Brown is Back

{…but not the brown our mothers loved}

Nandina rustic modern dining and kitchen

Over the years the color brown has gotten a bad rap. Perhaps it’s because of the yellow-undertones, or maybe because it reminds us of a time when beige was a popular color. Regardless of the past connotations, Brown is finally making it’s way back into popularity after being looked down upon for many years. Grey tones have ruled the interior design world recently and it’s time for a change! Don’t get us wrong, we love a good grey color palette as much as the next guy — but after a while we start to yearn for something new and fresh.

Here’s where brown comes in.

Interior design brown color trend Nandina home decor

We interviewed Catherine Thexton, a former Textile Colorist and friend of Nandina, about what shades of brown are up-and-coming and her overall insight into color trends. *hint: think cool, grey undertones*

Catherine Thexton with her dog Riley

Catherine Thexton with her dog Riley, in their outdoor living area.

  1. Tell us little bit about yourself! What’s your background and what are you up to now? I am a wife and mother of 3 — two teenage girls and a young boy. Born & raised in Melrose, Massachusetts, I graduated college from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a Textile Design Degree in 1992. After college, I started working in the textile industry in New Bedford and Fall River Massachusetts as a colorist. I would receive designs & seasonal color palettes from designers in New York City, bring those designs to a local factory, and work closely with the color pit in achieving the right shade of next season’s “hot color”. Now I’m currently living in Augusta, GA with my family.
  2. At the time you held this position, how did you hear about color trends? Were they coming from Europe, the fashion industry, or somewhere else? Color trend forecasts come from fashion, and fashion drives fabric! Color trends are also influenced by the film industry, which you will see interpreted into fabrics and trends in the home. In addition, Pantone Fashion Color Report is a designer’s go to for color.

  3. What do you think about the idea of color trends…are they set in stone, or are they merely guidelines? Color trends are merely a guideline. Color is personal, so use what makes you happy, calm or comfortable. Some of us need inspiration and direction, therefore we use the newest trend craze to keep us current. Color is what makes an interior look on-trend or not — it sets the mood in our living space. Because the eye sees color first, using a neutral on the walls creates the perfect backdrop for artwork and drapery. Then you can add pops of color with furniture, pillows and accents. 

  4.  How does something move from a “trend” to a “classic”? The answer is TIME. Trends are short-lived, in Vogue, and absolutely fun & refreshing! Classics are the consistent palette lasting over the decades. Therefore those classics are the colors designers find themselves using time and time again.

  5. Do you think there is a shift to warmer shades of grey and the re-introducing of brown because we have seen so much grey for so long?  I do. The film industry settings are trending warm tones now. The 10 year trend cycle with grey has worked as a crisp background and wonderful neutral, but you will see this grey warm up with hues of red and yellow undertones.

    Let me explain…. Greige (a grey/beige) is the perfect combination of almost a decade of grey and the brown is back phase. Taupe, a moderate color, denotes from dark tan to grayish brown or brownish gray. Grey and Brown work great together. So don’t worry if you just finished painted your home grey – the color brown, taupe or greige can be added through rugs, accent pieces, furniture, lighting, pillows, drapes etc. It will warm up your living space and allow the area to stay on trend.

  6.  What is your favorite shade of brown and why? Well I have more than one, and it has some grey in it! These three from Benjamin Moore are my favorites right now:

    Benjamin Moore Brown Paint Colors

  7. How would you make a decision about choosing colors for your own home? Honestly, I pick what makes me comfortable and I let my children do the same for their rooms, because color is an expression of style! I tend to stay neutral on the walls and let the foreground pop…most of all I like contrast, dark to light, and a combination of rustic and modern. We recently finished an outdoor living space with crisp white stone, a soft beige sofa, dark brown furniture and warm brown floors. Then we added blues and greens for accent colors, in addition to stainless and a touch of rustic.

brown interior design color trend

We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty excited about this updated brown color palette! There are countless ways of incorporating brown into your living space, with furniture, paint colors, textiles, accents and more. The possibilities are endless, but one thing is for certain — brown is back.

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