For a while there was a trend of naming new color trends by saying the color was the ‘new’ black. Perhaps the best example was ‘pink is the new black’ when the color pink was supposed to replace black as the staple color in a wardrobe. Well, in Futurustic style, brown is the old black. By this I mean that if you have a modern piece and want it to look older, change it out from black to brown.
This is best done with leather – from furniture to shoes and belts. For example, take one of the icon of modern design, the Barcelona chair – which you typically see in black or white – and make it brown and it will fit better in an eclectic setting such as a futuristic room.
Admittedly it doesn’t change it much, but just enough to make it less ultra modern and a little more welcome in a decor with older styles.
Here is an example with personal fashion, namely shoes. Take the same wingtip oxford shoe in black and distressed brown leather and you can easily see the difference in apparent age and the style they would work best with.
Another example is a leather jacket. Take the classic biker jacket, I think you can see how the brown version looks more like a 30s to 40s that someone like Indiana Jones may wear versus the back one which is definitely a 50s and later biker, rebel, and punk jacket.
Of course leather is not the only time replacing black with brown works. In fabric brown tones look more natural, rustic, and older – compare brown to black versions of houndstooth or herringbone. A black suit can be modern or classic, but a brown suit is retro. Add some brown, in the form of rust, to a black metal (iron) object and it of course looks more rustic. The possibilities are endless.
Finally, I am sure it is obvious, but it can work the other way around. Make something brown, such as a natural stained wood, to black and you make it more modern to add that touch to your style.