Hello 2019!!! – Colours and Trends –


Industry trends indubitably have to be specific products of the socio-political and economic circumstances at specific times; something that might have been considered a source of calm, unwinding and positive endorsement at one time/era might not stand true in another. What better time then, than now to crave for security, warmth, the calm, the familiar, the healing and the intimate; where the world (plagued by global health, food and financial crisis in the recent past) is now embarked onto the road of recovery. An ever progressing world with global warming and climatic change sparing no one – combating the battle of increasing demand and insufficient supply through technological and innovative breakthroughs along with sustainable, eco-friendly, green and smart-living options – where people once turned to “closing their doors to retreat and regroup” (Marianne Shillingford – Creative Director Dulux) in the face of recession, tis now an era of personalizing, memorabilia, of positive energy, storytelling, belonging, the cozy and personable, antiquing, handcrafted and art in general!



The years following 2011 have seen a major shift away from minimalism and towards relaxed/restrained maximalism; marked by textures and patterns, passementerie, light layering and vibrant/expressive colours, eclecticism and ornate accessories, and combined/smart/communal living for example. For many years, these two trends continued in parallel but now consumers and the market seem to be embracing this shift towards more sensual and visually rich designs. Many brands such as West-Elm, Hermann Miller and even IKEA seem to have moved on from the stark minimalistic interiors; embracing floral patterns/colours and promoting ‘home’ as a place of personal sanctuary uniquely reflecting the inhabitants’ personality. They are also endorsing bright paint colours and tricks to transform raw utilitarian pieces.

West Elm
Sapphire Pakistan

A further subcategory of antiquarian minimalism seems to be becoming more and more a preferred choice of future direction; a fusion of maximalism and minimalism in a restrained/elegant way with particularly museum type settings, furniture and décor. Designers whose works could be classified under this category include Axel Vervoodt, Alberto Pinto, Spencer-Chruchill designs, and John Minshaw:

Axel Vervoodt                                                                Alberto Pinto
John Minshaw


Self-Cleaning anti-bacterial tiles, transparent solar panels, smart herb gardens, LED lighting with dimmers, anti-polluting light fixtures, and 3D printing are all examples of how technology is set to revolutionize the interior design industry in the future.


As people are becoming more and more aware of health/well-being benefits and how life-like features of the non-human environment are instrumental in improving their human, physical, emotional and intellectual fitness, biophilic design trends are sure to be a distinguished and long lasting future trend in interior design; where biophilia is defined as human beings’ innate emotional affinity for nature such as natural materials, visible wood grains in furniture, a healing choice of colours borrowed from the outside and natural ventilation. Besides just ‘green plants’, nature will now grow to become a recognized part of the ‘design process’ as well; where objects are increasingly grown rather than made and bacteria emerges in a new and positive  light; this infatuation is bound to grow stronger especially as a source of  exotic escapism. As our world is on its way to become increasingly tech-centric, people are feeling more and more alienated from their natural surroundings and desire a personal sanctuary to switch off occasionally.


Where biophilia does not only imply increasing the aesthetic appeal of the interior/surroundings, but also (and more importantly) building long term relationship between humankind and nature; where mutual respect, faithfulness and an enriching relation exists at all levels emerging as a ‘norm’ rather than an ‘exception’; automatically pointing towards sustainable and green design methodologies and components aimed at reducing environmental footprint. A combination of biophilia and eco-conscious choices is often termed as restorative environmental design – ‘repeated’ and ‘sustained’ engagement with nature. Examples include biodegradable fabrics/materials, and low/zero VOC paints, vegan leather.


Trend research by Dulux this year has shown that people around the world are experiencing a renewed sense of energy, optimism and purpose. There’s a desire to engage with others, to make things better and ‘be the change’. Paul Bishop (Owner Bishop Design) also recently pointed out a similar trend pertaining to a move towards the Design for the expression era and that it is then all the psychological and subliminal mental recollections that you really need to tap into; “it is the tactile, the sound element and the impeccably comfortable and personable experience that makes people come back…”….. talking about retail and the hospitality sectors. Hence it is the experiences, the bespoke, handcrafted and the artisanal and the consequent rarity, exclusiveness and uniqueness that would now matter, far more than just ‘brands per se’; not only aesthetics but also the impact of the design related to the human senses – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and intuition.


Storage-decorative overlapping, repurposing, upcycling and re-envisioning; where the idea of ‘ageing gracefully will be more readily embraced than ever before.



The shift towards the warm/cosy colour palettes is most definitely here to stay. Representing all of the above including nature-inspired, animating, life-affirming, energizing and enlivening, Pantone has declared living coral as the colour of the year. Dulux also upheld the same trend and chose the extremely warm and versatile colour palettes centered around spiced-honey for 2019. Trend bible too has declared a “shift away from the cool blues and greys” and towards the “warmer palettes of apricot, coral and peachy pinks, rich burgundy, the warm mint green, deep teal and earthier tones of green, brown and yellow”.

Last, but not the least, in terms of colours, textures and patterns, coming years will most definitely be marked by agender styling as well as lack of any seasonal borders.



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