As Dulux colour and communications manager Andrea Lucena-Orr says: “It’s about getting back to basics – to the essentials and the priorities. It’s about appreciating the beauty in the simplest of things.”
Each year over a 12-month period, Dulux studies local and international interior trends that are set to steer the future of Australian design and the way in which we live. The result of that research informs the leading paint brand’s annual Colour Forecast.
Over the past year, it has become clear that we feel more connected than ever to our homes. At the same time, there is a renewed sense of hope and excitement for what lies ahead in the world beyond the pandemic. Fittingly, then, the 2022 forecast comprises three key colour palettes – Restore, Flourish and Wonder.
“There’s no doubt that the pandemic has shaped the forecast,” says Lucena-Orr. “But there is that hope, and that’s exactly what our palettes are about.”
Restore, comprising soothing neutrals as well as more rugged, natural tones ranging from buttercream to pumice and moss, focuses on “simplicity and sustainability”.
Flourish, featuring ripe, bolder hues such as dusty rose, petrol blue and desert red, “awakens our desire to experience everything to the fullest when we can”.
And Wonder is made up of summery and playful shades, including cornflower blue, lilac and lemon, “setting the stage for regeneration and growth”.
Does Lucena-Orr have a preferred palette?
“That’s a bit like asking me who my favourite child is,” she replies with a laugh. “I do love the whimsical nature of Wonder. I love the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I think everyone needs a bit of colour at this point. We can see the horizon, but we’re just not quite there yet, and colour can help with that. So that’s where my heart is at the moment. But every day I have a different favourite.”
Remember, too, says Lucena-Orr, that the colours can be used on their own or effectively paired both with each other and with tonal furnishings for a harmonious domain.
“It’s about everything that goes into a space,” she says. “Adding colour can connect you to a space, making it feel different to other parts of the home by giving a different vibe and mood.”
And for those who are still a little tentative about inviting new colour into their home, much as they may be tempted to do so with these offerings, Lucena-Orr has this advice: “The best way to start your colour journey can be in the bedroom, whether it’s a child’s bedroom or your own, as it’s not open to the world. It’s a very personal space and it may be something as simple as putting one colour on the wall behind your bed as a focal point.
“The study nook, where you may now be working from home, can be another great place to add colour, as it will differentiate the space for when you start and stop working at either end of the day. A front door is a great way to start with colour, too, as it can make a personal statement, differentiating your home from next door.”