Interior Colour Trends S/S 2016

Adele Shotton-Pugh | Posted

I did hesitate before embarking on a colour prediction post this season – would there be anything new to write about or different to say?

I seem to feel as though I have written about a recycled palette of the same colour schemes and combinations, just adapted in slightly different ways or with new accents or contrast palettes, for a few seasons now. In part because there has been nothing outstandingly ‘new’ to write about (not surprising – it’s practically impossible to ‘invent’ a new colour that hasn’t already been seen or created yet – you may as well try and re-invent the wheel!) and partly because there have been a few stable colours maintaining popularity and with enough versatility to adapt and migrate from season to season, either in fresh new ways or with predictable popularity; and of course there’s always the safe bets – safe colours that people are comfortable and familiar with  - the unshakable base neutrals.

So what’s the crack with the colour clique this season? In a nutshell, - pale pink, powder blue and to a lesser degree soft pastel shades in general, every shade of grey (not just 50), maintaining their popularity as the new beige base neutral; and earth tones which work equally well with the Pastels and the Grey Tones, are most definitely top of the picks. And of course for the seasonal traditionalists we can’t overlook those reliable and invigorating fresh Spring Greens and Spring Brights to herald the arrival of the new season, whether they’re on –trend or not!   So here’s your colour inspiration breakdown:  

Pink Prediction - Rose Quartz & Peached Pinks

Pantone’s much awaited and universally trusted colour prediction for this year is Rose Qaurtz. A delicate ‘peached’ pink. Rose Quartz is delicate, light and on first impressions an almost vulnerable shade. But do not be fooled by its fragility! Rose quartz is both accommodating and robust and will absorb the intensity of an emerald green as easily and effectively as it will warm a bright white. It works perfectly alongside darker earth tones and even amber and ochre shades to lift the ambience and add light accents; and makes the perfect complement to black and dark grey shades for more of a dramatic almost masculine look.

None lovers of pink, may find this an uncomfortable season therefore; but there's no two ways about it, from going 'all-out' Rose Quartz to creating a sophisticated ambiance with just a hint, we are going to be seeing Rose Quartz punctuating 2016 with pastel a vengeance!

Blue Skies on the Horizon - Serenity Meets and Matches Rose Quartz

In a brave, innovative and unprecedented move this year, Pantone haven’t restricted their colour of the year prediction to just one colour, for the first time ever their prediction is a 'colour-duo' – and a winning one too! So meet Serenity.................

Blue Skies Serenity Pantone Colour


On it’s own Serenety (as it’s name would suggest), is a tranquil, inviting and light, but warm, tone of blue with the merest hint of lilac; an ethereal tone which imbues a feeling of quietness and peace. Serenity is extremely wearable on walls, floors textiles and interior accessories (as well as people) and will be making interior statements of its own throughout the forthcoming seasons. However, Serenity is one of those accommodating shades that cleverly unifies other palettes around it; so not surprisingly, it is its partnership, fusion and collaboration with Rose Quartz this year that is going to be its strength - a colour union that will be as versatile as it will be enduring.

 Mother Earth & Pastel Pastures

Earth Tone Colours, Textures and Landscapes


As we have seen, pastel shades are undoubtedly dominating our interior colour palettes, throughout the first half of 2016 at least; but earth tones have a serious part to play in our interior schemes for this part of the year too. Keywords such as authentic , organic, down to earth, versatile and ceramic, translate into colours such as terracotta, pale pink, marsala, ocher, burgundy, copper orange and toasted almond. The new blush shades of 'peached-pinks' find themselves sitting as comfortably in this palette as they do in the pastel one, but the versatility, maturity, warmth and depth of this palette will see it maintaining its place in our interiors into the latter half of the year too, as they add a spicy cosy-ness  to our interiors as we again ready ourselves to embrace the colder seasons.

Greyscale on a Big Scale - Not Just 50 Shades

Massively On-Trend for the most part of last year and establishing itself as the 'new-beige', as grey overtook beige, brown and natural shades  in furniture, flooring and wall colour shades last year; grey looks like it's here to stay for a good while yet, or maybe even for good, as the favored base neutral for interior decor. Undeniably versatile and accommodating, as well as sophisticated, grey works with more or less every other shade in the colour spectrum and finds itself comfortably and favorably complementing most of this season's On-Trend shades, including Rose Quartz, Serenity and the Mother Earth tones; and in keeping with the mineral aspect of Rose Quartz we will see the emergence of a hybrid shade of grey where oyster meets mushroom meets grey meets beige, appropriately being dubbed as Quartz Grey.

A mature and sophisticated staple for the experienced decorator and a definite safe bet for the novice too, whatever your preference on the shade or tone, it would seem that grey has secured itself a well deserved place in our interior colour schemes for the foreseeable future. That said, the rumour is that white, white, white will win best supporting role for interior base colours for 2016???

 Bright White is Right for 2016

Some see white as a non-colour, a safe bet, a cop-out, or a clinical and cold colour that evokes memories of old fashioned hospital wards, or even (dare I say it? - asylums!) but, it would seem that in addition to the new found popularity of several hundred shades of grey, white, white, white is also right, right, right, for interior decor for 2016 and not such an 'insane' idea!

Spring Brights

Spring is a time of year when colour awareness, more so than any other time of year, is prolific! Everything starts afresh with renewed vigor and promise, which inspires many of us to be more adventurous if not just a little brighter with our colour schemes. We're not talking undiluted or raw primaries this year though, we're looking at two distinguishable trends.  On the one hand vibrant but sophisticated and versatile Caribbean/tropical shades, encompassing fruity and spicy reds, ceramic oranges, teal and organic greens, and marine and maritime blues; and on the other hand the punctuation of our colour schemes with vivid orange and pink neons  will be finding popularity towards the latter end of the year.

Spring Greens

No matter what colour predictions the experts and trends researches come up with for any new Spring season, there’s one colour that’s never far from thought when it comes to the onset of Spring and that’s green. This year is no different , although we can expect to see the Apple and Mint tones which are prominent on the season’s cat walks, finding their place onto our colour palettes and into our interior decor schemes. Simple shapes and blocks of colour being the way to go, to allow these pastel hues to speak for themselves on fabrics, textiles, accessories and furniture.

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