The Dulux Colour Forecast 2021 Is All About Soothing Shades

Every year we look forward to the Dulux Colour Forecast – an annual report revealing current cultural trends set to influence design choices for the coming year.

True to 2020 form, this year’s forecast looks a little different. As most European design and architecture shows (where research for the Colour Forecast is usually conducted) were cancelled, the 2021 report is underpinned by new sources, including numerous virtual updates, and engagements with local and international brands.

The 2021 Dulux Colour Forecast is all about introducing soothing tones into the home. Expressed as three tonal palettes, there’s an emphasis on natural colours and textures for comfort and security, with moments of stronger colour to brighten our outlook and wellbeing.

Amelia Barnes

Dulux Colour Forecast 2021– Nourish palette. Wall: Warm Neutral. Skirting, fireplace and architrave: White Exchange Half. Ceiling and cornices: Vivid White™. Cabinet: Skip to. Photo – Armelle Habib. Stylist – Julia Green

Dulux Colour Forecast 2021– Nourish palette. (Left image clockwise from top right): Dulux Balsa Stone; Beige Woven Faux Leather, Zuster; Lithos Design Opus Anemone In Muschio, Artedomus; Celosias Unglazed Light Terracotta 10337, Academy Tile; Dulux Buff It; Brave 400mm And 240mm In White, Linear Standard; Axiom In Snow, Warwick; Magma In Dijion, Warwick; Clay Rock, James Lemon; Dulux Very Cashmere; Lithos Design Tratto In Travertino Latino, Artedomus; Coloured Terrazzo Tiles Yellow Ev-2045, Signorino; Inax Izumo In A Custom Green Glaze, Artedomus; Dulux Skip To; Dulux Duralloy Light Grey Gloss; Dulux Very Cashmere; Connection, Atley And Co; Woodwall Cashmere, Elton Group; Zepher In Snow, Warwick. Photo – Mike Baker. Stylist – Bree Leech.
(Right image): Backwall in Olive Blend. Ceiling, cornices and skirting: Tuft Stylist. Photo – Armelle Habib. Stylist – Julia Green

Dulux Colour Forecast 2021– Reset palette. Wall (behind the artwork): Treeless, Cupboards: Light Ceramic. Splashback: Daintree. IKEA bar stool: Hot Chillie. Ceiling: Natural White. Photos – Armelle Habib. Stylist – Julia Green

Dulux Colour Forecast 2021– Reset palette. (Left image) Back wall: Snowy Mountain Half. Side table: Light Ceramic. Planter: Light Ceramic. Photo – Armelle Habib. Stylist – Julia Green

(Right image, clockwise from top right): Dulux Daintree; Saxon In Scarlett, Warwick; Hudson In Plum, Warwick; Dulux Light Ceramic; Rosso Levanto Marble, Artedomus; Mosaic Tile In Nax Yohen Border Yb-32, Artedomus; Medley Rock Green, Signorino; Heirloom Harvest Moon, Leather Italia Elt; Cruze In Rust, Warwick; Dulux Treeless; Dulux Gold Pheasant; Salsa In Swing, Halcyon Lake; Casamance Iki In Kokedera, Zepel Fabrics; Dulux Daintree; Dulux Duratec Intensity Flame Red; Dynamic 12806, Academy Tile; Nazari Rabat, Earp Bros; 120 Dia Meniscus In Smoked European Oak, In-Teria; 120 Dia Yo-Yo American Walnut, In-Teria. Photo – Mike Baker. Stylist – Bree Leech

Amelia Barnes
31st of August 2020

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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