The color is just what I expected-a rich chocolate brown. I washed the items before first use (cold water) and was somewhat dissapointed that the trim on the pillow shams shrunk up a bit and required quite a lot of pressing, but did finally lay flat. Makes me think a different shop made the shams. Would not recommend washing until necessary. The cover itself washed very well--did not fade or wrinkle up. It is soft and very casual looking.