Colour is an essential part of any design project, and this year Furniture News has invited the trend forecasting agency behind Mix Publications, Global Color Research, to talk about a key colour for the current season each month. Although the company forecasts colour trends two years ahead, this series of articles will focus on a colour of the month, which will bring relevant information to manufacturers, interior designers and any professional within the design industry. This month, Hannah Malein presents February’s colour, indigo blue …

Paired with aquamarine, sandy neutrals, and a punchy red, this otherwise classic colour takes a nautical turn in the water-inspired Shanty trend.

This colour palette takes its inspiration from one of the essential elements of our natural world. Both life-supporting and endangering in its capacity, water and its surrounding influence is brought to the forefront as we strive to balance this extreme duality. This essential resource is being pushed to new capabilities supporting new product development, whilst manufacturing processes are reassessed to reduce wastage.

In visual terms, we look out from the coast, exploring the shoreline for foraged materials, to the ocean deep, where we discover inspiration from sea-dwelling creatures and plants, directing a rich aquatic palette. Shanty captures an intense depth of colour, with heavy grades of blue through to aquamarine balanced with sandy shoreline hues of beige, grey and pale shell pink. A flash of vibrant orange-based red in the palette brings an essential contrast highlight.

“Associations of blue within this water-based story also parallel the importance of indigo dyeing and the continuing growth of the denim industry. This essential workwear material has become common culture in fashion and is now reworked in interior products”

Associations of blue within this water-based story also parallel the importance of indigo dyeing and the continuing growth of the denim industry. This essential workwear material has become common culture in fashion and is now reworked in interior products. Indigo washes and stains of colour are splashed onto surfaces, varying in tones and saturation, leading a new approach to surfaces and coatings for furnishings.

Traditionally associated with calmness, pale blues give an airy feel, whilst deeper hues make a more powerful and confident statement. Blue promotes pure thought and helps us focus the mind, so is a great colour to have in a workspace to enhance concentration. However, use it sparingly in restaurants and eating areas, as blue is said to suppress appetite.

Indigo blue – and, in fact, the entire Shanty palette – can be seen on numerous products this year. We’ve see it used extensively in Habitat’s latest collection – pictured is the Lyra rocking chair for spring/summer 13, where this distinctive blue is teamed with a vibrant red. Henriette W Leth, for Danish design brand Normann Copenhagen, has also chosen this denim-inspired hue for the new Color Box series.

For the full colour palette and more ideas for its application, see a full presentation of Shanty – one of four key stories – in Global Color’s biannual forecast book, Mix Trends AW 2012/13.

Hannah Malein is a colour trend consultant with Global Color Research, the company behind Mix Publications. Mix Trends and Mix magazine can advise of similar trend predictions up to two years ahead of the season. Sign up to the company’s monthly newsletter to receive the latest information on colour, trend and design.

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