Remember last year’s Dulux Colour Forecast, when we said ‘more than ever, the home is a sanctuary from the demands of the outside world?’ We were wrong. In 2020, homes are now truly the epicentre of our lives, and this is influencing our design choices.

The Dulux Colour Forecast is an annual report that looks at current cultural trends set to impact design over the coming year. In response to the pandemic, the 2021 forecast reflects the desire for reassurance and strength, with three nurturing palettes that speak of familiarity and comfort. ‘This year’s soft, earthy neutrals, muted greens and gentle mauve-greys provide a reassuring connection with nature, while richer and brighter hues, such as coral and stormy blue, awaken our senses and allow for moments of optimism,’ says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux colour and communications manager.

The familial warm whites, brown-based neutrals and dusty blues of the Retreat palette are a reaction to the current instability of the world, offering a sense of familiarity and refuge. This palette is also indicative of the increasingly blurred lines between work and home, encouraging unpredictable material and colour combinations such as burgundy and deep ocean blue. ‘We need flexible spaces that can multi-task as spaces to conduct our professional lives and perform household tasks, however, at the same time, we need our homes to provide balance, calm and a sense of comfort and security,’ says Andrea.

The Nourish palette features mossy and sage greens, turmeric and citrus that play into the collective longing for earthly connection, as technology use increases. Gentle, buff neutrals and touches of tan, soft olive and muted ochre capture our renewed appreciation for natural beauty.

Finally, the Reset palette contains uplifting hues of blue-green, energetic reds and contrasting neutrals to brighten our outlook as we adapt to home life. Playful mash-ups of pink and terracotta hint at 70s nostalgia and evoke memories of travel and fun.                                    

See all shades in Dulux’s 2021 Colour Forecast here



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