As the leading paint brand in the UK, colour and colour trends are fundamental to Dulux and Dulux Trade. For the last 14 years, we've been researching, forecasting and helping to shape colour trends on a global scale; this is Colour Futures.
We bring together a team of global independent design experts representing all Dulux regions, who examine social, economic and design trends and use their design knowledge and colour expertise to formulate the Colour Futures collection each year.
This panel look at a broad spectrum of environments to inform the Colour Futures palettes and shades, including urban environments, small living spaces, materials, structures and finishes and family spaces. They also look to the best-selling colours from all regions, as well as global interior decorating styles and architecture to help shape these new colour directions, ensuring that they appeal to and resonate with a global audience.
From this research, one overarching theme has been devised, comprised of four trends and 45 colours, including the Colour of the Year.
So, what is this overarching theme? Well, we can now reveal that the theme for Colour Futures 17 is 'things that make life worth living'. This was borne from the idea of societies collectively searching for real and essential things in life and the need to feel rooted, for simplicity and genuine things.
Marianne Shillingford, Dulux Creative Director explains; 'In every one of the four sub-trends, this overarching trend and idea is present in some way. Each CF17 trend has a palette of ten colours that capture essence of the trend perfectly. They can be used in any combination across any surface from walls to furniture and furnishings which allows the colours to be interpreted creatively rather than being prescriptive or only limited to paint. Each of the palettes feature the Colour of the Year, Denim Drift, which acts like a magic ingredient that binds all the elements in a room together effortlessly.'
The Colour of the Year: 87BG 27/077 (Denim Drift)
As the Colour of the Year 2017, 87BG 27/077 (Denim Drift) has its own curated palette of shades, designed to make it even easier to specify harmonising and complementary shades.
This blue-grey shade was selected as the hero of this year's Colour Futures because it reflects the need for simple, restful colours we can all understand and recognise. Blue, after all is the colour of the sky and of water. Practically speaking, it's also a colour that works without effort, is soothing, restful, and is versatile enough to be both classic and contemporary.
It's name, Denim Drift, is inspired by these everyday blues and in particular the wardrobe staple that's recognised all over the world, denim.
'The Colour of the Year palette is a collection of ten delicious blues made up of five smoky muted and atmospheric shades and five clean and bright shades which complement each other perfectly. They are designed to be used individually or across different elements of a room with the muted shades creating a tranquil classic look whilst the cleaner colours adding a blast of freshness. This palette is so versatile, it's almost impossible to create something you won't like.' Adds Marianne.
People are increasingly aware of their impact on the planet and more in tune with nature. This is inspiring us to reconnect with our spiritual side and take responsibility for our environment and ourselves. On a day-to-day level, this is reflected in our increasing interest in health and responsibly sourced food and goods, and our attention to its provenance.
'This palette is brought to life through a quietly dynamic collection of ten greens and violets. Green is right in the middle of the visual spectrum and is the easiest colour to live with. Demanding the least of our energy, just like open fields and forests, it creates a sense of tranquility and balance within a space. Violet is complex and mystical so the combination of the two colours within a space is both fresh and uniquely interesting.' Says Marianne.
With developments in technology and the digital word has come a new feeling of isolation. Our research showed a growing desire to be part of something bigger, while still holding onto individuality. People are realising the importance of belonging and as a result are developing new definitions of community. This trend focuses on exploring how we come together to create networks of like-minded people or 'new families'. This vibrant palette is was designed in mind for everyday community spaces - think co-working spaces, hotel lobbies, public libraries and housing developments.
"Shared Individualism" features five grown-up, cool and muted neutrals and five sweeter, warm shades of yellow, soft red and orange, which work together to create a familiar energy which can be welcoming and uplifting as well as a bit edgy - ideal colours for modern family or public spaces that are full of life.'
The Working Home
Increasingly, our homes are becoming the centre for both our work and personal life. With the boundary between these two aspects of life constantly moving, this trend explores the need for finding balance and creating fluid environments that can accommodate both. In this digital age, the home has become our office, and offices are becoming more like homes. We need stimulating spaces to work, and new inspiration for how to do this.
'The colours in this palette have a slightly masculine edge. It's another collection of cool and warm shades which work cleverly together, but these colours have a solidity and weight that makes them a great solution for creating interiors which help bridge the gap between working and living spaces. They add a touch of serious focus to the working environment yet not without a feeling of home comfort. The palette includes greyed, robust primaries which work incredibly well together in equal weight across the walls.'
We're seeing a new kind of consumerism, where value is placed on personal experience, rather than possessions. The fourth trend captures this new way of living. Creating priceless memories is our priority as we try to avoid adding clutter and more belongings to our lives, and focus on experiences instead. It is the new way of consuming: buy less, choose well and make it last. Senses play an important role; the touch of a beautiful woven fabric, the quiet calm of an early morning. It is about silent design, understated but thoughtful, with much attention to detail, so that we enjoy what's there instead of adding more 'stuff'.
White and neutrals are the perfect backdrop for this trend. They're uncomplicated and fresh, and together they emphasise light and shade to let different textures and materials take centre stage.
'This is a visually tactile collection of ten effortlessly elegant neutrals. Denim Drift is the strongest colour in the collection which draws attention amongst the other nine delicate misty shades. This is not a palette that needs overthinking. Each is easy to use on its own or in combination and you can experiment using different sheen levels to get a more interesting but still subtle visual experience.'
Find out more about Colour Futures 17.