Everybody who is anybody is head to toe in brown this season. From Alexa Chung to Bella Hadid, the most admired stylish symbols of SS21 are glazing the streets with every combination of this tanned and tawny color. Though, as some of our most admired interior designers argue, why should street style have all the fun? It's time we bring this underrated color into our homes.
If you want to understand the true power of brown, then firstly, remember this: even the acclaimed advocate of vibrant colors, Eva Sonaike is a self-proclaimed lover of brown. In fact, despite its neutral connotations, her home is a haven of brown furniture, which she uses to compliment her kaleidoscopic decor.
'I am an ambassador for color but love to integrate brown though selected furniture pieces,' Eva confessed. 'I have a large antique French wooden dining table, which is surrounded by bright orange, upholstered mid-century chairs. The brown brings a sense of calm and tranquility into the vibrant space.'
If you’re inspired by Eva’s combination of shades, you can learn how to choose cool color combinations for your home.'
‘Just as wearing brown takes a little more planning and coordination, brown decor requires preparation. As the interior designer, Minnie Kemp, explains, the key is not to overly satisfy your desire for darker decor.
'Flourless smooth chocolate cake, deep nutty brown hues of heaven, served with a dusting of powdered sugar, almost impossible to enjoy just one slice. Just like using the color brown in an interior space, practice restraint, resist the temptation to overindulge as you will end up being sick. Nobody wants Bruce Bogtrotter round for afternoon tea.'
Minnie continues: 'Personally, I like to keep my brown's natural. Wycliffe Stutchbury's studies in the narrative beauty of wood, hanging on the wall, David Krynauw Haywire lighting in Wenge or copper finish over the dining table, which is, of course, Maarten Baas’, Sculpt Veneer Table in Walnut Veneer.
A solid natural finish grounds a space and gives one a sense of calm. Especially in these times of isolation, it brings the outside indoors. For upholstery: C&C Milano’ 'Miguel' in Chocolate or biscuit, this is soft yet hard-wearing, and sumptuous – perfect for a sofa or a big cozy armchair,' Minnie shared, before adding:
'The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the color brown is a contrasting happy blue. Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen are the masters of this combination; just feast your eyes upon the spare bedroom in their Sussex farmhouse, delicate details and small servings of nut brittle, a small taste that always leaves one wanting more.'
Furthermore, if anybody knows about discovering the precise balance of brown in your home, it is the luxury paint company, Little Greene, who have a selection of pristine browns amid their current color collection. This is, however, unsurprising, when you also consider the calming qualities of brown, at a time when we all look to unwind in the homes we rarely leave. As Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene, emphasizes:
'It's not just warm neutrals that create a sense of calm and comfort; darker shades have a soothing quality too. Sumptuous, deep brown colors provide a luxurious, nurturing feel, emulating a sense of intimacy and creating a sanctuary. Using deep, dark shades in living spaces creates a dramatic, intimate, and cocooning feel. Dark colors like 'Elysian Ground' and' Scullery' make a real statement when used all-over, as they have an innate warmth that creates a space inviting and enveloping without feeling heavy and imposing.'
'If you're looking to incorporate brown alongside a more neutral palette consider creating a focal point through color blocking using neutrals to frame bolder,; she adds. 'Consider deeper browns or pair woodwork in 'Chocolate Color' with a deep green such as 'Dark Brunswick Green' to create a real design statement.'
Looking for more ways to make your home a more tranquil, neutral sanctuary? Browse our 27 stylish ideas for a calm and restful bedroom scheme.
As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.