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Brown Is The New Grey: Here’s How To Style It In Your Interiors

Brown Is The New Grey: Here’s How To Style It In Your Interiors

Grey has fallen out of favour with interior design lovers in recent years after dominating interior trends as a key neutral for the best part of a decade. As trends for 2024 move towards more playful interiors, designers are embracing a new neutral.

In a recent study carried out by furniture retailer ScS, half of Brits (49%)¹ agreed that grey interiors are outdated now, indicating that this move away from grey home interiors is not just an opinion held by designers. 

Interior trend experts, including Victoria Foster, Interior Stylist at ScS is predicting that brown will be the new ‘grey’ in interiors this year – a versatile and welcoming colour that ties into many current style trends. Below, Victoria offers her advice on embracing brown in your home, what colours it pairs best with and how to style brown impactfully.

Ditching the grey

One of the key trends for this year is embracing colour and moving away from minimal white and grey interiors. For those still keen to keep some neutrality in their colour scheme, brown is the perfect choice. Complimentary to most colours and timeless, brown adds a warmth to the home that grey and white lack.

For those who have gone ‘all in’ on the grey trend, you may find that your interiors lack depth and character. Our association with grey is often of stability – it is solid and calming which is favourable in certain areas of the home, but shades of grey can often feel uninspiring, cold and flat.

That being said, grey as a colour will never be completely ‘out of style’ and is likely to have a resurgence at some point due to its versatility and practical properties. It is a great colour choice in certain settings and rooms of the home such as kitchens and bathrooms, but best paired with warm colours to balance out its cool tone.

Trending shades

As is often the case, interior styles follow fashion trends, so where we saw shades of chocolate brown on SS24 runways at the end of 2023, we’re now seeing this trickle into our homes, too. The retro trends of the 1970s are also inspiring lots of homes this year, with glamorous dark mahogany shades, structured velvet sofas and brass accents making their way back into our homes. Different shades of brown are a perfect complement to the rich wood tones that are prominent once again.

Earthy colours and fabrics are also trending, of which brown is an anchor colour. Lots of brown shades can be considered ‘earthy’ – from light beiges to clay and mocha. All of which pair well with other earthy colours such as dark green, burnt orange and deep blue. This trend works best when you accessorise with natural textures – think wool, leather and wood.

Monochromatic styling

Monochromatic colour schemes are a trend in themselves this year, but it’s one that works especially well with brown. Mixing light beige shades with darker, rich tones creates a really soft but impactful and cosy vibe. To keep monochrome interesting, mix materials and textures when it comes to your soft furnishings – by opting for velvet, boucle and rattan for things like your sofas, curtains and rugs. 

Because of the tonal range of brown as a colour, there is a shade to match or compliment any wood finish – as long as the undertone is the same, so it is easy to pair with wooden accessories and finishes.

Complementary colours

One in five Brits (18%) said they would use brown colours if they were redecorating their home but for those wondering which shades to pair it with, Victoria suggests: 

Brown is easily paired with various colours but some of my favourite combinations are with rich shades of green, warm oranges or pale blues. Brown also pairs beautifully well with pink as it sits opposite pink and red on the colour wheel. I’d suggest pairing dark shades of brown with light, warm shades of pink and light beige with magenta for maximum contrast and impact.

Image: ScS

In terms of colours to avoid mixing with brown, I’d suggest being cautious of black-brown combinations, though you don’t have to steer clear of them completely. Camel and espresso shades pair well with black, but warmer undertones can clash with a flat ‘true black’ tone. I’d also avoid mixing brown with purple, unless you’re using a light shade of either one as these are strong colours that don’t always complement each other.

How to add brown into different rooms in your home


Often modern kitchens capitalise on lighting with large windows or french style doors, which makes them feel really natural and bright – creating an ‘outdoors indoors’ feel. This makes this a beautiful space for adding elements of brown. A great way to do this is through furniture pieces such as dining chairs or bar stools, or, if you have an open plan kitchen-living space, a corner sofa or armchair in leather or suede can also make great choices for adding a subtle pop of brown.

Living room

When it comes to the living room, brown makes a relaxing colour choice. It’s particularly impactful in rooms with wood flooring as it really complements the tones in the wood and can draw them to the eye. I really love using browns, greens and whites in a living room space as it gives it a neutral but fresh feel. If you like clean white walls, I’d suggest opting for a statement sofa in green and accessorising with brown through artwork, coffee table books and vases.

Tan is a great shade to use with green, it is contrasting and complementary in both measures. Consider choosing a love chair in tan leather for a piece that stands out and adds interest to the room.


Brown bedrooms have the power to instantly make you feel relaxed and calm, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Save the brown for your wall colour and throws, keeping your bedding neutral. Mixing in colours such as orange and pink can give more life and interest to the room, too.

¹OnePulse survey of 500 people on their opinions of the grey interiors trend conducted in March 2024.

Images: Unsplash