Is brown decor the style trend you’ve been looking for?

Let's turn this controversial colour into the hero of your home.
Kristina Soljo/

Brown is apparently the colour of the moment, but how can you turn this colour trend from drab to fab? 

The steady emergence of brown has gathered momentum since the end of 2023, and now brown, in all its chocolatey glory, is having its moment. 

According to forecasting experts WGSN, a warm approach to home lifestyles has become the new thing. A new subsection of interior design has been dubbed ‘soulful minimalism’, where natural materials, woven textures and an earthy colour scheme with whites, greens and browns are reigning supreme. 

These brown hues are much similar to the cosiness and rekindling of connection that the Pantone colour of the year, ‘Peach Fuzz’ aimed to express.

An added push has come, unsurprisingly, from Pinterest and social media, where ’70s shag, rich brown velvets and brown patterning has been popularised.

A toned down 1970’s outlook, with none of the garishness and all of the suave best describes ‘soulful minimalism’. 

Now that brown is the new pink, how can you best fit this comforting colour into your home? 

Let’s find out together.

(Credit: John Paul Urizar/

Consider size and space

The size of the room your decorating is important, as is the feeling you want to evoke. A larger room with high ceilings and lots of natural light can handle copious amount so brown without creating heaviness or dark corners. If grandness isn’t a key feature in your home, then too dark a tone of brown can feel oppressive or just downright dull. In smaller spaces, use brown as a focal point or statement rather than a repeated colour choice.

This can be done through choosing small accents in a specific shade of brown, like coffee or tan. Choosing lighter brown tones will mean a lighter outlook, which can increase spatial qualities. However, if you purposely want to establish a sense of cocooning warmth, you can envelop your space in rich tones of chocolate to create a snug little area.

Use the walls as a stylistic device

Of course, brown walls are a simple way to establish the warmth and earthiness that ‘soulful minimalism’ encapsulates. Since walls take up the largest space within a room, brown will be a feature that cannot be missed, so it must be done with purpose. The walls can be made brown through more obvious ways, like paint and wallpaper, but also through the use of panelling or hung art that hero a specific brown tone. 

If you’re choosing wallpaper as your stylistic device, make sure to stay away from bolder, more retro patterns, and stick to classic motifs and simpler icons for a more well-rounded look. For paint, there are a million and one shades to choose from. Again, lighter tones like tobacco and butterscotch will brighten a space, while darker, rich tones will blanket a space in warmth. 

(Credit: Nic Gossage/

Play around with different colour combinations

Brown is a strong colour; it emits durability, tenacity and fortitude. This means that matching colours to brown, no matter the shade, can be challenging to get right. If you stray from the strength of brown, you may end up more on the end of dinginess than the original inviting room you were hoping for.

Because brown at it’s heart is made from warmth (even with the cooler tones), it is best to stick to complementary colours such as yellow and red-based whites, lighter to mid blues and pistachio and sage green. A warm, dusty pink also works wonders with light tans and taupes. 

(Credit: Martina Gemmola/

Take an easy win with wood

Wood is an obvious way to establish the ‘soulful minimalism’ mood, but if it works, it works! Again, wood wall-panelling offers a unique way to decorate an interior, but having wooden furniture pieces and solid timber will just as easily bring that warm and cosy vibe. Think antique and handcrafted rather than scandi design to create that grounding feeling.

Because lighter oaks and beeches are so popular in mass production, they can sometimes be seen as cheap and cheerful rather than warm and rich. Dark wood can be moody or sincere depending on how you choose to style it.  

(Credit: Nic Cossage/

Delve into new textures and mediums

Velvets, knits and woven items fit perfectly into the handmade, enveloping quality of ‘soulful minimalism’. Bring out your old woollen blankets and invest in a woven rug to establish both the look and physical feel of warmth. Nothing is more inviting in a living room than a carpet that is so soft it makes you want to lie down on it.

Wall art can be made from tapestry and material pieces for a further grasp at suaveness, while tactile elements in your decor, like velvet cushions will increase richness. Since ‘soulful minimalism’ is so focused on neutral and natural, sticking to cottons, woollens, linens and other native materials will elicit that sincerity. 

Our current favourite brown decor items 


Aura Home Crinkle throw in pecan, $132.30 (was $189.00), Myer

The texture of this crinkle design perfectly encapsulates the brown ‘soulful minimalism’ that everybody is loving at the moment. With natural looking raw edges and a soft pecan colourway, this throw would fit into any living space or bedroom that needs a bit of brown in it. 


Chocolate boucle cushion, $56, Urban Road

Dark chocolate creates that richness in your living room, and this boucle cushion is no stranger to feeling rich. A soft, fluffy feel and luxurious long shape makes this cushion the most inviting element in the room. 


Adairs vintage washed linen caramel sheets (separates), $71.99 – $197.99, Adairs

Caramel sheets are sure to evoke a cosy feeling in the bedroom, and will definitely give you a good night’s sleep! Made with washed linen, these sheets are a textural heaven, and establish that grounding, durable quality that brown is known for. 


Atrium Barker silver jute rug, $199, Simple Style Co.

Natural materials and brown just go hand in hand, and jute is the perfect example of that. Elicit that down-to-earth feeling with this silver jute rug from Simple Style Co. and feel cosy from the ground up. 

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