Colour Trends For 2013/2014

I thought you may be interested to hear the trend forcast for 2013/14 from world renowned forecaster Milou Ket.  She covers all bases so I hope you enjoy this article.  Regards Fiona Steddy, Minkz Furniture and Homewares.

Space, light and blance are important to the theme of Harmony & Balance


Milou Ket gives insight into her new INTERIORS book, edition 2013 / 2014. In this book the most influential international themes are shown. The book contains both summer and winter themes. There are six themes featured, all with their corresponding colour cards.

For weavers, printers and spinners there is a special box with colours, meant for the interior, contract and hospitality market, where cotton yarns are dyed after specification. Besides that, there is a list of the compatible Pantone cotton colours.

Every theme is shown with its corresponding colour card, plus more than 200 inspiring materials that match the themes in colour and character. Also this year, colour has been the  starting point to compose this book. Colour will take centre stage after a less colourful period. We are looking for comfort, homeliness, warmth and consolation in our interiors.

Different shades of rose prevail in the theme of Sensual & Passionate

This contemporary direction is about space, light and calm. Shades of peaceful and light neutral colours give an austere and reduced atmosphere, good for unwinding and relaxing. Natural materials prevail such as wood, cork, braided materials, grass, bamboo, but also fur, hide, leather etc. for texture.  White plays an important role. It is back to basics, to the essential, simple and pure. Craftsmanship is combined with innovation. Tactility and textures are very important.

Eco-awareness and sustainability gain more and more importance. Opposites attract such as soft and hard, light and compact, round and linear, graphic and bulky. Motifs from nature are also popular, such as, wolves, feathers and owls; often in black and white.

Simplicity is combined with luxury; we see metallic shine, but also silver and gold, cellophane, pearls and mother of pearl. Transparency and lightness are important, opposed to the warm naturalness of wood. Striking is the offer of coarsely knitted materials, applied for instance for chairs or to add textures in pillow cases.  

 In this colour card, we see a range of harmonious neutral colours that fit perfectly together. White is very important. We see biscuit beige, off-white, white, soft yellow, dusty rose, soft grey blue, taupe and coconut brown. Dark brown, grey and black are used in small touches as an accent on these lighter natural colours. 

Nature’s Evolution is influenced by sustainability and natural or artificial nature


In this direction we see several shades of pink, often used tone-in-tone for a very feminine, romantic and refined effect. It is about classical French ideas, but then with a twist, or updated through colour. Florals and lace prevail, especially hand-painted flowers with water colour effect. Jacquards with fruit, and botanical motifs, on light grounds, such as linen, cotton and hemp. Also ikat and tie-and-dye motifs are applied in this direction. Sometimes motifs are highlighted by spots or stripes. Grading remains important, as well as matte and shine, gold and silver as an accent.

Animals such as birds, insects, and butterflies are popular motifs. Often prints and weaves are mixed in a free way, for a casual, relaxed effect, like a collage or in patchwork. Old techniques such as embroidery, cross stitch, knitting, crochet, and handcrafted products are very much in demand. White is an important colour to combine with, but we see also combinations with a light beige for a more nostalgic, altered effect. Improvisation is an important feature in this direction.

Vintage finds, and second hand products are repaired and painted. Imperfection is turned into a positive value. This direction appeals especially to young women.

COLOURS: Different shades of rose prevail in this theme. We see soft orange, blush, lilac, old rose, raspberry, fuchsia, burned orange, wine red. Mostly these colours are combined with white, for a fresh effect. They can also be combined with a beige ground. Then the effect is more nostalgic.

This theme is influenced by sustainability, natural or artificial nature. Florals, foliage, trees and branches are popular topics, as well as all kinds of botanical images, based on natural history books of vegetables, animals, insects etc. We are looking for comfort and soothing consolation by homely products such as warm plaids, textured pillows and cosy used carpets. We share, barter, improvise, recycle and rethink. We enjoy making products ourselves, like knitting, repairing, finding used products, cooking and eating together.

Urban gardening has become important, like growing one’s own vegetables and herbs and vertical gardening. There are lots of new products to grow plants inside, in bags, bottles and pillows. Eco-awareness and sustainability are important. Country life is valued in the city.

Used, recycled, repaired, and improvised products give a casual look. The colours are often shades of vegetation. We see everywhere, flexible components of furniture, like hockers and stools, but also modular floor tiles and wall covering. Different shades of blue’s and greens are combined. We see collections of all kinds of products, such as frames, but also rare animals as in a curiosity cabinet. 

COLOURS: This colour range consists of different shades of green graduating to blue. We see light lime, leaf green, light olive green, moss green, sea green, peacock, deep blue green, and night blue. These colours are often applied tone-in-tone, with light/dark contrasts. They may be combined with white, or beige. 

Retro influences dominate the theme of Journey Through Time


Here very bright colours, especially neon and fluorescent colours determine the theme, giving an acid contrast. Often, they are applied in combination with white, a light neutral or with a pastel colour. The  products are not allways entirely coloured, but just the legs, the bottom or a part. Sometimes they are combined with black.

With these bright colours the materials are often artificial and man-made, such as glass, perspex, bio-plastics, nylon thread, and resin. Grading of colour is important. The effect of light plays a major role, such as the use of led’s, transparency and projections. We see often monochromes, colour blocks, rainbow effects, geometric and pop-art patterns, but also multicolour stripes and coloured photoprints.

Shiny and glossy materials are important to make the colours stand out even more. We see spirographic linear, hypnotic and psychedelic  prints. Marimekko prints are making a comeback. The effect of these bright colours is happy, uncomplicated and cheerful. They remind us of the fifties and sixties.

COLOURS: A true change in colour: very bright, almost acid like neon and fluorescent colours. Here the range consists of a few pastel colours, and some brighter colours. They may be applied for solid object, but they are also combined with a neutral colour such as beige, or natural wood, and white. We also see neon yellow, lime green, sweet pink, bright orange, bright pink, signal red, sweet blue and bright turquoise. 


Retro influences dominate the theme of Journey Through Time



In this theme, we see a mix of retro influences, especially vintage products from the sixties and seventies with the patina of wood and slightly faded colours, affected by time. Often we see design classics that are revived. The colour of wood is prominent.

Products from the Industrial era make a comeback, such as recycled industrial lamps, large printed letters, old metal drawers. They give the interior character.  But we also see ethic influences from all over the world, in Arabia, Africa, Turkmenistan, the American Indians, Indians and especially the Orient. It is a combination of the traditional, the handcrafted and the handmade, with the industrial. Restored, repaired, re-used and adapted.

Traces of the past, imperfections and irregularities give the products their identity, such as oxidation, patchwork, and  hand-crafted looks. Traditional handicrafts and techniques are valued again, such as knitting, crochet, dyeing by hand, ikat, embroideries etc. Creased and scratched looks, natural materials and stone-washed effects are in demand. Often dark brown is the basic colour. Think of the colours of old paint on wood or metal. The products are old, or have an antique finish for more authenticity. 

COLOURS: The colours for this direction are warm and slightly faded. They are like primary colours on wood or metal, that are affected by time. Often they are combined with a warm brown to evoke this vintage effect. We see such colours like: faded pink, faded orange, old yellow, warm red, mid blue, mid green, faded peacock and warm brown.

Retro influences dominate the theme of Journey Through Time


In this theme, dark colours prevail. The open spaces are luxurious. We see spaces and furniture with clean lines, loft-like with high ceilings, sumptuous and luxurious materials and fabrics. The furniture consists of luxurious wide modular pieces, that can be combined as desired. Black makes a come-back as the most important colour, with different shades of black. Or in combination with white for a bold graphic effect, or with bright colour accents such as yellow, red or orange.

With these luxurious materials we see also an emphasis on metallics: gold, copper, silver, but also coloured metallics. Brown in combination with beiges is important as well. The play with different textures is important, smooth opposed to textures such as leather, wood, fur, reptile. Wallpaper plays a major role. We see often large patterns as wallpaper. But we see also luxurious materials, textures and irregularity in the finish of walls.

Tactility will play a major role. It is about the tension between different materials, such as matte and shine, the play of light and shadow and high/low relief and different textures that make it exciting. Everything is extra large and we often see symmetry and repetition.

COLOURS: This colour card consists of very dark colours. We see ink blue, old gold, copper, deep magenta, deep blue green, chocolate brown, anthracite grey and black. Black is for sure the most important colour. It may be combined with white for a graphic effect, or with bright colours such as red, yellow or orange. Matte and shine and opposites in texture give a subtle colour effect.

About the author

Milou Ket graduated from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and was employed by the styling department of Hema BV in Amsterdam. In 1992, Milou Ket decided to publish an Interior Trend book. It became an immediate success and has been sold globally. She is the design and lifestyle consultant for many international companies for lighting, furniture, bathrooms and architectural solutions. She advises the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on their museum shop and assortment.



If you would like help selecting the right colours for your home, get free interior decorating advice at Minkz Furniture and Homewares – or call 1300MINKZ1


  1. Well depicted schemes . Helpfull for all .


  1. […] out these articles – “Colour Trends for 2013/14” and “Fresh New Palettes for 2012/13” on the Minkz website for examples of colour schemes […]

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