I first became involved in colour trends 14 years ago when studying woven design at the Royal College of Art in London. Students often take all sorts of work to make ends meet while studying, but I was lucky enough to find part-time work at the British arm of a famous French trend agency. I still contribute to this day and it gives me great insight into colour and future trends.
At New House our well-known roller blind and accessory collection is on a three year design cycle. This means we have to sure a customer coming to the collection for the first time 2 or 3 years in, should still find it as fresh as someone seeing it on day 1. Not an easy task - so I always prepare an in-depth study of forward trends before we design anything, and these are the mood boards that I prepared for our current collection :
This is always a strong theme in the trends and a focus on linen, hemp, jute and cotton, especially with natural undyed yarns is strongly apparent in fabric, or showing hand-made craftsmanship. For the collection we expanded our natural yarn-based fabrics by introducing new weights of cloth. While in blind accessories we created new natural pulls that are both beautifully handmade and also use 100% natural fibres with a strong focus on jute and mineral and organic fibres.
A joyful trend that focuses on an abundance of Countryside flowers. Melanie Darwin and I used watercolours to originate new prints like Margo and Floribunda for this lovely trend.
White is a colour that’s never out of style. We think white designs should be pared-down with simplicity which helps bring the colour white vividly to life. Here we created a new white-on-white sections with various bold or simple prints. For some prints we used a ‘puff-binder’ mixed into the printing ink that adds body and helps emphasize the white print against the white base-cloth. This helps when the blind is in a window with bright sunlight behind it.
Coastal themes have been trending for a while and continue to be very strong. It’s a cool chic style, often appearing as micro-patterns or delicate stripes, and sometimes in natural materials to create an atmosphere of coastal simplicity or charm.
One of our illustrator Charlotte Farmer’s most successful designs is Seaside Fun, that comes in jolly mugs, trays and tea towels. So we made two roller blind options of this design, and also made new wavy block prints and stripes from Melanie and I. Classic or more unusual blues are used in hand painted designs with enduring appeal.
Transparency and sheer fabrics are all strong themes, especially with a note of metallic shimmer or subtly striped, so we expanded our lovely sheer gossamer fabric collection. The new sheer stripe print Breeze must be one of the highlights.
Unusual mechanical patterning mixed with transparent qualities, give this trend a strongly technical feel. Colour as if lit from behind, using technical ideas on tender neutrals, metallics and pastel shades. Layer up tints of colour Iridescent finishes in subtle shine. Here we introduced a new burnout called Chicago, which we did in deep blue, reminiscent of the night-time city skyline of flashing lights and iridescent shimmer.
An interesting trend that combines sophisticated and complex print designs with simple basic techniques. Melanie Darwin’s Asha design was influenced by this trend, and she created it by using a knitting needle to punch holes in a card to form the design. Asha is available as roller blind fabric and also on tea towels too.
Florals are never out of fashion and we see intense colour with lots of outdoor shapes and form. Watercolours and hand drawn foliage designs in pretty, faded colours. Wildflower prints and meadow flowers inspired by Country living.
Colour blocking in cheerful happy colours often used to bring a pop of intense colour in an almost luminous range of tones. Here we used brights in a fun and playful way to add an injection of colour into the home. Finishes are glossy and lacquered in golden yellow, turquoise, emerald, hot pink and tangerine.
Precious pastels remain a key colour palette, taking on a translucent quality, reminiscent of gemstones. Marbleized and sheer effects feature strongly. Here we have used pastels for many of our new accessories in whimsical milky shades and barely there tints. These are given a shake up when mixed with offbeat tones of acid yellow, spearmint and deep purple. Balance with the key shade of apple green.