Here you will find the latest trends, analysis and insight affecting the UK bathroom market. Our intelligence comes from the world’s leading authorities and our own team of experts, exploring everything from product trends and consumer behaviour to the impact of social, economic and environmental megatrends. Our updates and reports are designed to give you a clear understanding of where your market is heading and enable you to steer your business accordingly.
When Ikea’s future living lab Space 10 teamed up with New York designers Anton & Irene to research the concept of co-living, they decided to set up an online form for people to fill in so they could state their preferences for a harmonious shared living space.
They describe this as a type of ‘playful research’, acknowledging that One Shared House 2030 isn’t a scientific survey, but as around 7,000 responses from over 150 countries were submitted, it produced enough material to provide some insight into the way we will live in the future.
Respondents were split 50/50 male/female, 85% were aged 18 to 39 years old, and most were either single or in childless relationships, and from Europe, North America and Asia.
They stated that, preferably, the occupants of a shared house would have equal ownership of the space, and the ideal housemates would be a diverse mix, but all clean, honest and considerate.
Respondents said that they were willing to share utilities, the internet, gardens and work-spaces.
However, privacy was the biggest concern for most, who said they would be unwilling to share bathrooms or bedrooms, and would prefer to have their groceries in the kitchen ring-fenced. They would also like to choose how their private spaces were furnished themselves.
For the majority, the appeal of co-living lay in the prospect of having a better social life, and respondents also said that they would like to live in tight-knit communities of four to 10 people.
This is interesting. Two broader trends that we have seen gathering momentum over recent years are single-occupancy living and multi-generational living. If, in fact, people would prefer to live in small communities, are the majority of people living by themselves doing so not through choice, but because circumstances or the lack of such communities have forced them to?
So is the multi-generational living template actually one that most people would like to recreate? Not exactly, it seems.
While respondents to the online survey stated that other people’s pets would be welcome in this shared community, other people’s small children and teenagers would not be.
They also said they would like to have control over the choice of new housemates joining the home – a luxury not afforded to families.
However, in both types of home the kitchen needs to be big enough to accommodate communal gatherings, and the numerous bathrooms need to be private spaces that provide respite from the busy home.
All this is vital information for architects and designers working on the living spaces of tomorrow. While co-living is a concept that solves many social problems, the loneliness of the single occupant being one of them, many shared spaces currently being built are designed to house hundreds of people.
With increased numbers, those all-important elements of community and privacy can end up getting lost.
People need a balance between ‘my space’, ‘your space’, and ‘our space’. Such findings indicate that we will always have great desire for control over our space and things.”
Cevisama, Spain’s international tile fair, has become a key date in the calendar for those tracking global tile trends. Taking place this year from 28th January to 1st February, it attracted around 91,000 professionals from 155 different countries, with 120,000sq m of show space dedicated to 793 companies in total.
Here are 8 key tile trends that we spotted at the show, and a preview of the top tile trends that you’ll see emerging over the next year.
Tile Trend #1: Ageing Beauty
Wabi sabi – the Japanese lifestyle trend of embracing a life less perfect and finding beauty in items as they grow old, was making its presence felt at the show. Tiles mimicking rusting and corroding metal, peeling wallpaper and moss growing on stone were on display – the ageing look was everywhere and testimony to the ever-evolving technology now available to tile manufacturers. Particularly effective were the Forge and Patchwork products on the Saloni stand.
As the current quest for imperfect perfection
continues, ceramic tiles convincingly imitating a hand-made look were being
showcased on several stands. Vives, Natucer and Peronda’s Harmony brand were
among many that were displaying products that sought to recreate an authentic
artisanal feel, and give the illusion that each tile is a handcrafted one-off.
Last year was all about the large-format
approach to marble lookalikes, and there were still plenty of those epic tiles
in evidence. However, as tile renditions of marble continue to gain popularity
because of their practical benefits compared to the real thing, also making an
entrance were fragments of marble and small marble tiles in delicate shapes –
an intriguing new take on a traditional look.
Terrazzo tiles re-entered the style arena at
Cevisama 2018, but this year they were getting the maximalist treatment.
Terrazzo patterns with great chunks in bold, contrasting colours were making an
impact at the show, with Harmony’s Slice tile in Dark Green demonstrating just
how dramatic the terrazzo effect can be.
Wood-effect porcelain tiles were still enjoying
the spotlight this year, after a hugely successful outing in 2018. The practical
benefits and ease of maintenance of tiles over the real thing make them an
attractive alternative in kitchen and bathroom settings, with Grespania’s Rioja
wall and floor tiles recreating the aged and worn look particularly
A playful approach to colours and shapes was in
evidence, particularly on the Harmony stand. One of the brand’s latest
collaborations is with design studio Stone Design, who have created the Twinkle
collection. By taking a square tile and replacing one corner with a curve, and
then placing four tiles with the curve together, the effect is of a twinkling
star. The Dash collection in collaboration with Raw Color also plays with
pattern in a cool, contemporary way.
There was more colour in evidence compared to
last year’s exhibition, with soft or pastel pink making a surprise entry as one
of this year’s hot new shades. It was being used either as a bold accent or
colour pop, or as colour blocking in a scheme combined with other tiles, as on
the Vives stand, with its Hanami Rosa range.
The hexagon, which garnered a huge following in 2018, was still making an appearance on most stands but there were other elements starting to creep in too, in particular the angular, pointed shapes of the triangle and the diamond. Natucer devoted substantial stand space to demonstrating the surprising number of effects that can be achieved by placing the simple triangle shape in different laying patterns.
In this interview, Elena Corchero, futurist at Unruly, talks about the highlights at this year’s CES trade show in Las Vegas, and the key trends that will influence how we live in our homes in the future
Interview by Emma Hedges
TM. You’ve recently
come back from visiting CES in Las Vegas. Tell us about some of the things that
were on show.
EC. There were more than 4,500 exhibitors across 2.7 million sq feet, and the Las Vegas Conference Centre was where all the major brands were. That had the innovation car and mobility area, which is one of the largest because obviously, you have driverless cars, you have flying taxis – you might think that it doesn’t link to kitchens and bathrooms but the fact that they are driverless, means that being in a car becomes your second home.
That raises the question, what do you do there? Do you have more entertainment? Do you do sports when you are going from one place to another? Are you going to focus on efficiency and work? Are you going to do cooking? That’s not coming any time soon, but cars eventually will be like a second home, so almost like caravans. So you can imagine eventually this will lead to the question – why have a home?
A key trend is everything to do with mobility. This has two sides – one is the obvious mobility of future cars, flying taxis and so on. The other one is tech that is more mobile. So we have flexible screens that you can roll like a yoga mat, and phones that you can fold.
There will be a lot of technology that follows you around. Robots that have a screen that you can talk to or use to talk to someone else, so you are hands-free wherever you go and can be exercising or playing. The screen detects you and moves with you.
TM. How do you see
the trend involving voice assistants progressing?
EC. There is a difference between voice assistants in any device and those in smart speakers. Most people do have an iPhone, and the majority of voice assistants used are Siri (44%), Google (30%) Alexa (17%), Bixby (which is Samsung, 4%) and the rest are 5%. Those are the statistics for voice assistants on their own.
When we go to the smart speakers, that switches around, Alexa is number one and Google is catching up quickly going from 8% in 2017 to 30% now, it is the only assistant that reaches 100% understanding and they promoted it in a truly surprising way during CES with a Fun Park train ride!
Right now 41% of American consumers
have access to a smart speaker. In 2017 that was 21%, so the amount of people
in the US with access to a smart speaker has doubled. Eventually, the voice
will be omnipresent. Now your fridge has it, your TV has it, your oven has it,
so very soon you will just speak wherever you are and there will always be a
device that can capture your command.
TM. Which were the
other products that stood out at the show?
EC. One of the award-winning companies was Toto, who produce smart toilets. We know smart toilets are big in Japan, but now they are coming to Europe.
Eventually, they will be able to do analytics of people’s waste. Toilet analytics is a growing trend and it will become common at some point. You will collect this data for your own awareness, or to sell the data because that data might have value one day, or to connect to your doctor or trainer.
So the ‘quantified self’, and access to technologies to track health are growing and in new directions. There was a home blood test kit, and there was also a concept by Proctor & Gamble’s Oral B where your toothbrush will be able to analyse your saliva… one day these biometrics will be shared with your kitchen, with your fridge and food assistant to manage your nutritional intake, bathrooms and kitchens have never been more connected!
We’re looking at ensuring at an older age we’re fully able, so we can retire at 80 and not at 60. We imagine a longer future but with better health. The ageing population is a massive market that is starting to become much more obvious and Japan is focusing their technologies and initiatives very much on this.
Samsung was doing a lot of robotics aimed at this. Assisted robotics that can help you in the home, but also assisted robotics that you can wear to help you with mobility issues – ‘Exoskeletons’ they’re called.
Two other areas associated with health are quality of sleep and quality of air, and a lot of brands are developing devices that will make you aware of the quality of your air, and others are doing this plus purifying the air.
TM. Which other
innovations might have an impact on kitchen and bathroom design?
EC. Well, the idea that any surface of any shape becomes a screen is very obvious. On the LG stand there was an installation called ‘The Massive Curve of Nature’ and it was literally an all-involving screen projecting nature – so you were under the sea or in a forest and the screen was curvy. It was fascinating. That is the new flexible-screen technology that LG can apply on any surface.
Also, there was ‘The Wall’ from Samsung, which is modular and bezel-free making it flexible in screen size so users can customise it to fit any room or space making a wall look seamless.
Audi showed a car with a beautiful wooden interior but it was, in fact, a screen and acted as a display as well. We see something changing in the way we interact with surfaces.
We saw this with mirrors, which when they are touch screens get dirty very easily. So all the mirrors I saw at CES detect gestures, so you control the mirrors by moving your arms and hands, and by facial gestures.
We see less touching and more gestures; appliances being self-aware; any kind of surface becoming a screen; health awareness everywhere, from the fridge to the toilet; and everything leading also to the nomadic life. I really believe in all this technology moving with us, and allowing us to be more nomadic – more free and flexible.
TM. Do you think in
general consumers are embracing Internet of Things technology more?
EC. There is not enough information out there for consumers to understand how user-friendly it can be, but now companies are figuring this out.
The new Bosch video is brilliant. They had a problem – they have all sorts of products, from fridges to lawnmowers, and they didn’t have an identity for it all. They finally came up with this hashtag that is very trendy already – #likeabosch – and they show that if you only use Bosch products, because they are all connected to the internet you can live ‘like a boss’ because you don’t have to do anything. This video really puts the IoT as a mainstream subject that last year it wasn’t.
But the good thing about the IoT is how it allows you to stay closer to your loved ones. You might ask for example, why have a smart kettle? I still need to fill it up with water and all it does is turn on and off. But the thing is, if you give that to your grandmother you will know how often she has her tea, and you know that at 9 am that kettle goes on every day, and if one day that doesn’t happen you can give her a call to make sure she’s alright.
So the IoT shouldn’t be seen as a selfish thing or a comfort thing – it is about how it is going to make us part of collective communities.
Sometimes it’s useful to look back and assess whether those predictions actually came true, and that’s what Home Futures: Living in Yesterday’s Tomorrow aims to do. It’s the latest exhibition currently on at the Design Museum, which is the result of a partnership with the IKEA Museum Almhult. Bringing together an array of avant-garde speculations in the form of around 150 objects and experiences, the exhibition asks: “Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers once predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change?”
There are various rare works on display,
including original furniture from the Smithsons’ House of the Future (1956),
original footage from the General Motors Kitchen of Tomorrow (1956), and an
original model of Total Furnishing Unit by Joe Colombo (1972), which organisers
say help to provide visitors with a thought-provoking view of yesterday’s
“Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers once predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change?”
The show is divided into six relevant themes,
all of which reflect key trends that are influencing the way we live in our
homes today. The first is Living Smart, which traces the modernist ideal of the
‘home as machine’ and juxtaposes it with our current view of the connected
‘smart home’. Illustrations by Heath Robinson depicting unlikely household
gadgetry and contraptions are shown alongside a range of smart devices.
Living on the Move explores the 20th-century
view of a simple, nomadic lifestyle, while Living Autonomously delves into the
1970s notion of self sufficiency. This looks at Enzo Mari’s Autoprogettazione,
a 1974 design guide to assembling furniture from basic materials, and also
features a newly commissioned modular furniture series by Brussels studio Open
“We at Ikea have always been curious about innovative technology, inventing new techniques, materials and logistical solutions. Behind every single product lies years of research, experimentation and testing,” said Jutta Viheria, the Ikea Museum’s Exhibition and Communications Manager. “By partnering with the Design Museum on this exhibition, we are continuing our mission of collaborating with organisations that view the world from a different perspective, allowing us to gain new insights into this crazy old world of ours,” she explained.
How did the future look?
According to the Design Museum, radical thinkers and designers of the 20th century imagined our future homes as places where…
A global, invisible network would connect us all Supersurface was a speculative proposal for a universal grid that would allow people to live without objects or the need to work, in a state of permanent nomadism.
We would work from anywhere we wanted In 1969, years before laptops allowed for work on the go, Hans Hollein proposed a mobile office in the form of a transparent bubble for a nomadic lifestyle. It forecasted the conditions of work and life in an automated, networked world.
We would live surrounded by screens Ugo La Pietra’s Casa Telematica (1983), or the Telematic House, imagined ways in which media and telecommunication will change the homes of the future
Home appliances would be smart and autonomous The 1950s “Miracle Kitchen” of the future had its own Roomba (robotic hoover)
More people would live in cities, in smaller spaces Joe Colombo designed a Total Furnishing Unit, which was a whole house in just 28 square meters.
Art and design would merge An example of this is the iconic red lips sofa by Gufram
The wabi-sabi approach has been integrated into Japanese culture for centuries. While in its current rendition, it has a distinctive ‘style’, like Hygge, it is more than just an interiors trend. It’s a recipe for a more mindful way of life that, in many ways, represents a backlash against some of the other social trends that we’re witnessing right now.
“We are living in a time of brain-hacking algorithms, pop-up propaganda and information everywhere,” says Beth Kempton in her book Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life. “From the moment we wake up, to the time we stumble into bed, we are fed messages about what we should look like, wear, eat and buy, how much we should be earning, who we should love and how we should parent.”
So as our daily lives pick up the pace, as
technology careers ahead at breakneck speed, and as influencers constantly
bombard us with images of envy-inspiring lifestyle perfection, can wabi sabi
offer some kind of antidote?
“Wabi is about finding beauty in simplicity, and a spiritual richness and serenity in detaching from the material world,” explains Kempton. “Sabi is more concerned with the passage of time, with the way that all things grow and decay and how ageing alters the visual nature of those things. It’s less about what we see, and more about how we see.”
So why does this matter? Wabi sabi is being
credited with helping to drive the latest trend for upcycling products –
creatively decorating and reusing old or unwanted items – and it appears to be
in tune with a more sustainable, and less throwaway, way of life. As single-use
items become anathema to the current mood, and sustainability rises up the
consumer list of priorities, there’s plenty for businesses to consider.
This has implications for everything from the way in which consumers and retailers tackle food waste, to a wider acceptance of the way the human body looks as it ages. It points to a shift in what consumers consider to be aspirational. But, when it comes down to it, is a mindset that enables us to embrace transience, imperfection, and everything that makes us different, being driven by the global megatrend of individualism?
This being the case, how will consumers’ reactions to images presented to them as desirable by the mass media, and – crucially – the way in which businesses present information about their brands to their audiences evolve?
When it comes to marketing materials, the appetite for a less brash, more personalised approach is growing. It will be interesting to see how this trend develops.
Is the Cabin Spacey ‘minimal house’ what the home of the future looks like?
When they decided to think about making a prototype to meet the demands of how people will live in the future, architects Simon Becker and Andreas Rauch set about addressing some of the restrictions of traditional living today.
The configuration of most apartments comprises two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom, and has changed very little for generations. The team wanted to come up with something more flexible that addressed the changing needs of the ‘modern metropolitan’.
Equally, as urbanisation continues and space becomes an increasingly sought-after commodity, they needed the cabin to be compact.
The smallest unit measures just over 25sq metres and can comfortably accommodate two people. The king-sized bed overlooks the living area, and features storage space and a USB docking station.
The bathroom is equipped with Grohe products, and the kitchen is kitted out with a hob, steaming hot tap, fridge, washing machine, and coffee machine, with many of the products by Bosch.
The multi-functional lounge area has a window seat that doubles as a guest bed, as well as a dining table. There is an array of smart tech that enhances home comfort and efficiency, including a smart mirror, intelligent heating control, Sonos sound system, Phillips Hue lighting system, Amazon Echo and Kiwi.ki smart lock.
One of the main advantages of the ‘minimal house’ is that it is completely sustainable, with a solid wooden structure made from renewable raw materials.
A large solar battery, integrated into the innovation’s sandwich floor and with panels on the roof to collect energy from the sun, provides power so even though the Cabin Spacey is connected to the energy network, it produces energy itself.
When coming up with Cabin Spacey, Becker and Rauch decided that today’s ‘urban nomads’ require a home that is above all easy to transport and to install.
The beauty of Cabin Spacey is that it can be hooked up to existing utilities and infrastructures, so in theory is able to be set down just as easily in a car park, as it is in a garden or on a stretch of urban wasteland, or on an unused roof.
According to the company, Berlin alone has space for 55,000 apartments on unused rooftops that are unsuitable for development, but where Cabin Spacey might work perfectly.
The transformation of the bathroom into a lifestyle room is a key trend being highlighted at this year’s ISH. With this in mind, the ‘Pop up my Bathroom’ trend forum will present ‘Colour Selection’ showcasing current colour trends in interior design and showing how these create new possibilities for the sanitary sector.
In this interview Jens J Wischmann, CEO of the German Sanitary Industry Association (Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitärwirtschaft, VDS) and curator of the ‘Colour Selection’, explains why colour is such an important topic for the next evolutionary step in bathroom design and defines the possibilities arising from the new openness for colour and lifestyle.
Interview by Emma Hedges
TM: Tell us about the Pop Up My Bathroom section at ISH 2019 and why it is particularly relevant this year.
JW: Colour has always been an accompaniment at our ISH trend forum, but not a topic in its own right. We’ve mainly taken a functional, society-oriented approach to the bathroom over the last few years: at ISH 2015, for instance, the Pop Up My Bathroom motto was “Freibad”, and the forum focused on the idea of a multi-generational bathroom. At ISH 2017, our communications were all about the megatrend of individualism and personalisation.
For ISH 2019, we’ve identified 12 current colour trends. The most important insight is that if colour is used as a key design element in a lifestyle bathroom, one basic shade or colour combination has to play a leading role. That results in a colour collage, and all the other materials and surfaces have to contribute to this one basic theme and harmonise with one another.
TM: Which social developments will be highlighted in the Pop Up My Bathroom section as having had an effect on bathroom design?
JW: Our choice of topic – colour in bathroom design – is based on a development in society as a whole: the desire for personalisation. That’s the trend driver in the bathroom too. And colour is an ideal tool for personalising the bathroom. Whether I opt for a subtle colour combination or strong contrasts – whatever I decide, the choice of colours is a deliberate act. At ISH 2019, all sorts of things are possible in the bathroom: from pastel hues all the way to green or grey, which is still very much the favourite.
JW: In German-speaking countries, the meaning of the word ‘wellness’ has changed; as a factor that contributes to personal well-being, it’s taken on a more active character that includes everything from sport, work-life balance and stress management, all the way to healthy eating concepts.
Because of its special status, there’s no question that the bathroom serves as an important retreat in every home – and that makes it a private spa where there’s more to wellness than “just” fragrances and creams. It’s still a place where you can turn the key in the lock and be on your own. And there’s another development that’s making itself felt: the bathroom is playing an increasingly important role as a fitness area.
TM: Which other design trends do you
think will be coming to the fore in 2019?
JW: The “blue element” – water – is the connecting thread in the new health-focused bathroom: showers with numerous jets or multifunctional hand showers get tired muscles moving again.
The shower toilet is starting to play an increasingly important role in northern Europe too: the hygiene-focused bathroom is all about convenient hygiene for the entire family – and rimless toilets, innovative finishes and touchless products can also help transform the bathroom into a private spa.
There’s a lot happening “behind the wall” as well. In addition to better technical possibilities for soundproofing, the way water is dispensed in the house is changing as digitalisation advances. The benefit: precise flow control and temperature regulation.
Lighting is another area that’s producing an abundance of innovations for the bathroom. It looks set to become one of the trending topics – especially as the new developments we can expect make a strong impact and are guaranteed to attract attention.
Besides providing functional light for all sorts of different needs, professional lighting design can also underscore the snug character of a bathroom by creating decorative effects as well.
Colour has been making a comeback in kitchen design for some time and it is now officially returning to the bathroom.
When the greatest bathroom trade show on earth rolls into Frankfurt on 11th March, we can expect to see plenty of technical innovation and cutting-edge design. And, according to ISH show organisers Messe Frankfurt, another thing that we can expect to see is colour.
Messe Frankfurt has been running the show’s Pop Up My Bathroom trend platform since 2009, and this year one of its key focuses is to be the ‘Colour Selection’, which it is organising in conjunction with VDS – the Association of the German Sanitation Industry. This section will be highlighting the wide variety of possible applications when it comes to the use of colour in bathrooms, and the 12 key colour trends that it believes are on the horizon.
“We decided to choose colour in the bathroom as our theme because, after a long white phase, it is set to have a very strong and striking impact on bathroom design – not just because the bathroom is clearly taking some of its cues from lifestyle trends, but also because it’s all about personalisation, a cosy feel and emotionalism,”
“It goes without saying that surfaces have always been an important issue. But colour is increasingly being discussed independently of surfaces – and being used a lot more boldly too.”
The emergence of stronger, more vibrant tones takes the form of yellows, oranges and reds, says Messe Frankfurt, and also what it refers to as a ‘Nordic Freshness’ with blues and greens. Gold, platinum, brass and copper are being incorporated as metallic accents and design highlights. Black is being used on its own, but also to create a contrast to richer tones.
It’s worth noting that several of the new colour preferences stem from a neutral palette. Grey, brown, and ‘greige’ (a neologism of grey and beige) represent a departure from the all-white schemes that have been preferred up until now, but nothing too startling. Equally, the move into pastels also represents a gentle transition into the colour spectrum.
A developing theme is that several colours are being used in harmony with each other, with perhaps one shade being dominant.
“It is about a holistic approach to colour concepts in the bathroom, which perhaps appear, at first glance, to contradict one another in the mix of styles,” says Wischmann.
The latest colour trend has been helped along in part by advancing technology. Waterproof wallpaper has arrived on the scene, innovations with paint and lacquer have meant that products are far more customisable than they have been previously, and the use of textiles is also becoming more frequent. But behind it all is the trend for individualisation.
“Whichever colour concept a customer decides on, the industry will be in a position to accommodate all tastes. Ultimately, it’s all about enhancing the time spent in the bathroom, and in future we won’t just be offering wood colours any more: there will be an impressive palette of options for people to choose from,” says Wischmann.
For the past 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product, packaging and graphic design.
In this interview, Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains why brands should pay attention to colour trends.
Interview by Emma Hedges
TM. How does Pantone go about identifying its Color of the Year?
LE. To arrive at the selection each year, the global team of colour experts at the Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, travelling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, play styles and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.
Since we selected our first Pantone Color of the Year in 2000, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries.
TM. What led to Living Coral being this year’s choice?
LE. As the selection for 2019, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral represents the enhanced influence that colour has on perception and experience, more powerful than a fleeting fad. As a shade that affirms life through a dual role of energising and nourishing, Living Coral reinforces how colours can embody our collective experience and help to answer the needs of society and culture.
Colour is no longer just something we see and appreciate – it enhances and influences the way we experience life. Reflecting on the Pantone Color of the Year at its 20th anniversary, this evolution is clear. Colour, as a strategic element of design and experience, can be the reason why something – whether it be a product, a piece of art, a setting, or a brand – resonates or not.
TM. Which colour do you expect to be on-trend next?
LE. Spring/Summer 2019 colour trends will reflect our desire to embolden ourselves as we face the future; turning to colours and colour stories that provide confidence and lift our spirits; embracing a colour and design direction filled with creative and unexpected combinations.
TM. To what extentdo you think thatcolour trends reflect wider social trends?
LE. Colour trends inherently connect to cultural trends and moods as they serve as both a reflection of where we are as a society, as well as a prediction for what’s to come. They seek to answer the question ‘what are we missing?’ The answer to that question is a shade that is gaining importance around the world and makes us feel more connected and engaged with the zeitgeist. The Color of the Year, for example, exists on a more macro global plane, apart from political discourse.
TM. How have colour trends evolved over the years?
LE. The biggest change in tracking trends is that fashion was always the definitive forerunner. Now we look at the larger macro picture, where there are many other influences that we must observe. Another big change is that colours are not as easily “abandoned”, where they might be used for several seasons and then they seem to disappear. The best historical example is the overuse of the avocado greens in the 70s that led to the non-use of that shade through most of the 80s and even the 90s. However, since the late 90s – and certainly into this century – there is some variation of every colour family in the spectrum that might appear in upcoming trends. That is because there is far more innovation and experimentation with colour, especially in colour combinations.
TM Is it important for brands to get on board with colour trends?
LE. Colour is the first element of design in both product and living environments that the human eye sees and relates to on an emotional level. In addition, colour leaves the most lasting and memorable impression. For consumers, colour influences up to 85% of product purchasing decisions, making colour a critical consideration for brands looking to communicate certain messages or motivate certain behaviours.
Leatrice Eiseman is a color specialist who has been called “the international color guru.” Her color expertise is recognized internationally, especially as a prime consultant to Pantone, the leaders in color communication and specification. She has helped many companies to make the best and most educated choice of color for product development, brand imaging, interior/exterior design, fashion and cosmetics, or any other application where color choice is invaluable to the success of the product or environment. Lee is also involved in color and trend forecasting across multiple industries.