Brown is the New Black for Antique Furniture, Says Classics Direct

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Brown has replaced black as the must-have colour for dark natural wood pieces, according to Classics Direct.

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Antique brown furniture is enjoying a renaissance as savvy homeowners look for signature items to decorate their houses.

Online furniture retailers Classics Direct has reported a marked increase in sales of its oak, mahogany and other dark natural wood pieces.

The company, which sells traditional English reproduction furniture as well as pieces with black painted and shabby chic finishes, has found that its range of traditional bedroom furniture is being snapped up by private buyers as well as boutique hotels and country houses.

The trend does not seem to be a one-off, with antiques experts also noticing a renewed interest at the quality end of the market.

Christie's expert Philip Duckworth, in The Telegraph, has pointed to the recent rise in buyers owning a small selection of signature pieces rather than filling the house with antiques of all shapes and sizes.
And Classics Direct confirmed that it looks to be a trend that is here to stay.

A spokesperson said: "The popularity of the shabby chic look has created a wave of interest in high-quality antique French furniture and that has spilled over into other types of classic furniture, particularly brown furniture.

"People now have the confidence to mix antique and modern styles, creating a look that is utterly unique for their home."

Bedroom collections such as The Ascot and The Lewes offer beds with spectacular carved headboards that have come back into fashion after the success of ITV's Downton Abbey.

And Classics Direct agreed that the phenomenal popularity of period dramas like Downton was a key factor in the resurgence in demand for classic furniture suites.

"There's a great nostalgia for the luxury of the Edwardian era, when rooms glowed with warm wood tones offset by crisp white bed linen,” the spokesperson added.

"That style is certainly making a comeback and it extends from the bedroom right through to dining and living room furniture."

The shabby chic look was originally inspired by the decor of French chateaux, where large antique pieces such as armoires and chests decorated with several layers of paint bore the knocks and scratches of many years of use.

To see the full range of Classics Direct French style bedroom furniture as well as other types of furniture, visit

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Richard Baker