Color Guide: How to decide between black, brown or both?

Color Guide: How to decide between black, brown or both?

When choosing a color scheme, it's easy to opt for light, neutral tones or to keep things simple by going all white. However, if you want to add some extra personality to your home, there's a world of possibilities at the opposite end of the color spectrum that you may want to explore. Indeed, there's a reason why black and brown never go out of fashion. When styled correctly, these two colors can work wonders to improve the look of any space.

As the saying goes, there's a time and place for everything. While black and brown may both be neutral, it's important to know when and where to use them. Here's our guide to pairing these colors with different decorating scenarios.

Black is the new black
Since black makes such a big impression, it's impossible not to notice it. As a result, the color works best when you want to make a bold statement or if you need a focal point in a large space. Bear in mind that anything placed in front of a black feature wall will be highlighted instantly.

Black is the perfect color for your home when used in the following ways:

  • To enhance clean spaces: Bathrooms (and more often kitchens) are expected to be visually cleaner than other parts of your home. Use black accents to contrast white walls, tiles and bathtubs. These accents can also be applied to the rest of the house, such as in doors, counter tops and custom window treatments.
  • When using patterns: Black is the best choice for bold, geometric patterns and prints.
  • For engineered materials: To achieve a more "industrial" feel to your home, choose black when using synthetic materials such as plastics or poly-blend materials. The color also balances out black electronics in your home such as a flat screen television. Adding a few other glossy black elements like lamps, side tables and chairs can tie in these electronics with the rest of the room.

Brown: understated yet refined
Unlike its counterpart, brown does not cry for attention. Therefore, it's an excellent choice when decorating a room with busy patterns or if you're looking to achieve a more relaxed and cohesive look. Brown works best for large pieces of furniture that aren't meant to stand out.

Brown is the perfect complement to other design elements when used like so:

  • Mixing and matching with other colors: Brown is a versatile color when paired with other hues. It is typically a mix of all colors with more pronounced shades of red and orange, giving it a warm character. Brown has the power to harmonize a space with an eclectic color palette.
  • When using patterns: Brown works best for softer patterns, especially with light or white backgrounds. The color is suited to nature motifs such as leaves or branches.
  • Adding some texture: Brown goes hand-in-hand with texture. The hue's softness emphasizes the texture you want to showcase. Key pieces such as rugs, faux-fur blankets or pillows are ideal in this color.
  • For a historic look: Brown can make for a elegant background, creating an rich aura of heritage. The color can blend with intricate wall moldings and both modern and traditional details.

Combining the two
If you can't decide on which color to choose, why not use both? Whether you're looking to achieve a contemporary look or you want to keep it traditional, these two colors complement each other very well. Nevertheless, it's essential to let one dominate the other. While it's more common to use more brown than black when decorating, any ratio can work as long as you include other neutral tones to balance them out.

For more design ideas, contact us at Metropolitan Window Fashions to schedule a free at-home appointment with one of our design professionals. With over 80 years of award-winning experience under our belt, we can help you decide on the perfect color scheme for your home.