I have been in the design business for over twelve years. I have seen fads come and go, and trends thrown to the wayside for the next up and coming thing. One thing that never seems to lose it’s luster is the color ~ brown. I know the new, shiny, fun color for the year has been grey. BUT, like green, brown never goes away. The grey undertone may become more prevalent this fall, but brown is here to stay. People just gravitate to it. Brown is organic, rich, and earthy. It goes with every thing and look in any book from the 1950’s to now and what do you see over and over? Brown. It is a timeless color, and one of my all time favorite browns is by Benjamin Moore,
It’s oh so bittersweet…..
Benjamin Moore Bittersweet Chocolate 2441
Curious, I contacted my friend and color expert, Kelly Berg over at Arte Styling. I wanted her take on the color, and why she thought it had such sticking power:
“I think browns, in general, have staying power because they are grounding. Humans strongly associate browns with the earth, so using brown in our spaces can help to create a very solid, stable environment.”

“Deep, rich browns remind us of chocolate and coffee…while pale golden imbued browns can look like a sandy beach. Deep “espresso” and “chocolate” browns have had particular staying power in the past 10 years, especially in furniture-wood finishes. West Elm has nearly built an entire brand with these chocolate-y hues!”
  West Elm

“While beiges have their time and place,  I feel that most of them lose their grounding quality when they are lightened, making them kind of wimpy, indecisive hues.”
Louis Di Calla

“Deep browns are like a softer alternative to black. They allow us to get the depth and drama of black but with a softer, warmer edge. Too much brown – wood or other materials – can be heavy. In an interior space we have to have balance. In nature, browns are balanced with many other colors. Sometimes a color novice will overuse brown and mess up that balance, making the space feel off. We’ve all been in that house with wood-paneled walls, and dark brown shag carpet, better known as “the 1970’s.” “None of us need to revisit that trend.” ~Kelly Berg, Color Expert

I agree with Kelly and her statement, “…it can help to create a very solid, stable environment.”  This is very true, especially in a time when society needs stability more than ever! 

“Brown has a quality that no other color can provide. It is rich, and can be associated with many things, but most importantly it connects us to nature. Ever wonder why brown and green together are so popular? Think about it…” ~Amanda Burdge, Interior Designer, Nashville Home and Garden, 2008.

Thomas Lavin

I agreed with Kelly one hundred percent, but I wanted to dig deeper. So I contacted Lori Sawaya over at Color Budz to get her take on this theory of ours on Brown. 
According to Lori: 

“Much of brown’s appeal lies in it’s ability to simultaneously reinforce notions of formational possibilities and create well-rooted security.  It’s that unusual juxtaposition of feeling that attracts many to the color brown.”
“When I think about using brown interior or exterior my mind immediately reaches for its elegantly purposeful side.  Done right, brown is well-edited and organically edgy.” ~Lori Sawaya, Color Expert
Candace Cavanaugh
 Brown says stability and reliability. It is the color of our earth and all things organic. It gives us a sense of orderliness and connection. It is no mistake that companies like UPS has Pullman Brown as it’s iconic trademark color. And what do you think of when you hear Hershey’s chocolate? Not only does this word signify a rich brown color, but it also entices our taste buds.

Adrienne Neff


Paint is a dynamic creature. It can be energetic, active, serene, bold, and the list of adjectives goes on. What is unique about brown is it’s ability to be all things. Brown allows us to be bold and dramatic, but due to it’s suggestion to nature, it is soft, easy and luxurious.
God has a brown voice, as soft as brown sugar and full of beer.” ~ Anne Sexton
What does brown signify to you?
What is your favorite Brown Color?


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