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Where has the brown gone?

One thing we take pride in at Sturman & Co. is how Bess tailors each design specifically to each client’s individual taste and needs, using but not relying heavily on current trends.  We’re not about show homes, but forever homes which make a positive difference in real life.

The anchor points from which Bess start her design process with a client can be unusual.  Can we find something different that none of their friends have?  Or something they saw in a hotel in Australia?  Yes we can!  We’re never sure what unique sourcing request is coming next and we get a lot of variety, but one thing is certain – no one has asked for anything brown in a very long time.

Not a sofa, a carpet, or even a plant pot.  Brown has been relegated for a few years now, mostly in favour of grey, navy and black.  We suppose it’s a fashion thing, but we’ve started to feel a bit sorry for brown, so we set ourselves a challenge to find some brown stuff that still feels modern.

So the challenge we made was to find cool brown lampshades (not metallics, which are much more popular at the moment) and we found a few.  It’s not exhaustive and we would welcome any other suggestions…  Go on, have a look.  We’re collecting them all on a pinterest board here:


And the exercise has showed us that brown is still there, quietly retaining more than a little space in our modern interior schemes.  Solid brown swathes of fabric, less so, but it’s always there as a classic in wood flooring and furniture.

And the lampshades?  Brown is a versatile colour, which adds warmth and character to a scheme.  A balanced scheme needs light, dark and neutral shades and brown can take up any of these spots.  Style-wise, to keep it contemporary, just stick to simple shapes and natural textures.  Rattan works well with mid-century furniture (see below), whilst a Graypants cardboard option would be perfect in a sculpted minimalist setting.

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