Using black and brown together in a living room may seem like an odd choice since both are actually dark shades.
Yes, black and brown are actually viable decorating colors if they stand individually, but if they’re incorporated together, if you’re not careful, you can easily end up with a cavelike, lifeless room.
- Midcentury Living Room in Black and Light Brown Color with Artwork in Primary Colors
- Open Floor Plan Contemporary Living Room with Black Walls and Light Brown Floor
- Modern Living Room with Soft Brown Walls, Black Velvety Chairs, and Huge Windows
- The Combination of Light Brown, Beige, and a Touch of Black to Create a Cozy Living Room
- Open Concept Rustic Style Living Room with Brown Floor and Walls and Black Furniture
- Brown Wood Floor and Walls Paired with Black Bench Cushion in Mountain Style Living Room
- Mediterranean Living Room with Several Shades of Brown and Black Furniture to Match the Floor
- Large Living Room with Brown Panel Wall and Black Trim Completed with Window Wall
- Very Light Brown Combined with Black Without Accent Color in a Transitional Living Room
- Mid-sized Rustic Living Room with Brown Color and Black Accent Complemented by Stone Element
- Combination of Black, Brown, and White in a Trendy Open Concept Living Room
- A Blending of Rustic and Contemporary Style Living Room with Black and Brown Color Palette
- Pleasant Living Room with Brown Venetian Stucco Wall and Black Fireplace
- Enclosed and Formal Living Room with Brown Floor, Black Walls, and Green Sofa as an Accent
- Black Wall Accentuated by Brown Wood Element in a White Living Room
- Minimalist Living Room with Dark Brown Floor and Extra Large Black Sectional
- Additional Tips to Liven Up Black and Brown Living Room
On the contrary, if you’re able to mix them accordingly, a black and brown color palette in a living room can deliver a sleek and modern look to the area.
You can even liven it up with some tricks, so your black and brown living room can be as warm and inviting as any bold colored space.
Here are the great ways to accentuate your black and brown living room and make it look bright, unlike a cave:
1. Midcentury Living Room in Black and Light Brown Color with Artwork in Primary Colors
This mid-century living room looks bright and warm despite its black and brown color scheme.
Part of it is because the designer hung artworks in primary colors to add a pop of color. Look how the hanging artworks look stand out against the brown walls.
The vintage furniture pieces have a combination of black and light brown.
The jet black sectional complements the patterned ottoman and the armless chairs, tying the brown elements together. The textured wall coverings make the living room like it’s made of wood, while in fact, it’s just wallpaper.
The brown wallpaper is in a light tan, matching the carpet. Choosing this kind of brown shade will prevent your living room from getting too dark. Moreover, the designer also incorporated white color here and there to brighten up this area.
2. Open Floor Plan Contemporary Living Room with Black Walls and Light Brown Floor
Painting the walls in black is only recommended if you have an open floor plan living room like this. It is because black will make the room smaller and more crammed.
So, in order to keep the airy and open sensation, make sure your living room is not enclosed.
This contemporary living room has walls painted in Benjamin Moore – Night Shade 2116-10, but it is completed with white trim to create a contrast and to liven it up a bit. On the other hand, the light brown floor complements the entire walls.
The designer carefully picked the furniture pieces in black and brown to stay true to the color scheme.
The chairs are finished in light brown color, but they are completed with darker brown velvety cushion, while the throw pillows are black.
The seats truly represent the contemporary color palette in the whole living room, such a great idea if you want to create a cohesive look.
3. Modern Living Room with Soft Brown Walls, Black Velvety Chairs, and Huge Windows
The soft brown walls in this modern living room make the whole area look bright and tranquil.
Basically, this is a minimalist look. But, that’s the best style you should apply if you incorporate a black and brown color scheme in your living room. Too many decorative items and stuff will only make your brown and black living room look too much.
It seems that the dark shade here, which is black, is only used as an accent. The black velvety chairs look to pop against the soft color palette around. The soft grayish-brown sectional in front of them match the wall perfectly.
To add a splash of bold color, the designer hung yellow artworks on the wall and put some multicolored throw pillows in different patterns on the sectional. The bold colors and patterns accentuate the solid neutral color backdrop.
The huge windows enhance the brightness of the room. You shouldn’t miss this essential part if you incorporate dark shades in your living room. Make sure it is well-lit to keep everything illuminated.
4. The Combination of Light Brown, Beige, and a Touch of Black to Create a Cozy Living Room
Such a tranquil room. This is a flawless example of a cozy living room with light brown walls, dark brown floor, and beige furniture pieces.
Black element is added to tie the look together, but it’s not used as one of the main colors in this palette.
The touch of black can be seen through the frame of the map of Paris on the wall and some of the throw pillows on the sectional.
The black element is meant to match the dark wood element in this room, while the beige furniture pieces are used to accentuate the light brown walls.
Every color used here is meant to accentuate each other. The incorporation of light brown and beige color is excellent to make the room brighter, especially there are windows here to let natural light fill the room.
No need to worry the dark shades will overwhelm the living room.
5. Open Concept Rustic Style Living Room with Brown Floor and Walls and Black Furniture
Rustic rooms are usually associated with dark because, more often than not, they are dominated by wood elements, and some of them are in dark shades.
If you incorporate black in a rustic living room, make sure you choose the right shade and type of wood so your living room won’t be too dark.
Like you see in this rustic style living room, the floor and walls, and even panel ceiling are made of wood, which is brown. The shades are slightly different, though.
However, the designer wasn’t afraid to use black here. See how the black carpet, the black sofa, the black trim, and the black beams on the ceiling complement the brown wood element. It turns out that the combination of wood and black will create a sophisticated look.
Applying a large amount of black in a rustic style room only works out if you have an open concept living room.
Without any walls to enclose this room, dark shades won’t make it look smaller. Instead, they make the living room look trendy and elevated.
Add some stone elements in a light color to make it more legit.
6. Brown Wood Floor and Walls Paired with Black Bench Cushion in Mountain Style Living Room
What a simple and minimalist living room.
This brown and black living room doesn’t have an accent color. It is just the wood combined with black color. Basically, it won’t be a problem as long as you choose the right shade of wood.
In this living room, even though most of the things are made of wood, but they are made of medium tone one. From the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the bench, even to the beams, they are in a light brown color.
Such shade won’t be a problem in an enclosed living room because it lights it perfectly instead of darkening the room.
In order to create a pop of color, the designer added a black bench cushion upon the built-in bench. The black cushion is meant to create a contrast. But, in order to stay low-key, the designer prefers using black to bold colors.
As a neutral color, black can be paired with anything. But as a dramatic color, black can increase the intriguing look in your living room.
So, it is always an excellent idea if you add a touch of black in a cohesive room made of light to the medium tone of the wood.
7. Mediterranean Living Room with Several Shades of Brown and Black Furniture to Match the Floor
From the arched doorway, we can easily see a lovely Mediterranean living room that doubles up as a grand library. This area is accentuated by high ceilings, tall windows, and lovely casework.
The brown walls are also completed with panels, so they perfectly complement the coffered ceiling.
Most of the items in this living room are in brown color but with different shades.
The coffered ceiling is made of dark tone wood, but the walls are finished in a lighter brown. The sofa is in a very light brown; it looks almost beige, which looks contrast against the black chairs in front of it.
It seems that the black color is only added in a small amount. You can see it only in the black chairs, the table, and the fireplace. However, it is obvious that they are meant to slightly contrast the dark tone wood floor.
Despite the dark tone, the floor is still in brown color. So, the designer incorporated jet black color to create a low-key contrast.
The window treatment is also in black and white pattern, another black to complete the look, but not enough to counterbalance the brightness in this room.
So, it’s safe to say that the designer doesn’t incorporate black as the main color scheme.
8. Large Living Room with Brown Panel Wall and Black Trim Completed with Window Wall
You can copy this look if you have a large living room and want to create a formal setting.
See how the high ceiling makes the room look airy and fresh. In spite of the black and brown color setting, this living room still looks spacious.
The brown panel wall is made of wood in a medium tone, complete with natural grain. The space is finished in black to match the trim of the window wall. See how the black and brown complement each other in the panel wall.
The white concrete fireplace is added to create an accent color but still in a neutral tone because, after all, this is a formal living room.
It is not recommended to add a splash of bold colors in a formal living room. Always stick to the neutral color palette, like brown, black, and white.
The black furniture pieces are also supposed to complete the neutral color scheme in this living room.
9. Very Light Brown Combined with Black Without Accent Color in a Transitional Living Room
This is the most common way to liven up the dark living room: incorporating very light brown instead of the dark one.
The very light brown element in this area, around the gas fireplace, is actually cross-cut travertine tiles. It looks pops against the dark walls.
It appears that the designer intended to create a dramatic contrast by juxtaposing the black walls and the light brown travertine tiles. It’s because white and black are way too mainstream, so the designer used the alternative.
The floor is also in a very light brown, matching the tiles around the fireplace. Coordinating the wall accent and the floor is an excellent option if you want to create a consistent look.
The furniture pieces were carefully picked to match the neutral color scheme around.
The beige tufted armchair is placed on the opposite side of the two dark gray armchairs, while the black polished coffee black ties them all together.
The tucked ottomans under the coffee table are in different colors, but each of them matches every other item in this living room.
10. Mid-sized Rustic Living Room with Brown Color and Black Accent Complemented by Stone Element
Another rustic living room with black color in it.
This is a mid-sized rustic living room with an open concept floor.
At first, this area may look a bit too dark. It’s because the wood chosen for the panel ceiling and the walls are a bit darker. On the other hand, the floor is in a lighter tone of wood, which is clearly meant to light up the room.
Despite the dark brown ceiling and wall, the designer still added a black accent to complete the whole look, even though it’s not in a large amount. The black color can be seen through the lampshades and the coffee table.
Even though black is only used to accentuate the dark pieces, it managed to elevate the look of this room. No one can deny the sophistication of black, especially if it is incorporated wisely.
The dark brown sofas are contrasted by the multicolored armchair and patterned red area rug and throw pillow. The bright colors were added wisely to add a splash of fun. Plus, bright colors are useful to make the room less dark.
Last, the stone element is added around the fireplace. Along with wood, the stone is also a common material to use in rustic rooms.
The stone accent wall is added to enhance the rustic style as well as to tie the brown and black color palette pieces.
11. Combination of Black, Brown, and White in a Trendy Open Concept Living Room
The brown shade used in this trendy living room doesn’t make this room look grim. Instead, it opens up the whole area, even though this has been an open concept living room in the first place.
The decorative brown walls are incorporated here to add more character and enhance the texture in this room.
The beige floor has become a canvas to the dark tone wood structure of the chairs, the black footstools, the black table, and the black cabinet.
The designer didn’t hesitate to add black because the brown shade used here is very soft and light. Obviously, instead of darkening the room, the black pieces here are useful to enhance the elegance and make the living room look more luxurious.
Using a light brown color instead of dark to be paired with black is your best bet if you want to create a warm and tranquil living room. Being an open concept room is a bonus.
The combination of light shades and an open floor plan will not let black darken the room, no matter how many amounts of black you add.
12. A Blending of Rustic and Contemporary Style Living Room with Black and Brown Color Palette
The huge windows in this living room are the most helpful things to liven this area up.
Without these Sierra Pacific “Estate” series windows, undoubtedly, this living room would just be another dark and cavelike room.
Such generous expanses of glass also make the room look bigger. These windows open to the breathtaking view outside, bringing the outdoor in. It is because the designer paired the rustic and contemporary styles together.
As we all know, rustic is often associated with wood. And the designer used a dark color to stain the wood.
The ceiling is made of Douglas fir, but the designer doesn’t remember the stain used. Even though the stain may not be too dark, but the ceiling itself is combined with black metal trusses and beams.
And the black elements here are used to represent the contemporary style because the contemporary style is usually dominated by neutral colors to create a “less is more” look.
Despite the dark look given by the black trusses and beams, we can’t deny how refined it actually is. See how the homeowners’ private art collection is embraced by the modern black metal trusses and traditional beams.
The brown wall is also accentuated by a black painted and stone fireplace.
To copy the color scheme in this living room, the furniture pieces are also in a similarly neutral tone. The beige sofa is completed with a black side table and a brown storage bench.
13. Pleasant Living Room with Brown Venetian Stucco Wall and Black Fireplace
What makes this living room pleasant is the fact that it is completed with a Venetian stucco wall that matches the square-shaped leather ottoman in the center of the room.
The medium tone wood floor seems to contrast every single element in this room, including the white sofa and the black fireplace and coffee table.
According to the designer, this color palette is called Chocolate and Vanilla.
Because of the dark brown shade of the Venetian Stucco Wall, along with the custom-made leather ottoman, the black fireplace, and other black pieces here truly represent dark chocolate.
On the other hand, the white sofa, white lamp, and white decorative items on the glass shelves will surely remind us of vanilla.
Adding a white accent in a brown and black living room is a clever and minimalist way to brighten up the room. Moreover, the designer uses white as a contrast.
See how the white decorative items contrast the brown wall, the white background contrasts the black frame and the artwork itself, the white lamp contrasts the black side table, and the white sofa contrasts the black throw pillows.
Every single thing here is meant to counteract each other to create a perfect balance, while brown is used as a canvas to the contrasting shades.
It seems that the only dramatic black element in this room is only the fireplace, which looks to stand out without any contrasting piece against the brown wall.
14. Enclosed and Formal Living Room with Brown Floor, Black Walls, and Green Sofa as an Accent
Most of the pictures you’ve seen above have white to make the room look brighter. On the contrary, this formal living room is different.
Instead of white, the designer decided it would be better to add a bold color as a splash of fun in this enclosed and formal living room.
The bright green sofa looks perfect against the black walls, which look sleek and polished. The shade of green is also ideal. It is not too bright, but it has a tint of dark tone too. So it accentuates the black walls nicely, making them look rich.
The brown floor is concealed by the patterned rug, but it matches the brown armchairs.
The brown armchairs may look a bit clashed against the green sofa, but that’s part of the fun. It seems that the designer didn’t have to think twice about incorporating bold colors because bold colors can brighten up the room, making it look more cheerful.
FYI, the golden brown shade on the chairs is also considered as a bold color because it looks pop against the black canvas around.
15. Black Wall Accentuated by Brown Wood Element in a White Living Room
This is another trendy living room with a dark wood brown floor and elegant black wall.
Instead of intimidating, the black wall elevates the whole look, tying every other element together to create a well-coordinated look.
The white sofa appears to contrast against the black wall, but the throw pillows and the ottomans complement it nicely.
The brown floor is supposed to be a backdrop because there are many patterns in neutral colors added right upon it. The brown whimsical-looking table in the center of the room looks simple compared to the patterned decorative items around it.
The designer’s trick to liven up this room is by incorporating many patterns. It doesn’t matter if there is a pattern block because that’s the fun part here. That’s what makes this living room contemporary.
If you also want to use many patterns in your living room like this, make sure that you have at least two surfaces painted in neutral colors that can be used as a backdrop. This way, the patterns won’t overwhelm the room.
16. Minimalist Living Room with Dark Brown Floor and Extra Large Black Sectional
What a cozy and comfortable living room.
Obviously, the window walls in this black and brown area are a useful item to illuminate the room, making it bright despite the brown and black color scheme.
The decorative black walls look elegant and luxurious, while the dark brown floor subtly contrasts the brown velvet rug, which is one shade lighter than the floor.
The most prominent thing here is the extra-large black sectional. It’s hard to tell whether this is black or very dark brown. In the end, this dark shade sectional managed to make the living room extra cozy and trendy.
The only light stuff in this area is only the low storage cabinet below the TV and the stark white ceiling with the recessed lights.
Even the armchair in the far end of the room and the round coffee table in the center are also in black, a dominant shade in this room.
With the window walls, white ceiling, and sufficient lights, this living room looks airy, bright, and well-lit.
17. Additional Tips to Liven Up Black and Brown Living Room
Incorporating some accent colors or elements in your black and brown living room can be helpful, but there are some things you should consider too:
- Pick the right brown. If it’s black, most likely, you won’t find many variations among the shades to opt for. On the other hand, brown has a wide range of possible shades to choose from, so it’s essential to pick the right one to combine with black in your living room. If you don’t want to create a dark space, pair blacks with a warm and soft shade, like taupe or light brown. A light tan can also be an excellent option for a wall color. Yet, if you have a large living room and want to create a dramatic look, go bold with dark, rich brown like espresso or chocolate. Combine jet black with a very dark brown to create a subtle contrast in a monochromatic living room.
- Pick the right spot for the black color. Keep in mind that that shade of brown that you choose can affect the mood and look of your room. So does black. It can dramatically impact the design of your living room. Black can make an impressive wall color in a large room, especially if you pair it with warm brown accents. Please know that black walls can instantly deliver an intriguing and dramatic appearance, so it’s not the best option if you want a low-key look. Instead, just combine black furniture with brown accessories. A black sofa, couch, or chair can be very stylish in any living room. You can choose a large black armoire, china cabinet, or bookcase for a bolder statement. If you opt for brown furniture, pair it with black cushions or throw pillows to make it look more dramatic. It is also nice if you use black accessories, like window treatments, artwork, or area rugs.
- Add light neutrals. When you combine brown and black, your living room may end up being too dark or small. The best solution is to incorporate a light neutral shade to counterbalance the darkness. White is the safest option. It is perfect as a wall color because brown and black elements will stand out against the bright and crisp walls. Yet, sometimes white can be too stark when combined with dark colors, so beige or cream can be a better option. The cream has yellow undertones that can promote warmth in your living room, while beige features pink undertones that go well with brown shades. In order to create a cohesive look, choose patterned items that have black, brown, and a specific light neutral shade to tie the design together.