Color Magic: Brown
The color BROWN represents the essence of life, but is often taken for granted. Think about it, we see brown everyday, everywhere and that belittles its existence. But we ignore the importance of the color brown at our peril because no color exudes strength, signifies renewal and, other than green, remains the most dominant color on the planet.
People who prefer the color brown tend to be comforting, hardworking souls steadfast and secure in their beliefs. Businesses, like UPS, that use a trademark brown for marketing are considered stable and dependable. In fashion, while brown had its heyday in the 1970s and late 1990s and is often associated with the working man or outdoor clothing (safaris), varying shades of beige, gold, nutmeg and chocolate brown are frequently shown on runways today in elegant and sophisticated designs.
Shades of brown runs a wide spectrum from tan to deep rich chocolate. My favorite is a Pantone Chocolate the color of deep rich coffee.
Many interior designers are great at incorporating brown into their designs, but one of the masters of brown is Barry Dixon. I encourage you to study Barry’s work if you need inspiration or a better understanding of how to enhance interiors using brown.
The most popular rooms for brown are practical spaces like entry halls, kitchens and family rooms with natural touches added to living rooms and bedrooms. However, brown is not advised for children’s rooms because it doesn’t stimulate the brain the way brighter colors do.
As the following designers prove, there are a myriad of materials and textures that showcase the richness and depth of brown in furniture like leather, velvet, rattan, and wicker. On floors, natural woods from soft oak to deep espresso often covered in sisal are standards along with window treatments made of natural reeds, straw and bamboo. Assurance that, when designed well, brown doesn’t have to look or feel depressing, old or cheap.
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