Is Brown a Neutral Color?

Neutral colors are those which lack an undertone of color. This can be a confusing concept to grasp, as describing a color as lacking color seems like an oxymoron, but in fact, neutral colors do not have any undertones present in them, which feature on the color wheel.

To quickly decipher if a color is a neutral shade, simply think about whether it is depicted on the color wheel. Here we look at whether brown is considered to be a neutral color and how to use it in home decor.

If you can recall the color wheel, you’ll notice that brown does not feature on it, therefore making brown a neutral color. Neutral shades are generally soft or muted colors, though deep brown can be quite saturated and intense. Brown is a color commonly seen in nature and can be thought of as nature’s neutral, as it provides the backdrop for many outdoor landscapes.

Brown is actually considered to be a pure neutral, which is the name of a group of colors that are completely void of undertones. However, not all shades of brown are pure neutrals because, in the case of interior paints, brown will often be mixed with a color to give it a different feel or depth.

To create a warm color, brown can be mixed with red or orange, and the resulting feel of this color will be snug and cozy. For a cool brown, a pure brown can be mixed with blue.

Brown in Interior Design

Brown may not be a color that automatically comes to mind when you think of attractive interior design styles, but actually, it provides the backbone for many color schemes and brown go greatly with other colors. As a neutral, brown can be present in a room without you really noticing it.

Neutrals have the effect of fading into the background and making more vibrant colors pop because the human eye is drawn to more heavily saturated shades.

However, without the neutral color providing a backdrop, the more vivid colors would be overstimulating and would not make for a pleasant space to be in.

Brown Paint

Brown Paint

There are so many variations of brown that can work well as a wall paint color in the home, from pale coffee to intense chocolate brown.

These are generally warming shades that provide a feeling of relaxation and allow us to unwind. Use brown paint on your walls as a base for brighter accessories, or layer more shades of brown in the room to create a contemporary feel.

Brown Furniture

Brown Furniture

Brown furniture is hugely popular because it goes with any color scheme, so you can change up a room’s design further down the line without having to change your furniture.

Brown upholstered furniture such as sofas and armchairs is a timeless choice because neutrals never go out of style, while brown wooden furniture such as shelf units and side tables help to create an earthy atmosphere, drawing on the natural wood grain featured on the pieces.