In a world where we’re constantly ‘on’ – whether it’s connected to our digital devices or processing the stream of information coming our way 24/7 – it’s all too easy for our innermost voice to get lost in the noise. Our energies are depleted, and we rely on routine and quick fixes to get us through the day. We yearn to step away from the madness, recharging body and mind, to create a space with ‘Essence’ for our hopes and dreams to come alive. The Dulux Colour Forecast 2020 provides an opportunity to reflect and re-energise whereby we can tune back into the essence of what matters to us. This year, it is expressed through four tonal palettes that are nature-inspired, comprising soft comforting neutrals which have rich, invigorating accent hues that allow moments of personal expression.
Individuality is more important than ever as we look to create intimate spaces, that tell the story of who we are and what fuels our passions. We look to the past for design inspiration, mixing styles from different eras – from Arts and Crafts and mid-century through to the 80s – with a newfound confidence. Antique, vintage and contemporary pieces sit comfortably side-by-side with shapes that are refined and elegant, rather than heavy or chunky. Curved lines, rich velvets and bold black accents add a sense of luxury and gravitas. The Comeback palette features invigorating tonal blue shades, highlighted with warm tones of burgundy, rust and mustard that reinforce vintage storytelling. It’s a palette that hints at escape and adventure, encouraging us to step away from the drudgery of the day-to-day routine and embrace new thoughts and ideas.
There’s a growing awareness of the relationship between nature and our wellbeing and as a result, we look to bring elements of the outside inside our homes. Home is no longer only a place to rest and recover, it’s somewhere to rejuvenate and inspire. We seek out innovative ways to bring elements of the natural world into our interiors to encourage personal growth. We celebrate nature by growing our own food and filling our rooms with indoor plants, botanical prints and furniture crafted from materials such as timber and stone. The Cultivate palette is a calm and gentle layering of greens that reinforces our connection to nature. Chalky blue, deep plum and curd provide a contrast and unexpected edge. The Cultivate palette is one that will resonate with home enthusiasts – the colours and textures are easy to work with and have a warmth that conveys the essence of what ‘home’ really means.
Our idea of ‘luxury’ has evolved. It once meant a hefty price tag or high-shine appeal, whereas today luxury is about craftsmanship, longevity, authenticity and understated beauty – reflections on where our new values lie. We are more mindful about the purchases we make and the idea of ‘less is more’ permeates every aspect of our lives. Designers are creating more quality products using recycled and repurposed materials, often in natural products, such as timber and stone. Our interiors are pared-back and uncomplicated, with furniture crafted from natural materials such as honeyed timbers, pale leather and tactile linen. The Grounded palette is a medley of soft, livable neutrals, running from pale biscuit and caramel through to muddy lavender. Hints of terracotta add warmth. Many of the colours can be used as the main shade throughout your home, with gold and coral making for beautiful highlights.
With less time on our hands and information coming at us 24/7, the desire to escape is powerful. We look to create spaces that will keep our dreams of travel and adventure alive, with rich and dramatic palettes, sumptuous fabrics such as velvets and chenille’s, curvaceous furniture that embraces the sitter and touches of bling. Colours are lush and romantic, with styling providing a nod to the past, with nostalgic touches of 70s disco and art deco. The idea of ‘perfect interiors’ has had its day – frayed edges and time-worn finishes are all part of this look. The result is wonderfully indulgent spaces that make us feel inspired and alive. The Indulge palette features rich burgundy, eggplant, earthy browns, faded terracotta and soft coral. There’s a passion and excitement to this palette that’s hard to resist, adding drama to a space.
THE ESSENCE COLLECTION
The demands on our time and attention have never been greater. Our devices buzz 24/7, alerting us to the arrival of new information, fresh deadlines and more pressure. Fake news jostles with the facts, making it hard to distinguish between what’s real and what isn’t. We yearn to step away from our screens and have more authentic, grounded experiences. At the same time, we’re increasingly environmentally conscious. In response, design trends for 2020 will reflect our desire to pause and reconnect with the essence of what matters most to us. Recycled materials, nature-inspired palettes, and furniture that blends old and new will come to the fore, signalling a more mindful approach to the curation of our living spaces.
Informed by extensive global trends research, the 2020 Dulux Colour Forecast ‘Essence’ is a collection that brings together gentle neutrals and muted brights drawn from the natural world – botanical, mineral and oceanic. The collection consists of four unique palettes: Comeback, Grounded, Cultivate and Indulge, plus a small, specially curated palette of four bold hues, designed to be mixed and matched with the trending palettes for an individualised look. “These colour trends are influenced by what’s happening in the world around us,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux Colour and Communications Manager. “With more focus on mental health, the wellness movement continues to gain momentum, as does an emphasis on natural materiality.” “Colours for 2020 are more restrained than in previous years. Brights are pulled back and influenced by nature. They appear in smaller doses – think feature walls and details – and are often used tonally as a backdrop for hero furniture pieces. Neutrals are soft and sophisticated, with a gently faded feel that speaks of stillness and calm. Clay, with its warm, earthy appeal, is emerging as a key neutral.”
LESS IS MORE APPROACH
Where luxury was once associated with a hefty price tag, it now conveys a sense of craftsmanship, longevity and understated beauty, reflecting a shift in our values. As we seek to simplify our lives, a ‘less is more approach’ permeates everything we do. We are turning away from cheap, mass-produced pieces and seeking out quality designs made from honest materials. Interior spaces are pared-back and uncomplicated, with furniture in natural materials such as honeyed timbers, pale leather and linen. The Grounded palette combines gentle, livable neutrals, running from soft grey and biscuit through to muddy lavender, punctuated with warm coral. “We’re seeing a more tonal palette for 2020, and Grounded is a perfect example. It has a soft, neutral feel that creates a sense of relaxation in a space, with gold and coral adding touches of luxe.”
Nature is no longer an afterthought in home design. We’re increasingly aware of the positive effects of nature on our mental and physical health and seek new and innovative ways to bring it inside, whether it’s growing our own food or creating lush displays of indoor plants. The Cultivate palette is a serene layering of greens – from soft olive and a pistachio to verdant forest green – with accents of plum, curd and chalky blue adding an unexpected edge. “The colours and textures in Cultivate are easy to work with and have a warmth that really conveys the essence of ‘home’,” says Lucena-Orr. “They look beautiful paired with raw, mid-tone timbers, natural stone and transparent, coloured glass.”
THEATRES FOR THE SOUL
With jam-packed schedules leaving little room for fun, we look to create spaces that act as theatres for the soul, keeping our dreams of adventure alive. The Indulge palette is decadent and luxurious, featuring rich burgundy, eggplant, earthy brown, faded terracotta and soft coral. Styling makes a nod to the past, with nostalgic touches of 70s disco and art deco. “This palette is not for the faint-hearted – it’s dramatic and exciting and is guaranteed to add wow factor to a master bedroom, dining room or living room,” says Lucena-Orr. “Pink, a key colour of the last few years, makes an appearance, but in a more neutral tone that’s closer to tan, alongside a warm, dusty rose.”
“Trends can be a useful roadmap when choosing colours, but it’s those little touches of the unexpected that give your home personality,” says Lucena-Orr. The Dulux Highlights palette consists of four fun, fashionable brights – a 70s-inspired fuchsia, primary blue, orange-red and acid yellow – that can be combined with any of the four 2020 colour palettes to create a unique look. “Use them however you like – on a wall, front door or in a nook – to really make the space your own.” There’s no more effective way to bring your home up to date than with paint colours. “Once you’ve lived with colour, you will never want to return to a blank canvas,” says Lucena-Orr. “Paint is fast, fun, and affordable. Best of all, you can easily switch things up if you want to try something new and there’s nothing more satisfying than the end result.”