Dulux trend forecasters expect warm, grounded colours that convey feelings of security and comfort to dominate decorating trends this winter.

“The cooler months call for richer hues and cosy textures, and never more so than in a year when most people’s worlds have been turned upside down,” Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux colour and communications manager said.

“There’s a collective yearning for reassurance and a return to simpler times. We want our homes to provide comfort, a sense of safety and to remind us of better days ahead,” she explained. This will be expressed in other ways too – plush, comfy seating, handcrafted furniture with an artisanal feel and a greater focus on ‘purposeful decorating’ rather than just decorating to make an aesthetic statement.

The Retreat palette – one of three trend colour palettes identified in the 2021 Dulux Colour Forecast – captures the mood of this coming winter.

“These earthy tones and muted colours are all drawn from nature – think oceanic blues, nourishing greens, soft greys and touches of mustard. They bring the outside in – ideal for a time when most of us are stuck indoors for long stretches – and plug into the growing movement for wellness in design.”

Dulux worked with stylist Bree Leech to refresh a child’s bedroom using colours from the Retreat palette. “Light-filled and spacious, this bedroom ticked all the right boxes; however, the room needed some personality and tactile elements to create warmth. You want your child to love spending time in their room – it should be somewhere they can escape, relax, read and play. The quickest and easiest way to switch up the mood is with colour,” Leech said.

Retaining the bed, bedhead and solid-timber bedside table, Leech focused on updating the room with bold colour, choosing shades that worked with the neutral tones in the foundation pieces and adding textures to increase the comfort factor.

Deep blue in the form of Dulux Wash&Wear in Winter Sea was added to the walls along with a gentle neutral, Dulux Vintage Linen on the ceiling and window detailing.

“We opted for pale greige rather than a classic white for the ceiling and windows to soften the contrast with the blue. A sharp colour contrast can be very effective in a space, but in a room that’s all about relaxation, you want it to be a little less pronounced.”

According to Leech, inky blue is cosy and timeless, and complements the natural materials in the room such as timber and woven rattan. The matt paint finish magnified the intensity of the blue.

The kid's bedroom - Before

The kid's bedroom - After

“A woven wall hanging adds accents of rust and quirky bedside lighting creates a playful mood, adding contrast against the deep blue.

“To make the space feel more inviting, I layered the bed with cosy cushions and snuggly, fringed woollen blankets. Curvy furniture is a great addition to break the architectural angles in the room to make it feel more relaxed, while introducing pattern with a striped rug and crisp, striped bedding accentuates those added curves even more,” she said.

A rug, which helps anchor the bed in the space, has dusty blue and stone hues, the latter being reflected in the finish of the cupboard.

“For the main artwork above the bed, we deliberately chose a piece that will work in the space as the child grows – a geometric abstract in various shades of blue.”

The bedroom was further personalised using two of the child’s illustrations along with an artist’s fun print.

Dulux Wash&Wear in Winter Sea

A velvet-upholstered armchair was used to create a sunny reading spot by the window, with a couple of side tables to keep books and other objects.

“If you’ve been all about white for as long as you can remember, get a taste of using stronger colours by starting with a single wall – say the wall behind the bed,” Lucena-Orr said. “It will not only make a feature of your bed, however, will create an opportunity for any artwork to pop. This can also stretch your new confidence into using colour elsewhere in your home.”

Bree’s kids’ bedroom styling tips

Invest in quality: Kids are tough on furniture, so it’s worth paying more for well-made pieces that will last. You can save money on smaller items, such as bedlinen, art prints and rugs.

Add an upholstered bedhead: It makes for a comfortable spot to sit up and read.

Size it right: As a guide, when choosing a rug for a child’s bedroom, it should fit two-thirds under the bed and extend at least 30 centimetres beyond the sides of the bed – any smaller and it will look lost in the space.

Think multi-purpose: Children’s rooms are often small, so seek out flexible pieces that can be used in different ways, such as an ottoman that doubles as storage and seating.

Make storage easy: Add in baskets for toys and cupboards or shelves to hide mess away.

Image Credit: Dulux Winter Forecast 2021

Colours: Dulux Winter Sea, Vintage Linen and Five Fingers Peninsula

Stylist: Bree Leech

Photographer: Lisa Cohen

Artwork: ‘Fast Forward’ By Liam Snootle