakfast area to the family room (with the blue sofa), or to ditch the blue sofa and go with white or some other color.
    I appreciate your help – I’m lost. !!

    Linda

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Linda,

      Sounds like your brown had too much yellow in it. The purply/mauve color has a lot of gray in it which will clash horribly with any kind of yellow-brown. If you want to try again, look at something like Driftwood 2107-40 or sandlot gray 2107-50 to blend with the mauve. And then you might consider the cream sofa set to avoid introducing such a strong color in a more sophisticated/muted palette. If those browns don’t work, then just bring the kitchen color into the family room and go with the cream sofa for sure. That way the two spaces will blend seamlessly.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • minat says:

    Hello,

    My living room wall is a tan colour and I am planning to buy new furniture. I was thinking of an off-white leather sofa, two dark brown fabric chairs and adding in turquoise accessories to the room. Do you think they would look good together? I`d like to add more colours. If you have any better colour suggestions I would be glad to hear them.

    Also, my kitchen is partially open to my living room. The colour of the back splash is salmon, beige and yellow. I was wondering if the colours of the kitchen should match the colour of the living room.

    Thanks, Minat.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Minat,

      The kitchen and living room do not have to match, but you certainly have a palette already in the kitchen and you can bring some of that into the living room. I would bring the salmon into the living room, for sure. And the turquoise will be fine. You can add more colors but first decide what rug and artwork are going in the room. Then take colors from them. With a neutral tan wallcolor, you can add a lot of other colors if you like. But make sure they’re in the art/rug first.

      Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janine says:

    Could you tell me the name of thr rich dark brown paint color @ the top of your website w/ the leather chair and striped drapes? The second picture!
    Thanks!
    JSD!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Janine,

      We used Ben Moore’s Raisin (1237) as a base coat and then went over it with a metallic paint called Statuary Bronze (ME190) from the Modern Masters Metallic Paint Collection. The walls have a wonderful lustrous quality, terrific for an elegant master bedroom. The homeowners love it! Thanks for asking!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • ELAINE says:

    I have dark blue slipcovers on my couch and chair, light hardwood floors and woodwork, a large country cupboard that is light color with a ralph lauren stain on it to darken it little and a couple other small pieces in the same color , I have light and dark blue silk colored drapes on a bay window, in the summer I change the slip covers and curtains to off white. I have cream colored walls now, My question is, I would love to paint my walls a cocoa color, to warm them up we live in the east and we have very long winters and short summers, so I have the dark colores on the furniture longer, I know it will look great with the cream colored. But how do you think it will look with the darker slipcovers in the winter.

    Thanks elaine

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Elaine,

      Fine. You’ll just want to add some cream pillows, lampshades, and other cream accessories in the winter to balance the dark colors. Throw in a vase of orange flowers (or a big orange pillow) and you’ve got a terrific, cozy room all winter long.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Rachel Lee says:

    Hi Barbara

    My Dad just pained my room- 3 walls are a soft cream colour and i have a brown feature wall. Its not chocolate dark but still brown. I am having trouble deciding what colour curtains to get for my room. I feel like if i get cream my room will look very boring and bland and i havent been able to find curtains the same colour as my wall as its an unusual brown. What other colours could i paint it that would match?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Pick an accent color for your curtains: pink, orange, teal, aqua, lime green. Whatever color you’d like to add to your room. Then get pillows and a throw for the bed in the same color. Maybe even a throw rug for the floor. And you’re done!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janice says:

    If I have a large brown couch would a mirror painted in a lighter brown make the couch look smaller.

  • Bobbie says:

    I have a large family room and we would like to paint it. I love earth tones, but cannot decide on a color. My furniture is all black. Should I go a grey or a darker brown? I just want the furniture to complement the walls. Please help!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Bobbie,

      Try a green like Bennington Gray (HC-82) from the Historical Collection (Ben Moore). Great with black furniture!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Helene says:

    Hi Barbara. I love color and feel as though it talks to me. That being said I painted my home in very soft taupy beigies with varying shades on the same color stick so that it makes everything look light and airy. My sister is painting her house next week. Her decorator told her to go with Charcoal Brown in her living room/dining room (one large room). I think shes making a mistake since she has NO furniture (yet) and very little lighting. She also has very dark wood floors. She feels that she’s fine since she has three large windows that are covered in cream sheers and of course, since the decorator suggested it she must be on the right track. I’m just a bit nervous about it…

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Helene,

      Sounds like you and your sister have different decorating aesthetics: you like light and airy and she likes warm and cozy. I agree with you that the dark floors AND walls will make the room feel a little like a cave. She’ll need to add contrast on the floor with an area rug that has cream in it and choose light-colored furniture. If she does that, the dark walls can work. But light and airy they’re not. Hopefully the decorator who recommended the wall color interviewed your sister enough to know what overall effect she’s hoping for. I would strongly suggest that your sister buy a small can of the dark paint and try a sample on the wall before having the whole room painted that color. She may absolutely love it! And that will be great.

      -Barbara, Your Home & Color Coach

  • Helene says:

    Barbara-

    I will definately relay over your message, though I think the decision is already set in stone. Thank you so much for your practical advice. Though I’ve painted my already you can be sure I’ll be coming back here to check out your advice to other bloggers!

  • Oscar says:

    Hi Barbara, We are remodeling our living room next month and I need your help. Our living room is 16×16 and we are doing 2 walls with natural birch wood paneling (they are across from each other on 1 of those walls we are installing a gas fireplace and a 50″ tv on the other is a large archway leading into the kitchen on our other 2 walls we want to paint 1/2 of them and then the chair moulding and the birch paneling on the bottom 1/2. My wife is stuck on the chocolate carpet and kinda wants the walls to be more on the darker side because of the lightness of the birch paneling. what do you think the walls and the moulding color should be. We want that cozy feel. Any advice will be helpful. Thanks in advance for your time and help.

    PS: also there will be a small foyer area with tile that also has hints of chocolate in it.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Oscar,

      I like the idea of chocolate on your other two walls. The dark color will highlight your light birch paneling and will cozy up what might be a light room.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Oscar says:

    Hi Barbara, I posted the last post about the birch paneling. What about the celing and moulding color? What will go with the natural birch wood and the chocalate carpet and 2 dark walls ( well half of them)? Can you tell me what dark color would be best for the walls just plain chocolate or would something else go better? Sorry for all the questions but thanks again for your help and have a blessed day.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Oscar,

      A photo would help, but try Maryville Brown HC-75 from Ben Moore. Then a Linen White trim (semi-gloss) with a Linen White (flat) ceiling will pull the room together.

      See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Patricia HAck says:

    I need help with picking out a color for my living room walls, which also opens up to the dining room. The problem I am having is with my blue sofa, chair and loveseat.I do not know what color to paint the walls that will compliment the furniture. At the moment the walls are a light cream. I would love to change this and have alittle deeper color on the walls….My carpet is a light cream, also….Any help and advice will be appreciated.

    Sincerely, P. HAck

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Patricia,

      Bump up your wall color to a sandy Monroe Bisque (Ben Moore HC-26). That will go with your blue furniture and cream rug very well. Add a warm accent color like orange.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Milliew says:

    Hello,
    I need some help with my living room, at the moment i have the chimney breast wall painted brown and the other walls cream. My sofa and curtains are also brown and cream, any ideas on how i can put a colour injection in there at the moment its very “matchy” Also, i was thinking about wallpapering the side of the chimney breast with a modern brown and green/orange wallpaper, do you think this would look ok? Thanking you in advance.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Milliew,

      Great idea to wallpaper that focal wall as long as the fireplace is completely plain. Otherwise you could have a clash of patterns beyond belief! Try hanging a colorful painting above the mantle or on an adjoining wall. Pick colors from the painting and accessorize with colored pillows, vases, and a colorful rug in front of the sofa. Your room will come alive!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lisa Smith says:

    Hello,
    I am re-doing my office, which is decorated in a a 70’s theme…owls, mushroom: avocado green, orange, brown and yellows. The old office had the same theme but very 70’s curtains that were geometric blocks of avocado, orange and yellow. My husband painted the walls a warm beige (like coffee with creamer) and an accent wall in deep, rich, chocolate brown and a creamy white trim. The room has a lovely, very large real natural flokati rug on the floor, brown desk/chair and a couch and rocker and footstool in an pea green vinyl and many avocado/orange/yellow accents. What color curtains would make the windows pop? I don’t know if I should make the windows pop with orange or yellow, or blend the windows into the beige walls, or grab the chocolate brown accent wall by adding brown curtains. I have found some curtains in all the above colors from sheers to micro sued blackout curtains. Could you please suggest some ideas for window treatments
    Thanks

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I suggest the chocolate brown microfiber panels that will tie in with the accent wall yet allow all your other vibrant colors to take center stage. No need to put color on the windows unless you want to draw attention to them. But it sounds like you have enough other items in the room to attract the eye.

      Have fun and enjoy your office!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Dawn says:

    I have my walls painted almond oil and i need to know what color i should paint my accent wall and my built in book shelf the room is dark i tried to paint it marron way to dark

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Dawn,

      Paint your built-in book shelf the same color as the trim in your room. Then paint the back of the shelves an accent color. That color can be the same as your accent wall. To decide on the actual shade, pick a color from a piece of fabric in your room or a color from a piece of art you have hanging in the room. Once you settle on that color, you can pull it into the room with pillows.

      Hope that works for you.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • pattiadleybryan says:

    Hello Barbara,

    I too love browns! We need to repaint most of our home. Our style is eclectic, leaning toward contemporary and we have LOTS of light and a very open floor plan. I’m struggling with how to choose colors for all these rooms since all the rooms are viewable from each other. How do I make them look different, but coordinated?

    What colors would you suggest for these different areas?

    If you are standing at the front door looking into my home:

    right side:
    Dining room (only 1 window – less incoming light, open to entry and also the kitchen by a regular size door)

    Kitchen (less incoming light, one whole wall is cabinets and doors, the other is cabinets and a bar, so there is very little paintable space.)

    Breakfast area (all windows on back wall, small amount of paintable area [more than kitchen], open to kitchen and living room, viewable from entry and master bedroom. You walk through the kitchen and breakfast area to the master bedroom. We have a small antique pub table [seats 4] and small antique buffet/server in this area.

    Master Bedroom – (open to kitchen and breakfast area by a regular size door, viewable from living room, LOTS of light)

    center of house: If you are standing at the front door looking into my house the entry wall all glass and so is the back wall of the living room. LOTS of LIGHT!

    Entry (LOTS of light all windows with arched windows above to the ceiling on the one wall where the door is and open to living room.)

    Living room (open to entry and breakfast area. Back wall all windows and 1 door. Very tall ceilings. LOTS of light and good moulding.)

    left side:
    leads into hallway, 3 bedrooms, etc.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Patti,

      Since you have a contemporary house where many of the rooms are viewable from the others, I like to start with a palette of five colors plus a light neutral. These colors can come from a piece of art you have in the living room, upholstery fabric that you love, the outside view, or some other inspiration. Then once you’ve selected those colors, you begin to distribute them around the house. Start with a neutral paint color that you’ll use for hallways and many of the shared walls. It might be anything from Ben Moore’s Bone White to Papaya (slightly yellower — 957) to Berber White (slightly grayer — 955).

      Then walk around your house and identify the focal point walls or other interesting architecture that you want to highlight. Those are the areas where you paint color (from your 5-color palette). You can paint focal walls all the same accent color or different. However you want to do that, you then distribute the rest of the colors around the house with fabric, pillows, furniture, and art so that you mix and match the colors and create a wonderful “flow” throughout your space.

      For example, if one of your colors is brown and you want to put a shade of that up in the dining room (for drama), then you bring that brown into the other spaces with furniture or fabric. If you have a blue chair in the living room, you bring that blue into the dining room with dishes or artwork.

      Using the five colors plus a neutral, you can pull the whole house together.

      Send a photo or two to bmeglis@yahoo.com if I can help you zero in on your palette.

      And thank you again.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kenny says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I just painted most of my living room and kitchen (it’s an open concept) Sheer Cliff…medium brown. I painted the focus wall in the living room a deeper darker brown, but I have a wall directly across from it that leads down a set of stairs where the carpet is navy blue…. I was wondering what color I could paint that wall going down the staircase to flow with the brown walls in the livingroom and the navy carpet on the stairs? Also, I was wondering what would be a good choice of color for curtains for the living room? I read in some of your other posts that lighting is very important with brown walls…. I was wondering if I would be better off installing recessed lighting, track lighting or wall sconces to give the best effect with brown? Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Thanks,
    Kenny

  • Kenny says:

    I should have told you that my kitchen cabinets are a light oak and so is my flooring throughout both rooms!!! I was thinking about a deep red for that wall going down the staircase to go with the navy carpet and the same color red for the curtains ( I have two 7 foot x 4 foot windows in the livingroom). I would still like your input on something other than the red choice… it seems really bold!!! Also, what color picture frames would look nice on brown walls? I am a man living on my own trying to put together a nice color scheme, but have no idea what I am doing…lol!!!

    Thanks again,
    Kenny

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kenny,

      Thanks for writing to me! I think I can help you out.

      You mentioned red for the hallway color but I think that’s too dark for that space. I suggest a neutral Manchester Tan (Ben Moore HC-81) to keep the hallway open. That will be okay with your blue carpeting but as SOON as the budget allows, I suggest replacing that carpeting with a Berber in a neutral (browns/tans) color. That will move the color palette into the earth tones (with the exception of your counter top — that’s okay) and allow you to add color elsewhere.

      Okay, next move the chandelier from the kitchen to the fan location. That’s your dining area. Next purchase: a round dining room set with four chairs. Right by your “fireplace” — that will be nice. You can move the fan to either the bedroom or the living room area.

      Next purchase: an upholstered comfortable chair in an earth tone (greens/tans/browns/rusts) to put by the window facing toward your green sofa. That will complete the living room.

      As for lighting, recessed lights would be perfect in your place as they would allow you to dim them and would provide adequate light for your dark walls and free up floor space (you won’t need standing lamps, etc). Always a good investment. Make sure they’re on different switches for your different areas (kitchen, dining, living room).

      Curtains: go with neutrals like cream/white/tan, plain or in combination (graphic design or stripes — no flowers). And in the kitchen, just a plain, straignt valance over the two windows would be sufficient. Or a woven Roman shade (jcpenney.com). No frilly stuff.

      Then to add your pops of color, put up a big piece of art over your sofa — that’s where you can get your reds — and other art plus some colorful pillows on the sofa. Black frames are fine.

      One more thing: if you can replace the white porcelain (country) handles on the kitchen cabinets with just plain and simple brass or bronze (no white) handles, that will make a huge difference.

      Hope I haven’t overwhelmed you. Thanks for sending the photos. And good luck with your place!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tricia says:

    Hi,

    I am hoping you have a suggestion for me.

    We are getting ready to paint our dining room. We were thinking of going with a dark red. We have 10-foot plaster ceilings and lots of gorgeous white molding, including beams (tic tac toe pattern) on the ceiling, crown molding, and intricate woodword around the two large windows and doorways. Some time ago we tried going natural wood in another room, but it was impossible due to layers of paint and intricate detailing so that is out of the question.

    My question is if the beams are white, would there be an appropriate accent color for on the ceiling in the tic tac toe blocks with dark red walls? White just seems so blah….

    I may have to forego my red dining room !! 😦

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Tricia,

      Anything but white. Pick a color out of your fabric in the room or your metal color from the chandelier and put that on the ceiling. Could be anything from light blue to cream to metallic silver. Go for it.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tricia says:

    Thank you for your suggestions and encouragement. Getting away from white ceilings is hard for me, the traditionalist. I think I am going to go with a shade of cream. That will go nicely with the living room which opens off the dining room.

    Do you think flat or eggshell for the ceiling?
    What about the walls?

    Trying to get out of the box!

    Thank you again. Iappreciate your help.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Tricia,

      Eggshell will give you a little sheen when you have the lights on. I would go with that. (Usually ceilings have flat paint, but yours is more decorative.)

      Same (eggshell) for the walls.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kenny says:

    Thanks Barbara for all your advice… and just in time to!!! I was just on my way out the door to do some shopping when I got your response to my e-mail. I took your advice on many of your suggestions and will continue to use your advice when the time and budget gets on track….

    Thanks again, you have been a great help!!!
    Kenny

  • Dushan says:

    Hi Barbara.

    Thanks for your suggestion about hasbrouck brown color.
    I put that color in Dining room and you suggested HC – 81 for Living room. my kitchen have honey Oak cabinet and it have entrance to dining room. My kitchen opens to family room. What your suggestions for colors for kitchen and family room colors. I would like to know your opinion for kitchen floor and counter too. Family room 2 feet sunk form the kitchen.

    if you like i can send some Pictures to get some ideas

    Thanks
    Dushan

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Dushan,

      I would love to see some photos so I can give you specific color names. You can include a photo link here in this reply box or attach it to an email (bmeglis@yahoo.com). Then I’ll have a look and get back to you.

      Thank you for the payment.

      I’ll look for your photos…

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Erin says:

    Hi Barbara – It’s been a couple years now since you wrote your post, but it’s still so relevant. I love chocolate brown.

    However, we just painted our entry Benjamin Moore’s Biittersweet chocolate (it was in the Pottery Barn collection of paint colors so I thought it was tried and true), but it looks more purple, like a deep eggplant in the light! Is there anything we can do to tone down the purple?

    And/ or, what kind of art work or wall decorations could take the focus away from it?

    Thanks for your advice!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Erin,

      Yes, I know what you mean about the Bittersweet chocolate looking purple. If you look at the Ben Moore fandeck, the lighter tones of the Bittersweet are violet and mauve so there’s definitely a “purple” undertone there. So to combat that (although I bet it’s really quite nice!), you might try one coat of Mink 2112-10. The Mink has a gray undertone and it should take some of that purple away without changing the dark brown too much.

      Having said that, deep eggplant is all the rage…. If you decide to keep it in the entry, just bring a little of that deep purple into the adjoining living room by way of a pillow or two or a piece of art with the purple in it. You’ll be amazed at how that freshens up the space.

      But if you HATE purple, then stick with the Mink. And your current color scheme! (just thought I’d throw that other option out there for you!)

      Thanks for posting!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Julie says:

    Thanks so much for all of the advice given here! I have been scouring the posts for colors and would like to ask for your suggestions for my dining room and living room.

    Our house has a foyer which is painted Manchester Tan (BM HC-81). From there a wide entry leads you to a large living room with the dining room behind it. Both the LR and DR have french doors separating them but we tend to leave them open so you can see from one to the next. I really want to paint the dining room dark brown and was looking at HC-70 (van buren brown). I’m a little worried about it being too dark but the room has a chair rail with shadow box molding which will be white and 2 corner hutches which are also white – and a double window. Do you have suggestions for a rich brown that won’t be overwhelming?

    The LR also has a chair rail but we do not have the shadow box molding below it. What color do you suggest for the living room so that there is a good transition between the foyer to the DR. Also – should I use a different shade below the chair rail in the LR?

    Thank you!
    Julie

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Julie,

      Is the whole wall beneath the chair rail in the dining room treated as wood trim/molding and painted white? Like white wainscoting? If so, then you have a lot of white in the dining room already with the wainscoting and the corner white built-ins. With so much white, you can certainly paint the upper walls Van Buren Brown and not have the room feel too dark. But if you would like a softer, more medium brown, then the Whitall Brown HC-69 is a nice choice. You can use that over the entire dining room and not worry about having it too dark. It’s rich but a medium tone with, as you say, a bit of a gray undertone which makes it pleasantly soft.

      Then for the living room, I suggest pulling in a color that you also have in the dining room — kind of a cross-pollination — to pull the two rooms together. You didn’t mention any furniture, but assuming you have some dark woods in there, you could go with a green like Clarksville Gray HC-102 or a warmer Shelburne Buff HC-28. The trick to blending the three rooms is to take colors from each room and move them into the others. For example, if you have green in your upholstery or dishes in the dining room, move that green into the living room wall color. You get the idea… You don’t need to “match” — just move the various hues around so the public spaces are not chopped up.

      Hope that helps!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Julie says:

    Barbara,

    Yes – the area under the chair rail in the dining room is all white (Decorator’s White – SW, I think, recommended by our painter as a white that wasn’t too bright or harsh). We went with Whitall Brown for the DR and it looks great. My husband loves it and I think the painter was even surprised at how much he liked it.

    For the living room we ended up with Bennington Grey (one of BM historicals but I don’t have the number). I had to give a color to the painter before I heard from you (nothing like the last minute!). It’s near Manchester Tan on the fan deck and it also seemed to have a bit of grey undertone like the Whitall Brown. So far we love it although the room would have been nice with a slightly deeper tone, too. I will check out the Clarksville Gray. It might be right for an office on the other side of the foyer.

    As for furniture – we don’t have any! We moved in at the end of last summer and used the rooms as play area for our 2 small children over the winter. But, mommy is ready to clean it out and I’m not matching anything to fisher price blue! I’m thinking of light cream slipcovered sofas for the LR. Our taste leans toward antique/rustic but with the builtins in the DR I think something more formal would be best. Any thoughts welcome!
    Julie

  • Tori says:

    i am thinking of a tiffany’s themed room with the obvious major color being the tiffany blue with various accents of silver, white, and black. my dilemma is i i love the blue but i don’t want to be drowning in it so i decided to paint one wall a warm choclate color- i mean, what would make a better girl’s room than a chocolate at tiffany’s??
    my problem is i don’t know which wall to paint brown, i don’t want it to be the largest wall because that would be too much brown i think. i was thinking about the smallest wall, just to add the color into the room, but it’s the wall where my closet is. the closet doors are mirrors so would not be too much of an eye sore when closed, but i started wondering- should i paint the wall my bed is on the chocolate brown?
    after all- the bed IS the heart of any bedroom.

    so, should i paint the smaller wall brown just for the sake of the variety in color and hope it doesn’t draw too much attention to my closet, or should i paint the brown on the other wall and draw the attention to my bed?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Tori,

      If you paint one wall in your bedroom a different color, it should be the wall with your bed on it. That will give both wall and bed the importance they need and will free up the rest of the room to be blue. Excellent idea!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tiffany says:

    Hi I just painted my living room and dining room walls a light brown and my kitchen a brighter red. I’ve been adding furniture and decorating all week to warm the house up a bit. I’ve got a dark brown couch with light beige pillows and throw blanket and an area rug to match in the living room. Now I need to buy curtains for the the windows in both the living and dining room. The windows are both very large 84 inches wide so the curtains should pull everything together. I like the idea of a deep red to tie the rooms in with the kitchen, but I’m really afraid it won’t look as well as it does in my head. Would it be too much with the brown walls??

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      Red on two huge windows will be a major statement. You could also do a neutral on the windows to coordinate with the rest of the room and bring the red in with pillows, art, and other accessories. That will also work. Curtains are returnable though so you can try both!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Abrielle Andrews says:

    Hi! I’m looking to redecorate my room and make it into a cozy , relaxing space! i have a rather large room , with a white ceiling and tan carpeting. I was wondering if you think that a dark chocolate-y wall would be too much on the same color palate as the carpeting , which is again tan .. but a medium tan. I have a white vintage wrought-iron bed and am switching to all-white furniture , with pops of accent colors like burgundy and maybe some pale yellows , but I just don’t know if the wall color will just look muddy in addition with the flooring. I am also thinking about adding an accent wall, and decoupaging old pages of books that i have to the wall .. layering to create an old-timey feel, with some of my favorite books that i’ve well worn out! Anyways , I would so much appreciate your opinion.. or any other suggestions you could give me!

    with much thanks,
    abrielle

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Abrielle,

      It’s fine to keep the same color palette as you’ve already established in the room and then bring in other colors as accents. The chocolate walls will be fine although they will make the room darker — try one accent wall first behind the bed. If you like it a lot then finish the room. With light furniture and proper lighting, the roof will be a terrific getaway.

      As for the decoupaging on an accent wall. Very neat idea — not great if you later want to paint the wall as it will need to be chiselled. One other option is to decoupage a chest of drawers or side tables for your bed. That way, you have created a work of art that is not only portable but also temporary. If you tire of the look, you can get new tables. The wall is a bit more permanent — but if you love the idea of surrounding yourself with books, go for it! There’s no better place than the bedroom to experiment with that kind of an accent wall. Send photos regardless. It would be fun to share them with other bloggers!

      Thanks for posting.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kelsey says:

    Hey!! I love the colors brown, blue, and green together! I am 17 years old and I am wanting to redo my room these colors. I would like to see an example room first before I make my final decision. I was thinking a long the lines of stripes in a way. I truly have no idea what I am going to do. Do you have any ideas for me? Thanks

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kelsey,

      How about wide horizontal stripes on your walls? Choose 3 different shades of greens/blues (either all the same hue value — at the same level on the paint chip — two down from the top, for example, or three different shades of the same color). Then use a long level to make a horizontal line on your wall with a pencil. Put blue painters tape along the line and then paint your three stripes. If you’re using three shades of the same color, go from dark on the bottom to light on the top.

      Once your walls are painted, then bring in the accent color (brown) in the furniture and bedding.

      You’ll have a terrific room!!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kim says:

    Hi,

    we are planning on painting our home…we have an open concept floor plan with lots of big roles. we have a big fireplace and mantel in our livingroom that is painted chocolate brown and is a feature. I want to work with this theme and create a warmmer feeling in the house.

    I thought to use carmel and chocolate as the colors throughout. Carmel in the livingroom, maybe a lighter carmel in the diningroom as it has a bit less light and then chocolate brown in the kitchen ~ we have lots of white cabeinets and very little wall space.

    I thought to accent with jewel tones in dark reds, purples and saphire blues….

    what do you think?

    thanks, Kim

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kim,

      I love your color palette and how you plan to distribute the color. You’re all set!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Joan says:

    Hi,

    I need advice. I need to spruce up my 13 year old kitchen without spending a ton of money installing a new kitchen. Just to give you an idea of the layout, I will attempt to explain. My large kitchen has a eastern exposure with nine foot ceiling, window above the sink, a slider to a sunroom which has ten windows and a slider, the hallway to the first floor bathroom which has white accordian doors closing off the laundry room area, a door to a small office, and a half wall to the family room next to the kitchen table area – which is in front of the slider. I have white kitchen cabinets, a sand colored Corian countertop (mojave desert), light sand colored textured tile backsplash, and Bruce hardwood oak floors (Dura-Luster Plus Urethane – Dune.) As you can see I was afraid of color when I chose the color palette when building the house13 years ago.

    My kitchen looks washed out and tired! My window treatment designer suggested I painted the kitchen walls a chocolate color – Benjamin Moore’s Grandfather Clock Brown. She said it will make the cabinets pop out and give the room a crip look. Needless to say I am nervous. I painted posterboards and I have lived with them throughout the kitchen for a month, but I just don’t know. I know the color will look great in the space above the cabinets and but I guess I am afraid of the dark color on the other walls; however, there isn’t much wall space due to doors, etc. I have searched the Internet looking for kitchens with brown walls and white cabinets, and I only found two. will I be stepping too far out of the box with brown kitchen walls?

    Do you think it will work? If so, I also need advice to as to the color for the beginning of the hall which connects the kitchen to the front foyer. (Pretty open floor plan) Right now my foyer is painted a light color which does nothing for the beautiful crown molding. Once again, it looks washed out!

    And then there is my family room. I have tried so many samples colors for the family room which is on the opposite side of the half wall from the kitchen. I have dark green wall to wall in there with a leather sofa and chair and dark wood hutch and tables. Right now the leather is similar to the color of Coach’s traditional handbags – British tan, but we will be ordering new Bernhardt leather which is a walnut color so with the coffee table and end table being dark wood, the dynamics of that room will change with the darker leather pieces. I want a rich tan or beige from BM, but just cannot find the right color which will complement the brown in the kitchen. I don’t want the color to look washed out.

    FYI: The hallway leading to the and including the two story foyer. The same wood floor color continues into rest of the first floor except the family room. (I just painted the sunroom BM HC- 114 Saybrook Sage and the living room walls BM Dark Beige (2165). The living room has a high vaulted ceiling and I had that painted 50% white- 50% dark beige and I am pleased with the look. My dining room (off the kitche) has a burgundy and navy color scheme – above the chair rail – faux painted by an artist – burgundy and beneath a navy, burgundy and with some gold wall paper. The colors are rich looking especially with my Berhnhardt dinning room furniture.

    I look forward to your suggestions!
    Joan

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Joan,

      I think the dark brown for the kitchen is way too dark given the lighting in there (and the adjoining sunporch that takes most of the light). Since you have Dark Beige in the LR, how about bringing that into the kitchen. The gold quality to the color coordinates beautifully with the sunporch valances and ties the two rooms together. The medium tone of the Dark Beige will help the cabinets pop without making the room too dark. The brown really sucked the light right out of the room.

      Then picking up on those sunporch valances again, you could go with either a richer cream than your current color for the Family Room (look at either Lady Finger 1045 or Sandy Brown 1046) OR a lighter bluer green to blend the carpet a bit more and again tie in with the sunporch (look at Hollingsworth Green HC-141 or Prescott Green HC-140).

      Lighter versions of either the Dark Beige or the Lady Finger/Sandy Brown should take you into any dark hallway areas where you want to lighten up the palette a bit more. Just remember that color that it’s in the shadows will appear darker so a lighter tint of the room wall color in long dark hallways makes sense.

      Hope that helps. Use the color palette you already have in your fabrics and adjoining rooms to finish up the job. You will end up with a house that flows from room to room. Enjoy!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Joan says:

    Thanks, Barbara,
    I am going to look into the colors you mentioned. I actually just painted a bit of the dark beige in the kitchen just now. I worry about it not looking good with the countertop. (I think I may try convincing my husband to change the countertop to a darker granite
    – anything but a sandy color.) That would solve the problem. I will let you know what I decide to do and send you pictures of the end results. I agree with the brown sucking up the color. That was my fear about going so dark. Thank you once again for your help.
    Joan

    • bmeglis says:

      Oops, Joan. (Where did I get Mary??? Sorry!!)

      Good luck with the project. Let me know if I can help further!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Joan says:

    Barbara,
    The Dark Beige will not work in the kitchen. The color does not look the same as it is in the front living room. (I will send you pictures.) So I am back to square one with the kitchen color.
    Joan

    • bmeglis says:

      Joan,

      I just sent you a couple of alternatives — not as gold. See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Hasna says:

    i hope you can help me with my living room dilemma! my livingroom is 6 by 4 meters. de short wall is one big window and the other short wall (is my open kitchen) so i only have two long walls to paint. I’ve painted the long wall ( the wall you see when you enter the room) dark chocolate brown. I need your help with the other long wall..also chocolate brown? or a lighter color? I have a chestnut color sofa (suede), glass table..white chairs,wood color sidetable..Now the color of the wall is dark caramel (almost orange)..i think it looks strange.
    Let me tell you about my room:
    My sofa is under the window with two glass sidetables on each side (both have a big tablelamp) the sofa and the tables fill uo the whole wall. Against the chocolate wall i have my wooden dresser with my tv on it and dining area (all white) On the dark wall i have al lot of frames (most white and silver). The other long wall has a door in it and a long sidetable (dark wood) with a big silver mirror. The room is very light because of the big window. Can you help me choose a color? and what do you think about my room? Excuse my english, i’m writing you from Holland. Thanks

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Hasna,

      You have excellent English! Thank you!

      I suggest painting the other long wall the same color as the adjoining hallway and/or kitchen to make the space feel continuous and not too chopped up. Treat the chocolate wall as an accent wall. Your furniture placement seems fine and I like that you have white and silver against the brown wall. So assuming you have a light neutral in the adjoining hallway around the corner from the living room/kitchen, paint the long wall the same color.

      Let me know if I need to clarify MY English.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

      • Hasna says:

        Hi thank you for your comment..my hallway is white. Actually i just got this house and all the walls where white. I havent started on the hallway. But my kitchen is a light eggshell / sand color. So do you suggest painting the long wall in the same color as the kitchen? ans also the hallway? thank you for your help!
        Hasna

      • bmeglis says:

        Hi Hasna,

        Yes, paint the hallway the same color as the kitchen. That will create flow down the hallway and into the living room. A good neutral to work with as well.

        -Barbara
        Your Home & Color Coach

  • Nicole James says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am so happy to find this site….I have just moved in with my fiance and he has an enormous foyer with high ceilings. Standing in the front entrance facing the inside of the house the left wall is painted a carmel brown. There are two walls to the right facing the carmel brown wall. One is above the stair case it is chocolate brown, the other below the staircase is painted teal. Above the front door is also chocolate brown and the wall overlooking the foyer facing me is chocolate brown. I don’t like the teal wall and would like to paint it another color. Do you have an idea of what color would look better than teal?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Pick another accent color from a piece of art or a chair in an adjoining room.
      Or even a color from an area rug.

      If you’d like me to take a closer look at the foyer, send a photo (PayPal button is for
      your convenience) and I’d be happy to make a more specific recommendation.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

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