Mad About . . .

Dulux Colour of the Year 2019

6th September 2018
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Well it’s true that by now you might already know all about it but it’s still interesting not just because of the colour but because of the thinking behind it. Last year, as you may recall, it was Heartwood – a soft heathery shade that was all about feeling comfortable and secure at home.

As usual when it was unveiled there were gasps as it was so unexpected but, as the year wore on, we started to see it more and more and I imagine the same will be true of Spiced Honey.

dulux colour of the year 2018

dulux colour of the year 2019

This warm colour, which goes so well with the blush pinks and dark neutrals that we have been seeing, is the next step from last year’s cocooning. We have retreated into our homes and regrouped and now we are ready to let in the light.

Now before you start scoffing at the reasoning behind choosing a tin of paint colour, I’m going to borrow from the piece I wrote about Denim Drift (the colour for 2017) to show you the thinking behind it.

An international team of trend forecasters,  design experts, architects and editors get together to analyse our social media, our economic trends and quite possibly what we had for dinner last Tuesday, in order to decide shades we will want in the coming year.

“We have to know what people will want in a few years time,” said one of the team to me last year.  “We need to know what the customer wants before the customer knows”. And so the team at Akzo Nobel, which owns Dulux, bring together a team of researchers from all walks of life to research and chat and brainstorm.

dulux colour of the year 2018

dulux colour of the year 2019

So while it is a colour that we will be wanting to put on our walls in the coming 12 months, it is also a state of mind.

“2018 was an unsettling and unpredictable time,” says the press release (sadly I wasn’t able to be the launch this year). “We were overwhelmed by the deluge of news, choices and demands on our time, causing us to close up and retreat into spaces where we feel safe and cocooned.

“We pressed pause and took time to regroup. As we move forward into 2019 we find this pause has given people time to re-energise and deal with the sense of unpredictability with positive action, optimism and purpose.”

dulux colour of the year 2018

dulux colour of the year 2019

The warm and inviting amber tones of Spiced Honey perfectly capture this theme. “It can be both calming and nourishing or stimulating and energising, depending on the palettes and light surrounding it,” said Heleen van Gent, Head of the Global Aesthetic Centre, who chairs the ColourFutures™ panel annually. “The contemporary hue is versatile, sophisticated and timeless and lends itself to a broad spectrum of life and interior styles – perfect for reflecting the universal mood encapsulated by the panel.

“Every year, we seek to transform a trend into a colour that responds to consumer needs and enables them to bring a mood, affecting their life, in to their homes,” she added. “In 2019, as a society, we want to reach out, engage with our communities, make things better and ‘be the change’ – anything from supporting charities or fishing plastic out of the ocean to small acts of neighbourly kindness. It’s time to act and Spiced Honey enables transformation inspiring a positive, emotional change.”

dulux colour of the year 2018

dulux colour of the year 2019

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director for the Dulux brand in the UK, said: “Spiced Honey has a raw, natural quality that works like a warm neutral, which makes it so adaptable to pairing with different materials and styles of decoration. Its rich caramel tones visually turn up the thermostat a few degrees and so it’s perfect for creating a relaxed cosy atmosphere in places where we like to think, dream, love and act.

It looks especially good when teamed with whites and off whites in furniture and furnishings which give it a contemporary feel.”

dulux colour of the year 2018

dulux colour of the year 2019

In addition to the colour of the year, Dulux also create four palettes based around the themes so there are lots of other shades to choose from and you can also get a feel for how the main one will fit into other colour schemes.

This year they are: Warm Neutrals (Think), which includes soft pink, deep burgundy and deep blue. These are shades that are beginning to break through so while the colours themselves aren’t new, the combinations feel fresh.

dulux colour of the year 2018

dulux colour of the year 2019

There is also soft pastels (Dream) – think powder pink and softer blues –  while the Love Palette comprises a deep forest green, teal and intense terracotta. Finally the bold brights (Act) has splashes of vivid red and green among the soft pinks and crisp greys.

So there is, essentially, something for everyone but it’s how you put it together that makes the difference between a dramatic or a restful space.

Spiced Honey – will you be bringing some of that into your schemes? My guess, based on past years, is that everyone will say no today and then in a few months it will start creeping in. I spoke earlier this week how the pale colours are starting to creep back after the fashion for dark so I think it’s only a matter of time.

Join the conversation in the comments below.

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  • Ursula in Cádiz 11th September 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Hilarious that I was right to the point that the word spice is even included in the name! TBH I thought it would be a little more curcumin/turmeric and less orangey cinnamon. Anyway, not going near it in interiors or clothes.

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  • Colleen 9th September 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I’m not at all sure how I feel about this colour… I wish it were just a little softer. That said, I do like some of the combinations but might favour spiced honey in a less dominant role. Interestingly, last year I rescued a lamp base from a cottage we are renovating in this same colour and I have had it sitting in my basement; for some reason I have felt both repelled and drawn to it and have been struggling to find a way to bring it into my own decor… now maybe I have an answer!

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  • betty 7th September 2018 at 8:40 am

    This would look great with rust and/or terracotta soft furnishings

  • Sophia Shirley-Beavan 6th September 2018 at 9:39 pm

    I do like it in the last photo. It looks quite smart with black and that also brings it up to date and stops it looking too ’70s. i can’t really get on board with the whole ’70s regression, maybe it’s because I was there…!

  • Anna 6th September 2018 at 4:51 pm

    This is a fabulous colour for Italian winter clothes but not for painting my walls Grazie!!

  • Robin 6th September 2018 at 9:45 am

    Not sure at all about this colour. It reminds me of the late 90’s. It’s the whole terracotta trend business. I think one of its redeeming factors is how nice it looks with pink. Otherwise, I kind of agree with Hilary’s comment. I appreciate the thinking behind Dulux’s (Azko Nobel’s) process, and think you do a great job here to showcase that. Yet I feel slightly resentful toward the ‘colour of the year’ hype. I feel it is stiffling to my own creative process. It introduces lots of ‘shoulds’ – which I try to limit in my own life but find quite difficult sometimes if I am being honest.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 6th September 2018 at 9:54 am

      I know what you mean about the hype around a colour but it’s also about a prevailing mood which I think is interesting – as you point out. At the moment I think Spiced Honey is too dark and caramel for me but I have definitely been introducing more creams and, what we used to call beige, into the mix so I think it might well end up being an accurate reflection of the general mood in colour. And yes I totally agree about it with pink. Although the 17yo has just come downstairs ready for school in a new cord shirt he bought – which is basically Spiced Honey (or perhaps tobacco) with a pair of very dark navy jeans and it looks fabulous!

  • Hilary 6th September 2018 at 9:33 am

    Spiced Honey – Absolutely horrible! I had a bathroom suite in that colour that got ripped out pretty sharpish from my last house – I won’t tell you what colour it looks like but it sure ain’t rich caramel!!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 6th September 2018 at 9:56 am

      HA! I like it when it’s toned right back to a rich creamy colour – more latte than americano with milk. Let’s see what happens….

  • Julia 6th September 2018 at 9:18 am

    Oh, no pictures of this new colour yet?

    • Jane 6th September 2018 at 10:09 am

      That’s what I thought until I realised they were just mislabelled 2018.

  • Gill 6th September 2018 at 7:17 am

    I might give it a whirl. I really wanted to try Heartwood last year but couldn’t find it anywhere. Eventually I went to a Dulux centre and they told me I had to have it made up. I find it odd that they have these big launches but you can’t go to your regular
    DIY shop to buy it. Or is it meant to be super exclusive? Most companies would be advertising like crazy . I’d be interested to know how much Heartwood sold last year.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 6th September 2018 at 9:55 am

      me too – I’ll try and find out…..

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