Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Trend Setting

Until I attended Interiors UK last month at the NEC, I never really gave a lot of thought to who decides what trends will be trends and the importance of colour. I thought each magazine simple took inspiration from collection previews developed by interior design and homeware manufacturers and deciding what they liked best. And when it comes to deciding what colour is ‘in’ this season, I never knew so much discussion and analytics actually take place.

Twice a year, Global Colour Research brings together professionals from all design disciplines and from across the world to discuss what they have been inspired by and to agree a consensus on what common themes were emerging. It seems that ‘choosing a favourite colour’ is actually quite hard work.

According to Global Colour Research, colour is our way of communicating with and understanding the world and different colours have different representations and interpretations. Global Colour Research predict the key trends in colour for the year ahead, creating a colour palette for each trend and advising how to adopt this trend in design. At Interiors UK 2012 identified four distinct colour trends for 2012 / 2013 – Shanty, Ember, Tender and Bleep.

In a nutshell, here’s a guide to the colour concepts that will be shaping interior design this year and next:

SHANTY: Inspired by maritime, Shanty takes its cues from water with dramatic tones of red and indigo through to softy shades of algae and other sun-bleached colours. Think nautical stripes, rough finishes, driftwood, sea-worn glass and stone washed textures. Different washes of denim in particular are identified as a cross-industry trend right now so expect to see more of this within interiors.

EMBER: Influenced by the power of nature, the colours for this trend have been drawn from natural disasters and from the destruction and erosion of materials. There’s an autumnal feel to the colour palette – included tones such as Woodpile, Harvest Green, Carbon, Squash, Ash and a very powerful Red. Ember places emphasis on heavy, saturated colours and when it comes to interiors, Ember is about distressed finishes, raw luxury, after effects, melting materials to create a new effect, tarnished surfaces, scorched wood, lacquered coatings and charred metallics.

TENDER: Inspired by antique and vintage finishes and the Georgian period in particular, Tender’s colour palette includes a range of heritage colours such as mustard, pale green, blush pink and powder blue. Tender is all about handcrafted, beautiful details and draws upon the idea of faded beauty of finishes and materials, and has a very genteel, delicate style to it. Hand-rendered, craftsmanship and ornate details epitomise this look and it will be reflected in gathered silks, engraved jewels and mother of pearl.

BLEEP: The most playful trend of the four, Bleep is inspired by a love for retro technology and bright pop colours. Red alert, pulse yellow, blueprint grey, dark blue, white and mint green all make this a trend for those wanting to make an impact. Using a synthetic spectrum, Bleep encourages people to use the colours to direct people of draw attention to certain elements of design. Think layering colours, tinted acrylic, frosted glass, holograms and kaleidoscopes.

Four very different interior design trends, with a different appeal, but which one will take on in real people’s homes is the question.


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