Trends for 2016 – Exotic and Contemporary

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Trends for 2016 – Exotic and Contemporary

Published 12/02/2016

Turning ‘Whatever’ into ‘Wow’ – How the colours of 2016 are set to change the face of commercial spaces

Colour plays a huge part in interior design, setting the tone for a room and creating the overall feel. For an interior designer, there is a whole wealth of opportunity to create amazing spaces combining the latest on-trend colour palettes with different textures and patterns.

Here we will take a look at the colour trends of 2016 and talk to experts in the interior design world to find out:

- Why these colours are a great choice for creating an impact in commercial spaces.

- What colours are best for particular settings.

- The psychology behind the chosen colour.

A story behind every colour

In the same way that fashion stylists eagerly await the pre-season shows to catch a glimpse of the latest trends, there is the same buzz within the interior design world when the latest colour trends are launched.

Prior to trends being launched on the High Street, there is a lot of research that goes into deciding on what colour schemes are going to feature in the new season’s palette. Interior shows, such as the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs and the European IMM show often kick start trends, showcasing them to the trade before they hit the High Street. These shows are integral in shaping the future of interior and furniture design, with designers, manufacturers and stockists taking note of these trends and incorporating elements of ‘what’s hot’ into their upcoming collections.

Colours for all occasions

Similarly to the catwalk fashions that don’t translate that well to everyday wear, some of the more ‘out there’ interior trends don’t always lend themselves that readily to suburban domestic settings. In the majority of domestic interior design projects, practicality can end up outweighing elaborate design. Longevity and versatility are key factors, which often means that colour palettes tend to be muted to suit these settings.

Whilst amazing domestic interiors can still be created, from an interior designer’s point of view, the fun lies in unleashing the extreme colours from the palettes. This is where commercial spaces, such as boutique hotels, spas and gyms etc. become the interior designer’s playground.

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Taking colour to the extreme

When styling a commercial space, there is a great opportunity for interior designers to create a dramatic impact. Bold colours come into their own, as do rich tones and unusual textures.

Colour themes that are set to take the interior world by storm in 2016 include:

  • Rich browns, mahogany, coffee and chocolate.
  • Deep greens, vivid lime, khaki.
  • Burnt orange, coppers and rusts.
  • Charcoal, mocha and grey.
  • Rosy pink and purple.

These palettes feature heavily in Premdor’s new ‘Exotic’ and ‘Contemporary’ ranges within the new Portfolio range.


The Exotic range is rich, dark and opulent. Deep chocolate tones, lush greens and fiery oranges create a stunning effect. Lustrous dark woods, such as Wenge and Ebony, complement this palette.

Luxurious settings, such as spas and boutique hotels, are the ideal choice for this colour palette, as the rich tones accentuate the opulence of the surroundings, bringing an air of grandeur and decadence.

We spoke to Alison Johnson, interior designer and co-owner of Otta Design to obtain some expert advice on how the Exotic palette can be used to make a statement in commercial spaces. Alison suggests:

"The Exotic palette is great for adding warmth to a room. It would create the perfect setting for a chic, yet cosy hotel room or an enticing hotel lobby. This combination of rich earthy colours evokes exclusivity, making a space feel expensive and ultimately giving the hotel guest the impression that they are stepping into an elite environment."


The Contemporary collection focuses heavily on charcoals, mochas and greys, creating a bold, yet cool palette. The contemporary range provides the perfect backdrop for some spontaneous bursts of colour, with rosy pink and purples being popular choices this season.

Sleek gyms and stylish offices are the perfect environment for this colour palette. Not only are these colours stylish and sophisticated, they are also understated enabling an interior to be subtly highlighted without the colours taking over the space.

Alison Johnson also offered some tips and advice on how the Contemporary palette can be used to create maximum impact in commercial spaces:

"Charcoals, mochas and greys are the ideal base to work with when creating a look for a commercial setting, such as an office, as they are warm and inviting without being over dominating. Adding pops of colour, such as warm pinks or vivid purples can lift the theme in select areas, such as lobbies, communal areas and hallways, and the theme can be knocked right back in meeting rooms where the theme needs to remain more neutral."

The power of colour psychology

The simplest of settings can be brought to life with the right colours, with moods cleverly determined by particular tones and shades.

Angela Wright, a recognised world expert on the unconscious effects of colour, and founder of Colour Affects, comments on the colours in Premdor’s Exotic and Contemporary ranges:

“The use of colour in the Premdor Portfolio range is very good - and very effective: a single item to introduce each range, in a dramatic colour. The designers have chosen an excellent key colour in each case and the whole thing hangs together well, perfectly supporting the browns and greys of the doors.”

According to the study of Colour Affects, the colours of 2016 are destined to evoke the following moods:

Brown - Warmth, seriousness, nature and earthiness, support and reliability.

Orange - Warmth and security, physical comfort, sensuality and passion, food, abundance and fun.

Grey - Psychological neutrality.

Green - Balance and harmony, refreshment, rest and restoration, environmental awareness, reassurance, equilibrium and peace.

Pink - Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth and love.

Purple - Luxury, spiritual awareness, truth and quality.

The beauty of accessories

One of the great things about working with a vivid colour palette is that you don’t have to go over the top with furniture design. Clean, simple lines can be accentuated with bold hues, and colour palettes can be pushed even further with striking accessories.

This is a surprisingly cost-effective way of approaching a commercial space, as the tone can be set with high-quality fittings, such as the doors, and the look can then easily be refreshed and updated with pops of colour.

Cutting edge sustainability

With 2016’s colour palettes featuring dark, dense woods such as Ebony and Wenge, there is the obvious consideration surrounding the sustainability of these endangered trees. Ebony, in particular, is in extremely high demand (unsurprisingly as it is a beautiful material to work with), however it is in equally short supply, so designers are having to find a sustainable alternative.

This is where innovative new products,such as Premdor’s new Portfolio veneer range, come into their own. High quality veneers offer a sustainable way to reap the aesthetic benefits of endangered wood without actually using the wood itself.

The ‘Wow’ factor

The nature inspired palettes for 2016 are ideal for creating visually striking, yet warm, harmonious commercial settings. In a world where visual impact is paramount, it is essential that the interior of a commercial property is as considered as the service it provides. Not only will a slick interior set the overall tone for a business or service, it will also create the mood for the space and the people within it.

Choosing the right colours can make an enormous difference to the feel of a space, and the atmosphere created will have a knock on effect on the perception of the company or service, ultimately setting it apart from the competition.