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IKEA Southampton Case Study

The design team from one of the UK's biggest IKEA stores have joined forces with Dulux Trade to create an eclectic series of in-store displays showcasing the versatility and breadth of furnishings, accessories and design options available to help their customers to unlock their individual style.


In 2018, Dulux Trade teamed up with the IKEA store in Southampton to collaborate on the redecoration of the entire store. The Swedish furniture chain is famous worldwide for its affordable, stylish furniture and home decor essentials, displayed in a unique store layout. Each store is made up of a series of showrooms that displays IKEA products in inspirational settings, allowing customers to visualise their own renovation projects. Colour is a very important part of this process, to tie the rooms together, making this collaboration with Dulux Trade the perfect partnership.


Each season, IKEA stores go through a complete redesign of all roomsets, to incorporate the ever changing trends in interior design. The Southampton project was led by Dulux Creative Director, Marianne Shillingford, who went to the Southampton store and worked with employees there, including Izabela Kaminska, Interior Design Manager for IKEA Group, to design a number of harmonious colour palettes for use throughout the store.


Izabela says: “Marianne worked with us to come up with colour palettes that would work in every area. We have a lot of different styles to showcase, from the traditional to more modern trends, and we really managed to capture this with the help of the Dulux Trade team. The focal colour for our palettes was the 2018 Colour of the Year, Heart Wood. The pale, dusky pink is very popular in modern interior design, so it was the perfect choice. We designed a number of palettes, with Heart Wood at the core, that would fit in a wide variety of different styles of room throughout the store. “This renovation is part of an ongoing relationship with Dulux Trade. We already use their paints to decorate our stores, so we know that it’s of a very high quality and well suited to our needs, but this project was a great opportunity to really explore the ways that colour can capture and enhance the mood of individual rooms.”

During the implementation of the Spring renovation more than 60 litres of Heart Wood were used, along with 10 litres of each of the supporting colours, totalling more than 100 litres of paint used overall. Colours chosen to complement Heart Wood for this project included Sapphire Salute, Fallen Burr, Rose Bark, Wooded Solace and Pink Parchment. The Southampton based design team were also invited to attend a hands-on painting and colour immersion event held at the Dulux Academy and run by Marianne Shillingford. During this one-day session, the team were able to experiment with a range of creative colour effects. Keen to extract the best value from their store’s maintenance specification, the team also explored the more functional side of the Dulux portfolio. With more than 4,000 visitors to the store each week, the team were shown how they could optimize the investment in their refurbishment programme, by incorporating more durable products that extend maintenance cycles - keeping these important showroom spaces looking fresher for longer. Izabela says: “This was extremely valuable, as the renovation of IKEA stores isn’t contracted to an outside company but rather completed by the employees of the store itself. Learning about the practical applications of the paints helped the renovation to go ahead smoothly, with no issues encountered along the way.” Speaking about the feedback that the store has received since the renovation, Izabela added: “Since the refurb we have had customers coming in on a daily basis to ask for details of the colours that we used on the walls, so that they can use them in their own renovation projects. “Overall it has been a great experience, and we are excited about the opportunity to use the new Colour of the Year for 2019, Spiced Honey, as we look to re-decorate for spring and summer.”

Marianne said about the results of the collaboration, “We’re delighted to see how beautifully the team have interpreted our ColourFutures™ 2019 trends into their room-sets. We know that colour can significantly enhance the retail experience, creating an instant connection with feature products or making whole categories multi-dimensional. Customers want to be shown, and yet not told, so these colourful displays lead and inspire whilst offering enough scope to personalize, it’s a great format.”