The Dulux 2021 Colour Forecast palettes represent the immense change of sociality and connectivity as we know it.

With work and home life colliding, with no precedent, the curated palettes reflect people’s desire for greater balance and continuity within their spaces, driving comfort from familiarity and nostalgia.

The 2021 Dulux Colour Forecast is the result of extensive research influenced by local and international sources. 

With many of the European design and architecture shows cancelled this year, Dulux Colour and Communications Manager Andrea Lucena-Orr and trends forecaster Bree Leech engaged in virtual exhibits and seminars by prominent industry leaders to inform their thinking, including Dezeen’s Virtual Design Festival.

Reports were sought from trade shows such as Maison & Objet in Paris and Stockholm Design Week & Furniture Fair.

London’s Future Laboratory Trend Briefing in Melbourne was also a great resource, as well as virtual workshops with the Color Marketing Group and liaising with Dulux’s local and global network.

“We have been diligent, collaborative and considered with our approach to understanding the impact that global and local societal issues have had on design and the subsequent application of colour, with this year being no exception,” Lucena-Orr says.

Their findings indicated an increased desire for a digital detox, meaningful connections with the outside world, combined with a need for comfort and familiarity to combat the uncertainty surrounding the current global climate – all of which are distilled into three key colour palettes.

“With many of us now living and working all under the one roof, it can be especially hard to delineate our personal and professional lives.

This is where colour can enhance your living and work environments, as it can be used not only as a tool to define spaces, but allows for balance between the two constructs,” Lucena-Orr says.

It places focus on nostalgia, comfort, security, sustainability and conscious living, and these qualities underpin each of the palettes – Retreat, Reset and Nourish.

“We’re seeing more nature-inspired and earthy tones, which work to evoke feelings of comfort and wellness, with accents of brighter hues to incite energy and inspire a positive outlook,” Lucena-Orr says.

Dulux Colour Forecast 2021 Connection through colour The suite of hues in the Retreat palette embodies tranquillity and sentimentality through warm whites, brown-based neutrals and dusty blues.

“As we plan to establish a work-life balance, spaces are mindfully curated with modern, utilitarian furniture, along with upcycled or vintage treasures that have personal meaning. Warmth is added to a space with stained timber, tactile ceramics and weavings,” explains Lucena-Orr.

The Nourish palette is an extension of our ever-growing demand for sustainable and responsible living. Soft and warm, this palette comprises of biophilic hues of mossy and sage greens and leather-based browns, reinforcing this ‘away from the screens and back-to-nature’ mentality.

“The wellness movement continues to drive our desire to bring the outside world in (now more than ever before) and nourish our soul, celebrating natural beauty by surrounding our spaces with plants and blooms.

Complimentary design elements feature rounded forms, as well as fluted and textured finishes to provide visual relief,” Lucena-Orr says.