As a neutral hue, brown is a practical colour choice for furniture, as it goes with a wide range of paint schemes that can be changed out over time. However, chocolate brown is not a precise shade. Manufacturers produce different incarnations of the hue, ranging from warm milk chocolate tones to dark chocolate shades that can appear almost black. To select the best colour palette, first determine if your chocolate furniture is warm, cool or truly neutral.
Cool chocolate brown has blue tints in its base shade, which makes blue-hued paint the top complementary colour choice. Pair with a royal or peacock blue for a bright, modern look. Cool chocolate furnishings with clean, modern lines have a masculine feel against a deeper midnight blue wall. Keep in mind that both vivid and dark shades can overwhelm a room, so they should be used in larger rooms or on one accent wall in smaller rooms painted a light, neutral shade. For all-over colour in smaller rooms, consider painting a lighter, bird's egg blue or mossy green.
Chocolate hues with more red or yellow in their base colour fall into the warm colour category. Often a close match to milk chocolate candy, the warm notes in these brown hues mesh best with shades of red and yellow. In feminine bedrooms, pair with a delicate shade of pale ballerina pink paint on the walls and cream linens. For a richer, more refined palette, apply a muted shade of yellow ochre over a pale tan plaster with a dry brush technique to prevent the colour from becoming too heavy. A crimson wall frames warm chocolate furnishings well, but should be utilised only on an accent wall to prevent the room from becoming a blinding eyesore.
Shades of brown that tread the balance with an almost equal ratio of warm and cool tones can be paired with almost any shade on the colour wheel. A dusty lavender base with one eggplant accent wall works well with a mix of neutral chocolate browns. Make sure to place the furniture in the lighter hues against the darker accent wall so it pops; darker chocolates will blend and get lost against the deep hue. For a monochromatic chocolate palette, paint a base of taupe brown on the walls to bring out the richness in dark neutral chocolates that otherwise appear almost black in colour.