ColorTherapy: The Blue and Brown Palette

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Name: Galvanized UL12 (above)
Brand: Ralph Lauren

If great minds think alike, then I think we’d all agree on one thing: blue and brown go perfectly together and are the greatest pair since pizza and beer...

I don’t think I’d really call this color combination a fad, and I can’t quite call it retro either. The thing that really turns my crank is the pairing of a warm dark with a cool light, and readers of this column will know that dark brown is one of my favorite colors.

The first photo was taken chez moi, and my accent wall (Ralph Lauren Galvanized UL12) was the first column I ever wrote for this website. Here I combine brown with blue in the accents: robin’s-egg blue pillow cases, the backing on my grandmother’s quilt, and an oil sketch by artist Brian Gilmartin.

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Jonathan Adler has created a large portion of his inventory in blue and brown, including these throw pillows in retro patterns. See his website for further details.

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The last photo is from my friend Richard, an editor in L.A. He painted his dinette in Ralph Lauren Edwardian Burgundy (VM95) and Benjamin Moore Sea Foam (2123-60), and tied the two together with vintage drapes. I find the result to be smart and homey.

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.