2023 Colour Trends in the UK and Europe

Colours play a pivotal role in commercial interior design, defining the ambiance and aesthetic of a space. 2023 has seen a notable shift in colour preferences in commercial interiors, both in the UK and across Europe, as designers seek to create environments that resonate with contemporary themes of well-being and technological integration. While our customers are mainly UK based we thought we would look at how choices may differ between the UK and other European countries.

Colour Design Trends in The United Kingdom

In the UK, the colour palette is evolving to reflect a blend of sustainability and well-being. There is a move towards natural textures and sustainable materials, with a renewed appreciation for tactility. This approach has heightened the popularity of materials like raw natural clay plaster, which not only adds a unique texture but also contributes to healthier indoor air quality. The concept of biophilic design remains strong, with a preference for real plants and natural light, reinforcing a connection to nature within commercial spaces​​.

Circadian lighting is also gaining momentum in the UK, with innovative lighting designs being used to enhance moods and productivity by aligning with our natural circadian rhythms. This is often accompanied by bold and dramatic interior choices, inspired by digital advancements such as the metaverse. Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2023, Viva Magenta, is expected to influence the UK’s commercial interiors with its bold statement, resonating particularly with younger generations​​.

Colour Design Trends in Europe

In contrast, European colour trends showcase a rich and diverse palette, embracing maximalism, comfort, and nature. Opulence, with its indulgent use of saturated colours and rich textures, is making a comeback. This is paired with the use of polished metals and luxurious fabrics to create spaces that feel both grand and comforting. A modern palette of neutrals, grounded in earthy Nordic elements, is being used to evoke feelings of security and stability. Warm wood, cork, and steel textures are used to define spaces while adding an inviting softness with biophilic elements​​.

Curves and overstuffed pieces with a plush feel are also trending in Europe, reflecting a desire for comfort and serenity. Autumnal hues, like red, orange, and terra cotta, are being employed to bring an expressive mood to spaces, breaking from the previously dominant neutral trends. This is complemented by hues of Digital Lavender and other digital-inspired colours that reflect a balance between escapism and well-being, ideal for merging virtual and physical workspaces. Sustainability is also a key theme in Europe, with eco-conscious colours and materials pushing design boundaries to create layered, nature-inspired landscapes​​.

Similar Yet Different

The juxtaposition of UK and European colour trends in commercial interior design reveals a shared emphasis on well-being and sustainability, albeit expressed through different palettes and materials. The UK’s approach seems to embrace the boldness and vibrancy of digital influence, while Europe leans more towards opulence, grounded natural tones, and the comfort of retro-inspired designs. For interior designers, these trends offer a wealth of inspiration for creating spaces that are both contemporary and conducive to the evolving demands of commercial environments.

Three Flooring Trends for Autumn 2023

Progression II Linseed in modern rustic scene

As the leaves change and the air gets crisper, DURAFLOR reflects on the more prevalent commercial interior design trends that will remain part of the 2023 Autumn period and see us into Winter.

The season in many ways reflects the colours that currently dominate design choices, and that we associate with this time of year. Dark woods are making a resurgence in interior design, moving away from the lighter, Scandinavian-inspired woods that have been popular in recent years. While autumnal colours are a regular addition to the designer’s colour palette.


Inspired by the relaxed 1970s interior design trend which swept the UK earlier in the year, warm neutrals and bold ‘feature colours’ are here for a while yet. Shades of beige, taupe, linen, and earthy terracotta tones are being paired with mustard yellows and emerald greens. To achieve this cosy yet eye-catching ‘feel’.

Close-up of Natural Escarpment Bluff Brown
6311 Natural Terrain Escarpment Bluff Brown

Patterns reflecting nature or that give a room a natural flow are solidifying themselves as year-round favourites for specifiers, designers, and end-users.  These designs have been proven to positively impact the mental health of the end-user. Furthermore, Biophilic Designs are said to help build resiliency against stress and make the end-user feel more at ease.


Darker wood luxury vinyl tile floor coverings, such as the darker colourways found in DURAFLOR Momenta, are making a strong resurgence into many specifier and designer’s plans for projects this Autumn. The deep, rich hues of dark wood flooring exude warmth. This flooring option also pairs beautifully with the earthy and warm colour palettes referenced earlier.

4844 Momenta Walnut Oak swatch

Moreover, dark wood LVT provides an inviting and timeless aesthetic, adding a touch of elegance to any commercial environment. Its durability and ease of maintenance make it a practical choice for those looking to make a space that is stylish and functional.


Sustainability has become more of a constant than a trend. With designers and specifiers looking for flooring solutions that not only meet the day-to-day needs of the end-user, but also meet the needs of the planet with a reduced environmental impact. This means that floor covering ranges such DURAFLOR Cubism, which is made from Econyl yarn created from recycled fishing nets, and carpet tile backing options such as Envir0back are in demand.

If we can help you with your project this Autumn, we are here provide advice and offer a fast turnaround on on-trend colours and designs for any sized project.

How flooring helps sustainability legislative requirements

Designer looking over sustainable plans.

How flooring helps sustainability – meeting UK regulations

In a world increasingly driven by environmental concerns, the flooring industry has always been leading the agenda, but there is notable shift in the importance of sustainability now plays in construction, as many organisations look to hit UK legislative sustainability targets.

Sustainability Takes Centre Stage

For contractors and architects, the demand for sustainable solutions is at an all-time high. Beyond aesthetics, today’s clientele seeks eco-friendly practices. The long-term impact of unsustainable methods, including resource depletion and carbon emissions, has propelled the industry to demand greater evidence of sustainability credentials in flooring projects.

Material Choices: The Essence of Sustainability

Material selection stands as a pivotal decision for contractors and architects on the sustainability journey. Eco-friendly materials have emerged as game-changers, offering alternatives that combine durability with environmental responsibility. Re-cycled yarn and environmentally friendly backings are just one of the many attributes designers, architects and specifiers look for.

Carbon Footprints and Legislative Influence

Aware of the industry’s carbon footprint, contractors and architects are strategising to minimise environmental impact. Local material sourcing reduces transportation emissions and supports local economies. Incorporating energy-efficient technologies during manufacturing aligns with broader environmental goals. Landlords and specifiers alike need to be aware of the need to future proof properties.

Innovative Installation Techniques

Going beyond materials, contractors and architects are driving innovation in installation techniques. Low-VOC adhesives replace traditional VOC-containing options, promoting improved indoor air quality. Forward-thinking installation methods, emphasising waste reduction and resource optimisation, underscore the industry’s dedication to sustainable practices.

Legislation as a Guide

For contractors and architects, UK Government legislation plays a significant role in shaping sustainability efforts. Understanding environmental regulations relating to building construction is an essential element of building design as everyone strives to meet 2050 targets.

Towards a Sustainable Horizon

By championing eco-friendly materials, reducing carbon footprints, driving installation innovation, and complying with governmental mandates, the industry charts a course towards a more responsible and resilient future.

To see how Duraflor is contributing to a more sustainable environment, take a look at our sustainability page.

Creating a safe office environment

Conference room with Cienna Soapstone concrete

When it comes to creating a safe office environment, flooring might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the type of flooring we choose plays a pivotal role in creating a safe environment for ourselves and colleagues. Beyond aesthetics, flooring significantly contributes to accident prevention and overall well-being.


1. Slip Resistance: The Foundation of Safety

One of the primary safety considerations in flooring is slip resistance. Slippery floors pose a substantial risk, especially in areas prone to spills or moisture. Choosing flooring materials with anti-slip properties, such as textured tiles or slip-resistant coatings, is crucial to prevent accidents and injuries. Duraflor offer a range of safety flooring products. These include Cienna which is a combination of modern wood and stone effect designs or our more traditional safety flooring Resolute and Duragrip.

R-Value Rating:

The “R” value slip rating, often used in Europe, is a common system that represents the slip resistance of a surface when wet. This system tests footwear on the flooring with water as the contaminant.

Here’s a breakdown of the “R” slip ratings:

  • R9
    • Low slip resistance. Suitable for areas where slip risk is minimal, like living rooms. Not recommended for wet areas.
  • R10
    • Average slip resistance. Might be used in areas with some risk of water spillage, like residential kitchens.
  • R11
    • Good slip resistance. Suitable for areas like commercial kitchens and some outdoor areas.
  • R12
    • High slip resistance. Used in industrial areas, heavy traffic wet zones, and other high-risk areas.
  • R13
    • Very high slip resistance. Used in very high-risk areas like ramps, steps in public spaces, and areas exposed to the likes of oils and greases.


Pendulum Test (PTV Rating):

This test uses a pendulum device that swings across a surface to measure its slip resistance.

The device measures the slipperiness of the surface by determining how much the pendulum slows down (or doesn’t) when passing over the flooring.

The result is given as a PTV, with higher values indicating better slip resistance.

Typically, a PTV of 36 or above is considered to offer low slip potential when wet.

When selecting flooring, it’s crucial to match the slip rating to the intended environment.

2. Accessibility for All: Catering to Diverse Needs

Safety isn’t one-size-fits-all. For individuals with mobility challenges, the right flooring can enhance accessibility. Smooth surfaces, low-pile carpets, or LVT flooring contribute to creating spaces that are safer and more accessible for everyone.  Way-finding and zoning considerations also help cater for the needs of a diverse workplace.

Accessibility requirements for buildings, including flooring, are also contained within the UK Building Regulations. Part M of the Building Regulations, titled “Access to and use of buildings”, specifically deals with ensuring buildings are accessible and usable. Approved Document M gives practical guidance on how to comply with the regulations, including recommendations for flooring surfaces.

3. Maintaining Indoor Air Quality

The materials used in flooring can impact indoor air quality. Some flooring adhesives release harmful chemicals, known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), into the air. Opting for low-VOC flooring preparation products contributes to a healthier indoor environment, reducing the risk of respiratory issues and other health concerns. To read a UK Government article regarding Air Quality – click here.

While aesthetics and design are important considerations in choosing flooring, safety should be at the forefront of our decision-making process. The right flooring can prevent accidents, reduce the severity of injuries, and contribute to a safer and healthier living or working environment. Before embarking on your next flooring project, consider the specific safety needs of the space and make choices that prioritize the well-being of those who inhabit it. Remember, a safe floor is a solid foundation for secure and thriving spaces.

The Transformative Power of Flooring in Education

DURAGRIP Linen laid in modern library

In the realm of educational design, every detail matters. From the layout of classrooms to the choice of furniture, architects and interior designers play a pivotal role in shaping environments that foster optimal learning experiences. One often underestimated aspect that can significantly impact the overall ambiance and functionality of an educational space is the flooring. The colour, pattern, and shape of flooring materials can exert a profound influence on the end user’s learning journey, making it a crucial consideration for those involved in educational design.

1. Colour Psychology: Shaping Minds Through Flooring


The selection of colours for educational spaces is far from arbitrary. Numerous studies have shown that colours can elicit emotional responses and affect cognitive processes. When it comes to flooring, colour choice can evoke different moods and stimulate various mental states. For instance, serene blue hues are associated with calmness and focus, making them an excellent choice for libraries and study areas. On the other hand, vibrant and energetic colours like yellow and orange can promote creativity and enthusiasm, making them suitable for art studios and interactive spaces.

Studies have found that certain colours could impact students’ attention levels and overall performance. Warm tones like red and orange were found to increase heart rates and alertness, while cooler tones like green and blue were linked to relaxation and concentration. This research underscores the importance of selecting the right colours for flooring to create an optimal learning environment.

2. Patterns and Shapes: Inspiring Learning through Design


Beyond colour, the patterns and shapes of flooring can also have a profound impact on the educational experience. Intriguing patterns can stimulate creativity and imagination, turning the floor into a canvas for inspiration. Geometric patterns, for instance, can foster a sense of order and structure, which can be particularly beneficial in spaces where discipline and organisation are key, such as laboratories or research centres.

Research has shown that spaces with intricate and visually engaging flooring patterns were more likely to stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving skills. These findings emphasise the potential of flooring design to influence cognitive processes and enhance the learning atmosphere.

3. Elevating Education


In educational design, flooring colour holds a subtle yet potent sway over the learning experience. Colour psychology unveils its impact, with cool tones like blues fostering concentration and warm shades like oranges kindling creativity. A classroom enveloped in calming blue hues creates a receptive atmosphere for focused study, while vibrant yellows inspire curiosity and engagement. Research underscores colour’s link to emotions and performance, affirming its potential to enhance student involvement. Beyond cognitive effects, flooring colour shapes an institution’s identity, uniting aesthetics and ethos. Architects and designers wield this tool to craft environments that ignite inspiration, elevate learning, and instil a sense of wonder.

DURAFLOR has worked with many designers who are planning educational facility projects. With an extensive array of captivating carpet tile designs and versatile LVT options, DURAFLOR empowers professionals to transform learning spaces with aesthetics that inspire. The fusion of creativity and functionality is at the core of their offerings, ensuring tailored solutions that seamlessly align with the unique vision of each project.

Dark or light flooring

Blizzard in a boardroom setting with plenty of light

Dark or Light Flooring in Commercial Spaces

There is no one-size-fits-all rule of thumb for the size of the floor or the recommended colour of flooring, as it largely depends on the specific requirements, design goals, and aesthetics of the space. However, there are some general guidelines that can be considered when choosing the size and colour of flooring:

1. Size of Floor:

• For smaller spaces: In compact areas, smaller-sized tiles or planks can create a sense of visual continuity and make the space appear more expansive.

• For larger spaces: Larger tiles or planks can work well in bigger rooms, as they can create a more seamless and open feel.

2. Colour of Flooring:

Light-coloured flooring: Light-coloured flooring, such as light beiges/woods, and soft greys can make a space feel more open, airy, and larger. It can also help give a clean and fresh appearance.

• Dark-coloured flooring: Darker flooring, like deep browns, greys, or blacks, can add a touch of elegance and warmth to a space. It can also be more forgiving in hiding stains and wear.

Consider the following factors when selecting the colour of flooring:

• Natural light: The amount of natural light the space receives should influence your choice. Lighter flooring can enhance the brightness of a room with limited light, while darker flooring might work better in well-lit areas.

• Room purpose: The function of the room matters. For example, high-traffic commercial spaces might benefit from darker flooring that can hide wear and tear, while healthcare facilities often opt for lighter colours to promote a clean and sterile atmosphere.

• Interior decor: The existing colour scheme and furnishings in the space should harmonise with the flooring colour. The flooring can either complement or contrast with the rest of the design elements to create a balanced aesthetic.

Remember that personal preference and the desired ambiance play a significant role in the final decision. It’s often beneficial to request flooring samples to see how they interact with the lighting and decor of the space before making a choice. At Duraflor we offer a free sample service.

In summary, there’s no strict rule for the size or colour of flooring, but considering the size of the space, the amount of natural light, the function of the room, and the existing decor can guide you toward selecting the most suitable flooring for your project. Ultimately, it’s essential to choose a flooring option that aligns with the overall vision and purpose of the space.

If we can help with your project give us a call, we make everything simple.

Our 5-Part Plan To Help Flooring Contractors

Salesman shows customer samples


At Duraflor, we are keen to help our flooring contractor clients provide their customers with the tools they need to promote their services. We provide flooring solutions without the fuss.

To achieve flooring without the fuss, we have implemented a 5-part strategy that allows us to create a seamless experience for flooring contractors.

    1. 1. Product Planning

    Firstly, we must start with our product selection. We study our clients purchasing habits and trends, which allows us to prioritise which products should be stocked and which colours are the most popular. This means we rarely run in to any stocking issues. This means our clients can continue with their projects without the fear of not being able to bring in the materials they require. We also listen to feedback from our clients about our products and use this information to develop and innovate. We believe that including flooring contractors within the decision-making process is a huge advantage for us when it comes in innovation and strategy.

    1. 2. An Easy Purchasing Experience

    We understand that flooring contractors are almost always on the go and busy. This is why we created a website that allows our clients to get to the information they need, as quickly as possible. Our clients can download the Duraflor Brochure from any page on our website. The brochure is clear and concise, providing all the required information, such as:

    • Product specification
    • Colour collections
    • Guarantees
    • Our range of services

    Our website also provides contractors with a floor calculator page that allows our clients to enter a room size and receive the total area in square metres. Which means they are able to order the exact amount they need and avoid waste.

    We also make pricing easier, as well as giving contractors a link to our pricing table that is on our website, and that is always up to date (including volume discounts). Contact us for the link or a copy of our printed brochure which includes a QR code to get our prices and can also be given to your customers to display our comprehensive range. Note: prices are only available to trade customers.

  1. 3. Industry Expertise

Product knowledge is not something that just employees of Duraflor should be trained on. We can provide training to flooring contractors on our products. This helps contractors become more knowledgeable about our products and how they can meet specific project requirements. We are here to help with every step of the way. We can visit a site; help you draw up plans and determine requirements. Many of our projects share similarities – fixed budgets, quick turnaround, and a desire to create a practical yet stunning environment. – We can make that happen.

Our customer service is second to none. Especially once a project is complete. We provide guidance on care and maintenance and technical advisory services whenever you need it.

4. Logistical Opportunities

Duraflor products are distributed by SASGO Ltd, which operates its own FORS Silver accredited fleet in the south. This ensures deliveries to larger sites can be achieved. SASGO has operations in Langley just off the M4/M25 junction, in Leeds and in Glenrothes, Fife, close to Edinburgh. This means we can provide national coverage and support.

Our clients are also welcome to collect their orders (where applicable) from our trade counters in Langley and Glenrothes.

  1. 5. Sustainability – Green floors in all colours

We can offer a wide choice of sustainable flooring options. As a company, we believe in reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring that our products meet strict industry standards and contribute to green building initiatives. Both Duraflor and its production partners, are committed to a programme of environmental improvement. This includes compliance with internationally recognised standards. We realise the impact that producing floor coverings has on the environment, and we share the desire to pro-actively reduce that impact.

Many of the products in the Duraflor range have been tested and all rated either A+ or A for use in Retail, Health, Schools, and Office environments.

We also actively participate in the Recofloor Vinyl take-back scheme. Helping in every way that we can to reduce waste.

Our stance on sustainability allows our contractors to provide their clients with a more sustainable and environmentally friendly product. This makes their services more attractive to potential projects.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team about what Duraflor can do for you and your business, please get in touch on 0330 053 2500.

The Key Trends in the Construction Industry

3 builders stood beneath a crane.


The direction of construction trends for 2023


The key trends in the construction industry for 2023 are not new, but they are growing in intensity.

1. Modular and Offsite Construction

Modular and offsite construction refer to the process of building structures in a factory and then transporting them to the construction site for assembly. This method of construction is gaining popularity because it offers a faster, more efficient, and cost-effective way of building. It also provides greater control over quality and reduces waste, which is critical in today’s environmentally conscious world. The use of modular and offsite construction is expected to increase in the coming years, especially in the residential and commercial building sectors.

2. Sustainable Construction

Sustainable construction practices involve using renewable and environmentally friendly materials, designing energy-efficient buildings, and reducing waste during construction. As the world becomes more conscious of its carbon footprint, sustainable construction practices are becoming increasingly important. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) have gained popularity in recent years as a trend in the construction industry, particularly in the flooring sector.

An EPD is a comprehensive report that provides transparent and verified information on a product’s environmental impact over its entire life cycle. This includes everything from raw material extraction and production to use, maintenance, and disposal. EPDs enable stakeholders to compare products and choose those with the lowest environmental impact. This promotes sustainability in the industry and aligns with the growing demand for environmentally conscious practices.

3. Building Information Modelling (BIM)

While BIM (Building Information Modelling) has been around for a while, it has become a more prevalent trend in recent years. This is because the technology and software used in BIM have advanced significantly, making it more accessible and user-friendly for architects, engineers, and contractors. Additionally, as the construction industry continues to become more digitised and automated, the use of BIM has become more widespread, with more companies adopting it as a standard practice. Furthermore, BIM is continually evolving, with new features and capabilities being added, making it an evergreen trend that continues to develop and improve over time.

4. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are becoming more popular in the construction industry as they offer immersive experiences for clients and stakeholders. With VR and AR, clients and stakeholders can visualise a project before construction begins, providing an opportunity to make changes early in the design phase. VR and AR can also be used for training and safety simulations, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries on construction sites.

5. Digitalisation and Automation

The use of digital technologies and automation is becoming more common in the construction industry. Drones are increasingly being used for surveying and inspections, reducing the time and cost of collecting data. Autonomous equipment for construction is also being developed, reducing the need for human intervention, and improving safety on construction sites. Cloud-based project management tools are being used to increase collaboration, transparency, and data sharing, improving project outcomes.

Overall, the construction industry is embracing technology, sustainability, and collaboration to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve project outcomes. As the world continues to evolve, it is essential for the construction industry to adapt to meet the changing needs of society.


  1. McKinsey & Company – https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/capital-projects-and-infrastructure/our-insights/modular-construction-from-projects-to-products
  2. National Institute of Building Sciences – https://www.nibs.org/news/532750/New-Report-Details-the-Benefits-of-Green-Buildings.htm
  3. Autodesk – https://www.autodesk.com/solutions/bim
  4. Construction Executive – https://constructionexec.com/article/virtual-and-augmented-reality-in-construction
  5. KPMG – https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2018/12/top-10-trends-in-construction.html

Sustainability in office design

Green Freedom Storm II in a boardroom and plants

A significant focus on sustainability in office design


One of the most significant trends for office design in 2022 is an increased focus on sustainability. Companies understand the importance of doing more than just playing lip service to climate change and are taking steps to embrace sustainability. Commercial interior design has adapted alongside changes to office culture, and taking credible steps towards sustainability is a key factor in many design choices.

How the built environment impacts the planet

Figures from the Green Building Council show that the built environment has a significant impact on the planet.

• The built environment accounts for almost 40% of global carbon emissions.
• Extraction, manufacture, transport, and assembly of materials used to construct and fit out a building account for 11% of these emissions.

Following COP27 an estimated 80% of global emissions are now covered by pledges that commit to reaching net-zero emissions. There is greater focus on turning pledges into action, but making sustainable choices remains hard to navigate in may industries.

Sustainable, practical, and cost-effective

The challenge, of course, is marrying sustainability, practicality, and cost-effectiveness. When you’re designing office space, you need something that will last and look great, as well as being good for our planet.

Our new product sustainability guide helps to give you confidence, that with Duraflor you are making a good, sustainable choice.

Conscious choices, responsible future

As more and more designers and flooring contractors choose to use environmentally-responsible products, it’s important to have confidence in the choices being made. We work with you to discuss design options at the start of the process, the new guide gives a few suggestions. We can also offer a carpet tile part-exchange service and are part of the Recofloor vinyl take back scheme, helping to close the loop and reduce our impact on the environment.

Get in touch with Duraflor to discover how we can help you create a more sustainable office design.

Office design and layouts 2022

Greenery within an office setting


What office design and layout trends will remain

As people return to the office following the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that office spaces are modernised and appeal to workers to encourage them to enjoy using their desks again. 2022 has seen design and layout trends come and go already, and below we list the ones that we think are here to stay and can offer the best development to an office’s value.

Bigger focus on the outdoors
No one wants to feel like they are cooped up inside a clinical office. One of the biggest trends of 2022 has seen an increased focus on natural lighting with big windows taking over. Of course, having a better view of the outdoors is no good unless the view is pleasant, so planting trees or other greenery is a popular option. Not only will this boost productivity, but it will increase the value of the property, Outdoor offices and roof terraces are becoming more popular should you have the space for this, which offer a unique opportunity to design a natural space.

In 2022, it’s incredibly important to implement amenities into an office layout. Convenience and comfort are at the heart of modern working, so implementing things such as a nearby kitchen or cafe that can be easily accessed are vital. Ergonomic desk design integrated with dedicated wifi for each one can help sell a building as completely functional, especially with nearby break-out and leisure spaces with airy layouts. Combining productive features with relaxed environments is increasingly popular as people look to work hard without burning out (or having to go for a walk on their lunch break).

Flexible layout
With most organisations integrating a hybrid working design, innovative multi-functional spaces are more important than ever. One possible solution to this is to implement movable dividing spaces that allow for custom office layouts at the hands of the team, who can then go on to work collaboratively or individually. Large, open-plan designs with a wide floor space make this possible and keep everyone inside the loop. This can allow for ever-popular creative brainstorming tasks to take place without the need to venture into a boardroom. This is again related to convenience, which adds significant value to any office space.

Contact us for help with your office design project today.