Written by Sara D'Souza

Dulux Colour of the Year 2023 is all about hope and renewal

Dulux has unveiled its Colour of the Year 2023. The paint company, launched in 1931, has been performing colour analysis for over 90 years. Nine years ago, they launched colour futures, drawing on the expertise of leaders in the design world to predict trends. Today, alongside the Dulux Colour of the Year, there are four supporting colour palettes of 10 colours.

‘Colour is a magical tool if you’re wanting to change the way that your home feels,’ says Marianne Shillingford, Dulux Creative Director.

Here, Marianne reveals what the Dulux Colour of the Year 2023 is and talks Good Homes through the supporting colour palettes and the art of ‘future gazing’.

What is the Dulux Colour of the Year 2023?

Drumroll please, the colour of the year is… Wild Wonder.

Marianne describes it as ‘a colour that in the morning it looks like barley just before it’s ripe. It’s got a soft green tinge, and in the evening it’s like a fresh cardamom pod, which we could describe as a gold green.’

‘It’s what’s we call a metameric colour,’ she continues. ‘Metamerism is the ability for a colour to change in different lights quite fundamentally. So when you buy one colour you’ve got four, and it’s incredibly organic and it’s beautiful and as the light moves and changes during the day, it gives a visually soft and gentle vibe.’

Living room painted in Wild Wonder, a yellowy chartreuse that is Dulux Colour of the Year 2023

Dulux Colour of the Year 2023 is Wild Wonder

How did you come up with the Dulux Colour of the Year 2023?

‘We took the story of hope and renewal and what nature gives us, and we came up with a theme that connects us all, and the theme for 2023 is seeds of wonder,’ says Marianne. ‘What this means is nature sows seeds of wonder. We are inspired by nature and if we look at everything it does and study it and copy it, it just does things beautifully.’

Dulux Colour of the Year 2023 revealed

Photo: Dulux

What is future gazing?

‘We operate in 18 markets in 26 countries, and each year we invite a design leader in each country, for example an architect or an artist whose got something to say about the world we live in, to an aesthetic centre in Amsterdam to a workshop. From that workshop we distil the collective findings into a story of colour. This year’s global experts talked about nothing but nature.’

What are the 2023 colour palettes?

The team develops four separate palettes based around and including the Dulux Colour of the Year to inspire people to create beautiful schemes in their homes: ‘Since lockdown, people have become so creative with colour,’ says Marianne. ‘And they’re not nervous about combining more than one colour on the walls and using colour on the ceiling.’

Lush (forest hues)

‘Lush is about creating a space in our homes that is nurturing, where we feel rooted and connected to the natural world,’ say Marianne. ‘It’s all about the subtle dynamism that nature brings and it’s a beautiful palette of warm greens combined with gorgeous soft smoky violets.’

Dulux Colour of the Year 2023 colour palettes: Lush (forest hues)

Photo: Dulux

‘Violet is most complex colour in the spectrum, it represents to us human beings, a dream like state, we use it in creative problem solving. It’s super modern, it’s complex, it’s got a short wavelength. Green on the other hand is right in the middle of the spectrum and it’s the colour of calm and when you put these two, one very dynamic and one very calming colour together, what you get is the effect of a plant growing.’

nursery painted in forest hues with hints of violet and check paint effect

Photo: Dulux

Buzz (meadow brights)

‘The Buzz palette is the idea of being a hive, a hive of people and our homes being a collection of disparate things but when they come together, they tell a story that’s rich, because they’re all together, not because they’re great individually,’ says Marianne. ‘This palette is about celebrating how important diversity is for nature and human beings.’

Dulux Colour of the Year 2023 colour palettes: Buzz (meadow brights)

Photo: Dulux

‘Think of a wildflower meadow that supports and nurtures. Orchids, grasses, reeds, buttercups, daisies, all this life grows and dies and grows and dies and each of their roots support each other. It takes inspiration from the earth’s flowers and the joyful things to put a smile on your face.’

kitchen with open shelves painted in pale yellows and greens

Photo: Dulux

Raw (harvest shades)

‘Raw is the third colour story and is about the earth’s raw materials and the way nature inspires us to create better solutions and to innovate around what nature is doing,’ says Marianne.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2023 colour palettes: Raw (harvest shades)

Photo: Dulux

‘We’ve been inspired to create new products based on what nature does naturally. This is a palette of raw colours and the raw materials of nature, stone, sand and clay. Luxurious colours, that we instantly feel soothed by.’

bedroom painted in lilac and orange sorbet with chartreuse wild wonder ceilings

Photo: Dulux

Flow (seashore tones)

‘Finally, Flow is the idea of us needing to regenerate and to be fresh, to step back and take a breath to renew ourselves,’ says Marianne. ‘It’s a story about tapping into the rhythms of life and bringing balance to our lives. This palette is about the sea and sky and the bigger elements and the grounding elements and the ones that in which we can really feel free and lose ourselves.’

Dulux Colour of the Year 2023 colour palettes: Flow (seashore tones)

Photo: Dulux

‘Here, the colours give us something, but they don’t anything from us, they don’t take a lot of attention. We also see Wild Wonder on the ceiling and it’s just beautiful, and people are terrified of doing it because they think it’s going to make the space look smaller but if you take the colour off the walls and just paint it on the ceiling and it’s the one thing you do in a kitchen or a bathroom, it’s a game changer and we’re seeing people do that more.’

living room painted in new neutrals of pale blue/lilac with accents of wild wonder and beige carpets

Photo: Dulux


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