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What Color is Espresso Furniture

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People can be pretty particular about the color of their furniture, and we can see why. Decor color schemes require precision in choosing colors, and the wrong shade can be the difference between a perfect look and something looking off.

When it comes to the color espresso, it comes down to whether it’s a brown or a black. If you only know espresso as a coffee drink, the answer might be easy. But, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

We put this together to explain what espresso furniture is, where it falls among the other colors and what it goes well with. If you’re looking for furniture in the darkest browns, knowing the difference between espresso and the other shades could be key to a swinging room.

What color is espresso furniture?

People assume that espresso means black because that is the color of the coffee drink. Espresso is a dark shade of brown with undertones of a deep, rich red. You might also think of chocolate to look at it.

It is dark enough that it is often mistaken for black. It’s important to remember that we use color names to hit very specific combinations of colors and hues. If someone is talking about black, they will call it black because that is what it is commonly referred to.

Espresso is often used as an alternative to black, especially where a warmer alternative is used to match neutral colors. It goes well when matched with shiny metals or those on the opposite side of the color wheel. Because of its red undertones, those would be darker grays.

What color furniture goes with espresso furniture?

When selecting colors to go with espresso furniture, look to colors that complement or contrast it. To do this, focus on espresso’s red undertones.

For natural complements, look to lavender and plum, especially shading towards gray. The red isn’t strong but in the background. It’s also a warm color. Something bright and loud isn’t going to work.

On the opposite side of the color wheel from red is green. Greens are good contrasts, but again you don’t want the contrast to be too loud or it will upset the natural coziness espresso is used to impart.

Where you might find a bit of noise valuable, however, is in choices of metallic components of furniture and lamps. Shiny brass and copper will reflect a bit of the espresso vibe, although shiny silver metal might go overboard.

Does espresso go with black?

Because espresso is often mistaken for black, they don’t tend to pair well together. You might find some hints of black that work well in a particular scenario, but you’ll want to avoid bringing the two right next to each other very often.

This is especially the case if the lighting makes your espresso furniture look almost dark enough to be black and those are your major colors. If you have another color that goes well with the two in between, it’s easier to pull off.

Is espresso a warm or cool color?

Brown and red are two of the colors traditionally regarded as warm. As a brown with subdued hues of chocolate and red, that makes espresso a warm color. Lit properly, it can also take on the sense of maturity and age.

Warm colors tend to evoke feelings of coziness and therefore warmth and heat. By contrast, cool colors bring out feelings of chilliness and even ice. Bright colors tend to be cooler colors, and that includes greens, blues, and purples.

In a large room, warm colors tend to draw down the size a little bit, making people feel a bit more snug and less likely to feel lost. Cool colors, on the other hand, can make a small room seem a lot larger than it really is.

Is espresso color the same as black?

Espresso is often mistaken for pure black, especially in low-light situations. Espresso is probably more common than is jet black. That’s because you do need some light to bring out the subdued qualities of espresso.

Those subdued colors also give espresso greater versatility. If you change the lighting or place it with certain kinds of other furniture, espresso can look a little different by bringing either its brown or red qualities out.

Are mocha and espresso the same color?

Mocha and espresso are both shades of brown, so it’s understandable that people might think of them as the same thing. But, they aren’t. They occupy different places on the brown spectrum.

Both are considered neutral colors more frequently used to complement other colors rather than stand out on their own.

But mocha is a lighter shade, closer to being a medium brown. It goes well with light blues and greens and even yellow.

By contrast, espresso is a much darker shade of brown. In certain circumstances, people will even confuse it with jet black. What separates the two is that espresso has red undertones that the right light will bring out.

Espresso goes best with heavier blues and greens, ones that shade closer to gray than lighter colors.


Talking colors when it comes to furniture is a perfect argument for why we need precise definitions for words. Espresso isn’t quite black, but it’s pretty close. And you’ll want to know what sets it apart from other colors in the darkest part of the brown spectrum.

Of course, there’s more to a color than where it falls on a color line. Each has its intrinsic qualities that help it relate to other colors. For espresso, which carries a deep, rich redness, that means looking to the opposite side of the color wheel for matches.

We hope you found this guide helpful and wish you the best of luck in developing a deeper understanding of what espresso furniture looks like, what goes well with it, and why. If you did or have your own tip, we’d love a comment below. Or a share to your social media networks.

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