The annual Dulux Colour Forecast reflects evolving colour and design influences in Australian homes and interior design. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Colour Forecast in 2024, we look back at how Dulux has consistently led the way in colour and inspiration. Colour featured: Dulux Reddy Brown.
The Dulux Colour Forecast is based on year-round research into the latest global and local trends that are predicted to influence Australian design and how we live.
Having worked at DuluxGroup for 35 years, Colour and Communications Manager Andrea Lucena-Orr has been part of the annual Dulux Colour Forecast since its inception in 1999.
“Similar to how colour forecasting for interiors is an evolution, the amount of research and insights that help shape the annual forecast has significantly evolved over time too,” Andrea says.
“Throughout the past 25 years, Australians have faced a number of significant moments that have influenced and inspired our interior colour trends. These include economic crises, natural disasters, political instability, advances in globalisation and digital technologies, such as the emergence and subsequent growth in social media, climate change and war or terror-related disasters.
"Colour and mood are inherently connected, which is why in unsettled or challenging times people are drawn to different hues to help them feel comforted and secure. During these times people tend to gravitate towards earth-based colours such as browns, soft greens and blues, hues that evoke a sense of strength and calm."
Hues of cool and calming blues begin to emerge within homes to recreate that coveted coastal feeling at home. This trend has since transformed into one of Australia’s most loved interior styles, particularly as advances in digital technology allowed people to work remotely, answering the need for a comfortable and inviting home office space.
This was a particularly challenging year to predict colour trends, due to globalisation and digitisation impacting the cycle and emergence of new trends at a rapid pace. Australians begin to work from home and embrace the use of multiple shades of a single colour within interior design.
Dulux identifies six different palettes reflecting global trends that are set to dominate design in 2013, including the rise of technology (Facebook buys Instagram, Pinterest’s audience grows exponentially) and social change (President Barack Obama becomes the first black president). Movement and empowerment are key themes that influence this year’s palettes, featuring textures and colours of concrete greys, muted pastels and monochromatic schemes with metal and stone touches.
A particularly vibrant and joyful Colour Forecast that introduces plenty of metallic shades such as gold and brass, in addition to Bold and bright colourways - much like what we have seen again in the next cycle for 2022 and 2023 Colour Forecasts with the Wonder and Revive palettes respectively. With the colour rulebook out the window, 2014’s colour trends are influenced by looking to the future, whilst also reminiscent of the digital culture of the '70s, '80s and '90s.
Incorporating shades of green within our homes to feel closely connected to nature, catapults as a trend in 2015 as a result of Australians and the world feeling constantly ‘plugged in’. This trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, particularly as Australians’ concerns about climate change grow and sustainability becomes a strong influence for interior design. Other colours reflect untamed, natural landscapes with ashy blues, clean white and dark greys. These hues are softened with textures such as timber, fur and leather.
Shades of pink (read: millennial pink) send shockwaves through the design world and dominate interiors both at home and abroad. Australians’ confidence with colour emerges and organic shapes, frayed edges and repurposed vintage pieces are placed against backdrops of earthy neutrals, saturated greens and citrus brights. Mindful consumption and sustainability is also at the forefront of Australians’ minds. Brighter hued palette Identity encourages the rule breaker in all Australians, with clashing patterns and unexpected colour combinations.
The global pandemic puts a halt to daily freedoms and routines and as people take refuge inside their homes, an interior renovation boom begins. Australians cocoon in soothing shades of earthy greens and gentle mauve-greys. Richer and brighter hues awaken the senses, allowing for moments of optimism and playful mash-ups of pink and terracotta hint to 70s nostalgia – inspiring a wave of retro-inspired interiors that’s continued to grow in popularity today.
Dulux Colour and Communications Manager Andrea Lucena-Orr researches colour trends and presents her findings to trade and retail markets, along with media. Travelling to Milan Design Week, Andrea and Bree Leech solidify their initial ideas to create the trends for the following year with Dulux Colour Manager Lauren Treloar. “I adore working with colour – it has the power to transform products and spaces and is integral in evoking emotion."
Dulux Colour Manager Lauren Treloar works with Andrea and Bree to bring the annual Colour Forecast to life every year. Having worked with DuluxGroup for more than 10 years, Lauren now brings her extensive marketing experience to the Dulux Colour Team, which is complemented by her passion and studies in interior design.
With extensive experience in the design industry, Dulux Colour Forecaster and Stylist Bree Leech works with Andrea and Lauren to create the Dulux trends each year and also produces and styles the images. “Colour trends are intriguing and often complex, I love being able to bring them to life in imagery that is both beautiful and tells a story.”