The Next Big Thing: Shades of Brown

Will this cocooning earthy palette be top of the paint charts for 2016?


Brown; it was the colour of the 70's in both fashion and interiors, it was back again
in the 90's where it was all dark leather, faux suede and mocha
walls. Could it be coming back to rival the place of grey in our
paint schemes?

room with leather sofa

(Image credit: TBC)

Gower leather Grand sofa, £1,899, DFS

The array of shades tap into various trends in decorating and shopping and brown is the base colour of all of them...

We'll be seeing more DRAMATIC paint schemes where dark, bitter chocolate is teamed with gleaming metallic highlights, dark wood and inky blue shades.

wall painted by Dulux

(Image credit: Dulux)

Walls painted in Bitter Chocolate 1, door painted in Lights Out and tale painted in Sapphire Springs 1; all Dulux

The return of the SEVENTIES has been influencing interior trends for AW15 and continues into 2016; with a palette of warm, tan brown and caramel tones that pair well with and highlights of retro brass lighting and leather seating.

butterfly chair

(Image credit: House Envy)

Butterfly chair, £450, House Envy

A return to simple, restrained palettes and being close to NATURE has moved from greens of the forest to a soft, neutral palette of fossil tones and natural elements, such as stone, textures of cotton and linen with soft earth and milky browns, clay putty tones as a depthy contrast.

kakrby wool blanket

(Image credit: Urbanara)

Karby wool blanket, £49, Urbanara

Which leads nicely into ARTISAN CRAFT, the rise in the value of traditional craftsmanship, using natural materials to create something sustainable. This trend celebrates hand-made features, using red-toned terracotta, visible wood-grain pieces, glazed and un-glazed ceramics.

nature clay vase

(Image credit: Bo Concept)

Nature clay vase, £7, Bo Concept

african pattern basket

(Image credit: The Conran Shop)

Africa pattern basket, £38, The Conran Shop

small plate

(Image credit: The Goodhood Store)

Small plate, £25, Christel Thue Hoegsted range, The Goodhood Store


The Olio collection by Barber & Osgerby for Royal Doulton was inspired by hand-made ceramics around the world, the rich terracotta reflects the refined-rustic style. There's been a notable move to dark, matt finish walnut furniture starting with Another Country, Russell Pinch and Ercol all the way to high street stores such as Habitat and John Lewis. Look out for a return to retro, tan leather sofas with a mid-century style from West Elm and leather sling occasional chairs with a seventies vibe, see The Berlin Easy Chair from Tom Faulkner and a selection at Rockett St. George.

plate barber and osgerby range

(Image credit: Royal Doulton)

Olio collection, from £10 for a plate, Barber & Osgerby range, Royal Doulton

brown leather dining chair with brass effect legss

(Image credit: Rockett St. George)

Brown leather dining chair with brass effect legs, £130, Rockett St. George

Berlin easy chair

(Image credit: Tom Faulkner)

Berlin easy chair, Tom Faulkner

walls bitter chocolate and bottom units

(Image credit: Dulux)

On walls Bitter Chocolate 1, on bottom units Bitter Chocolate 3, Labrador Sands 2, Dulux

Along with the Hornbeam wallpaper, launched in 2015, Farrow & Ball have also included the ‘timeless, earthy brown' of Salon Drab amongst their new colours for 2016.

hornbeam wallpaper

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Hornbeam wallpaper, £97 per roll, Farrow & Ball

salon drab

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Salon Drab, £39.50 for 2.5ltr Estate Emulsion, Farrow & Ball

Designers continue to be inspired by the earth's natural forms and colours; BoConcept and Bloomingville draws from this by including ceramic vases with an organic, seventies finish.

dark chocolate ceramic vase

(Image credit: Amara)

Dark chocolate ceramic vase, £31, Bloomingville range, Amara