The Next Big Thing: Shades of Brown

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  • 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?

    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.

    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, £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.

    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, £7, Bo Concept

    Africa pattern basket, £38, The Conran Shop

    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.

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

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

    Berlin easy chair, Tom Faulkner


    Where in recent years we’ve seen predominantly grey shades within paint trends, the colour predictions for 2016 include an even mix of brown.

    For Dulux, it’s prominent within the Dark & Light trend where which
    includes dark Bitter Chocolate 1 amongst a collection of shadowy hues,
    and for Heritage & Future, where warm browns such as Bitter
    Chocolate 1 and 3 and Sultana Spice 2 reference the past but complement
    more contemporary, reddish and putty colours and as Rebecca Williamson,
    Senior Colour, Design & Content Manager at Dulux explains ‘When
    paired with our 2016 Colour of the Year ‘Cherished Gold’, the deep
    earthy brown shades of Lucky Penny and Caramel Blush 1 create a relaxed
    neutral feel’.

    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, £97 per roll, 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, £31, Bloomingville range, Amara

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