Colour Trends at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

The team had a gloriously sunny couple of days visiting Clerkenwell Design Week; an independent design festival held yearly in one of the most creative districts in London. We explored the many exciting exhibitions, visited showrooms and presented future design trends to visitors. Not only do we attend Clerkenwell to discover new product launches and new designers but we also pick up on trend confirmations from our previous forecasts; looking at how our colour and material prediction come into fruition. This blog post outlines the workplace trends seen at the show with a focus on colour, pattern and material use in the office.


Soft apricot and rose-beige shades were part of our 2019 Colour Trend predictions that we forecast way back in 2017. The image below is taken from our Clarity trend report; showcased and presented at Decor & Design; Melbourne in July last year. Two years on from our forecast, we see these calming shades being used within workplace design to create environments of comfort, tranquility and serenity.

Although the office landscape holds a multitude of different settings to cater to the varying physical working needs of employees, we begin to see a real need for environments that focus on the cognitive and emotional well-being of workers too. Health and wellness in the workplace has become firmly rooted in business strategies and design decision making when it comes to colour palette choices, space planning and material applications; careful consideration is needed to reflect this growing desire.

Colour trends scarlet opus
Scarlet Opus Clarity Trend 2019
work place trends scarlet opus

Featured Images by Martela, Sixteen3, Roger Lewis at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

At the show we saw a variety of acoustic products; designed to offer absolute silence when built into busy, open plan office schemes. Due to the rise in communal working spaces in the pursuit to encourage collaboration, there is also an increased need for spaces that enable concentration and focused individual work. We embrace quiet spaces, silent zones and private pods within office design; in order to create a balance between both working together and independently as well as improving and encouraging positive mindfulness. Silent Lab displayed a range of cubes with glass panel walls so you can still feel part of the office rather than being isolated while also enabling privacy for phone & conference calls or silent reading & focus.

We particularly liked Chat Pod; a Switzerland based company; who also design and manufacture isolated pods for phone calls and small meetings. Their ingenious use of materials for the chat pod really caught our attention. They have office furniture made out of cardboard, PET bottles, sawdust and recycled tires, the pictured pod is made of 97% post-consumer content and is 100% recyclable. Striving to be a zero-waste business while promoting sustainability and innovation through workplace design is essential, as consumers become more concerned about climate change, environmental damage and how their individual choices and actions can have an impact.


Colour workplace trends scarlet opus

Here is another colour direction created for the Spring/Summer 2019 season; an intriguing mix of ripe peach and watermelon shades working alongside flourishing greens. This palette represents the evolving worlds of Science, Technology and Nature collaborating together more; learning and being influenced by each others’ disciplines to form a positive and perfectly balanced space; a seamless alliance of both Natural and Digital elements within workplace design. See more of this colour palette here.

work place trends scarlet opus

The Calvert modular system by Sixteen3 is designed to create spaces to focus, collaborate, relax and inspire. Steel frame walls act as room dividers; diffusing visibility between areas without creating a definite wall. We particularly like their use of colour and integration of natural plants, moss and foliage within the space. This creates an environment that taps into all our sensors and places health and happiness at the forefront of design. The modular system can be customised to suit individual preference and can incorporate a range of interactive digital elements, acoustic panelling and collaborative features such as dry-wipe boards.

We have recently been focused on creating and seeking out spaces that have incorporated Universal Design principles. Universal design is defined by The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design.” Include the greatest diversity of people in the creation of whatever you are designing – people with disability included. Remember that equal access is a human right. An alternative entrance for wheelchair users, for example, is not acceptable. Equal access has positive and widespread social impact. It reminds everyone that people with impairments are equal members of society and that we all belong. Read more on Universal Design Here.

Sustainable workplace trends scarlet opus 2019 Clerkenwell

The inclusion of Nature into our office spaces has become intrinsic to design planning, where an organic, greener office has been proven to boost productivity by 15%, as well as levels of focus, air quality and workplace satisfaction according to research by the Leesman Index (largest independent database of workplace effectiveness data).

Biophilic design answers our basic human desire to connect with Nature & Natural materials, it realigns us with Nature’s seasons & rhythms providing reassurance, familiarity, comfort and grounding. From natural lighting to garden rooms, hanging planters, living walls, herb gardens and installations; the office landscape is increasingly becoming more in tune with our natural surroundings.

Modulyss carpet tile trends 2019

Another new product launch we saw at the show was the Fluid& collection by Modulyss; also shortlisted for Mixology19 Flooring Product of the Year award! Fluid& brings a splash of colour to commercial spaces; available in luscious tones of rich ochre, flourishing green, indigo blue, deep rust and urban grey. It’s perfectly imperfect approach to pattern creates a dynamic yet harmonising look that possesses a sense of calming fluidity and soothing movement. Their chosen palette connects with our 2019 colour trends; bringing together colours found only in our natural landscape to compliment our high tech, modern day office environment.


Here the pastel pink, ripe peach and watermelon work together with touches of lilac and mint to create this refreshing summer palette. These revitalising shades had a strong presence at Clerkenwell, as bold and courageous uses of colour are becoming more popular in office furniture design.

We also start to see colours, patterns and products that we would perhaps use in our home interior; transition to the workplace; creating a home office environment. Using living room layouts, wallpaper, rugs, plants and lamps allow people to relax more easily and feel more comfortable whilst ‘making themselves at home’. Read more on The Home Office = Employee Wellbeing Here.

Colour trends scarlet opus 2019

Featured images by Ondarreta, Social Spaces, Calligaris, Guialmi and Tacchini at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

Collaborative Project at Ultra Fabrics

Finally we also wanted to share with you a great collaborative project seen on display at the Ultra Fabrics Showroom; who had commissioned artist Judy Robinson of Paper Tango to create a Japanese inspired window installation to celebrate the brands 20th anniversary.

If you have been following our recent trend hub installations you will see one of the key trends we are showcasing for 2020 is called Satori; a Japanese influenced trend that encourages consumers to find a natural rhythm and balance in order to cope with the complexities of modern day life and the distractions of the online world. During the Summer of 2020 the Tokyo Olympics will focus attention on Japanese traditions, arts, crafts, design and nature and this installation is a nod in the right direction; featuring wave patterns, sakura blossom and koi fish motifs; all of which are instantly recognisable as being a part of traditional Japanese landscape, history and culture.

Ultra fabrics trend seminar clerkenwell design week 2019

For further information about our seminar program, trend reports or exhibition features please get in touch via our website or email

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