Design with a heart

Dulux Trade’s specialist design and planning services can help interior designers and commercial specifiers alike create engaging and colourful spaces to help enhance their customers’ lives

Every year, Dulux Trade’s parent company AkzoNobel brings together a panel of internationalexperts from various disciplines of design to develop ColourFutures™, the company’s industry-acclaimedtrend analysis and forecast. The team scours the globe to discover emerging trends and insights and identifies how they impact on the way we live. The findings result inthe selection of the Colour of theYear and key colour palettes that subsequently present specifiers, from architects to interior designers, with a collection of smart colour schemes that can be applied to both residential and commercial projects. This year, acclaimed architect, interior designer and TV personality Oliver Heath was part of the panel, which is based at AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetic Centre in the Netherlands. Oliver was key in ensuring that all the subtleties of UK specification needs were threaded into the total palette.

Dulux Trade’s Colour of The Year for 2018 is Heart Wood. This smoky warm neutral with a hint ofheather is a soothing shade that will help transform any space and is the must-have colour for design professionals for the year ahead. Heart Wood creates a place where people can feel reconnected to nature through its rich and earthy undertones, enabling the creation of welcoming environments weall desire in these uncertain times. Whether it’s an inviting restaurant or a relaxing reception area, the colour’s unashamed warmth ensures every space can be transformed into a sanctuary.

This year’s four key colour palettes include a variety of tones which each complement Heart Wood in different ways, with solutions for residential, leisure and hospitality, commercial spaces and health care. Balance and versatility are at the centre of this year’s theme, with the whole collection designed to be used in combinationacross different elements of an interior, from walls to furnishings and accessories.

The Colour of the Year at the heart of design – The Heartwood Space
The Heart Wood trend is inspired by the beautifully warm wooden materials we see being used in all kinds of interior decorating and architecture. A variety of woods are growing in popularity, but we see a tendency towards warmer, light and dark shades of red, alongside violet and pinkishwoods. The warmth of wood reflects the comfort that we need in these uncertain times – this material is an essential element for creating the welcoming environments we desire.

The Colour of the Year palette reflects the importance of cosy wooden tones and since blue remains so fundamental, the colour collection flows beautifully from this year into next. The nourishing warmth of wood and tactile comfort of leather add to this sense of harmony.

Due to its gentle and delicate character, the palette is perfectly suited to residential, hospitality and leisure projects. It channels the current commercial interest in the colour pink and presents it as an accessible set of nearlyneutrals. The Heart Wood palette works marvellously as a subtle background décor yet is full of character and plays well with popular modern design details such as walnut, brushed brass, marble and matt-black surfaces.

The Comforting Space:
This trend is about relaxed, grown-up luxury, with its heritage hints, warm-tone woods and use of natural materials. Creating rich, welcoming interiors with generously layered textures that offer a restorative embrace. Created with architects and interior designers in mind, this palette helps accentuate the best in the architectural details of a building. Such attention to detail greatly enhances the perceived value of a space.

For office buildings, the warm nature of this palette creates a welcoming setting. As society’s boundaries between work and home gradually fade, it presents employees with a pleasant workspace, which plays an important part in job satisfaction and productivity.

The Inviting Space:
The Inviting Space colour collection has an easy-going style, bringing together neutrals, softer pastels framed by graphic borders of coal and dark blue. Encouraging a clear-headed approach to life, the palette supports a need for connection, making it well-suited to office spaces as well as healthcare environments.

Proportions of coloured surfaces can be used to indicate the purpose of a room, or signal a transition to a different area. For instance, softer pastel shades may be framed by graphic borders to create an airy mood, yet enhance spatial awareness. Similarly, consecutive rooms painted in several shades of green impart a sense of logic.

The Playful Space:
The Playful Space palette draws the Colour of the Year, Heart Wood, into sunny and warm territory. Pops of fresh colour add a sense of fun and energy, including shades of green inspired by nature. As the name suggests, the Playful Home brings a sense of possibility to a space. Above all it’s about creating a place for drawing inspiration and creativity. Overall cheerful in tone, the palette is ideal for school buildings as well as the leisure industry.

With the Playful Home palette, the mood-enhancing qualities of the palette lend themselves perfectly to the hospitality sector as well as education by creating a space that is invigorating and full of life. Clean and fresh hues combined with uplifting accent colours are essential in providing a stimulating atmosphere, while muted tones can ease tension and improve concentration.

Louise Tod, AkzoNobel’s Senior Colour and Design Expert, comments: “From the hue we use, to the depth and quality, colour has a powerful effect on us in many ways. If, for example, colour is clean and bright or more muted and soft it will convey a totally different feeling and mood. The Colour of the Year, Heart Wood, draws on all the positive associations we have with wood and nature and then adds a little extra pink to give this tone a rosy warm glow. Although strong pink like Fuchsia has been linked with confidence and energy, soft pinks like the hint in Heart Wood is said to have a calming effect andcreate a feeling of safety; ideal for settling our nerves in these unpredictable times.”

The Colour of the Year is just one of Dulux Trade’s extensive portfolio of tools and services available to help specifiers unlock the maximum potential from their spaces.

For more information on Heart Wood and the ColourFutures trends for 2018, visit: year-2018
For further information regarding the Dulux Trade product range, please call the Dulux Trade Technical Advice Centre on 0333 222 7070 or visit: