From radiant and revved-up to rustic and retro, tap into the latest colour and interior design trends for 2013.

Colour, styling, texture, shape and design. Walls & Roofs in Africa gives a sneak peak of the latest international interior design trends for 2013. Expect forward-thinking applications and creative colour ensembles.

A one-stop shop
The landscape of the global – and local – interiors market has changed considerably in recent years. Architectural and design companies are expanding their consultancies to cross the boundaries between commercial, residential, hospitality and retail design in order to chase lucrative fit-out projects and to provide an all-in-one solution to clients.

Likewise, more manufacturers and suppliers are expanding and diversifying their range of products and services to target the entire spectrum of interiors fit-out and refurbishment projects.

In the ever-changing world of design it is imperative to keep up with the zeitgeist and all the more important to keep one’s finger on the international design pulse.

Colour of the year 2013
Indigo is a striking statement colour, which exudes a sense of tranquillity and stability. This benevolent colour combines the trustworthy nature and evocative elegance of robust blue. Indigo is a versatile hue that pairs well with similarly saturated brights, citrus colours or warmer neutrals, as well as other blues, purples and greens.

Colour on cue
The colour mood for 2012 was brimming with possibilities and take-charge optimism. In turn, the 2013 palette has a maturity and elegance. Colours are connected in fresh ways to create sophisticated, laid-back and individual palettes. There are dynamic tinted blacks, the dusty pastels of impressionist paintings, quirky tones inspired by the fifties and natural tones with a touch of fluorescent brightness.  This dynamic colour palette is neither forced nor contrived, but has evolved from a demanding and fast-paced way of life and the choices we make to live on our terms. We give a round-up of a few paint houses’ trends:

Plascon
The Plascon 2013 colour forecast focuses on using colours in harmonious ensembles. Whether it’s the serenity of pause and simplicity, or the vibrant energy of contrast and dare, the 2013 palette focuses on finding harmony.
Dare: Chocolate-brown and grey-blue provide a nostalgic background for statement pieces.
Pause: Feminine pastels, grounded by grey hues.
Simplicity: Calming white juxtaposed with accent colours and metal shade.
Contrast: Striking fuchsia and lemony hues are influenced by the 1950s style.

AkzoNobel
Collective passion: This colour palette swoops from one colour cloud to the next. Subtle layering of closely connected pastels or stronger, more intense shades creates a delicate ombre ensemble, with distinct colour groups flowing together. This look is bold and showcases the use of colour-on-colour. For a subtler option, combine these lively tones with chalk-whites and warm greys.

The art of understanding: Celebrating the aesthetics and order of the fifties reminds us of less-complicated, glamorous times. Think chocolate cherries and macaroons, blue skies, raspberry ripple and mint-choc chip. Pair these vintage-inspired candy tones with laid-back neutrals or deep teal and brown for a stylish combination.

Switching off: Delicate, smoky tones are transformed into sophisticated contrasts with interplay of matt and high-gloss finishes. Harmonising shades of burgundy and blue-tinted blacks are ideal for creating a tranquil space.
Create your own: Harness the full diversity of natural greens in colour blocks and creative patterns by combining cool blue-edged shades with warmer yellow-toned greens.

Visual solace: This palette is inspired by gardens in bloom and paintings by the old masters. Degraded mauve and floral pinks meet golden and bronze hues and natural, muted tones like linen and hessian. Darker violets complete the palette and provide a sultry depth. The overall impression is soothing, gentle and feminine.

Splashing out
Opposites attract. This is one of the hottest colour trends, according to the Las Vegas Design Centre (LVDC) summer market. The 2013 colour palette is de rigueur, from bold colour blocks to bright Las Vegas-style neon. The three top trends to look out for are:

  • Bright and bold: High-voltage, bold colours are tempered with colour “purifiers” such as black, white, grey and clear acrylic.
  • A blank canvas: White exudes unforced elegance and an earthy vibe.
  • Earthly delights: Natural elements, minerals and textures.

Design trends
Cultural kaleidoscope: Blending industrial and organic elements
Experimental surfaces and vibrant tones are high fashion. A recycled aesthetic is redefined when natural and synthetic materials unite. Pattern is introduced by using delicately textured wall coverings and highly tactile wallpapers, blown-up photo wallpaper, solid-colour tiles and retro wall-to-floor laminates.

Upcycling: Now, more than ever, recycling or upcycling plays a major role in interior design choices. It has to be recycled, recyclable or have an option to be reused in the future. Think laminates and repainted face-brick walls.

Tactile treasures: Natural and tactile, even with synthetic materials, such as vinyl, have a textural quality. Subdued wooden tones, concrete applications and wallpaper with a textured pattern are ideal for an office environment.

Texture is still high-fashion in tiling and cladding applications. Mosaics are used in more organic, fractal combinations.

Shapes: Organic shapes inspired by the aerospace and natural landscape make a striking impact.

Lighting: Designers are playing with light sources to create colours and shadows, and are using black and white tones as palette cleansers. Industrial-looking light fixtures are ideal contemporary spaces, while natural light blurs the boundary between indoors and outdoors. Innovative outdoor louvres are both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

International trends
Lidewij Edelkoort, one of the world’s most renowned trend forecasters, says the following on design influences for 2013 and 2014:  
Yellow is the new pink: The colour will dominate with vibrancy making for lively and stimulating colour palettes, fabrics and fittings.

Patterns: Historic patterns are being recreated with the strongest new trend – a white background. Foresee fabrics and wall coverings bringing small and massive florals with white backdrops, vintage prints with a twist of white, and bold colours and patterns thrown onto a white canvas. Patterns will also become more inspired by folklore. African, Bulgarian, Mexican, animal, culture and craft will all come into play.

Clashing fabrics: The trend will be to clash your fabrics and stimulate the senses – this goes hand in hand with the yellow trend. Throw together stripes, florals, hand sketches and geometric elements in an array of colours and textures.

Touch: Finishes should all be tactile. Textures with warmth and depth engage people. The colours of sand and stone will prevail. Think of natural materials with texture and neutral tones like roots, natural stone cladding and washed-up wood.

The collective: Design will shift from being about a single person to being about a group. The group dynamics will make projects more exciting and thought-out.  Having numerous designers running their hands over a project will refine and strengthen the concepts. This will also make for incredible sales tactics showcasing the numerous talents of a design team. One designer will focus on the finishes, even creating custom fabrics and patterns; another on the space planning and innovative movement through the interiors; and another on custom lighting and ambiance. Consider this with your firm.

Repetition: An entirely different trend will be a longing for order and repetition with a love for stripes and squares. Think bold red and white patterns and gingham. Graphic work will be more handmade and rough. Hand sketches, photos of handmade work and craftsmanship are all de rigeur.

The beauty of the undone:  Unfinished trim work and detailing with a homemade and adaptable feel bring warmth and creativity to the home.

African influence: Think black and white, bold monochrome geometrics, blur red and white.

Handmade: Calligraphy and hand sketching will be huge.

The slow movement: Design will be about coming down to earth with farm and city merging to a more sustainable future. Think green walls and garden rooftops. This trend has staying power and will snowball into a lifestyle and global movement.

Keywords
Maison & Object, the Paris premier design show’s keywords for 2013:
Minimalism: Bare geometry, simple lines, transparent materials, lighter forms and colour gradations are high fashion. Design is creating a minimalist art that plays the card of discretion and invites contemplation. Stylistic asceticism is freeing space from the weight of things and revealing the essence of beauty in all its purity.

Timeless appeal: Geometrical, archetypal, molecular or abstract forms are an ode to elements such as water, earth, fire and air. Design is drawing inspiration from meteorology and climatology to invent new expressions of today’s atmosphere. Between lightness and weightiness, power and transparency, force and fluidity, a new generation of objects is inviting us to dream.

Yes future:  Here’s to tomorrow! Emerging technologies are tracing the territories of an innovative new world. Against the grain of déjà vu, modernity is sending a gentle change into orbit, activating our imaginations. Innovation is speeding up positive energies in all fields of design. Materials and their performance are sketching out a future in which the senses and sensuality are combined. With fluidity and light, we are exploring new ways of living.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.lvdesigncenter.com, www.mindfuldesignconsulting.com, www.colourfutures.com, www.pantone.com and www.laurabielecki.com for the information provided to write this article.