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Read Heleen's blog on ColourFutures 18


As the Creative Director of the AkzoNobel Global Aesthetic Centre, Heleen van Gent leads the company’s Decorative Paint’s trend analysis, color research and design & art direction.

Throughout her working life, Heleen has dedicated herself to making our “everyday” life more beautiful, and believes that color plays an important role in making our house a home.

Her love for color goes back to her early childhood, standing behind her father’s design-board and playing around with the designer felts he used as a town-planner and architect. She attended the Royal Academy of Arts in The Netherlands where, for five years, she nurtured her love of color and design, focused on textiles, before moving to interior design.

Heleen then went into the magazine industry, first as an Interior Stylist, before becoming the Creative Design Editor and Coordinator for various magazines. During this time, Heleen became more and more aware of the importance of empowering the consumer to make interior design choices that are right for them: offering them a helping hand, pre-selecting colors and products, as well as guiding them to make decisions that would enhance their homes, and lives. This is where her passion still lies today.

Whilst working in the publishing industry, Heleen also became a teacher at Artemis Design Academy in Amsterdam and editor of more than ten books on interior and color design.

Heleen van Gent

Heleen joined the Global Aesthetic Centre in 2009, bringing a passion for inspiring people to find the right interior paint color, and more importantly, designing versatile color combinations to empower them to beautify their homes. Together with her creative team, Heleen designs paint concepts, palettes, color-tools and brochures that make that choice easier.

A firm advocate of ‘seeing is believing’, Heleen understands the importance of showcasing how colors look in homes and architecture, which is why she and the team spend a large part of their jobs organising and art-directing the shoots that showcase color in interiors and exteriors.

She is the lead in the trend-research completed once a year to establish a good understanding of which colors are going to be appreciated by the consumers and deco brands. The Global Aesthetic Centre team then design, create and art-direct all ColourFutures™ content, colors and inspiring images, as part of the [AkzoNobel / local brand] ColourFutures™ campaign, including the annual crowning of the Colour of the Year.

She is a true believer that the right colors, combined in complementing palettes, together with inspiring home interior imagery, can make people feel more at home in their house, more proud and more comfortable. It can and does inspire them to pick up a brush and empower them to make the color choice that is right for them.

Heleen is now one of the go-to experts in the industry, sharing her knowledge on color, interior paint trends, interior design and architecture.

What is your Heart Wood home?

AkzoNobel has made it easier than ever for you to find your ideal color palette, thanks to the launch of its Your ColourFuturesTM tool.

By answering eight simple questions about yourself and how you react to the unpredictability around you, you can find the perfect personalized color palette for your home.

As well as receiving your own palette, you will find out why you’ve been assigned that palette and what it says about you. You’ll also be able to visualize the palette in use in a variety of different rooms and contexts.