With colours inspired by nature predicted to be huge in interiors this year, I’m here with my picks of the best ‘5 Colours Inspired by Nature’ to help you bring in some of the health benefits from the great outdoors into your homes.
I’ve put together an edit of the very best 5 colours inspired by nature predicted to be HUGE in 2021 by some of the most influential paint brands, so that you don’t have to waste your time trawling the web when you can be outside enjoying that fresh air instead.
So first of all, lets talk colour psychology. While this blog post is loosely based on trends, before deciding on a scheme for a room we must think about the room purpose and how we want to feel while we’re living in it. Do we want to feel inspired and productive while we’re in there or do we want to feel relaxed and comfortable? Answering these questions and applying some colour psychology theories could help you to get the most out of your space, and avoid making a mistake that could prove costly in time and money a few months down the line when you have to redo it.
If I asked you to think of one place where you feel completely calm and relaxed most of you are probably going to imagine yourself lying on an empty beach, next to the gentle lapping waves of the crystal blue sea…you may even think of yourself looking out over a romantic pastel coloured sunset or bathing in the soft, dappled light of a lush green forest.
Asking yourself this question can help you to narrow down the colours that make you feel the most content. These would be the colours that you would look to use in your bedroom design, or in a cosy snug that you retreat to in the evening. You would of course want to take a different approach while deciding on a colour pallet for your work space or a playroom for example. That’s not to say that you cannot use blue in both of these spaces, but you might want to consider the vibrancy of the tone.
Blues and cyans
So, while we’re on the subject of blue, we may as well start here. Conjuring up fond pre pandemic memories of clear skies and the ocean, blues create a calming environment and help to reduce tension. This may be the reason why it is voted time and time again as the world’s favourite colour. You can avoid the connotations of ‘feeling blue’ by using warmer shades such as navy and inky blues – bright accent colours will really pop against these shades too, so you can have fun with it in a more playful space, or pair sky blues with some beachy drift wood tones to keep it more calm and restful.
Helen Shaw from Benjamin Moore says: ‘As we spend more time at home, it’s important to create a space that feels warm and welcoming. This year’s Colour of the Year is a balanced and soothing hue, softened with a touch of grey to create spaces with a casual elegance.’
‘The blues best suited to anchoring our homes in 2021 are cleaner tones like lively Pitch Blue, fresh Ultra Marine Blue, and the darker, inkier Stiffkey Blue’ says Farrow & Ball’s colour curator Joa Studholme. ‘These uncomplicated shades feel familiar, like memories from our childhood, so have a soothing effect in the home despite their cooler undertones.’
Like the tranquil blue used in this restful children’s bedroom painted in ‘Ultra Marine Blue‘ from Farrow and Ball’s new ‘Colour by Nature‘ palette, created in collaboration with the Natural History Museum. It would look equally stylish teamed with warm sandy neutrals or punchier tropical hues such as coral.
Shades of green
Green – by far my favourite of all the colours on the spectrum, is forecast to be huge in 2021. It’s even been described as the new grey. Unsurprisingly perhaps, as in a year where the health of the population has been playing on all of our minds it makes sense that the colour we associate the most with good health is top of the trend forecasts. Reminiscent of lush healthy vegetation and natural landscapes the connection to nature is obvious.
This fresh ‘Sap Green‘ from Farrow and Ball is another of their Colour by Nature palette – ‘A true reflection of nature, creating a soft, lived-in atmosphere when combined with Broccoli Brown and Duck Green. Used in smaller spaces, such as a hallway or porch, it creates a richer, more vital atmosphere.’ Sold.
Blue and medium greens have been shown to enhance creative performance whereas viewing dark to medium greens are proven to lower the heart rate, improve blood pressure, and alleviate stress. Green in particular is a trigger for motivation, enthusiasm and productivity.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this invigorating ‘Jewel Beetle‘ green by Little Greene since I saw it. It feels like a shot of raw juice straight into the eyeballs, and I’m currently trying to work out if I should use it to paint over the forest green in our living room. I’m still in love with the forest green but it can be a little bit too dark in the daytime, particularly on a gloomy day. I feel like the ‘Jewel Beetle’ would give the room (and me) a little bit of extra umph. God knows I could do with some.
Here’s what David Mottershead, MD of Little Greene had to say about it. ‘Green is quite simply luscious in the truest sense of the word’ From velvety dark greens to the light and uplifting tones, greens can be used all over the home and have a powerful, restorative quality. Used in home offices, green shades aid contemplation and deep thought.
Earthy browns and greys
Oh so prevalent in our natural landscapes – soft browns, gentle stoney greys, and warm sandy tones are reflective of the shores of our coast lines. Conjuring up associations of natural timbers and literally the earth beneath our feet, they are thought to ground us, making them the ultimate go to for cosy, rustic living. They can be found in all sorts of raw and un-dyed materials too such as; hessian, natural linens or wool. Darker more desert reds, burned oranges and sandy yellows can be a great way of incorporating this theme while adding some warmth to cool greys and white walls.
It’s little wonder then that in a year where everything felt so out of our control, Dulux announced its somewhat decisive ‘Brave Ground’ as its colour of the year. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on – the brown side or the classic neutral one, it would seem that we are all warming to the idea of soft browns and earthy tones as Pinterest revealed searches for ‘terracotta walls’ increased by 86 per cent, in the UK alone.
Dulux ‘Morocco Tan‘ is part of their ‘revolve, nourish and renew’ collection and offers a comforting richness and warmth – ideal for a personal workspace.
Bauwerk Colour have also created 8 new lime wash paint colours for inside, outside living, inspired by nature and grasses in collaboration with interior design guru, Abigail Ahern. One of the standout colours from the collection is ‘Beach Grass‘, described by them as super versatile, while at the same time being tranquil and stylish, it’s a rustic and cocooning hue that will make you feel right at home in these uncertain times.
Jewel Reds and Plum Tones
Red is generally associated with flowers and fruits such as berries or apples. It can support cognitive behaviour for complex, intense tasks, but too much of it can be over-stimulating so, aim to use brighter hues in balance with other more calming colours, as demonstrated in this kitchen found via Elle Decor. Using nature as inspiration, the ocean blue, high gloss cupboards create a calming backdrop to the much more invigorating floral red of the clad walls – transporting you to the gently peppered geranium coastlines of the Greek Islands. Heaven on earth.
For those of you that want to embrace the trend in its full, unabashed glory, Graham and Brown’s Colour of the Year ‘Epoch‘ is a proud, regal and luxuriously bold plum. Use it to create more restful, tonal schemes by pairing with soft floral lavenders or jewel teal tones for the peacock amongst us that isn’t afraid to stand out from the crowd.
And finally, most often described as the colour that brings us the most joy – it’s yellow. The brightest of all of the primary colours. If used in the right intensity, hue and saturation, it reminds us of the sun’s warmth, arouses feelings of happiness, and improves creativity and optimism. On the flip side however, if overused, it can have an unpleasant or even disturbing effect.
Yellows and golds blend well with neutrals and blues, can add warmth, and enhance natural light, especially in north-facing rooms.
Yellow kitchens have seen a big rise in popularity over the last couple of years and will continue to do so. This ochre yellow kitchen designed by Studio Shamshiri is reminiscent of the setting sun in the Mediterranean and looks perfectly matched with the natural walnut work surfaces and earthy ceramics, and who wouldn’t love a big hit of vitamin D on a grey day in the UK?
Earthborn launched their brand new colour ‘Crocky Road‘ as part of their new ‘Earth Collection’ and is predicted to be one of the most coveted tones of 2021 and I’m not surprised one bit – just look at it here pair perfectly with a vibrant sunny yellow and natural tones.
‘Our brand-new colour Crocky Road is set to be a hugely popular shade in interiors next year’ says Cathryn Helsby, Head of Creative Marketing, Earthborn. ‘This natural, cool beige with a faint green undertone carries a calming, easy- going, earthy quality. A perfect colour to live with in both a modern and traditional home, and wonderful to pair with pops of bright accessories.’
We couldn’t end this blog post about colours set to be huge in 2021 without mentioning Pantone’s controversial prediction for 2021 – “ultimate grey” and “illuminating” yellow. Not so much connected to nature but more like road traffic signals…here’s what they had to say about it.
‘It’s all about the messaging. Get ready for a brighter future. There is general agreement on very little in this world, save, perhaps, for one thing: This year has been a mess, and the next one cannot come fast enough.‘
Well you can’t really argue with that can you? Like the first sign of daffodils after a long grey winter. I’ll have some of that.