On-Trend Color and Design for home and Interior

Barbie's color party

OK, you may have seen enough pink already last weeks. There's no getting around it, like a fresh whirlwind Barbie comes over us.

And its reviews are pretty good. 

As you might expect, as textile designers and colorists, we mostly watch the visual presentation surrounding Barbie. 

As a child, I used to make new clothes for my Barbie and curtains for the dollhouse she lived in. 


Bringing back that excited feeling of my childhood, I liked to see if, instead of just pink, we could create a Barbie-inspired collection with a broader color palette.

And after the Barbie hype, you want to last a little longer with your collection, right?


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Purple Reign, Purple Reign

Purple rain, purple rain. Purple rain, purple rain
I only wanted to see you, Bathing in the purple rain

This song by Prince may just get stuck in your head. With me, it does, as it is an iconic song from my childhood. It's about the end of the world, so not very cheerful. He connects purple not with happy states, but with an ominous purple sky.

But what's interesting is how this song came about. It was actually a country song, but when guitarist Wendy Melvoin improvised with some firmer chords, it became more of a rock ballad.

It's the same way with our color and trend photo selection for the Color Concept. From mood boards, we try different combinations. Someone throws in something, and suddenly we look at each other and say, yes, that's it! Like Prince had, we have too: a wonderfully creative team.

Our color & trend harmony Purple Reign is much more cheerful than Prince's and aims at a positive future. We remain optimistic and create the most beautiful inspiration and colors to work with in the coming years.

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You'll be mesmerized

Astrid and I were in Paris and Versailles for a few days. It reminded me of a story about how the word "mesmerizing" became known to the world.

It all started with 18th Century Franz Anton Mesmer, born and raised in Vienna, who was quite the eccentric fellow. 
Known for his unusual methods of healing. He believed in the power of "animal magnetism," which he claimed could cure various ailments by harnessing the invisible forces that exist within us all. 

Being mocked by his fellow physicians in Vienna, after a questionable cure of the niece of the empress's secretary, he left for Paris.

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Same question we hear a lot

Every time, that question. How do you make such a color group? And then nine color groups?

What is nice is that it is always a question that follows: "what beautiful colors together" or "wow, nice colors." Mostly at fairs, where we can show our Color Concept in its full glory.

Importantly, colors don't want to be alone: they like to be in company.

When being helped in a clothing store, color-matching garments are quickly pulled from the (color sorted) rack: "and then add a blouse like this", or "this scarf completes it".

Does that work for you too ? Do you buy more than when you look by yourself, without help?

It certainly works that way with our Color Concept color groups. We call them color harmonies, colors that "hang together on the rack" because it looks attractive and makes choosing nice combinations easier.

And that is exactly what our Color Concept does do for us, and for our clients.

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Milan done, we're just starting

We did the Milan Design Marathon! As Design Athletes we walked 42 kilometers, while shooting over 4000 photos.
So happy to be sitting down while composing this message to you. 😅

The Design Marathon Athletes!

Earth tones are back. Or never really away.



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Steal it all

Stealing any good ideas lately? You're in good company then.

As Pablo Picasso said: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Now, I know what you're thinking. Steal? That doesn't sound legal. But hear me out.

What Picasso meant by “steal” was that great artists take inspiration from their surroundings, and then use that inspiration to create something completely new and original. They don't just copy what's already been done, they take it to the next level.

Must say, I am a bit puzzled by Picasso saying: “good artists copy”. Copying art is a dirty word in our business, isn't it?

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Working in a holiday setting

During COVID, Astrid and I worked in the studio and our designers at home. That went very well.
Working with clients online has been growing for years. 

That gave us an idea. We can also work at another location, provided there is a good Internet connection. Then we can work in a sunny place. 😎

Why wait until retirement to spend more time in nice weather? Our son lives in Paris now for his internship, and we don't need to be home for him anyway. 😏 When we were here last year, he also came for a week to surf.

And Kelly, Neeltje and Yodi are a great team, both for us and for our clients. And you can still come to the studio in The Hague to see designs or color concepts.
So now we are part-time digital nomads! And try to live and work in Spain twice a year for 6-8 weeks: in October/November and in March/April.


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(Almost) black is back?

In interior design, we have been saying for a long time, green is the new black. And it will stay that way for a while. In fashion, black is back. And how. The most recent Chanel catwalk looks are dominated by black colors.  

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Our new looks

Can I show you something? It's about colors and design, and all about me/us... 

It's about our new corporate identity. And I have another piece of news, at the end of this post.

When I started as a freelancer decades ago, I had simply taken my name as my "brand." And a neat logo and corporate identity on nice cards, stationery, etc. And I was lucky to find my astriddavidse.com URL was available.

For over 10 years, I no longer work alone. Apart from our amazing freelance team of five, I have three fabulous in-house designers; Kelly, Neeltje and Yodi, we form a team in which we complement and replace each other.

With Martin joining us, almost 9 years ago, we have developed further in marketing and communication and the design team is kept free of administrative, legal and logistical matters.

So we thought it was time for a different name and new logos:


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Van Gogh's trend colors

Vincent van Gogh, our favorite Dutch painter, changed his use of color rigorously in the relatively short period in which he painted.

There are several theories about this. One is that Vincent had an eye defect that caused him to perceive bright colors at a subdued level.

Another idea was that the Parisian Impressionists inspired him. They were also known at the time for using brighter colors.

Data research by Artnome.com points to the sunnier climate of the southern French area Provence as the cause.

By taking an "average" photo of each period at a pixel level, this could be determined quite accurately. What is clear is that in the "Provence period" when he is living in the south of France, van Gogh really goes all out with brighter colors, especially the shades of yellow.

More on this research by Artnome.com can be found here.

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Macarons & Coffee

Hope you are doing well these days. Black Friday, Cyber Monday...
No such thing in our shop.

But last week, we gave our Color Concept clients a booster. A colorful one. For free.

As we work with color palettes daily, we usually compose more color palettes than we can fit in our seasonal Color Concept packages of 9 color harmonies.

I think it's a waste to leave great color harmonies in our digital archives. So, it's a habit to give these as a bonus to our clients: in this case, the AW22/23 Booster Bonus Color Concept "Macarons & Coffee".

A warm and soft-colored shot of coffee variations and delicious, sweet macarons.
 Here's an impression of how that looks.


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Inspiration tour Milan

As we were able to visit Milan's Design Week, Yodi and I traveled abroad for the first time since C.

It was worth it! Milan was very inspiring. Are you curious, and were you not there yourself? Don't worry, I'm happy to share some of what I saw there with you:
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