A craving for chocolate brown

When fashioned by designer Piero Lissoni, dark brown leather appears light as a feather: the new SAKé sofa from B&B Italia

Earthy, exquisite and sensual are just a few of the extremely pleasant characteristics associated with home décor in chocolate brown. Chocolate, mocha and caramel trigger our craving for new furniture and accessories.

As the colour of the soil that nurtures and feeds us, brown has never been completely out of fashion. Now, however, it’s developing into a genuine trend setter and heralding an end to chilly interiors and sombre minimalism. Bringing a warm glow to our hearts, brown is both tantalising and pleasing to the eye. A colour that radiates a sense of well-being, while creating a relaxing atmosphere. In addition, it’s unmatched in terms of the vast  array of colours that it can be combined with and is capable of changing our mood in line with its choice of partner.

Brown is highly compatible

The reason for this versatility is that brown is a blend of many different colours and therefore has an understandably amicable relationship with almost every other hue. Brown evokes a particularly cosy atmosphere in natural combinations with colours such as cream, sand and beige – and these blends are currently extremely popular. Green design and new naturalness are currently key trends in furnishing. Whether it’s walls, furniture, textiles or decorations, natural colours are everywhere.

Warm tones for cosiness

Although brown furnishings make rooms appear smaller, this spatial restriction also conveys a sense of security. The colour creates a homely atmosphere in rooms, thus ultimately facilitating an ideal indoor climate. Being a warm tone, it generates energy and joy, but tends to be less vexing than red, its outspoken relative. Brown generates a feeling of closeness and intimacy, in keeping with today’s authentic lifestyle – placing much greater emphasis on individuality and well-being rather than trying to maintain a façade. But don’t forget that combining too many brown tones diminishes the overall effect thereof.

Elegant contrasts

Brown’s classiest partner is undoubtedly pure white – creating a strong contrast that ensures interior elegance without compromising on cosiness. Although teaming up brown with gold and copper definitely creates a glamorous impression, both should be used in moderation to avoid a cluttered appearance.

Brown is regarded as the ideal base colour for experimenting with fashionable or seasonal whims: adding a vibrant green, for example, brings a light-hearted splash of freshness. Replacing green with turquoise adds a touch more elegance, but is equally exhilarating. Unsurprisingly, the colours of earth and water ensure perfect harmony.

Classy combination with pastel colours

Unobtrusive and mellow, verging on elegant, that’s the impression brown creates in combination with muted tones, like watercolours that hark back to the 1950s or 1960s – a gentle lime green or delicate ivory, for example. Equally tantalizing results can be obtained through combinations with darker shades such as taupe (somewhere between grey and brown, with a hint of blue) and mauve (a mixture of violet and blue, reminiscent of heather-clad hills).

Brown can form a wonderful symbiosis with pastel tones and powdery shades as well. When combined with pink, for example, it tones down this colour’s sugary quality without eliminating its sweet graceful charm. For a delicate shade of light blue, teaming up with dark brown can bring about a real sense of maturity.

Additions welcome

Brown performs best in company. Although deliciously appealing, too much chocolate brown is said to have a somewhat negative effect on our creativity. Such a dominant colour can induce feelings of stress and exhaustion. However, by choosing suitable colourful additions and making a few deft adjustments, you can create a warm and homely atmosphere. A handful of new accessories, colour-coordinated curtain and cushion materials, bedspreads and covers can work absolute wonders. Brown is the colour of wood, leather and unbleached wool – organic materials that are gaining importance in terms of interior design, due to the trend towards naturalness.

An article by Tanja Müller

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