This risky 70s paint trend is going to be everywhere – and we have the secret to making it look incredible

This retro colour's modern resurgence is one you simply cannot ignore

Brown stairway and hallway
(Image credit: Future PLC/Jessica Taverner)

There's a risky, new paint trend making the rounds that we can expect to see take the reins among the current roster of up-and-coming home decor trends. Forget Barbiecore and the pink frenzy currently taking the world by storm, we're dialling it back down to the neutrals – but not your typical neutrals of white and beige – we're talking brown.

Yes, really. We know brown might admittedly not be everybody's first choice for a living room colour scheme, for example. However, it's definitely having its moment and deserves all the spotlight it's getting. If you're one to enjoy and indulge in warm, delicious tones, this might just be the ideal colour palette to explore.

Brown mantelpiece and bookshelf

(Image credit: COAT Paints)

Brown paint micro trend

'Brown is perhaps not everyone's first choice for interiors but when styled correctly it is timeless. More often than not people will refer to a lot of shades of brown as 'nude', a very popular interior choice at the moment – but when layered and mixed with deeper shades of brown this classic colour can look utterly chic,' says Sarah Lloyd, paint and interiors specialist at Valspar Paint.

'Using brown paint is a great choice for minimalists. Or specifically, warm minimalists. It coordinates really well with soft purple or neutral shades. Previously, minimalist interiors typically referred to all white or other simple monochrome designs, but, today, people desire a more warm touch in the house, hence the resurgence of brown.'

Dining table with chairs leading to stairway

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene comments, 'Earthy shades, particularly browns have historically been used for their practicality and are often dismissed as being dated or dull.'

'However, rich warm colours based on umber and ochre deliver cocooning, restful, and charming spaces. Deeper, richer caramels are perfect for creating enticing and sumptuous spaces, whilst soft golds provide comfort and reflect the desire to create warmth within our homes.'

Bedroom with wooden bedside table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee)

However, while it might be new to see all-brown colour schemes trending, the colour itself isn't something that just popped out of midair. In fact, it's akin to that of a retro revival.

'Brown represents the earth, the colour of wood and earth and can provide a cosy, warm and grounding space that feels safe and supportive. Browns are typically associated with 70's style interior décor – think mid-century consoles and colour palettes of earthy oranges and rich browns. Today, browns are making a comeback as we look to embrace natural textures and colours that make us feel more connected to nature,' adds Matilda Martin, trend specialist at Lick.

Brown stairway and hallway

(Image credit: COAT Paints)

How to incorporate browns into your home, the right way

'Brown is particularly good for living rooms as it helps to bring that warm and comforting feeling into what is usually designed to be a cosy space. Mix darker shades of brown (such as Valspar's Brown Button, available at B&Q), with wooden furniture pieces and lighter cream soft accents, such as cushions or blankets,' suggests Sarah Lloyd at Valspar Paint.

So, it appears that those sporting brown living rooms were definitely onto something. Fair play to them.

Staircase with striped runner, Indian inspired wallpaper and woven basket wall decoration

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Additionally, Aaron Markwell, lead colour curator at COAT Paints adds, 'Browns also work fabulously with Japandi styles, which is really all about natural textures and finishes, so you can pick out the woodwork in deeper brown colours (Sheldon or Brasserie Brown) for a reference to some of the darker woods that are used in traditional Japanese design.'

'Brown is slightly harder to incorporate into the kitchen and bathroom, but the best way to do this is to use wooden features or a number of small accent pieces,' advises Sarah Lloyd at Valspar Paint. If you're keen on the dark wood interior trend, then this will be right up your street.

Wooden panelled kitchen area

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Merrell)

'For example, tea towels and bath towels hung neatly on display add a nice soft touch of brown, without taking over the space. Similarly, hand wash containers, salt and pepper shakers, or dish soaps can all help to subtly incorporate brown without completely redesigning the style of the room. As brown is quite a neutral colour it can easily fit with a lot of established colour schemes.'

Wooden shelving in kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC/Carolyn Barber)

So, what do you say? Are you convinced that browns are getting the modern makeover they need to challenge their 'has been' perception of looking dull and dated? The more we look at it, we expect that these delicious hues will bring elegance and sophistication to any interior well into the autumn and winter months – and we can't wait.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.