Whether you consider yourself a dedicated follower of fashion or a free-spirit, we’re all affected by trends – whether we like it or not. From the catwalks of Fashion Week and haute couture, to foodie movements and emerging technology, trends creep into every aspect of our lives – and interiors and design are no exception.

Take the current obsession for copper, for example – from lighting on the high-street, to high-end bathroom taps, our appetite for its warm metallic glow shows no bounds (you didn’t think it was a coincidence that our colour of the year for 2015 is Copper Blush, did you?)

But how does this phenomenon come about? Who decides what will be a trend and what makes one trend more long-lasting than another? Well, at Dulux we have our very own colour design team whose job it is to create our annual colour palettes, known as Colour Futures. Comprising of five colour ‘families’ and our Colour of the Year, this body of work evolves from extensive research our team has carried out over several months. Louise Tod, our Global Colour Manager explains where these elusive trends come from:

Can you sum up what Colour Futures is?

Colour Futures is an annual global trend forecast from AkzoNobel, looking at the newest colour trends. Since 2004 we have been forecasting our own colour trends rather than relying on trend reports that other companies may also use. This means we can create a completely independent and original view of what’s new and exciting in colour.

How do you know when something has got ‘trend’ potential?

For something to have trend potential it needs to be new and interesting, something different from the status quo. The tricky thing is that some trends are a flash in the pan, very on trend for a short amount of time and then gone. We try to forecast trends that have some longevity.

How do trends filter down to our homes?

Often trends will begin to manifest in fashion and then be seen in smaller interior items like accessories. People usually like to test if a trend is right for them first with small touches before committing to the full look. The copper trend has been a great example of this, allowing people to buy maybe a light or ornament at first before in some cases going the whole hog with a copper bath or kitchen splashback.

Where do you look for trends?

Every year, AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetic Center brings together a group of international experts and trend watchers from across the globe and from various disciplines of design – architecture, textiles, product design, graphics and research. We invite them to discuss what they think will be the major global developments in the coming years (we work 18 months ahead of time), based on global social and design trends. We use multiple sources but international design fairs are always a very rich source of inspiration.

How long does the average trend last?

There are no rules here but beyond two years I would say it stops being a trend and starts being part of the norm. For example, skinny jeans were a trend at first but we’ve been wearing them for so long they’ve just become a wardrobe staple much like neutral colours for walls.

What can you tell us about next year's trends – can you give us any clues as to what they'll be?

Next year’s trends show that there is no one right answer when it comes to design – or life, for that matter. Unfortunately that’s all I can say for now, but if you liked Copper Blush then I think you’ll love the Colour of the Year for 2016.

Be the first to know what our Colour of the Year 2016 is when we reveal it next week by following us on Twitter @DuluxUK. Find out more about the Colour of the Year 2015 here.