“Skipping and a jumping / In the misty morning fog with / Our hearts a thumpin' and you / My brown eyed girl” – Northern Irish songwriter Van Morrison.
Brown says friendly, outdoors, nostalgic, earthy, natural, practical, reliable and perhaps conservative. It’s also a much more subtle and changeable colour than British people think.
The Japanese, who are very precise about colour, don’t have a word for ‘brown’. They have a variety of phrases, the most-used being ‘chairo’, which is literally ‘tea colour’.
Brown has a homely association with food and drink, from bread, dark meat and chocolate to coffee, tea and beer.
Most shades qualify as neutrals, and look particularly good in a woody kitchen or living room. Add colour to liven things up, or keep it brown to calm things down – without getting into a dark brown depression.