With a powerful ability to boost or soothe our mood, colour can evoke both a subconscious physical response and a very personal, emotional response. The trending colours we surround ourselves with are almost inextricably linked with the social and cultural drivers we live amongst.
By Trend Forecaster Tully Walter
In her reflection on the colours that shaped the last decade, Kassia St Claire touts both the global environmental disasters and The Financial Crisis of 2010 to have inspired an entire generation to lean into "soft sartorial hugs in tints of heather grey." This steely palette went on to inspire a definitive era of interior design, right through to the 2011 release of the E.L. James's, 50 shades of Grey. Similarly, the ubiquitous millennial pink that glossed our surfaces from the mid naughties sprung from the omnipresent impact of Apple's rose gold offering. The colour's resonance evolved, defining Pantone's 2016 colour of the Year, highlighting the shifts in the discussions surrounding gender sensitivity and awareness.
2020 kickstarts a new decade, a very new set of issues, and a new mood. During a period of time where emotions run high and we navigate the experience of various global crises, it is little wonder the most important emerging colour trends are those informed by the very way they make us feel.
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Driven by the urge to rediscover our roots and inherent restorative power, a natural, earth drawn palette emerges as a key colour direction for the new decade.
While we historically have a strong emotional and evolutionary bond with natural colours, nourishing earth tones will become even more important in a post-Covid-19 world. Lockdown's will reignite our desire to be out in nature and warm, vital, plant-based colours will help us to reconnect with the outdoors.
Calming clay, terracotta and olive oil link us directly with our natural world, creating a grounding, restorative environment in the home.
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In 2020, pastel tones take on new meaning. As consumers respond to colours that feel calm, comforting, and soothing, a palette designed to enhance mental wellbeing becomes increasingly important.
Influenced by the washed hues of natural dyes and the priorities of stillness and mindful living, this iteration of pastel comes through with softer, desaturated tones. In uncertain times, our homes will become our sanctuaries, and cocooning, gentle pales add warmth and tactility to spaces.
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The Future is Bright
Happiness is an emotion we crave, however recently feelings of fear and anxiety have been more prevalent. For 2020, uplifting brights will provide joy to counterbalance the stress and anxiety. WGSN has been tracking #joyfulexpression, as a key trend sparking happiness and promoting optimism. Bringing a splash of uplifting colour to the home feels pleasurable, invigorating and indulgent.
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Embrace a Blue Mood
Pantone's 2020 colour of the year, Classic blue is emerging as a powerful interiors influence. The choice was described by Pantone as "a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence and connection".
If we reflect upon the year that's been, the turbulent political context, our environmental crisis and the instability and uncertainty of our future, that sense of calm and reassurance is exactly what the consumer is craving. Furthermore, certain colours evoke a subconscious physical response connected to a primal instinct. Professor Stephen Westland from the University of Leeds in the UK led a research team that found evidence blue light has the ability to reduce heart rate.
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A low intervention palette feels increasingly meaningful as we navigate the relationship between consumption, production and sustainability.
As a responsible mindset becomes more mainstream, unbleached whites, raw naturals and a circular palette emerge as key directional colours for a new decade.
Organic, unbleached tones embody our desire for considered consumption, adding a further dimension to sculpted forms and speaking to notions of utility, versatility and longevity.
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