Written by Owen Wright

20 June 2019

Directional colour combinations at Studio Pepe

The fourth article from our Milan Design Week 2019 series is dedicated to the most prominent colour trends we spotted at Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone. Here is our summary of the colours that will increase in importance for life at home.


Left to Right: Envisions, Pushe Design, Markus Hangartner, Normann Copenhagen, CC Tapis, Base Milano

Fuchsia tones were the newest colour trend we spotted at Milan Design Week which we expect to see grow in importance. Shades ranging from matt soft magenta to shimmering mid-toned purple were chosen as highlight colours by a number of directional brands. We have monitored these shades as they have slowly been building momentum over the last few seasons. Several examples seen at Maison et Objet, Paris, earlier this year give weight to the wider spread evident in Milan.

Citric Yellow

Left to Right: Vitra, Studio Pepe, Yuue, Normann Copenhagen, Swedese, Campana Brothers

The sunny Gen Z yellow prominent at Milan Design Week 2018 has evolved into sharper, slightly more green tinged yellow hues. Citric nuances draw attention to furniture and surface design. Weak signals hinting towards a rise of fluorescent shades were noticeable, particularly at Salone Satellite – Salone del Mobile’s platform for emerging designers. On a more commercial level, subdued, calmer yellows from ochre to buttery hues continue to stay relevant for home and interiors.


Left to Right: Custhom, Arper, Baxter, Normann Copenhagen

With Millennial pink and salmon shades now decreasing, we see baked shades increasingly driving colour direction. Terracotta nuances spanning from chalky pink to powdery burnt orange move from accessories to product design on a large scale, informing everything from modular sofas and wall colours through to office furniture. Matt colour finishes dominate, however juxtaposing matt and glossy textures will become a stronger trend in the years to come.

Soft Red

Left to Right: Artifort, Normann Copenhagen, Studio Marfa, Saki

Reds have a slightly muted, gentle quality this season. Soft, yellow based reds are another example of a general shift towards warmer shades. Combinations with oranges, baked shades and warm neutrals are popular.

Less Predictable Colour

Left to Right: Valeria Riabko, Instituto Politecnico de Viseu, Studio Tinus, Dirk van der Kooij, Saki, Enis Akiev

With rising environmental concern, we see more and more designers and brands experiment with eco-friendly colourations in a number of ways. Organic, plant and mineral based dyes are revived. Product design cherishes the materials’ naturally inherent colour differences and recycled materials are merged, offering unique variegation. All three approaches embrace an element of surprise. Instead of rigorous colour matching to coded industry standards, beauty is found in the less predictable. This mindset will disrupt major perceptions of colour – from light resistance to appreciating the coincidental and imperfect.

Our bi-annual Home & Interior Trend Books provide comprehensive design direction for products across colour, shape, material, print and pattern. Download a Trend Book demo by clicking the ‘Free Download’ button on this post.

For more emerging trends and inspiration, be sure to check out the rest of our Milan 2019 Highlights Series on our blog.

Written by Owen Wright

Owen joined the team as Trend Researcher in 2017 and supports the Strategy and Insight team delivering bespoke consultancy to brands and manufacturers. He previously worked as an innovation specialist at Godfrey Syrett. He has a degree in Industrial and Product Design from the University of Teeside.

Easy to digest, visually inspiring, and just the right dose of information.

Webb deVlam

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