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,” said Chicago designer Brynn Olson.
Soft browns and caramels are also appearing in pillows, lamps and drapes. Caning is on trend too, said Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions in Woodbury, Minn.
As for furniture, Olson likes the effect of brown stains on walnut and white oak, and said that 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 said.
That brown-and-white combo has been a favorite of decorating icons including Billy Baldwin, said 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.