Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that chocolate brown was considered a strong, replacement neutral. In the early 2000s, browns (especially in luxe textures) replaced solid black. Light gray then, soft beige followed. New neutrals are always a “thing” because they provide the baseline for trendy accent colors. They change more slowly too. You’ll notice it anytime you’re looking for something that has a long use life such as boots, furniture, appliances, fixtures, or coats.
Lately, browns have been coming back — a warm turn away from blue-grey neutrals. It falls in line with that 90s return that hit us hard in early 2020 and has yet to give a visual inch in content creation.
Each time brown comes back, its accents shift slightly. In the 70s, it was paired with avocado and Mustard. In the 80s, brown was paired with more brown. In the 90s, you would see brown with sage green and pops of pink. In the early 2000s, fuchsia and teal accompanied chocolate tones.
This time around, I’m voting for shades of warm yellow. They’re often seen together in nature and have a long history together.