Timeless colour: Brown

Everything in nature has a touch of brown in some tint or shade. Brown colour symbolizes stability, connectedness and balance but it also has the reputation of dull and boring instead the focus can be deviated to warm and earthy feeling developed if used with proper combination of different colours. Specially, in interior design it is a warm neutral colour compared to black and charcoal grey, giving elegant, grounded and comfortable feeling. It also has a quality to adapt in different ways, as it works well with all kind of colours from subtle olive green to pop bright orange.

Pick up amazing ideas on how to decorate and furnish your interiors with colour brown in the following article.

What does brown represent?

With respect to other colours brown is perceived as neutral colour as it gives reassurance. It also has negative traits like dull and predictable. It also aspires to be raw, confident and friendly if used in right context.

  • Brown is linked with reliability, assuring open and honest quality.
  • Brown is predominantly related to nature, and hence signifying wholesome mood, and expresses growth, comfort and nurture.
  • Brown is a stable colour that can be subtly used in the background adding warm and cosy ambience which cannot be done with black, white or grey.
  • Brown reflects strength and maturity because it also makes you feel rooted and accepted creating a sense of belonging.
  • Brown represents rustic and down-to-earth, preferred by urban consumers helping them to reconnect with nature helping people deal with modern life stress.
  • Brown is a subtle colour (Not seeking attention) and so giving surrounding colours more importance.
  • Brown colour has a materialistic quality and lacks the humour.

Positive and Negative features of brown:

Positive Keywords: stability, down-to-earth, approachable, supportive, sensual, warm, diverse, honest, reliable, structured, raw, cosy, subtle, reassured, elegant, practical.

Negative Keywords: serious, predictable, straightforward, dull, boring, materialistic, daunting.

Discover shades of brown:

You may have observed in nature the diverse range of variety available of colour brown. Each with their own identity and effects. Dark shades of brown such as coffee or cocoa has a strong, rich and independent feeling, as for lighter shades like camel or hazel nut has calm and sophisticate feel. Red browns such as sienna have warmth, while maintaining the unwavering assurance of brown.

shades of brown with names

  • Darker shades of brown demonstrate strong and prudent quality. It works great when incorporated with crisp white giving elegant and sophisticated look. But it also has sad and depressive feeling in certain way. If dark brown is overdone it can be overwhelming and overpowering. Hence should be used consciously.
  • Lighter shades of brown have a friendly and approachable feel. Colours like orange and blue go well with lighter shades of brown. These lighter shades can be seen as dull and boring if too much is used.
  • Tan shades of brown are ageless and effortlessly always in style. It is fresher and warmer compared to other shades of brown. It can be easily paired with any range of colour and still look well designed. This shade works great for rustic and earthy ambience.
  • Ivory shades of brown including metallic shades like copper hues. These are for rich and classy interiors. It should be incorporated for special features or highlights of the room.
  • Beige shades of brown are practical, reliable and loyal. It features well with darker shades. It should be used mostly for furniture.

What colours go with brown?

These different colour schemes explained below to help you pick right combination:

Colour Palettes according to colour wheel:

  • A Monochromatic colour scheme uses all shades and tints of brown bringing sense of unity in the room. The best face of monochromatic colour scheme is achieved with lighting. The best example is old Victorian Houses having old, classic and elegant look. This scheme is favourable for second homes, home office or farmhouses.
  • A Complementary brown colour scheme is the colour contrast colour. As brown is the shade made from orange in traditional colour wheel blue is the contrasting colour. For modern and bold take this scheme works best for young and modern approach. It is also suitable for restaurants and café interiors.
  • An Analogous brown colour scheme incorporates adjacent hues on both side of the colour wheel. Accordingly, yellow and red are used in this scheme. This colour scheme is more appropriate for flat style houses giving chic and dynamic look with just pinch of bright colour.
  • A Triadic brown colour scheme has violet and green according to modern colour wheel. Olive green or Maroon are some shades of triadic colour scheme that make amazing combination with brown. This colour scheme can be used for vibrant look.

Colour Palettes other than colour wheel:

  • Browns with White: These colour scheme has a soothing and calming effect. It also helps to create the illusion of larger space. It gives light and airy feeling like costal houses or farmhouses.
  • All neutral shades: White, Black and brown all neutral shades combination can create balance and comforting ambience. Creating contrasting interiors with momentary breaks with brown furniture.
  • Browns with Gold: Brown can also give rich and outstand feature when paired with shimmering gold colour. Highlighting one wall or some beautiful wall pieces in gold. While background with shades of brown.

Comment below for space specific advice and suggestions from certified Architect or Interior Designers!

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