Brown floors are everywhere for a reason. They're versatile and inviting and come in tons of materials, from hardwood to laminate, tile, and carpet. Compared to other neutral colors like gray or white, they also hide dirt and stains well. The biggest challenge when it comes to decorating with brown floors may be that you have almost too many options to choose from. So how do you narrow down wall paint colors to find your favorite?
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"Warm brown wood floors with a lot of texture or color variation look great with slate blue walls to mimic the earth and sky," says Nicole Alexander, founder and principal designer of Siren Betty Design. "You can't go wrong with Mother Nature as your muse — she never gets it wrong." With darker floors, like espresso or chocolate shades, Alexander likes to lean into the moodiness with deep greens, blues, and even browns. "If you're going very dark, I love to have lots of lamps and sconces — as opposed to harsh overhead lighting — to add drama," she says.
One of Alexander's favorite time periods to draw inspiration from when it comes to a room with dark brown floors is the 1960s and 1970s. She says this aesthetic works well with dark floors, especially when paired with certain decor and paint colors. "Try pairing olive greens, coppery reds, and warm almonds with a chocolate brown floor," she says. "Layer in plenty of plants and maybe a dash of macrame for a very groovy vibe."
If you don't want a particularly dark room, choose softer colors, especially if you don't have much natural light to play with. Be sure to pay close attention to the specific shades and undertones you're working with, to make sure they create an effect you like. Before you commit, you'll also want to try out swatches of your paint colors and observe them at different times of day, since every shade is bound to look different in varying lighting conditions.
Read on for some of our favorite color combinations for brown floors.
6 Wall Colors That Go With Light Brown Floors
1. Light Blue and Yellow-Green
This kid's bedroom from the Hunker showroom actually uses two wall colors to add even more brightness and whimsy to the space. The palette here celebrates shades of blue through the bedding, rugs, and light blue accent wall. Yellow-green paint on the adjacent wall and ceiling adds contrast and creates the illusion of a beam of light.
You can almost never go wrong with white walls, especially considering all the different shades of white you can choose from. The warm undertones of these white walls complement the warmth of the wood floors. Dark blue cabinets and a kitchen island add a pop of color to the otherwise neutral room.
The shade of peach on the walls in this office space is almost an exact match for the light wood floors. If you want a sort of monochromatic look without wood-paneled walls, look for a paint color that blends in with the color of your flooring. This space feels cozy, and the addition of wood countertops and butter yellow chairs makes it even more so.
Black walls can work with any shade of brown floors, but the effect will be different with each. Dark wood floors may create a cave-like, closed-in feeling, whereas light-colored flooring will add a bit of brightness. If you have natural light in the room, your floors will reflect it, creating extra contrast with the dark-colored walls. For a slightly less daring take on this look, try charcoal gray paint.
5. Hunter Green
Pair brown wood floors with another earthy shade to bring a bit of the outdoors into your home decor. The hunter green accent wall in this room provides a nice backdrop for a beautiful plant. Combined with generous natural light and pale hardwood floors, it makes for a space that feels natural and inviting.
Not all brown floors are hardwood. In fact, you'll see plenty of brown carpet and even tile. In this dreamy bedroom, the floor is a reddish-brown tile with pink undertones, which works nicely with the soft shades of purple in the room. The purple and lavender striped accent wall contrasts beautifully with the terra cotta floors and white paint.
9 Wall Colors That Go With Dark Brown Floors
1. Light Gray
The contrast of light gray against a rich brown floor can really brighten a space. In this room, the gray wall paint actually stops a couple of feet from the ceiling for an even more interesting effect. The flooring and wood furniture are a darker shade of brown with orange undertones that is kept from feeling like too much, thanks to the lighter walls and greige armchair.
2. Forest Green
Shades of green will always pair nicely with brown floors because they're both earth tones. For a rich color to pair with your darker brown floors, try forest green, as shown in this room. For such a deeply saturated color, you can follow the lead of this designer and paint just the wainscoting, leaving the upper part of the walls white.
3. Sky Blue
The sky blue walls in this bathroom have warm undertones that complement the rich brown floors, making them practically glow. The dreamy effect is heightened by the fact that the paint covers the walls and the ceiling, enveloping the whole space. A vanity chair and gold-framed artwork accentuate the floors even more.
4. Terra Cotta
This living room, with its dark brown floors and terra cotta-colored walls, has quite a dark and cozy feel. Like the peach example shown earlier, this shade of paint looks almost like wood paneling, creating a homey, vintage vibe. The off-white furniture and lamp pop against the warm backdrop.
5. Olive Green
Instead of using a dark paint color for an entire room, create an accent wall. The olive green backdrop in this bedroom complements the dark hardwood floors, but because it catches the natural light from the large picture window, it doesn't make the room feel closed in.
If you really want to make a statement, consider gold walls. While you may not want to cover an entire wall in metallic wallpaper or paint, a pattern like the gold and white one in this living room definitely adds a touch of flair. The gold catches the light and keeps the room sparkling and bright against the dark brick fireplace and wood floor.
We've already mentioned that black walls pair well with light wood floors, but we wanted to show you how well they can work with dark wood floors as well. Black is a bold color to work with, but it can look really elegant if done well, like in this modern dining room by Jenn Feldman Designs. Natural light from the windows and skylight helps keep the room looking bright, as does the white paint in the adjacent rooms.
8. Lime Green
Lime green is another polarizing color — while too much can easily overwhelm, just the right amount can create a fun and fresh look. In this room by Ariella Duker Interiors, lime green paint is used just for the back panel of a built-in wall unit. The bright color scheme continues into the chairs, light fixture, and organizational bins on the shelves, while light walls and wood flooring temper the playful look.
This room is not for the faint of heart. Designed by Munger Interiors, it features yellow lacquered cabinetry and built-in storage, which make the dark wood floors practically fade away. The deep blue accent wall that leads to the backyard keeps the yellow from taking over the whole room and adds a bit of contrast.
Wall Colors That Go With Brown Floors
The accent color options for brown flooring are basically endless. Accentuate the warm tones with colors like olive green or terra cotta, add balance with cool colors like sky blue, or try a minimalist look with pure white. Dark walls may be tricky to execute, but when done right, they can create an unbeatable, sophisticated look.
Here are some of the best colors to pair with brown floors:
- Light blue
- Hunter green
- Light gray
- Forest green
- Sky blue
- Terra cotta
- Olive green
- Lime green