Top 10 Colour Trends for 2013

2013 bannerHappy New Year to you!  Thankfully it transpired that the 2012ers were mistaken and the Apocalypse was not nigh after all.  Hoorah and welcome to 2013 … a year when the world of design stretches out towards extreme newness whilst also ensuring the romance of the past is never out of reach.

This year colours both invigorate and calm us: fluoro’s meet diffused pastels; iced coloured-metallics gives the year it’s most alluring surface effect; intriguing tinted nudes offer us a New Normal; faded vintage tones draw strength from mysterious opium den ultra-darks; audacious brights announce retro-revivals; tribal tones shout from the depths of lush rainforests.  Mature, optimistic, intense, dynamic and sophisticated … colours are set to be more nuanced and complex during 2013: chip bannerSo let’s begin our year of blogging with a rundown of some of the key colours for 2013.  We’ve taken the colour chips below from a selection of our Spring/Summer 2013 and Autumn/Winter 2013/14 trends for Interiors.  Whether you’re a Designer, Manufacturer, Retailer or Marketing Guru these colours will help to make your work relevant this year.  If you’re a Journalist or Blogger you’re welcome to share this info with your readers & followers by linking to this page or cutting & pasting the info…all we ask is that you please credit Scarlet Opus as the source and link back to us.  So in no particular order…


We spotted this colour being used by just a few Designers towards the end of last year as an all over mono, but we forecast it will be much more widely applied this year.  You’ll be amazed how many other colours it works brilliantly with including deep pinks as you can see on our Origins trend board!


It’s an on-trend material as well as a key shade for 2013.  Concrete shakes off its ugly reputation thanks to brilliant innovations and brave applications by Product Designers.  Stick to light-to-mid shades (with a matt finish) and simply think of it as you would any other neutral colour when pairing it with other colours.


Transitioning from hazy pink to lilac and into the realms of violet, this intangible colour can be used to give products an otherworldly incandescence.   It is most effective when applied to products made from transparent materials.  Purchase our ARTificial trend board as a visual guide for your own work and to understand the best colour combinations.


Tinged with a hint of blue this green is super-refreshing.  It works well when applied as a solid to products with a retro 50s/60s styling, acting as a bridge between playful pastels & brights (see our Motel trend board), or as an accent in futuristic and dark ‘galaxy’ inspired surface pattern designs. 


Apricot, Peach, Coral … call it what you will, but this pinky orange makes its presence felt in several trends during 2013 (including our Orient trend).  It works equally well with delicate pastel or bright fluoro pinks, lilacs, pale jade greens, plum shades, dark peacock colours or greys.


Decadent dark purples and heady wine tones introduce unabashed glamour and opulence to room schemes during 2013.  One of the most interesting shades was used by GUCCI for their Autumn/Winter catwalk carpet colour.  For furniture & flooring especially, this sumptuous shade is a must!


Dangerous ‘dusk to dawn’ ultra-darks provide 2013 with its most intriguing and complex hues.  Though they appear to be almost black, these twilight shades are in fact tinted with blue, green or purple.  The most important shade from this family is Petrol Blue –  possessing both blue & green nuances, it looks great with our next colour!


When it comes to metals or metallic effects, 2013 is the year to favour copper.  From actual copper pendent lights to furniture upholstered in copper-coloured velvet (like the gorgeous Houston chair by Munna we spotted at TENT during London Design Festival), make this your metal of choice.  


Deep and mysterious yet super-stylish and soothing – from purple tinted indigo to luxuriously velveteen sapphire – 2013 is a big year for rich blues.  They should give a sense of tranquility, certainty and steadfastness – always projecting subdued glamour and integrity.  So Chic.   


The perfect shade of Green for 2013 it encapsulates the historical ‘Eclectic Collector’ trend for Interiors and the bohemian ‘Dandy Gentleman’ trend in Fashion.  Plus the drink is enjoying a renaissance.  After decades of prohibition it’s time to be seen sipping Absinthe this year!

mixology101_absintheThe Scarlet Opus team will be blogging throughout 2013, casting our expert eyes over the world of Design, providing coverage of shows from around the world, and most crucially, giving you a heads-up on what’s coming next so you can stay ahead of your competitors!

Thanks to Sarah Newman from DesignBark and Dominic Crinson whose images appear in the montage banner near the top of this post.

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