A considered approach to colour

  • 20 May 2015

A clear rationale rooted in trend and forecasting analysis can help specifiers to reassure clients and help them make informed decisions about decorative schemes. As design trends change over time, staple colours such as creams and blues tend to transcend shifting fashions and remain ever popular. However each year can also bring with it dramatically different tones and hues.

The rules

Whilst there are no strict rules for colour composition there are some general considerations worth noting.

For instance, pairing neutral colours together can help to create a calming environment, while introducing a bright complementary colour into the scheme will add definition and accentuate specific areas.

This year, one main strong colour is emerging quite distinctly – a versatile, warm copper, with an orange tone

The latest on-trend colours can capture clients’ imaginations, not only adding value to an architect or contractor’s complete service but also ensuring that clients end up with a result that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This year, one main strong colour is emerging quite distinctly – a versatile, warm copper, with an orange tone.

However, when specifying colour, it is important to consider the unique requirements of any space and the end users that are using it. Therefore, five primary trends have been devised for 2015 that focus on the everyday and finding wonderful in the normal.

Key trends


Layering presents colours in a striking way which creates dynamic points of visual interest and gives the impression of added warmth.

This trend is translated into the subtle use of clusters or groups of multiple colours, in predominantly soft and pastel hues; while the use of fading, overlaying and opaque materials adds to the sense of depth.

Layering uses clusters or groups of multiple colours, in predominantly soft and pastel hues

Big Nature, Small Me

Big Nature, Small Me mimics the flow of natural colours and materials to create spaces that are warming and comforting and comprise rich earth tones of sepia, ochre, sienna and baked clay to create a tonal palette, which is natural and strong.

Him Her

This trend combines typically masculine and feminine tones in a celebration of gender difference that can be used to accentuate areas.

Him Her uses warm, pastel tones which can be applied to specific points to signify areas predominantly used by women and dusky colours that can be used to build an emotional connection between the space and individual.

Unseen Spaces

Unseen spaces aims to maximise the potential of under-utlised space by drawing attention to previously overlooked areas or accessories.

This effect can be exaggerated through the subtle use of colour. For example, by using dark and light shades together to give the illusion of three-dimensional depth where there is none. This trend incorporates a very sophisticated collection of colours and takes three different directions in hue; blue grey, khaki and neatral pink.

Friendly Barter

This trend reflects the new social economy of community trade and the sharing of resources. It is represented by berry toned pinks, which can soften contrasting line and orange colours, and complement ochre, rich brown and warm greys to add richness.

Colour considerations

Colour can be a powerful tool when it comes to adding value for clients. It is important to tread carefully and for specifiers to arm themselves with a clear rationale for recommendations grounded in trends.

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