Colour trends, Design Events / Fairs


07 Milano Design Week

So, why all the brown?

For many years we did not see much brown in interiors. The dark colour scheme was dominated by black, for a while in the classic black & white combination, in recent years in a dark-in-dark version together with grey and deep greens, mustard yellows and spice colours.

Now brown is back and takes a good share of the dark / black colour space. There is the classic chocolate brown, but also a lighter palette that ranges from cognac to wood tones to taupe to greyed browns.

wooden table top
caramel coloured wood finish at DePadova / Boffi
sofa and wall decoration
taupe, bronze and deep brown tones at Baxter

One of the reasons for the comeback – and by the way all colours come and go in cycles, but I always like to investigate deeper and reflect on the reasons for a colour coming back – is the 70’s style trend. Thinking about the colours of the decade, who does not come up with the combination of orange or lilac or grass green with: brown!

dining table and chairs
cognac brown in a 70’s style setting at Cassina

Brown could also be positioned as a “naturalized black”, thinking of naturally brown coloured materials like wood, leather or cork. Also many recycled materials take on a brown colour, like cardboard or fibreboard. Felt and untreated linen are beige to brown. Brown becomes part of our palette naturally, the more we strive for an eco-conscious life style, and use materials that nature offers instead of artificial equivalents.

brown leather chair
chocolate brown leather at B&B Italia
sofa and tables
brown stained rotary veneer + brown sofa at Bla Station

And: brown is a warm dark colour, another reason for it coming back right now. The world is in crisis, our homes have become shelters and cocoons to protect us from the outside, nature is our sanctuary. The ‘hard’ white, greys and blacks get replaced with a ‘softer’ off-white, beige and brown scheme. In addition the long term trend colour family of earthen tones all work really well with brown.

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