As a decorator, one thing I’ve always struggled with is colour. Don’t get me wrong, I know the difference between yellow and red, but I try not to get involved in offering advice about colour to my clients. I suppose the training I received on colour (20 years ago from my old boss), never really stuck.
Anyway, I noticed the Dulux Academy were hosting free live sessions on the upcoming Colour of the Year 2023, so I thought I’d give it a go. I was fairly sceptical going into the session; how can anyone possibly predict what will be popular in the near future? It soon dawned on me, that these same experts probably sway peoples’ preference in the industry, not the other way around.
The session was easy to book. You just go on the Dulux Academy website, click the big button for “Dulux Academy Live”, then “Dulux Colour Features TM”, and enter a few details, dead easy.
There were 6 of us on the session. It felt a little bit like a Teams meeting or Zoom call. We had a split screen so we could see the presentation, a chat box, and we could see everyone else on the live. The host of the event was Nicola Holmes, who is a Colour & Design specialist at Dulux Academy. Everything was interactive; we could ask as many questions as we wanted or give opinions.
We went through all the past 20 “Colours of the Year” and talked about how the trends differed over time. I learnt there was a shift in 2015; the trends became less vibrant and more neutral. We touched on Bright Skies, which was the colour of the year 2022. We even spoke about the Dulux fan deck, which contains over 2000 colours and took 5 years to put together. I learnt loads really, including what metameric colours are.
Onto the colour palettes for 2023. They originally chose 100 colours but whittled it down to 37 to make things simpler for the consumer (Colour of the Year 2023, plus 4 palettes of 9 colours to complement it).
The main Colour of the Year is Wild Wonder, which has been “inspired by nature”. It’s a creamy/greeny/brown I suppose, almost like looking at a cornfield. It’s an “advancing colour”, so makes a space feel cosey, and it’s metameric, so it appears to be a slightly different shade in different lights (told you I leant stuff).
The complementary palettes to go with Wild Wonder and the thoughts behind them are as follows –
Lush Colours – beautiful forest hues that are inspired by the plant-filled habitats of gardens and woodlands.
Buzz Colours – upbeat tones of pinks and ochres that capture the bustling biodiversity of a wildflower field or grassland.
Raw Colours – harvest shades that mimic nature’s raw materials
Flow Colours – warm neutrals and deeper seashore tones that bring a sense of fluidity and momentum.
This has given me the confidence I need to go on and talk to my customers about colour. Not just the basics, but I can now advise them on the very latest trends and why they work so well together, along with the feeling behind each palette and how they look in a room.
Dulux Academy hosts a number of these online sessions throughout the year. Not just about colour and design, but they cover all sorts of topics from within the industry. It’s a brilliant resource and it’s fair to say I got a lot out of it. I can’t believe the Dulux Academy put this event on for FREE!
For more info, go to https://academy.duluxtradepaintexpert.co.uk/
Dulux Colour Features 2023 Live Review – by Mike Cupit