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June 21, 2005

Bye, Bye Brown?

What was once clean, crisp and white is now rich, chocolate and taupe. It's everywhere - decorating condos in Miami, lining restaurants in NYC, even filing the home decor section of Target stores. Brown_2

Fitting in with the Wenge invasion, browns and taupes are taking over as The Color of contemporary. But what to pair it with - a question Pure Contemporary has seen from readers on a daily basis. Interior designer Charles Allem told Florida Inside Out, "You can take it masculine - brown and navy is drop dead chic - or you can go Florida, with wenge floors and baby blue." Other pairings include pale pink, chartreuse, pale purple, gray and even brown on brown.

Maryott Custom Interiors views brown as the dominant color in sophisticated bedding and textiles, predicting the introduction of earthy red-browns. Meanwhile, House and Garden declares, “the marriage of chocolate brown and blue evokes an urbane attitude” and is “decidedly chic and sophisticated.”

But is this trend just that -- a fleeting blip on the design radar? Gretchen Schauffler, owner of Devine Color, says "Brown became the new black and will stay as a black alternative, but not in the proportions or combinations we have seen. You will see brown in relations with neutrals and the new black will tend towards charcoals and grays."

According to British designer Kelly Hoppen, "When all the developers are doing it, then it means it's over."

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