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The Future is now... Colors, Materials, Finishes

The Future is now...

CMF and the impact on mental wellness


2020 was tough! It was to say the least - stressful.


73% of global consumers believe wellness is an essential element of a brand’s strategy - the wellness gap - Ogilvy


WOW! That is a big ask. How is a brand to respond? For some brands in the wellness sector, this seems straight forward. Does this apply when you are a brand well outside of the wellness marketplace? Yes! Consider how customers engage in your space can you enhance or soothe their senses? Can you create a more serene space? Or a space that encourages joy? When you really think about it this has been a focus of brand spaces for some time. Brands have always considered what “mood” their spaces should express - when designing spaces we often start with “mood” boards!


The world of CMF (color, material, and finishes) is responding. Providing new materials, new color palettes and new ways of thinking about how these products impact our wellness makes it more accessible than ever to consider how a brand environment can connect brand -> consumer -> wellness.




Color is one of the easiest ways to change the mood of a space. Color can soften a space & it can enliven a space.


Valspar 2021 - 12 color collection


Paint brands release new palettes every year - 2021’s launch of palettes all respond to the desire to create spaces that calm and soothe.

Sherwin Williams - Urbane Bronze, Benjamin Moore - Aegean Teal, Graham & Brown - Epoch


PPG created a Be Well palette of calming shades, Sherwin Williams, Graham & Brown, and Benjamin Moore have all selected key colors for 2021.


Colors that soothe are often colors we can find in nature. Going a step beyond color, Biophilic design has restorative powers texture, movement, light all play a role.


“Nature has been restorative for many consumers during the pandemic. With its proven impact on our mental health, the principles of biophilic design provide guidance for creating sustainable, soothing and mentally stimulating spaces.” - stylus



Retreat, Tsar Carpets | Scape and Terrain, Country Floors


Materials that reflect an organic movement that mimic what we see in nature can work to trigger the sense of relaxation we often find while in nature.


Studies have shown that subtle movement and light patterns such as wind tracing across the surface of the water can have a calming effect on heart-rate. Echoing these visual effects gives a dynamic quality to surfaces.

Camouflage - Skyline Design


The pandemic has required businesses, especially those where people must interact to consider spaces and how they work to keep consumers and staff safe. Consider the visual effect of screening. Transparency is often needed but frosted or transparent color patterns can add a level of privacy when necessary while adding a level of serenity to an interaction.


Branded spaces have always required designers to align the essence of a brand with the act of engaging in the space. As brands increasingly look to all their outlets for connecting with consumers consider how your brand can uniquely contribute to a consumer's wellness journey - even if only for a few deep breaths.


Looking forward to more discovery + innovation!


Julie Dugas

One of the Heads

Studio | H2G


I’m one of the heads at Studio | H2G - I’m not a writer (which you may have picked up on quickly!) I am passionate about the business of retail, consumer behavior, trends and conversations around that thinking.

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