Next Wave

Why did tone-on-tone become so popular?

19-07-2018 in Color trends

Tone-on-tone in green (image: Anna Church)

Milan Design week 2018 was packed with it: tone-on-tone and harmonious combinations in all conceivable colours. One of the most beautiful examples is provided by Blastation: they opted for a soothing combination of burgundy and rusty brown. But greens and yellow also stood out. From emerald to grass green and from sunflower yellow to ochre. They have one thing in common: they belong to the same family on the colour spectrum. But why are they suddenly so popular and why do buyers and providers have to take them into account?

Blastation tone-on-tone sofa Blastation tone-on-tone sofa

Tranquillity in times of eclecticism

The first reason is obvious. Today the interior is so swamped with various styles and prints, that the need for peace and quiet is increasing. Harmonious combinations provide that peace. Harmonious combinations stem from adjacent families (modules) on the color circle. Combinations from the same segment are also generally considered to be soothing. Contrasting colours, on the other hand, are stimulating and, for some, even disturbing.

Color circle devided (image: Color Navigator) Color circle devided (image: Color Navigator)

Ooo so Instagrammable

Blastation was not the only one presenting an overload of tone-on-tone combinations. For anybody who takes the time to search on Instagram, there are multiple examples. Good examples most of the time. And this brings us to a second explanation. Tone-on-tone is beautiful on photos. Just look at the examples of Anna Church. With Instagram as one of the leading platforms, attention is increasingly being paid to the 'instagrammability' of the design. In other words, a product must first and foremost look good on Instagram and Pinterest. The reason is obvious: more and more people get their ideas and inspiration from these platforms.

Blastation tone-on-tone Blastation tone-on-tone

Volumes are becoming even smaller

Whereas previously a chair was sold in 6 to 8 copies, this seems to be the case be less and less often. Tone-on-tone combinations do something with the interior. We love it, it brings zest to the interior and yet the whole remains discreet. The result, however, is that the metrages are becoming smaller again. Instead of 15 metres for a sofa, it is now heading towards 2 times 7 metres. To put it bluntly. And as show in the accompanying picture, it is often not limited to 2, but it soon becomes 3 or more colours from the same family. Excluding pillows.

Tone-on-tone in yellow (image Anna Church) Tone-on-tone in yellow (image Anna Church)

Proposing more combinations

The future is for those who propose combinations. Let us be clear about that. And for those companies that dare to make their customers dream with photos of real applications. A fact that is all too often overlooked in textiles is that fabrics only really speak when they can be seen on a sofa or at the window. Anyone who thinks that this will make the work of textile professional more difficult is only partly right. It's also becoming more exciting, because textiles once again leave their mark on the interior (and exterior) and that's something we can only welcome.

Tone-on-tone in green Tone-on-tone in green


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