Interior decorating with red & brown

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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Interior decorating with red & brown
Red adds colour and excitement to room decor. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Decorating with a red and brown colour scheme is not a difficult task if you keep in mind a few basic guidelines. Red is a warm colour that livens up a room and gives it energy and excitement. Brown is a neutral colour that coordinates well with almost any colour. Combining the two colours in your interior design will work in nearly any room if you use the correct balance and shades of red and brown.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Large Scale Use of Color

  1. 1

    Pick wood tones that coordinate with the brown and red tones in the room. Mahogany and cherry naturally have red tones in them, so be sure to hold paint or fabric samples up against it to make sure it complements the wood. Red colour shades lean toward purple or yellow tones, therefore choosing reds with more of the purple shades in them, such as a deep burgundy, will complement cherry or mahogany woods.

  2. 2

    Keep the use of the room in mind when choosing the wall paint colour. While using bright or cherry red for the wall colour in a game or media room may give energy and warmth to the room, it may be too energetic and stimulating for a bedroom. Choose warm, rustic-looking reds to calm down the stimulating brightness of the red colour. Accentuate the cosy, intimate look with a medium chocolate or other muted brown shade.

  3. 3

    Match your accent colours to the draperies, fabric and upholstery materials. Use three accent colours in the room to make it more interesting. Use these accent colours in framed pictures, pillows, throws, rugs and knick-knacks.

    Small Scale Use of Color

  1. 1

    Paint your walls an off-white or taupe colour to use the red or brown colours on a smaller scale in the room. You can use them as accent colours to create the look you want and also avoiding a busy or too bold appearance. For instance, select a large area rug or painting with a design in off-white, cream or taupe as the primary colour and brown and red accent colours in the design. Highlight the brown or red colours with throw pillows, afghans or lampshades. This gives the room more of a contemporary or modern look.

  2. 2

    Use paintings or wall art that enhances the off-white, cream or taupe colour of the walls. It gives the room balance if you focus on the lighter colour of the walls, yet gives it a stroke of energy and comfort with simple touches of brown and red in the room decor.

  3. 3

    Place accessories around the room that match the hue of the brown or red. For instance, a tomato red and orange-red will complement each other but a reddish-pink will not.

Tips and warnings

  • Use lighter or dark shades of the same tone reds or browns to give the room balance and a visual appeal.

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