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A client's brown and light blue dining room

A strong argument could be made that winter is the season most lacking in color and splendor. It is certainly not difficult to notice all of the dried up lawns, as well as the absence of green leaves hanging from the stately, old tree branches in my back yard. At first glance, the entire scene can seem quite dreary and sparse. Despite the fact that magnificent shades of brown surround us and wave our attentions, it is extremely easy to overlook them entirely. To use an analogy, shades of brown are to radiant colors as set creators are to famous actors. Both the color brown and the set creator forms the backdrops for their more “extroverted” counterparts, yet the latter cannot easily exist without the former. In terms of the color brown, during three season of the year, it happily takes the backseat to a rainbow of “flashier” colors. However, for one unique season of the year – winter – all of the other colors actually step aside and allow their supporter to become the supported. Wintertime is the season during which brown becomes the super star!

A client's dining room in green and brown

Long before brown became the trendy decorating color that it is today, it was my “new black” in both fashion and interior design. It is the perfect “neutral” to blend into almost any décor, and with a little “pop” from a brighter color, it adds elegance and depth to a space. In nature, a great example is the bare branches of an oak tree in the setting of a bright blue sky. The same holds true for this color combination in the realm of interior design. Brown and light blue (or aqua) complement one another in the most magnificent of ways. In fact, I love this duo so much that my signature gift bags (from the Knotting Hill Interiors retail shop) are actually brown in color, with bright blue ribbon and tissue paper as accents. Many of my design clients also have been pleasantly surprised to find their rooms dripping with rich shades of chocolate, accented by brighter, bolder colors of varying shades. In addition to bright blue, many other color selections blend beautifully with brown. Some of my favorites include coral, hot pink, bright green, and red.

Beautiful study with colorful accents

The next time you are ready to redecorate a room in your home, consider brown as a choice for your new neutral. You will be amazed at how many vibrant throw pillows and accessories will easily blend with its understated beauty. In fact, you may find yourself asking this question far less often, “But where would I put that in my house? It doesn’t match anything.” As in nature, brown is a steadfast and quiet mainstay, even when most of the other “frivolous” colors have left town for the winter.

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