Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze – A Perfect Dark Neutral


You may be surprised to learn that black paint color on a wall can create a surprisingly cozy and intimate atmosphere.

If incorporating a black accent wall with a bold black paint color like SW Tricorn Black just feels too risky, let me introduce you to one of the softer black shades that's really more of a brown than a black.

Many designers think Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze is the perfect dark neutral so let's take a look at its qualities together. SW Urbane Bronze might be just what you're looking for to create an eye-catching focal wall or add some dramatic flair to your room.

Urbane Bronze Paint ReviewPin

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What Color Is Urbane Bronze?

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze is a former Color of the Year; a deep neutral paint color that checks the boxes for both sophisticated and dramatic. Although I've included it in the black paint category because of its dark richness, Urbane Bronze SW 7048 is actually a gorgeous earthy brown gray blend. SW Urbane Bronze complements a wide variety of home decor styles and is particularly striking when used as detail for cabinets, interior doors and accent walls, and on exterior trim like shutters and front doors.

What are the undertones of Urbane Bronze Sherwin Williams?

SW Urbane Bronze has complex undertones that dance between cool gray and warm green, depending on the natural light. The cool gray undertone provides tranquility (leading Sherwin Williams to place Urbane Bronze in their Sanctuary Palette), while the green emphasizes nature and cozy warmth.

Natural light plays a role in how you see undertones. In north facing or low lit rooms, Urbane Bronze color will appear more gray. In south facing and brightly lit rooms, as well as outside, the green undertones may be more predominant.

What is the LRV of Urban Bronze?

The Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is a scale from 0-100 that measures how we perceive lightness or darkness of a color and helps determine how we perceive it in a space. An LRV of 0 represents the darkest possible shade on the scale; to the viewer's eye, it would appear as a solid, deep black.

The LRV of SW Urbane Bronze is 8 which is a pretty doggone dark neutral - even darker than some of the black shades I've reviewed like SW Peppercorn - yet it's not black. This contributes to its versatility and allows it to fit in smoothly with lighter shades for a more subtle contrast.

Before selecting a paint color, you'll want to be smart and test SW Urbane Bronze on your walls, perhaps with another color or two, and see how it looks in your unique lighting and decor situation.

The Best Way To Test Paint Colors On Your Walls

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SW Urbane Bronze Compared To Other Dark Neutral Colors

Urbane Bronze vs Iron Ore

When it comes to choosing an accent color, SW Iron Ore frequently finds itself vying with Urbane Bronze paint so let's take a look at these two first. Side by side you can see that SW Iron Ore is closer to black and while it does have green in the undertone, it's much less noticeable. Urbane Bronze paint color is a lighter brown mix; you'll want to choose it over Iron Ore if you want more warmth and earthiness in your color palette.

Urbane Bronze vs Peppercorn

SW Peppercorn 7674 is also a crowd favorite because, like SW Urban Bronze, it can deliver "wow" to space without being overwhelming. Peppercorn is lighter and cooler than Urbane Bronze SW, with a strong dark gray vibe. On the other hand, the strong green undertone in Urbane Bronze combined with brown gives it a cozy richness ideal for creating comfortable living spaces; Peppercorn is best suited if you're going for a sleek, sophisticated and modern style.

Urbane Bronze vs Black Fox

This comparison is interesting because both SW Black Fox and SW Urbane Bronze contain a hefty dose of brown, so they both lean warm. SW Black Fox definitely is the richer, more chocolate-y brown since it lacks the green hues that mute the brown of Urbane Bronze. These two colors are also very similar on the LRV scale; either can add depth and beauty to a room, however Urbane Bronze is considered the more versatile of the two due to its gray as well as green undertones.

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze Color Palette Examples

If you've been toying with the idea of departing from the mega-popular gray and white interior color palettes of the past few years, take a look at how homeowners and designers are using an Urbane Bronze color palette in their homes.

Urbane Bronze Sherwin Williams Exterior

On the outside, Urbane Bronze's warm green undertones are highlighted under direct sun which serves to accent its warm, organic and earthy feel. This home features Urbane Bronze shutters, garage door and trim; the rich shade of brown paired with green foliage scores a huge hit for curb appeal.

This long and low brick ranch home in Chicago got an update with siding and trim painted SW Urbane Bronze. Urbane's depth enriches the brick (SW Natural Choice) and provides a beautiful contrast.

Urbane Bronze cabinets

A magazine-worthy bathroom remodel becomes both bright and moody with Urbane Bronze paint on the cabinets and featuring mixed metal decor (brushed brass and chrome). This luxurious transformation from a ho-hum gray and white palette was done by Pine Wood Homes.

SW Urbane Bronze cabinetsPin

Cabinet, cabinets, and more cabinets.

Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams shines in this home office, managing to be both bold and neutral at the same time.

Two coats of paint on the builtins turned this space into a visually appealing yet serene work space, perfect for stress-free productivity.

By Our Faux Farmhouse.

A discussion of Urbane Bronze cabinets wouldn't be complete without mentioning the kitchen.

This rich earthy color looks amazing just about anywhere, from cabinets, to range hoods, and in this kitchen, on the island.

This kitchen features SW Shoji White on the walls and cabinets. I love the herringbone backsplash and mix of copper and brass; all provide the perfect contrast to SW Urbane Bronze.

Urbane Bronze accent wall

Embrace a modern decor style with simple lines and a dark neutral accent wall. When Amy of 11 Magnolia Lane wanted to transform her white-walled work area into a space for her husband, she chose Urbane Bronze for the accent wall. The dark brown shade with green undertones appealed to her nature loving husband and proved that masculine work areas don't have to be dull.

Urbane Bronze paint colorPin

Comfort and Grace Home pulls off a striking focal point in a cozy autumn-y family room with SW Urbane Bronze on the electric fireplace mantel and millwork.

The board and batten walls are painted SW Alabaster, a warm and lovely white that harmonizes with the warmth of Urbane Bronze.

The windows flanking the fireplace add to a sense of balance and cohesiveness. The TV screen seems to recede into the wall.

Another fireplace winner with big impact is this soaring accent wall.

Urbane Bronze warms up an otherwise pale neutral room palette and provides a relaxing area for quiet conversation (walls are SW Silverpointe; ceiling is SW Ceiling Bright White).

Can’t get enough of fireplace ideas? Head over to Shiplap Fireplace Ideas for more inspiration!

Urbane Bronze bedroom

For the risk-takers among us, get outside your comfort zone and go dark on all walls and ceilings. Shavonda from SG Style Blog turned this bedroom into a cozy sanctuary for her sister, and the first thing that had to go were the white walls. Urbane Bronze brought personality and impact to the room while still remaining calm and comfortable.

Urban Bronze Sherwin Williams bedroomPin

Urbane Bronze bathroom

If you're going to envelope a room with a dark neutral like Urbane Bronze, be sure you have plenty of light neutrals to balance it out. This powder room makeover by Emily Clark found its balance with the foliage, sink, reflecting mirror and decor items all set on a backdrop of Urbane Bronze.

Urbane Bronze by Sherwin WilliamsPin

Urbane Bronze Coordinating Colors

Want a stunning color match made in heaven? Pair Urbane Bronze with a warm white like SW Alabaster or SW Shoji White. For a more crisp light/dark contrast, go with SW Extra White.

To bring out Urbane Bronze warm green undertones, muted greens like SW Evergreen Fog and SW Acacia Haze are lovely complements. If you'd like to emphasize the gray side, pair Urbane Bronze with SW Repose Gray for a stylish and modern look.

Urbane Bronze also looks amazing with pale, natural woods and stones, metals like brass and copper, rich leathers and foliage.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing Colors For Your Home

A lot of factors go into selecting colors for your home, and it goes way beyond paint color.

Things like your home color palette, existing colors in your home (that you may not be able to change), and the color of the natural light, or lack of natural light can change the way a color shows up in your home.

In my self-paced online color course, Color Made Clear, I walk you through all the steps to choosing and using color in your home to create a pulled together and cohesive look, even if you have things like cabinet color or floors you can't change.