From Furniture to Paint, This “Ugly” Color Is Back For 2024 (And We Love It)

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WORDS BY Kelsey Clark

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Published on April 10, 2024

Welcome (back) to the era of all brown everything. Once a mainstay in 1970s fashion and interior design, warm, earthy brown has officially made its way mainstream once again.

While high contrast black and relaxed grays will always remain relevant, rich brown is making recurring appearance in countless on-trend closets and homes by way of furniture, decorative accents, and textiles. It’s no longer dated and dusty — today’s version feels luxe, organic, and dare we say, sexy (particularly when velvet is involved).

Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

While the color certainly recalls retro 1970s interiors, it’s a warm neutral at heart, and therefore just as versatile as black, gray, or even white. We’ve seen it sing in more traditional interiors, as well as retro-modern spaces.

How to Decorate with Rich Brown

If you’re crushing on this on-trend color, too, we don’t blame you. Ahead, Havenly designer Kasee Smith shares a few ways to bring rich shades of chocolate, espresso, cognac, and tan into the home.

Paint: While the sound of brown paint doesn’t feel particularly appealing, hear us out: shades like Farrow & Ball Wainscot, Benjamin Moore’s French Press, and Clare Paint’s Coffee Date are incredibly beautiful. We love the idea of subtle application, like painted wainscoting, a fireplace mantel, or a bookshelf interior. If your heart is set on a bold brown paint moment, by all means, go monochrome.

Leather: A cognac or tan leather sofa is a timeless way to add a pop of rich brown to your living space. If you’re not ready to invest in a large piece, opt for lighting, hardware, or decor with brown leather details, like this CB2 lamp

Rugs: A neutral rug with various tones of brown, tan, and ivory is a low-lift way to anchor a room while adding on-trend texture and dimension. 

Wood: From vases and decorative objects to furniture, wooden pieces add a warm, organic touch to any space. If you want to lean slightly retro, opt for striking burl wood accents.

Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

Velvet: There’s something so luxe about brown velvet. This rich yet timeless fabric works well across large and small pieces, from sofas to throw pillows. Plus, it’s incredibly durable!

Metals: Iron, brass, and copper metals can all lean brown, depending on the exact finish. Go for a lamp, side table, pendant light, or decorative accent with a well-worn look.

Prints:  Add a touch of brown via printed chairs, throw pillows, or even artwork — have fun with it! Don’t forget to mix both small and large patterns for a sense of balance.

Next up, bring the look home with our 12 favorite pieces of the moment:

Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

1. Aisley Wood Vase

Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

For a touch of natural brown, we absolutely love this raw wood vase from Pottery Barn. It complements a wide range of design styles (from farmhouse to warm minimalist, and looks great on its own or with an oversized floral arrangement.

2. Lowen Leather Sofa


Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

With warm cognac leather upholstery and a distinctly modern silhouette, this low-slung sofa from Interior Define is modern-classic perfection. This beauty will warm up any room — pair it with boucle swivel accent chairs and warm white paint for a touch of high-contrast color and texture.

3. Mishka Wood Side Table


Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

For a subtle hint of brown to complement a brown throw or pillow set, look no further than this sculptural side table. A gem from The Citizenry, this piece boasts the most gorgeous natural wood tone (acacia wood in a deep cocoa finish, to be exact) that’s sure to blend with any warm minimalist or modern-retro interiors.

4. Fiona Swivel Chair


Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

Is it weird to call this soft brown swivel chair delicious? Because that’s the first word that comes to mind. From the gorgeous camel hue to the sumptuous performance velvet and curved silhouette, it channels the 1970s and eighties in the best possible way.

5. Nitara Area Rug


Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

For a neutral area rug with a bit more depth, we love this texture-rich beauty from The Citizenry. With ivory, soft brown, and dusty coral, the finished look is two-toned and always adds dimension and visual interest to any space.

6. Maxwell Velvet Sofa

Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

From the turned wood legs to the luxe velvet upholstery, this timeless sofa adds a subtle traditional charm to any interior (and we’re absolutely here for it). Go all-in on the softer side of the brown color spectrum with this fawn statement piece, and balance out the look with natural accents and a touch of greenery.

7. Antelope Throw Pillow

Brown color trend | brown throw pillow

Animal print is one of our favorite ways to add a little pop of natural tan and brown, and this antelope throw pillow from The Inside is a no-brainer. It’s understated enough to blend with any design style — we love that it doesn’t scream “animal print” or lean too themed.

8. Curves Floor Lamp

Brown color trend | brown floor lamp

Gold and brown are a match made in heaven, and this antique brass floor lamp offers a touch of both (thanks to the hand-applied finish and leather wrap detail). Pair it with modern, low-slung brown accent chairs for a traditional touch — just look at that worn finish and ornate detailing!

9. Rue Wood Dining Chair


Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

If you’re just looking to add a trendy brown accent to your space, a statement chair is a great place to start. This wood and cane dining chair from Interior Define is current yet timeless, thanks to the classic frame and on-point brown wood.

10. Rowan Upholstered Canopy Bed

Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

We 100% support going full-on retro 70s with this fully-upholstered canopy bed in luxe mocha vintage velvet (bonus: it’s a performance fabric). From the streamlined frame to the rich brown hue, it’s the perfect retro statement piece for any guest room or main bedroom.

11. Chocolate Brown Throw Pillow

Brown color trend | brown throw pillow

Seriously, does it get any more rich than this chocolate brown throw pillow? This is the perfect low-lift accent to embrace if you’re just looking to dip your toe into the retro brown trend — the gorgeous color and fringed detail is perfectly warm.

12. Totora Storage Basket

Brown color scheme | Brown color trend design

If you prefer to stay in warm minimalist territory as opposed to veering into full-on retro 70s, test the waters with a natural accent, like this woven storage basket from The Citizenry. Style it with textured throw blankets and pillows for a little softness.

From trending colors to perfecting room flow, our designers are chock-full of expert tips. Start with our style quiz to work with a design pro one-on-one.

Words by Kelsey Clark