I've been using chocolate brown now for a while instead of black for front doors, bathroom cabinetry headboards when staging to sell. And I just love it. I have a current client who is building a headboard for their master bedroom (bed, white duvet, limp curtains, white walls . . . you get the picture). Luckily he's handy but we're going to create a Pottery Barn style headboard and we'll paint it - yes, chocolate brown. I'll post a pic when it's done. I just did a cute little house with cream siding - did the door and shutters in chocolate and they look amazing. Changed the whole look of the house. Another one, we painted the bathroom cabinet brown and gussied it up (that's the technical term) with some brown and green accessories - fabulous. The client was really hesitant but it ended up terrific - she won't change her front door though - still red which clashes with the brick. Oh well, can't win them all.
Sherwin Williams makes a color called French Roast I've been loving - anyone else have any suggestions?
Another option to black, in our area anyway, is Belle Meade Green. Looks almost like black but it's not quite. It's one of those "insider" colors that the really prestigious houses use but we little people can use to gussie up (there I go being technical again) our doors and shutters. For some houses - this is killer.
So if anyone else has some fab brown they've been loving - I'd love to hear about it!