Powered by you and
Brands from AkzoNobel

Material Lab Interpret Colour Futures 2016

material labs cf16

At our recent Colour Futures 2016 launch event, we invited industry favourite and Dulux Trade partner Material Lab to bring our trends to life beyond paint. The Material Lab team responded by doing what it does best, and curated an installation comprising of four inspiring edits of innovative materials and a sculptural centrepiece that interpreted our overarching theme for 2016, 'Looking Both Ways'. Projects and Material Manager, Jim Biddulph explains how they approached the four trends.

How do Dulux's Colour Future trends for 2016 and Colour of the Year relate to what you've seen happening elsewhere in the design world?

'We've noted a lot of designers utilising metal and metallic finishes over the past few years, be it with product, architecture or surface finishes. It's a trend that doesn't appear to be going anywhere too soon, and we love it. Over the past 12 months or so there has been a shift from copper towards gold, which the Dulux colour team has clearly noted too, with last year's Copper Blush being succeeded by this year's Cherished Gold.'

'There also appears to be a growing interest in duality, subtle contrasts and juxtaposition in the interior design world, and this is reflected in the overarching trend 'Looking Both Ways' as well as with each of the four individual trends. We're seeing a growing trend for traditional craft skills being taken up and used alongside contemporary CAD-supported manufacture, and this in turn is reflected in the material palettes that we're seeing designers working with.'

material lab heritage and future

How did you approach curating your edit of materials for each trend?

'Material duality was one of the key things we took into account when curating our edit for the trends. It was important that the selection for each had some interesting contrasts and comparisons be it texture, pattern, scale or material type.'

'Certain materials came to us immediately when considering each specific trend. For instance, the warmth and natural qualities of cork and real timber fitted the sense of immersion and heightened awareness of touch that Dark & Light exudes. Whereas for The Grid & Letting Go, we were instantly drawn to digital and more traditional silk-screened surfaces that tend to have bold and graphic geometric designs.'

material lab grid and letting go

Tell us about some of the materials you chose to coordinate with the Colour Futures trends.

'There is a whole host of amazing materials that fit these trends with some of particular note...

Heritage & Future is heavily inspired by textiles and traditional tapestries, so we had a clear starting point that was very fabric-led with Svensson, NYA Nordiska and Designers Guild products coming to the fore. But the duality of past and present that is so abundant in this trend meant designers such as Daniel Heath Studio and Tex-tile fitted perfectly.'

'With Words & Pictures we wanted to balance the graphic element that is so bound up within the theme, so we had digitally printed surfaces from Tektura wall coverings and Formica laminates alongside some really nice paper-based materials such as Procedes Chenel and Richlite. This was juxtaposed by the soft smoothness of mineral composites from Corian and resin from 3form.'

Dark & Light had a range of woods including an example of Giles Miller?s rich walnut Alexander tile and beautiful cork surfaces from Granorte as well as some sumptuous metallic finishes from Solomon & Wu. Velvets, felt and leather also featured quite heavily due to the tactile qualities they possess.'

The Grid & Letting Go happened to give the opportunity to show work from some of the more craft led makers, many of whom are recent design graduates, including Katie Gillies, Benjamin Craven, Studio Moon and Gemma Kay Waggett. Perhaps this is apt considering the nature of the trend and its sense of freedom and letting one's inhibitions go? Either way, we enjoyed sourcing materials that were riotously bold and geometrically inclined!'

material lab word and pictures

Can you see certain trends being particularly relevant for certain sectors or type of project?

'Collectively I would say that the trends offer a lot to anyone working on residential and hospitality projects where the individual user's time, space and lifestyle are such an integral design consideration. There is a broad but well-considered set of colour palettes with which to respond to, as well as considerations for the qualities of the materials and furnishing that could be used alongside the paint itself.'

Find out more about the Colour Futures 2016 trends and colour palettes.

material labs dark and light

We're here to help

Everything you need to know is right here - from an encyclopedia of trade paint and trade woodcare to expert help.

All your favourite products

It's now easier to pick the right product for your project, browse through all of your favourite AkzoNobel products.

Inspired by colour

Our colour tool with over 4,000 colours will help you find the perfect colour from your preferred brand.