How to Mix a Black, Tan and Brown Living Room

A living room in which you mix black, tan and brown allows you to mix several different colors in the earth tone palette. The resulting room can look sophisticated and take on a masculine or feminine feeling, depending on the decorating decisions you make within the room. Additionally, you'll want to take steps to bring visual variety into the room. This creates interest in the room without requiring you to introduce additional colors into the decorating motif.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint supplies
  • Photos
  • Rug
  • Couch
  • Decorative pillows
  • Decorative accessories

Use a decorating style to help you make your selections. Many decorating schemes such as Japanese, Tuscan or African safari embrace these colors. Choosing a decorating theme introduces you to the types of furniture pieces you might select, gives you ideas for decorative accessories and shows you some possibilities in terms of how you use the colors in context.

Make tan the main color in your decorating scheme. This provides visual balance to the three colors and allows you to use brown and black, the more dramatic looking colors, as accents.

Create a brown focal wall by painting one of your walls with a coat of glossy paint or with a brown/tan plaster combination. Paint the surrounding walls tan. A focal wall gives the eye someplace to start when taking in the room's decorating scheme. Select a natural focal point, such as fireplace wall if your living room has one.

Decorate the focal wall with items such as black and white photos in black frames. Use brown and tan mats for the photos. Hang up mirrors with ebony frames or wooden candle sconces.

Lay down a large rug that features brown, black and tan patterns. This will tie the living room together.

Look for a large, eye-catching piece for your living room, such as a large brown leather couch. Position it in front of the focal wall. Add throw pillows with a variety of patterns such as zebra, leopard, paisley or stripes. Make sure that the patterns include all the colors of the living room to visually bind them together.

Paint the shelf areas of a built-in bookcase brown to give the items on the shelves a backdrop. Add contact or wall paper featuring brown, black and tan patterns to the back walls of the shelves.

Fill your shelf areas with decorative accessories, such as carved ebony masks or animals; brown and tan pottery; or candle displays featuring brown, black and tan candles in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Mix antiques and modern pieces by selecting pieces that have brown, black and tan in them. This provides your room with not only some visual differences in terms of patterns, but it also gives you the opportunity to introduce some texture as well. Look for items such as an Art Deco table with a wood inlay, primitive sculptures made of rough clay and carved chopsticks in shadowboxes from Asia.


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