What Colors Make Brown? Role of the Color in Home Decor

From the hair color to the tones in the soil, every natural element has a tint of brown. It could be the color of your favorite food item or perhaps interior decor, brown has a comforting essence in its tone. Now the real challenge is what colors make brown?

The brown color is mainly perceived as the epitome of class and beauty. It is one of the popular picks when it comes to home decor. However, finding the perfect match isn’t as easy as it sounds. Let’s learn a bit more about the meaning of brown in design and what mix of colors make brown and help you find a new favorite. 

Brown: The Trendsetter

Brown: The Trendsetter

When it comes to interior design trends, grey has ruled the list for a long time. Taking over the place of the trendiest tones is brown. Designers and homeowners seek a bit of warmth in their spaces and brown effortlessly do the job.

The versatility of this color in order to facilitate several design languages makes it one of the most popular choices. From taking the decor towards an earthy look to jazzing it up with a little sense of luxury, this is the best choice. The only consideration is what colors do you mix to make brown.

Will light brown look better or the dark shade? That call is specific to your design taste and the ambiance you’re trying to create for your happy abode. While the lighter tones conjure up a sense of calmness and serenity in the decor, dark tints inject a little drama into the room. In either case, the color promises to set the scene and impart a unique character to the room.

What Colors Make Brown?

Colors Make Brown

From subtle taupe to moody dark mahogany, there are endless choices in the accents of brown when it comes to picking one color. And what two colors make brown of your desired intensity varies from tone to tone. Before we get into the mixing of shades for light and dark brown, let’s check out what primary colors make brown?

The Magic of Primary Colors

Magic of Primary Colors

Brown is a composition of three primary colors– blue, red, and yellow. The answer to what colors make brown paint is these three shades in which their ratio varies based on the tone you’re trying to achieve.

Apart from the mix of primary colors, secondary shades can also be blended to get the desired color. For example, a mix of blue and orange will result in brown. The same is the case when yellow and purple are mixed up. However, the look of brown made by the distinctive mixing will also be different. 

The mix of orange of blue will have a little greenish undertone to its brown, whereas, the purple and yellow mix will reflect a bit of the yellow tints. 

Now that we’re aware of the primary colors, let’s see what 2 colors make brown.

Secondary+Complementary Colors

What Colors Make Light Brown?

what colors make brown

Lighter tones like taupe and tan have made it to the current design trends. These can be added to the mood board to compose a tranquil design theme for the home. The light brown shades aren’t only classy but also add a sense of timelessness when added to the decor.

Now, what colors make brown resemble these hues? In order to get the lighter brown shades, the basic primary colors are mixed well and white is added to the mix. Based on how light you want the color to be, the ratio of white to be added increases.

On top of it, you can add the desired primary shade to take the color toward your desired undertone. For example, in the case of taupe, the light brown mix will need additional red to add the pink undertone. And if the desired choice is tan, replace adding extra red with yellow. Knowing what colors make brown with the desired look is extremely important to get dreamy decor. 

What Colors Make Dark Brown?

what colors make brown

Adding dark brown to the mood board can exude a sense of elegance in the design. Dark brown goes well in not only home interiors but office spaces as well. It offers the flexibility to either keep the design traditional or use it as an accent color for contemporary decor.

Let’s see what colors make brown that bring a sophisticated edge to its addition. It’s very simple! Now that you know what colors make brown paint, you just need to add a bit of black to the basic mix. The intensity of the tone is entirely dependent on the amount of black you’re using. And just like the shades of light brown, red, blue, and yellow can be varied in order to get the desired dark brown tone.

Top 4 Common Browns

Let’s learn what color makes brown tones that are popularly used in the designs.


what colors make brown

We know what colors make brown. But now the challenge is how to achieve a particular tone with the mix. Espresso shade goes towards the darker brown tones and this can be achieved by adding color to the palette that is darker than the primary colors used.

While you’re mixing the shades, make sure to keep the ratios of blue and red higher than yellow. And in order to further intensify the tone, you can either add black to the mix or purple. While purple will keep the brightness sublime, black will make it darker. 

Pro-tip: If you’re aiming to make the color lighter than what you’ve achieved, always go for the addition of either yellow or grey rather than adding white. White will lighten it more than desired. 



Tan is a light brown shade with an attractive look. In order to get this color, the brow mix has to be added with something light. The easiest answer to what colors make brown with a tan look is to add yellow to the classic mix. The desired tone can also be attained by adding white.



Don’t we all love beige whether it’s home decor or clothing? It is one of the go-to shades for most people. Let’s find out what colors make brown that is so loved by all.

As it’s extremely light, you need to add white to the palette. In order to achieve the perfect beige shade, you’ll have to add brown to the white mix. Keep the proportions of brown to white low as even if it goes a little darker, you might end up losing the authentic look.

Since the beige color has a little pinkish visual appeal, add a tiny amount of red to the mix.

Pro-tip: The color can either be lightened further with white or yellow or made darker with blue or brown addition. 



Chestnut is one of the pretties tones of brown with a lighter appeal. The answer to what colors make brown with this exact shade is a mix of yellow and red. To the brown color that you’ve made by mixing primary tones, keep adding yellow and red step by step.

The color must have a bit of a reddish tone and the intensity of the shade needs to be kept somewhere in the middle of light and dark.

The Role of Brown in Home Decor

Let’s see how can we bring brown accents to different spaces of the room and what essence these conjure up.

1. A Cozy Bedroom

A Cozy Bedroom

Isn’t our bedrooms the ultimate snoozing zones of the house? And we want our personal sanctuaries to be as comfortable as possible. Snuggle into the world of warmth by adding brown upholstery to your bedroom. Go for accent cushions or add a nice brown rug to the room for a soothing decor. 

2. Perfectly Balanced Living Room

Perfectly Balanced Living Room

When you’re working with brown tones, it’s important to create a visual balance in the decor. Pair up the decor with crispy white walls that serve as a subtle backdrop for the brown accent items. Your living room design can revolve around these two colors. Add enticing elements like a leathered sofa or heavy texture in brown to make it the ultimate attention-seeker of the room.

3. Rustic Appeal with Wood

Rustic Appeal with Wood

One of the best investments inhome decor is wooden furniture. Adding these items won’t only amp up the aesthetics but impart a rustic look to the design. You can either opt for vintage design language or keep it a bit modern with rich shades of brown. Either case, the design is sure to reflect your fine styling taste.

4. An Earthy Home

An Earthy Home

There’s nothing as comfortable as an earthy touch to the entire home decor. Boast the natural accents of brown with furnishings and brown design elements. Pick from the varying browns and make a perfect blend that offers a comfortable nestling ambiance. 

5. Simplicity in Decor

Simplicity in Decor

Your home will exude sophistication with the simplicity of the tones. Whether it’s your living room or formal space decor, don’t shy away from bringing brown tones to the space. From the furniture to wall paints, the more, the merrier is the rule with browns. 

The Bespoke Brown

Bespoke Brown

Brown color is all about simplicity and sophistication. This tone has been ruling not only the vintage decor trends but modern designs as well. A little addition of brown to the space brings an unparalleled designer flair.

The knowledge of what colors make brown is extremely important as it doesn’t only prove fruitful for home decor ideas but fashion and art as well. The natural look of the color and warmth in its tones makes it one of the most desired picks. Color is always surrounding you whether you’re inside or outside. Carefully craft the decor with the right tones of brown and offer the decor a fresh and timeless look. 


What 2 Colors Make Brown?

The rule to check what 2 colors make brown is to pick a secondary color and pair it up with its complementary primary shade. Mixing yellow with purple, red and green, and blue with orange will result in brown.

What Primary Colors Make Brown?

The three primary colors used to make brown shades are blue, red, and yellow. The ratio of colors can be varied in order to get the desired results.

Is Brown a Trendy Interior Design Tone?

Brown color has a timeless appeal to it which can never make it go out of style. The earthy look of browns keeps them trendy.

Which Colors Pair Up Well with Brown?

Brown is a versatile color that works best with both light and dark shades. It can be matched with turquoise or dark blue for a bold decor look or can be kept sublime with white and beige.

What Is the Meaning Behind the Color Brown?

Brown is the color of warmth and security. It can instantly make you feel comfortable and also hint at safety while keeping you calm.

In case you missed it!

Saili Sawantt
Saili Sawantt
Saili, once an architect, has seamlessly transitioned into the world of writing. With a background in architectural writing, content strategy, and curation, she now brings a unique perspective to fashion. For the past three years, Saili has collaborated with various multimedia publication houses, design firms, studios, organizations, luxury brands, and educational institutions. Beyond her professional endeavors, Saili is an avid reader and an adventurous traveler, channeling her experiences into her work.

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