One theme that stood out above all in the CMF trends talk was ‘submerge’.  Described by Hannah Malein, Creative Director at Color Hive as ‘the voice of the sea’. At a time when we could all do with a little tranquillity and reprieve from the endless pressures of daily life, here we can find stress relief in one particular element – water. The ability to find calm in blue spaces is juxtaposed against the anxiety of climate change and concerns of rising sea levels bubbling under the surface.

For many years water has acted as a form of therapy; helping to heal the unwell and relax the mind. Whether it’s the sound of rolling waves, a mountain river flowing through a gorge or a still lake sparkling in the sun – somehow water brings a sense of wellbeing from nature that drips into our souls and helps alleviate negative emotions or physical ailments we might have been feeling before. Because water touches all five senses at once, it’s a totally immersive experience and it triggers our body’s rest response making us able to relax more.

But, aside from the physiological effects water has on the human body, the colour blue in itself is therapeutic. It is known to have both calming and energising effects on the body and soul, making it a powerful tool in a colour palette.

With the ‘submerge’ direction playing a significant role in CMF for 2023/24 – expect to see dynamic blues mixed with softer grey-blues and more neutral tones. Textures are simple but elegant, and patterns explore the qualities of water ripples with wet-look, flooded finishes or water repellent surfaces.

A fun way to play with these aquatic accents is to use the neutral soft tones as the hero colour with a glossy, electric blue outline in the Atlantis or True Turquoise. Layering can be used to create a similar affect to that of waves, paired with liquid-like, rubbery finishes.

This evocative colour palette mixed with ultra-tactile surface finishes comes just at the right time, bringing a sense of wellbeing and calm in a world of much uncertainty.