Wall color is often one of the first layers of design for any space. Brown is an especially dramatic wall color choice that can give a living room a dramatic effect. When combined with complementary design elements that reflect light, brown can be a surprisingly attractive choice that gives a living room a glamorous and stylish appearance. The juxtaposition of light and dark creates a space with energetic visual appeal to enjoy for years to come.
Use a satin, medium-brown paint to give the walls a soft glow. Flat, brown paint can give walls an ash appearance, so select a brown hue in a more flattering finish for the best outcome. Add a sponge faux-finish technique with a shade of medium-brown paint and a warm, metallic-gold glaze to give the walls additional dimension. Paint the moldings and doors a crisp, gloss white to make them stand out against the dark walls. Include a flat, white ceiling to give the space an illusion of height and reflect the natural light in the living room.
Incorporate cream-colored upholstery on the couch and loveseat. Dark walls can make a room feel cavernous if the furniture and decor are also dark, so the addition of light-colored upholstery balances the design. Add one mirror-topped, white-painted furniture piece, such a coffee table or credenza, to help reflect the natural light and give the space a stylish accent. Incorporate one or two upholstered accent chairs in a brown, white and orange pattern to give the decor visual interest and to combine the brown-and-white theme of the room.
Lighting is especially important in rooms that have medium-brown walls. Hang a large, crystal candlestick chandelier from a high ceiling to give the space an elegant look and create an illusion of additional ceiling height. Top the candles with brown, silk shades to coordinate with the walls. Place bronze or brass-based table lamps on end tables. Warm-toned metals harmonize with the warm undertones of the brown walls. Top the bases with fabric shades in patterns that complement the style of the room. For example, choose brown-and-white chevron prints for a contemporary room; brown-and-white damask patterns for a more traditional decor. Add a mirrored tray of white candles to a heat-resistant plate. Place it on a coffee table to finish the lighting layer with the soft glow of candlelight.
Accessorize the living room with a large, decorative area rug under the conversational area. Choose a rug that has a tone-on-tone design, such as brown stripes or scrolls to add subtle pattern to the room’s design. Place several accent pillows on the couch in medium brown. Add a punch of color with accent pillows in a warm tone of orange to create visual interest. Position up lights behind large potted houseplants to give the room a fresh look and feel. Hang a brass or bronze mirror on a wall behind a couch or fireplace to reflect the natural light and add a finishing touch of style to the living room.