The Stylesmiths were lucky enough to be given a private preview with Dulux Colour and Communication Manager Andrea Lucena-Orr, who broke down these interesting and diverse forecasts that are set to influence Australian interiors in the coming year.
After a chaotic couple of years, many of us feel an overwhelming desire to live more simply and authentically. There has been a conscious stripping away of the unnecessary and superfluous, both in terms of what we surround ourselves with and how we spend our time, to create space for more meaningful connections. The collective experience of challenge and change has shown us that life is fragile and, as a result, we’ve all reacted differently – while some crave freedom and irreverence, others seek order and reassurance. Reflecting life after lockdown and our desire to bond with the environment, or communities and the people we love, Dulux presents three colour palettes with warming, earth-drawn neutrals, natural textures and an array of uplifting brighter hues.
The annual 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. The Dulux Colour Forecast 2023 has been informed by seminars, including Future Laboratory London and Colour Hive, Milan Design Week, trend reports and editorials, fashion catwalks, product and design launches, engagement with global and international brands, and customised research through Dulux’s extensive networks in the UK, Italy and France. Forecasting is led by Andrea Lucena-Orr (mentioned above) in conjunction with Dulux Colour Forecaster and Stylist Bree Leech.
Shifts in interior trends are subtle and nuanced, influenced by fashion, nature and sustainability. As climate change, waste and overconsumption become realities we can no longer ignore, luxury – once a by-word for ostentation – now refers to quality, craftsmanship and responsible production. “We’re reframing our relationship with material things – it’s no longer enough that a piece is beautiful, it needs to earn its place in our homes,” says Leech. “Sustainability is beginning to feel more personal; we don’t just want to know that pieces are made in a way that’s gentle on the environment, but to understand the journey they have taken before arriving in our lives.” We can also expect to see palettes of warm and nurturing hues driven by nature in our homes in 2023, while brighter, yet deeper shades pick up where last year’s forecast left off.
“Balance is very much inspired by a ‘less is more’ philosophy, with minimal detailing and a restrained approach to decorating. Instead, the focus is on immersive colour and the beauty of complex, structured patterns found in nature, such as a simple seashell or fern frond,” says Leech. Luxe textures, such as velvet and silk, furniture with exaggerated, curved silhouettes, abstract art, and décor pieces with organic shapes and delicate pleating complete the look. “Balance has an elegant, understated feel that would work beautifully in an inner-city apartment or a terrace home,” she says.
A refined palette of serene marine blues, gentle greens and accents of deep garnet that evokes the beauty and fluidity of the ocean. Coastline-inspired colours such as Dulux Kimberley Sea and Dulux Sea Kelp, pair well with Casper White Quarter that has a lavender undertone and off black Dulux Domino. Balance brings the reassurance of structure and rules that won’t date as the more classically conservative palette of the three.
With its warm, earthy tones of moss, wasabi, sandstone, muddied yellow-green and burnt charcoal, the Dulux Connect palette is all about fostering our relationship with the great outdoors. “It speaks of calm, comfort and an honest approach to living, and brings in many of the pastimes we experienced during lockdown, such as a hiking, cooking, quilting and gardening. Muddied yellow-green has something of a nostalgic, country-house feel, cinnamon is grounding, whilst rich, purple-brown adds an indulgent and contemporary twist,” says Lucena-Orr.
Simple, rustic furniture in timber, leather and rattan sit alongside stone flooring and bespoke, modern lighting made from recycled materials for a look that simultaneously speaks of the past, present and the future. “The Connect palette could look incredible in a cosy dining room or living area of a family home or a country weekender,” she says.
Our homes continue to be our refuge in 2023 as we build up the mental and physical resilience to face an altered reality in the outside world. Dulux Connect promotes the right level of warmth and intimacy to foster this sense of security. Here, rather than being hidden away, the marks of time are celebrated for their imperfect beauty; think charred timber wall panelling, worn leather sofas, faded tartan rugs and naturally weathered brass tapware.
Revive is for those who long for lightness and whimsy, filled with playful, uplifting colours such as rose pink, breezy blue, sunshine yellow, emerald, violet and burnt orange. The Dulux Revive palette is an instant mood-lifter – eclectic brighter hues to encourage those moments of pure escapism. With unexpected colour combinations, graphic floral patterns and furniture in cloud-like forms that draw on Maximalist principles, the message is clear: interiors shouldn’t be taking themselves too seriously in 2023.
“As we emerge from trying times, we’re looking for lightness and a sense of freedom to revive our spirits. So, when it comes to our homes, it’s out with the rule book, and in with the possibilities to create something truly magical,” says Lucena-Orr. “Pairing retro influences with futuristic features, such as pixel patterns and digital art, the Revive palette cleverly merges the past and present. And with its colourful, look-at-me accent walls and statement seating, it creates the perfect Instagrammable moment,” says Lucena-Orr.
The Revive palette is all about having fun and filling a space with personality. Mustardy yellows and Dulux Purple Celebration are destined to be instant mood-boosters, softened with variations of rose such as Dulux Princess Pink and Dulux Pink Chi. It also features deeper takes on recently trending jewel tones such as cobalt blue and emerald in its kaleidoscope of saturated hues.
Image credits: Dulux Colour Forecast 2023
Forecaster & Stylist: Bree Leech
Photographer: Lisa Cohen