A brightly colored wall conveys cheery vibes against dark furniture.

How to Decorate Mixing Brown and Black Leather Furniture

by Mary Cockrill

If you are thinking of furnishing a single room with a combination of brown and black leather furniture pieces -- go right ahead. But slow down long enough to think about the additional colors, fabrics and pieces necessary to generate the atmosphere you desire. Make your decorating selections kid-friendly to create a space where you and your family can enjoy spending time together.

1. Add Striking Contrast

Combat the dark tones of brown and black leather furniture by adding striking color contrast to the walls. For example, apply creamy beige paint to the walls for a soothing neutral effect, or cover the walls with yellow-toned paint to offer a warm, lively welcome. A muted green, such as sage green, suits the walls in a family room well, since color experts consider green a stress-relieving color that helps people relax. Lighten the mood with vanilla-colored walls to show off the dark silhouettes of your black and brown leather pieces.

2. Soften the Mood

Tackle the harsh vibes generated by cold, dark leather furniture by incorporating soft fabrics into the decorating mix. Floor-length curtains, upholstered chairs and ottomans, toss pillows, furniture throws and area rugs add texture, color and coziness to a room. Choose fabric colors, patterns and textures to help define and complement your decorating preferences and family's lifestyle. For example, if you have a Southwestern-themed room with golden yellow walls, hang brick red curtains with a Native American design over the windows. Place toss pillows in a matching fabric on the leather furniture and situate a large upholstered ottoman in a coordinating print in the middle of your seating group. Place a faux cowhide area rug on a hard-surfaced floor in the center of your leather furniture grouping.

3. Maintain Pleasing Harmony

Because black and brown are neutral colors, almost any palette that has light or vivid colors creates a harmonious ambiance. Scatter touches of black and brown accents throughout the room to connect the decorating-color-dots to the black and brown leather pieces. Choose additional furniture pieces to complement the existing style of your dark leather furniture. You can maintain pleasing harmony for leather sofas and chairs that are constructed with sleek straight lines and smooth glossy upholstery by pairing them with contemporary-style accent tables topped with glass tops and shiny chrome legs.

4. Stir Up Visual Excitement

Wake up your dark leather pieces with energetic accessories, such as ceramic pots filled with natural greenery and colorful vases stuffed with generous bunches of fresh flowers situated on tabletops. Hang vibrant paintings or framed prints on the walls to deliver an instant decorating boost to a room furnished with black and brown furniture. Perch attractive table lamps atop accent tables to brighten the area. Choose lamps in vivid hues, such as turquoise blue, apple green or sunny yellow, to add decorating zing next to dark-colored furniture. Decorate open shelving units with assorted dishes, silver candlesticks, framed photographs and hardbound books.

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