Dulux colour expert Andrea Lucena-Orr guides us through this year’s colour forecast.
As the colour expert for Dulux, what do you pay attention to when colour forecasting? I study trends from around the world to develop our forecast, attending trade fairs in Europe, studying product and design innovation, colour and finishes and [watching] emerging global designers. I source information locally and from overseas, analysing influences such as fashion, media, world events, technology and science, financial economics and politics. You collaborated with Bree Leech and Heather Nette King on the Dulux colour forecast for this year called Design Age. What was the inspiration behind this concept? The major influence that inspired Design Age was the concept of bespoke creation that is trending globally. Customised services and handcrafted products are becoming more prevalent, allowing us to customise products through the selection of design, colour, size and more. The makers, designers and creators are forming a new industry of customisation with a focus on the importance of design more than ever before to produce handcrafted pieces that connect with consumers. What colour trends will we see in 2016/17? 2016 will see a collection of sophisticated shades, experimental colour combinations and accents. An emphasis on dark, moody hues that can be juxtaposed with pops of colour will be especially prominent. Moody ocean blues like Dulux Night Life, dark purples like Dulux Russell and deep blue greens such as Dulux Winter Waves are set to take precedent. Have you noticed a distinctly Australian perspective on colour in recent years? Australia and New Zealand use earth–based colours more widely than many other places around the world. We see these colours all the time in our landscapes and they work so beautifully in the brighter light down south. Also, the greys have increased on a rapid scale in Australia over the past five years for both interiors and exteriors. These greys can be cooler or warmer greys and with undertones of greens, reds and mauves. In commercial spaces red/oranges are used quite widely and I personally feel this is a reminder of where we live. For enthusiasts who want to embrace these trends, what is the most important thing to consider when selecting a colour? It’s important to base colour decisions on the outcome you want to achieve. That’s why picking the right colour is so vital. Homeowners need to think about the overall mood of a home rather than the colour on its own. Remember that a fresh coat of paint is a simple and economical option to introduce or add colour and personality to your space. The colour should make you feel comfortable, inspired and happy, whether it is from this year’s Design Age trend or another Dulux hue. Most importantly, always use a Dulux sample pot to check how your colour appears either on the wall or painted on a large cardboard sheet, so that you can move around the room and look in different areas. Leave the sample ‘on’ for at least three days before making a final decision.