‘Colour combined with structure and shape is a strong means of communication’

‘Colour combined with structure and shape is a strong means of communication’

Project furnishing & colour trends

What are the current colour trends? Are there any trends, and how do we respond to them within the world of project furnishing. These are all questions to which our interior architect Carola van de Bilt has the answer. Let’s join Carola for a colourful look behind the scenes.

Furnishing advice

We are living in a time of great change, which applies to both our society and the way in which we work. As interior designers, we see every trend, market shift and large development. We – in turn – take these developments and pass them on to our clients in the form of advice and service.

‘I always say: I have the best job in the whole wide world’

Carola van de Bilt Gispen interior architect

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Wat is dé kleur voor 2020?

Het jaar 2020 is de start van een nieuw decennium. De wereld wordt steeds digitaler en hectischer. In veel kleurentrendrapporten lees je daarom dat mensen op dit moment meer behoefte hebben aan geborgenheid, in een wereld waar ze worden overspoeld met informatie. Dat we meer verlangen naar huiselijkheid en rust. In veel van deze rapporten wordt dan ook een variëteit van de kleur groen genoemd. Groen heeft een associatie met de natuur, waar de mens van nature binding mee heeft. Wetenschappelijk onderzoek heeft ook bewezen dat natuur in de werkomgeving een gunstige invloed heeft op de mens.

Kleur 2020

What were the colour trends of the past couple of years?

In 2015, we saw an abundance of greyish blues and greens. These shades continued to be popular in 2016, especially when combined with shades of nude. In 2017, denim blue was introduced and nude became slightly pinkish. And what used to be ochre, became gold. In other words, our perception of what certain colours should look like is changing. Now, in 2018, pink is getting more greyish, more like old pink. I also see a lot more accent colours such as indigo, bottle green and cognac. One could say that the current trend is actually a colour scheme instead of one specific colour.

What kind of colour trends can we expect in the near future?

We can expect to see unusual colour combinations, with two accent colours instead of one. Where one of the accent colours is more understated than the other. If you, for example, were to use bottle green and indigo as accent colours, you would add a little grey to one of the two, making the other colour stand out a bit more. For 2019, I would combine the colour cognac with a greyish ochre, which would be perfectly in line with the latest colour developments.

Projectinrichting kleur en kleurentrends | Gispen

What do colour trends mean to you as an interior architect?

As an interior architect, you are constantly influenced by trends, which is inevitable. You read about the latest trends and developments and simply know all about them. Naturally, these trends and developments determine which colours you see around you. This is not a guiding principle for me, however. Whenever we start a project, we first try to get a feel for the identity of the client, to which we then match a preliminary design and from which a colour scheme is developed.

Projectinrichting kleur op de werkvloer | Gispen

Have the clients’ wishes shifted over the years?

Everything is connected: social and cultural trends are determining factors in the general use of colour. In addition, we have trendwatchers and colour experts who decide unanimously that these days people are in need of a sense of security in a world where they are flooded with information, and that they long for more homely atmospheres. People then find colours that conform with this trend. One would apply an indigo blue because it is said to radiate willpower and confidence, for example.

In the end, it all comes down to the client’s identity; their objectives determine the colour concept of a design. Every single design is based on a concept that is tailored to the client’s wishes. What works best for me is when we can use a physical colour palette, where the materials are given different colours, allowing you to demonstrate whether a colour matches or not. What we have also been doing more and more is incorporating the colours in mood boards, especially now that we are mostly creating our designs digitally. Colours and materials are difficult to assess on a digital screen.


What does it take to design a good colour scheme for a specific project?

Every client is unique. Supporting people in their working process used to be foremost, but our focus has shifted more towards providing a good work experience. By this I mean the well-being of people; they want to feel comfortable in their environment. When you put up a building where people can work, live or relax, they must feel totally at ease there. In other words, an interior designer must actually create an experience, and with that a matching colour scheme. This is a good example of the developments that have occurred in the past years. As mentioned before, the client’s identity is the foundation for every design concept, and the colour scheme is always an important part of it. Colour combined with structure and form is a powerful means of communication. And when this is in line with the client’s vision, you will have a solid starting point, without any voices of random approval or dissent.

What developments are currently taking place in your surroundings?

Evidence based designing is a major development. In essence, it actually works the same: you conduct research and you base your concept upon the results. And once again, the entire process revolves around the well-being of people. Not only supported by the physical, direct environment, but also by means of lighting, climate control and the presence of good food and drink. Our perception differs greatly from one person to the other. There are so many factors at play when it comes to the experience that someone undergoes in a certain location. For this reason we always take a step back and assess the needs of every single client and his employees.


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