Brown is back – here's how top designers style this grounding, versatile hue

This is the color that's as daring as it is elegant and as industrial as it is classic – unsurprisingly, designers love its tones

Living room in a deep brown 46-29T by Papers & Paints
(Image credit: Interior by Studio Indigo / photograph, Luke White)

Brown may have had an unfair amount of time on the outer fringe or interior design trends, but now, that has changed. Some of the world's top designers have begun to flirt with this deep, complex shade –and its daring aesthetic is versatile enough to work in every and any scheme. 

After years of caution, the era of decorating with brown is here, and while this movement is labeled a color trend, we expect this color will endure at the forefront of designer palettes for many seasons ahead. But why have brown interiors fallen into fashion now? And how do the experts style the tone in their projects and homes? Here's what you need to know. 

striped rug, fluffy textured cream armchair

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

'As we are being faced everyday with the collapse of our ecological climate, there seems to be increasing interest in all things natural. This, of course, has translated into interior trends,' says Martin Waller, Founder of Andrew Martin (opens in new tab)

Whether you're looking to create an eco-friendly space with sustainable kitchen ideas or you crave the organic feel of houseplants or pared-back wood, the designer suggests there is a desire for the natural. And the craving for 'earthy tones like walnut and sage' is yet another way to bring this look to life indoors. 

Dark brown wallpaper, bedside table and fluffy blanket, grey bedhead

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

And Martin is not exclusive in his observations. Suzanne Duin, the founder of Maison Maison (opens in new tab), similarly emphasizes that there is an interest in brown – firstly because of its association with nature – and secondly because of its reliability and timelessness.

'It is a warmer and more contemporary alternative to a grey canvas, suitable for pairing with just about any color,' she adds.

How to style brown in your modern home

The world of brown decor is expansive. If you're looking for a more conventional injection of color, you can experiment with brown couch living room ideas and invest in a piece that will stand the test of time. 

Or, if you want to flirt with something more daring (such as color drenching via brown living room ideas), you can rest assured that the tone is entirely designer-approved.

1. Play with brown light fixtures

Hanging brown light in a kitchen

(Image credit: lights&lamps)

To induce inherent warmth in your home, Suzanne suggests injecting brown into your lighting ideas

'A dose of warm amber seagrass or the rich taupe of water hyacinth can instantly create a calm, cohesive and sophisticated look,' the founder says. 'These tactile materials add comfort and interest to a space, lending it a sense of reassuring, warm tactility.’ 

Additionally, the co-founder of lights&lamps (opens in new tab), Niki Wright, emphasizes that lighting is the best place to begin when experimenting with brown. She notes how consumers are turning to fixtures to extend their color scheme while adding that the label is currently focusing on a 'grounded, earthy palette' that will fit many materials and styles. 

2. Invest in rich brown textiles

Bedroom wallpaper ideas featuring a gray tropical print with ochre headboard, cushions and wall lighting.

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

Martin Waller has already shared his admiration for brown, but how does he suggest bringing its tones into your home? Through textures, textiles, and materials (such as velvet) that make your scheme feel luxe, ambient, and above all, calming. 

'The color has a calming effect, allowing people to feel more connected with the earth and helping them to keep their feet quite literally on the ground,' adds David Harris, the Design Director at Andrew Martin. 

3. Indulge in a brown dining room

Dining room with dark wooden floor, brown walls, white and pale grey marble mantelpiece and dark wood table and bench.

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

Choosing the correct dining room ideas comes with certain complexities that may not need to be considered in other rooms. One of these is whether your color scheme will compliment your cooking and whether it will fuel your appetite (and the appetite of your guests) for food and drink in the space. However, as Mor Krisher, Head of Design at Caesarstone (opens in new tab), explains, this is where brown is a winner.

‘There is a warm intimacy that comes with the dark; a sense of quiet and calm that cossets and cocoons, that creates an atmosphere that encourages us to gather and eat and drink,' the designer says. 'A different mood descends. Taste, touch, scent, and sound, all elevated.’

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.