Comforting brown returns as a fall home decor trend

In recent years, brown anything in a living space was considered by some arbiters of decor as drab and outdated. But this fall the hue is back in favor, in part because of the unsettled, anxious state of the world.

“Brown traditionally makes people feel comfortable and safe, and those are feelings that many of us are looking to our homes to provide,” says interior designer Dawn Hamilton of Oakland Park, Florida.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

It’s just one of the trends in decor this season, when the pandemic has made home an even more essential space for living, working, studying and more. Also on the watch list: flexible rooms, indoor and out.

Cozy palette

Hamilton says today’s brown palette is being used in new ways, as a neutral in all kinds of materials, and as an accent color.

“Brown feels very earthy and rich. It’s warm and inviting, and has the same grounding properties as black, although it’s not quite as harsh,” she says.

New York designer Becky Shea also cites brown’s organic versatility: “It’s a tone that works cohesively with neutrals as well as dark, bold tones like navy, graphite and black.”

Eilyn Jimenez of Sire Design in Miami is adding a mocha brown vanity to the guest bathroom of a “minimalist, French chateau-style” home she’s designing. “It adds a layer of depth with a vintage feel,” she says.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Don’t overdo brown, she warns, but blend it with modern materials like marble for beautiful juxtapositions.

“Bringing it in with light woods, leathers and other natural materials can help make a space feel timeless,” Jimenez says.

Melissa Morgan of M Interiors in San Antonio, Texas, thinks brown’s rebirth is “a reaction to years of very light, tonal interiors. Clients are looking for warmth and sanctuary in their homes more than ever.”

Lighter, yellowish browns, like caramel, often works well in leather.

“In upholstery, we consider saddle leather to be a form of brown that’s like a trusty pair of blue jeans — it goes with everything,” says Chicago designer Brynn Olson.

Soft browns and caramels are also appearing in pillows, lamps and drapes. Caning is on trend too, says Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions in Woodbury, Minnesota.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

As for furniture, Olson likes the effect of brown stains on walnut and white oak, and says a beautifully stained built-in is timeless. “Natural walnut will always feel fresh, and we love to pair it with bright white decor such as plaster vases, for a sophisticated pairing of textures,” she says.

That brown-and-white combo has been a favorite of decorating icons, including Billy Baldwin, says New York City designer Glenn Gissler. Baldwin’s apartment in Manhattan featured a mix of glossy brown walls, white and chartreuse furniture, and brass accents. Inspired, Gissler recently painted a New York loft in a deep, rich brown, with columns and ceilings in crisp white. A long,

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Brown decor back in style | Living

In recent years, brown anything in a living space was considered by some arbiters of decor as drab and outdated. But this fall the hue is back in favor, in part because of the unsettled, anxious state of the world.

“Brown traditionally makes people feel comfortable and safe, and those are feelings that many of us are looking to our homes to provide,” says interior designer Dawn Hamilton of Oakland Park, Florida.

It’s just one of the trends in decor this season, when the pandemic has made home an even more essential space for living, working, studying and more. Also on the watch list: flexible rooms, indoor and out.

Cozy palette

Hamilton says today’s brown palette is being used in new ways, as a neutral in all kinds of materials, and as an accent color.

“Brown feels very earthy and rich. It’s warm and inviting, and has the same grounding properties as black, although it’s not quite as harsh,” she says.

New York designer Becky Shea also cites brown’s organic versatility: “It’s a tone that works cohesively with neutrals as well as dark, bold tones like navy, graphite and black.”

Eilyn Jimenez of Sire Design in Miami is adding a mocha brown vanity to the guest bathroom of a “minimalist, French chateau-style” home she’s designing. “It adds a layer of depth with a vintage feel,” she says.

Don’t overdo brown, she warns, but blend it with modern materials like marble for beautiful juxtapositions.

“Bringing it in with light woods, leathers and other natural materials can help make a space feel timeless,” Jimenez says.

Melissa Morgan of M Interiors in San Antonio, Texas, thinks brown’s rebirth is “a reaction to years of very light, tonal interiors. Clients are looking for warmth and sanctuary in their homes more than ever.”

Lighter, yellowish browns, like caramel, often works well in leather.

“In upholstery, we consider saddle leather to be a form of brown that’s like a trusty pair of blue jeans – it goes with everything,” says Chicago designer Brynn Olson.

Soft browns and caramels are also appearing in pillows, lamps and drapes. Caning is on trend too, says Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions in Woodbury, Minnesota.

As for furniture, Olson likes the effect of brown stains on walnut and white oak, and says a beautifully stained built-in is timeless. “Natural walnut will always feel fresh, and we love to pair it with bright white decor such as plaster vases, for a sophisticated pairing of textures,” she says.

That brown-and-white combo has been a favorite of decorating icons including Billy Baldwin, says New York City designer Glenn Gissler. Baldwin’s apartment in Manhattan featured a mix of glossy brown walls, white and chartreuse furniture, and brass accents. Inspired, Gissler recently painted a New York loft in a deep, rich brown, with columns and ceilings in crisp white. A long, tuxedo-style sofa in milk-chocolatey velvet anchors the space, along with tonal modern art.

Colors like purples and blues, of any intensity, also complement brown.

Comfort

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Senior Deonte Brown Crucial to Crimson Tide’s Interior O-Line Play

Cornbread is what they call him. 

“I got it when I first came here as a true freshman,” University of Alabama offensive lineman Deonte Brown said when asked the origins of his peculiar nickname. “Some of the older guys joking around with me and saying that and it became my nickname.”

Brown, who starts eight games at right guard a season ago for the Crimson Tide, appears to be making the transition back to left guard, where he started five games in 2018, this season. 

“I’ve played both right and left guard,” Brown said. “To me it’s probably more mental than physical. [As for physical] the only real difference is hand on the ground. But knowing which position is doing what is probably the most challenging.”

The 6-foot-4, 350 pound lineman is one of the four returning starters to Alabama’s offensive line, and the Crimson Tide will rely heavily on him, in the interior of the trenches. 

“We’re a pretty tight-knit group,” Brown said. “There really wasn’t that much chemistry lost.”

Earlier in fall camp, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian noted how important this unit will be for the team’s success in 2020, starting with Brown. 

“We obviously have an abundance of of experience up front, when you start talking about Deonte Brown, Landon Dickerson, Alex Leatherwood, Chris Owens, Evan Neal,” Sarkisian said a couple weeks ago. “Those guys have played a lot of football. I think one of the things that comes out of it is the communication factor, those guys can communicate really well with one another up front. I think, two, their communication to us as coaches. They’ve seen a lot of football, they know some of the issues the defense is presenting and making the proper adjustments that way. And then thirdly, I think from a game plan standpoint. When have a veteran group, you can do some subtle tweaks, you can do some things with those guys that maybe you couldn’t do with a younger group, just from an inexperience standpoint. 

“So all in all, these guys are battle-tested, they’ve been in a lot of big games, they’ve competed against the best opponents, so we got a lot of faith in them and we’re fortunate. I’ve been in seasons where we haven’t had such a veteran offensive line, so with this group of guys we’re looking forward to those guys being the bell cows in the run game and the pass game, and from a leadership standpoint offensively.”

The Crimson Tide has a scheduled off day from practice on Friday, but if all went according to plan, this week should have been spent preparing for the USC Trojans in Arlington, Tex. 

““It kind of is with COVID-19,” Brown said when asked if it was weird not having a game on Labor Day weekend. 

“But we’re adjusting well.”

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