It’s been a controversial year for colour. From the row over whether Pantone’s Colour of the Year, Marsala, was wonderful or just a bit… eurgh, to our own debate on The Chromologist over lilac, the colours that are must-have and those that are must-escape are ever-shifting. Generally considered to be one of the best places to get a sense of what new colour trends are emerging in the design world is the annual Milan Furniture Fair, taking place every April in the city’s streets, exhibition spaces and grand palazzos. At last year’s fair we noticed a turn away from the pretty palette of good-taste pink and grey we’d been used to, and towards a more awkward mix of forest greens, burnt orange and yellow. A year is a long time in colour forecasting, so we’re delighted to bring you another dispatch from the fashionable furniture fair on the colours we’ll be seeing creeping into homes, furniture and paint over the next 12 months.
First of all was red. Blood red, tomato red, faded red, rust red, burnt red and more… the key to the trend is that it’s different shades of red combined. Often thought of as a smart, dynamic colour, mixing up reds gives pieces a more organic feel, whether reminiscent of rusting metal or a beating heart.
Red also made many appearances alongside pink, a colour combination that gives pretty pinks a really modern edge, off-setting the sweetness with something more shocking. Somewhere between the two shades we also saw lots and lots of… lilac. Mauves, heathers, lilacs and violet flitted across furnishings, often with gold or copper detailing to add a more contemporary twist and an injection of luxe. The same went for green, which, rather than the drab darks of last year, appeared as more deep, rich and vital for 2015, again because of its popular pairing with gold or gloss black.
Lastly a nod to colour lovers who like it bold. Inspired by the famous 1980’s design group Memphis, companies like Kartell went for bright shades in confrontational combinations that had less to do with good taste and more to do with celebrating the unadulterated joy of colour. Stripes, dots and zig-zags in every bright you care to imagine sat side-by-side in a look that certainly isn’t one for the shrinking violets, but we predict will become hugely influential.