The Best Neutral Paint Colors That Exude Warmth and Character

Updated 06/11/18
La Dolce Vita Blog

Crisp white walls will never go out of style, which is a good thing since they tend to be the default. But if you want to experiment with other neutrals, say hello to the richest hue of all: brown. It's a great way to experiment with color while still opting for something that can work with a variety of color schemes and offer plenty of range. Like fresh whites and cool grays, brown flatters a variety of finishes, textures, and styles, and yet it emits much more warmth.

So if you want to create an inviting and slightly unconventional space, look no further. Whether it's a statement wall, trimmings, cabinets, or just one of the rooms in your home, shades of brown can create great depth and intrigue while still being soft and easy on the eye. From light and understated tones to deep, saturated shades, check out six gorgeous spaces that bring brown paint colors to life below.

Deep Purple Chocolate

a living room with purple-gray-brown paint
Amy Bartlam

The Paint Color: With deep, dark purple and rich chocolate brown hues, these walls and ceiling look like velvet. It boasts a regal spirit without teetering on pretention.

Why It Works: There's a ton of color play happening in this living room, and yet it all works together wonderfully. The cream of the sofa and carpet lightens up the room without looking overly saturated and cool, and the touches of black throughout the room sharpen up the softer elements. Notice how the artwork reflects the primary colors throughout the space as well as the geometric throw, which contrasts well with the more whimsical print on the carpet.

Consort Home Sagan Pillow $129

Golden Wheat

a living room with golden wheat paint
Studio Ashby

The Paint Color: Gentle and understated yet upbeat and bold, this shade of brown has a nice earthiness to it.

Why It Works: The golden touches throughout the space make this room feel as fresh as an all-white room, just slightly sunnier and delightfully unexpected. We love how the artwork is in conversation with the large pieces like the lounge chair and the blue details in the left painting. The Lucite table is also a nice modern touch that provides functional perks without visually overwhelming the room that's bursting with color and character.

peekaboo 38
CB2 Peekaboo Acrylic Console Table $379

Dark Umber

kitchen with dark umber paint on the floor
JH Interior Design

The Paint Color: Reminiscent of dark, dark leather hides, the brown cabinets have a grounded energy.

Why It Works: If you want your kitchen to feel inviting and friendly while also feeling clean and crisp, take note from the cabinet and subway tile contrast above. The industrial feel of the exposed beams, brick walls, and concrete floors is given a sophisticated twist with the large chandelier and beautiful raw wood dining table.

With an open floor plan, choose a color palette that sticks to shades of brown, gray, and white.

Herman Miller Eames® Molded Wood Side Chair
Herman Miller Eames Molded Wood Side Chair $669 $649

Energizing Espresso

an office with dark brown paint
M Wells Photo

The Paint Color: Bursting with charm and coziness, this chocolate brown hue is perfect for a study.

Why It Works: This study feels like the perfect place to hunker down and get work done while also feeling relaxed and at ease, thanks to the balanced color palette of chocolate browns and crisp creams. Against the lighting, ceiling, and trimmings, the whole room feels brighter and more energized.

Jonathan Alder Elba Wing Chair
Jonathan Adler Elba Wing Chair $3295

Soothing Griege

a living room with greige paint
Catherine Kwong

The Paint Color: Though this beige is definitely a neutral, understated shade, it's not pigment-shy.

Why It Works: With a sage green velvet sofa, a jute rug, a raw wood coffee table, and large indoor florals, this living room is inspired by natural beauty. The result is an elegant space that also feels laid-back and calming.

Chairish Vintage Monkey Wood Coffee Table
Chairish Vintage Monkey Wood Coffee Table $899

Creamy Khaki

a dining room with creamy khaki paint
Design Stiles

The Paint Color: Like an indulgent dash of cream in your coffee, this shade of brown is sweet and rich, but like your favorite summer khaki, it's also light and airy.

Why It Works: Consider this color scheme a modern, sophisticated take on the classic camo print. With shades of brown, green, white, and even some black, there's a nice natural blend that also looks unique. The gold light steals the show in this dining room, though the bright turquoise carpet does a nice job of brightening things up.

Safavieh Lettie Pendant
Safavieh Lettie Pendant $208

Shop the Best Brown Paint Colors Below

Farrow & Ball Dove Tale
Farrow & Ball Dove Tale $8
Farrow & Ball Dead Salmon
Farrow & Ball Dead Salmon $8
Portola Paints Golden Rust
Portola Paints Golden Rust $10
Portola Paints Joshua Tree
Portola Paints Joshua Tree $10
Portola Paints Moccasin
Portola Paints Moccasin $10
Farrow & Ball Pelt
Farrow & Ball Pelt $8
Farrow & Ball Tanner's Brown
Farrow & Ball Tanner's Brown $8

Related Stories