We all know that colour is an key element part of any design project, and we are obliged to thank the trend forecasting company behind Mix Publications and Global Color Research, to talk about a key colour for the current season on a regular basis.

Although the company forecasts colour trends two years ahead of the season, this series of articles focuses on a colour of the month, taken from the Mix Trends forecast, which brings relevant information to manufacturers, interior designers and any professional within the design industry. This month, Hannah Malein presents September’s colour, slate grey…

Stripping back, a primitive palette of colour takes hold this season, where slate grey is paired with a humble mix of neutrals in the autumn/winter 2013/14 story, Flint. Taking a Neolithic approach, we go back to a comfort zone of easy familiarity, to a time when everything was unknown and basics were all we had.

A juxtaposition between times past and current living, Flint focuses on the fundamentals of life, allowing modern gadgets to deal with the mundane. It’s a lesson in re-evaluating basic materials, proving that creativity is not entirely reliant on technology, and encouraging an exploration of form and function from a primitive perspective.

“The colour grey is generally seen as an emotionless colour. A subdued shade, it does not stimulate or excite. However, it is solid and stable, and exudes a sense of calm and composure”

Back to basics becomes a new frugal luxury, which is reflected in our colour choices for 2013/14. Natural pigments derived from the rocks, soils and plants around us drive this organic palette of warm neutrals. Forming the base is a stone grey and camel beige, whilst a glowing cream uplifts the deeper colours. The collection is enhanced with highlights of berry red and rusted orange, whilst a rich brown plays complement. Slate grey adds a modern twist, the blue undertone giving a cool balance against the reddish hues of the story.

Texture is key to this story, with natural leathers and aged woods inspiring a more handmade approach to design. Craftsmanship stays at the forefront when considering a more thoughtful approach to making – hand-made objects promote a more honest relationship with materials. Organic textures and sustainable materials such as woven hemp yarns and hessian fabrics add a rustic look to furnishings. Found objects introduce a unique narrative to spaces, bringing the hunter-gatherer aesthetic to interiors in a luxurious outcome.

The colour grey is generally seen as an emotionless colour. A subdued shade, it does not stimulate or excite. However, it is solid and stable, and exudes a sense of calm and composure. An escape from chaos, it’s conventional and controlled. The blue undertone to this slate grey adds life and strengthens a natural connection away from the industrial. This hue has a steadying effect on the other colours in the palette, toning down the deeper hues, whilst illuminating the lighter neutrals.

There are many examples of this month’s key colour, and indeed many aspects of the Flint trend around right now. Pictured is B&B Italia’s Ravel day bed, designed by Patricia Urquiola, with a simple metal frame and padded seat in slate grey. German studio Supergrau have also used this month’s colour on their sofa FS2100, a three-seater upholstered in a beige-grey textile-leather combination.

Try pairing September’s colour – slate grey – with stone grey, caramel beige and a hint of rusted orange for a modern take on primitive living.

Hannah Malein is a colour trend consultant with Global Color Research.
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Unless captioned - all images courtesy of Global Color Research