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Brown Color Meanings

Brown Color Meanings and Associations

By understanding the meanings of color and the associations they provide us as a designer, we can use them to further enhance our design and decorating skills. We can make the interior space evoke feelings and not just be a work of art. Here we will look at brown color meanings and what we can learn about the color we think of as mud.

Brown is a warm and safe color, it encapsulates or desire to have natural things around us. Brown is often the color we call wood or timber, it is grainy and fundamentally earthy. Because it is natural it goes with almost any color. Designers love brown. It has replaced the neutral gray at the moment, and is everywhere you look.

Brown is the color we swore we would never have in our home again. It has taken 20 years to get rid of it and guess what, it is back.

Nicely named, chocolate brown now frequents our living rooms again.This time not matched up with orange but more subtle natural tones of caramel and tan, cream and white. It even looks quite stunning beside dusky pink.

Chocolate brown leather sofas, with thick lookalike fur throws and cushions. Brown Flockati Rugs, with sheepskin cushions.

Traditional brown, leather sofas, caramel carpet, and warmed up with peach cushions on the bed!

Traditional brown, leather sofas, caramel carpet, and warmed up with peach cushions on the bed.

I feel that we may have seen this look before. Anyway, fashion and trends do have a way of coming back into style with just a little change or twist to make us think it is all brand new.

Brown is currently being teamed up with hot pinks, creams and caramels, teal blue and dusky pinks, lots of metallics and bling bling decoration, beads, glass chandeliers, crystals, feathers, lace, buttons etc.

Brown is a safe color and homely, it is always around us as I have mentioned, most of our furniture is made from timber, and is brown, timber doors, timber floors, you don’t need to look far to find something brown. Unless you are in a home that was once brown and received the decoration of “paint it all white”, in that case, what was once beautiful timber is now probably covered in layers of thick glossy enamel white paint. Expensive to retrieve.

There are some wonderful uses for brown, teamed with white it provides a high contrast look and is frequently seen in fabrics and wallpapers.

It is seen alot in ceramics and earthen ware, great for decoration, house plants and exterior pots and sculptures.

brown color meanings

Oh yes, brown is back with a vengeance

In reality it never died, how many people have brown leather lounge suites or dining chairs, most timbers take on the “brown” name, so it never really dates, it is just how it is teamed up, and I quite like the current combinations of candy teal, brown and white or candy pink, brown and white. They provide fun whilst retaining stability.

Brown sturdy bottles create a wonderful decorative piece.

Brown sturdy bottles create a wonderful decorative piece.

Brown Color Meanings and Associations

Earth, Restful, Coolness and Warmth Simultaneously, Rich, Casual, Earthiness, Natural, Embraced, Tranquil, Safe, Encompassed, Dull, Homespun, Reliable, Shrewd, Stable, Sturdy, Ultraconservative.

Now that we know these color meanings for brown, have a think about where you usually see brown being used and why. I think of a library, study, health food shop, I don’t see it in a kitchen, retail store or pharmacy. Where have you seen it used and have a think about why it was chosen and if it works.


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About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse
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