Tan France proves brown is the most on-trend moody hue – and this is the Farrow & Ball shade he favors

Decorating with brown has the style guru's approval

Tan France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The style expertise of Queer Eye star Tan France extends beyond his primary realm within the fashion industry, but indeed into the world of interior design, too.

Featuring as a guest on Farrow & Ball's recently launched color-centric podcast The Chromologist, Tan joined podcast host Patrick O'Donnell in a candid discussion about how his memories have been shaped by color; discussing a selection of standout shades that are significant to him.

Within them, Tan placed an emphasis on decorating with brown, a color trend that's been gaining momentum across interiors in recent months. Choosing Farrow & Ball's Red Earth as a color he associates with his youth, Tan explains how these red-leaning browns are reminiscent of home decor growing up in the eighties. 

Fast forward to the present day, and it's fair to say that brown interiors have had somewhat of a revival. Transitioning from red-toned browns associated with retro colors, we're now seeing more muted browns that exude warmth lead the way.

Having recently renovated his Salt Lake City family home, Tan talks about how he incorporated brown into its decor scheme, putting a new spin on this nostalgic hue. 

'Today, I love a brown and in my guest cottage there’s a lot of green but there’s also a heck of a lot of brown,' shares Tan. 'I think there’s a way of using brown that is gorgeous and sophisticated.'

chocolate brown living room with fluffy boucle chair and footstool, hardwood floor, plant, fireplace, wall light

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

When selecting a specific paint for Tan based on his discussed personal experience with color, Patrick settled on Farrow & Ball's Tanner's Brown, a deeply rich shade of brown that reads almost like charcoal. Patrick describes this bold paint idea as a 'really sophisticated, almost blackish brown.'

While Tan admits he's had to transition the way he thinks about brown decor over the years – from a dated hue to one fit for modern design, it's a color he now sees as incredibly stylish: ‘I love brown now, and I will find a way to incorporate it that I feel really chic in.’

Color expert Patrick is also full of its praises: 'I believe everybody who decorates their home should have at least one brown room because I think it is the smartest color.'

Patrick continues to elaborate on this trending shade, explaining that it has its advantages over other popular moody hues such as greens and blues, in that it is full of warmth.

When 'people use darks, they'll use dark blue, they'll use dark green, they might even use off-black,' says Patrick, but adds that 'there’s more of a coolness' to these colors. 'But if you use a dark brown, there’s drama but there’s a warmth too which you don’t get with other colors.’

If, like Tan, you're won over by the sophisticated appeal of decorating with brown, why not consider refreshing your home with brown paint? To help you on your way, we've rounded up the best brown paints that interior designers love using for moody and cozy schemes. 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.