Using Brown in Interior Design in 2018

Chocolate, mocha, latte, and coffee. What’s not to like? These days, some say that the colour brown is passe in interior design. Colour specialist, Marguerite Roberts, of Mulberry Interiors in Oakville, Ontario says that it is not so. Brown was definitely overused in basement rec rooms of the distant past. Part of the resistance to brown in decor is due to the fact that these old rec rooms remained un-renovated for far too long. Maybe people purchased nice cars instead. We really don’t know why so many people’s basements looked like this one. We never wanted to see brown again.

dated 1960's basement rec room with sad wood panelling

Like any colour, we tire of it after awhile. We also associate it with certain other colours and those combinations are also ready for an update. Recall dusty rose…no, please don’t.

dated dusty rose and black bathroom

Brown has been around the block a lot as well, but it has a certain staying power, especially when it is reinvented in creative ways. It is rich, warm and earthy rather than boring or outdated. It can even be exciting when it is used in very deep shades. It is especially up to date when paired with indigo, another old timer that just won’t quit.

funky room with original art photo transfer in indogo , brown tufted leather sofa, and indigo area rug

When softened with white, it becomes a mellow latte shade which can be stunning, especially with wood furnishings, animal prints, or the new soft metallics. elegant dark brown living room with faux fur toss cushions and zebra striped mirrorBrown with black has a mysterious dramatic flair that can be absolutely gorgeous as well as cozy. The look is contemporary while adding warmth and depth. Brown exists in nature, as we know, as the colours in nature are many and varied. Warm reds, oranges, golds and even purples create a riotous display in the autumn. These warm colours are enhanced and look wonderful in the company of brown. For many of us, fall is our favourite season. It follows that these colour shades when used in home decor would be pleasant and up-lifting.

colour palette with purples, brown, gold and lilac   deep purple front door against grey trim and brown shingles

Fine furnishings and floorings are made in the many wood varieties. Traditional furnishings were made of walnut, mahogany, oak, pine maple and other woods. All of these wood colours happily mingled in home decor. Nowadays exotic wood varieties are used in furnishings and floorings. In contemporary design wood tones are often mixed with soft metallics for a fabulous look. They bring a whole new range of colours to the palette.

wn walls and abstraccontemporary chrome cocktail cart in dining room with deep brown walls and abstract artt art        foyer with ebony wall, mirrored buffet, and wood wall accessories

Leather furnishings were traditionally coloured brown quite often, as well. Leather can be dyed nearly any colour of the rainbow, but we often do see it as a mellow brown even in contemporary times. A comfortable family room with an easy care sectional sofa or cozy armchair in a warm brown can be a thing of comfort and beauty for many years. In combination with zesty accent colours such as turquoise, purple, and gold, or the strong lines of a large abstract artwork, the room design is anything but boring.

elegant small living room with leather motion armchair and floor lamp

Speaking of the natural world in interior design, animal print motifs have always been an element of classic interior design. When used in moderation, they are still fabulous, and they are quite often in brown tones.

classy staircase in brown antelope motif broadloom carpet

Brown and blue love to spend time together. They always have. They balance each other with warmth and coolness.

relaxed and cozy living ralph lauren room with single arm chair, mid blue wall finish and neutral accents

Brown even works well with softer colour shades, and allows them to present a more sophisticated demeanor than they would standing alone.

rustic reclaimed wood coffee table with pastel florals and large pastel abstract artwork

Brown used with taupe and soft gold is another winning partnership. Yellow lends light to any room design, and when tempered with the mellowness of brown, it is softened and very easy to live with.upscale living room with tufted yellow leather sofa and ornate mirror and lighting

For some time, green had fallen out of favour. It’s back in a big way and works well with brown, especially when accompanied by pale blue or grey. The freshness and energy of green lends vibrancy while the pale blue or grey calms the palette. Brown brings strength and grounding to the overall room design.

loft style small living room with emerald green wall colour and black furniture

There is often an undertone of purple in brown. As a result, it can look wonderful combined with purple. Rich wood furnishings with luxurious purple fabrics can be exciting and mellow at the same time.

table centrepiece with 4 purple candles traditional style dining room with purple upholstered dining chairs

Dare we say that brown itself, looks wonderful with brown. A mix of light and dark shades of this wonderful colour can work to create a room that you will not tire of for a long time. The balance of light and dark is the key to success.       dramatic rainfall shower with large square shower head and dark brown tiles

Many of our clients like high contrast colour combinations. Brown combined with fresh, invigorating white has zing as well as sophistication.


transitional dining room with brown wall colour, square backed chairs, abstract artwork, and drum chandelierSince 1993 Mulberry Interiors, interior design consultants have been assisting clients in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, Etobicoke, western Toronto, and Vaughan. We specialize in residential interior design and decorating and are at our most creative when we use colour as our theme. We offer a full range of interior design services such as choosing paint colours, space planning, furniture sourcing, custom draperies and soft furnishings, flooring selection and accessories. Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.

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