Have you ever noticed how many designers have made their mark on the design world by creating gorgeous brown rooms? And not just any brown, but a deep, dark, and sometimes glossy brown. David Hicks, Billy Baldwin, and Vay Day Truex are just a few of the designers who have created stunning (and legendary) brown rooms- rooms that still serve as inspiration today.
But what I want to know is who jumped on the brown bandwagon first. And who influenced who?
Van Day Truex seemed to lead the way with his gorgeous brown living room, designed in 1951. Truex was a style setter, so I wonder if he influenced Billy Baldwin's enthusiastic and masterly use of glossy brown. After all, when you think of glossy brown walls, don't you immediately think of Baldwin's Manhattan apartment:
So, was Truex responsible for Baldwin's affinity for brown? Or was it in fact Mrs. Walter Farwell, a friend of Ruby Ross Wood who designed a Coromandel lacquered room in her home that captivated Baldwin, at least according to his memoir Billy Baldwin Remembers :
And what about David Hicks? Hicks' living room with its Coca-Cola lacquered walls has a bit of an American look to it. Might he have been emulating some of his American counterparts? I have a feeling that had Hicks been influenced by American designers, he would not have divulged this information:
Albert Hadley has used glossy brown throughout his career. He freely admits that he was greatly influenced by the design greats such as Truex (a close friend) and Baldwin. Not only is Hadley a genius, he's a gentleman too:
And what about Sister Parish's living room circa 1968? Was she solely responsible for the choice of glossy brown walls? Or, was she testing out Hadley's more modern aesthetic:
And the cycle continues... Miles Redd chose glossy brown for one of his early projects. He has cited Hadley as having an impact on his style, so are we seeing that here?