Color Trends IMM16


I have really been struggling with summing up a trend report after visiting the IMM Cologne show and I was seriously considering not to write about my fair which would have been the first trade show ever visit and no report about it.

Flicking through my images however, there is some interesting color story to tell I’d love to share with you today.

Let’s go back to 2013 when we still had a few star colors to report. it was that special color with a Pantone or NCS code that was striking at that time.

2014 and 2015 were the years were we saw different shades within one color meaning a nice palette of pinks, greens, grays, yellows…every brand had its very own interpretation of a color shade and you could say ‘Oh, yellow is still/again strong” but then you could observe a very pastels-like shade, bright sunflower yellow or mustard. It was not that specific color code anymore.

Now, what is happening in 2016?


Images left: Sancal | Pedrali | Gelderland || Images right: Sancal |&tradition

Cognac, Desert Rose, Egg Yolk and Black are the colors to observe and combine. Black gives a dramatic contrast, softens a rather feminine touch and allows for a more serious approach. Chess is an interesting pattern that combines nicely here.


Images left: Molteni | Minotti | Lema || Images right: Minotti | Vartian

Italian brands are going straight for an upscale mood joined by velvet, leather, silk and marble elements. Colors such as sand, mocca, warm gray, charcoal and black are elegant, warm and unisex.


Images left: Palau | Palau | Leolux || Images right: Kettal | Kettal

Another interesting combo is blush (yes, still very present), caramel, burgundy, slate and mud.

Being this the first show of the year I attended, all I can say now is that color blocking is here (Gelderland-collage n#1 and Palau, Kettal and Leolux-collage n#3). Several colors are used in one piece of furniture. Often we see earth related colors (I told you!). Color blocking might come from the same color family but doesn’t have to.

This is mainly being adopted by Northern brands such as the Scandinavian markets and Germany, whereas the Italians (collage n#2) are going for neutral tone-in-tone colors that accentuate noble materials and finishings giving an all over luxury look&feel.

My color forecast for the Salone? Mud and khaki will pretty sure come back (see the last color of collage n#3). G, x


How about some extra inspiration?

5 Responses

  1. Goudy, Thanks for 2016 color trend forecasts. Do you use a color system (such as Pantone) when posting color swatches? Or do you use screen shot colors from photo sources? -CN

  2. I’m glad you did this post, I always find them really Interesting and you’re always pretty spot on! I’m with you on the khaki, especially seeing it a lot in the fashion. M xx

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