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Dulux Colour Forecast 2020: Essence


This morning I attended the launch of the Dulux Colour Forecast 2020. A big highlight on the yearly calendar, I was so excited to see how this year's colour forecast, Essence, would unfold. A warm and welcoming space with beautifully curated room settings for each of the four palettes, we were treated to a delicious breakfast spread where the tables were decorated with stunning floral arrangements, reflective of the new palettes. Over from Melbourne, Bree Leech, Creative Director for the Dulux Forecast, alongside Dulux Colour specialist Davina Harper presented the four unique palettes: Comeback, Grounded, Cultivate and Indulge, plus a small, specially curated palette of four bold hues, designed to be mixed and matched with the trending palettes for an individualised look. Influenced by the world around us, where we're constantly 'on', the Dulux Colour Forecast 2020 provides an opportunity to reflect and re-energise whereby we can tune back into the essence of what matters to us. This year, the forecast is expressed through four tonal palettes that are nature-inspired, comprising soft comforting neutrals which have rich, invigorating accent hues that allow moments of personal expression.

Grounded palette featuring Dulux Tapawera and Lyttelton Quarter
Study 3’ original artwork by Jess Merlo, Forman Picture Framing

In a world where the demands on our time and attention have never been greater, it's all too easy for our innermost voice to get lost in the noise. Our energies are depleted, and we rely on routine and quick fixes to get us through the day. We yearn to step away from the madness (especially our screens!) recharging body and mind, to create a space with ‘Essence’ for our hopes and dreams to come alive. Craving more authentic, grounded experiences, at the same time, we're increasingly environmentally conscious. In response, design trends for 2020 will reflect our desire to pause and reconnect with the essence of what matters most to us. Recycled materials, nature-inspired palettes, and furniture that blends old and new will come to the fore, signalling a more mindful approach to the curation of our living spaces. Informed by extensive global trends research, the Dulux Colour Forecast 2020: Essence is a collection that brings together gentle neutrals and muted brights drawn from the natural world – botanical, mineral and oceanic.  

“With more focus on mental health, the wellness movement continues to gain momentum, as does an emphasis on natural materiality.” says Davina Harper, Dulux Colour Specialist. "Colours for 2020 are more restrained than in previous years. Brights are pulled back and influenced by nature. They appear in smaller doses – think feature walls and details –and are often used tonally as a backdrop for hero furniture pieces. Neutrals are soft and sophisticated, with a gently faded feel that speaks of stillness and calm. Clay, with its warm, earthy appeal, is emerging as a key neutral.” 

Davina's words for the direction of the 2020 forecast already make my heart sing! Now for a close look at each of the four palettes...

— Grounded —

Grounded Palette featuring Dulux Waitangi and Sandfly Point Double 
Artwork: White Desert - Egypt by Chris Sisarich, Maker’s Mkt

Having had the pleasure of attending the Dulux Colour Forecast launches for many years, I very quickly pinpoint a favourite colour palette. This year, Grounded immediately spoke to me. A beautiful medley of soft, livable neutrals, the theme stems from how our idea of 'luxury' has evolved. It once meant a hefty price tag or high-shine appeal, whereas today luxury is about craftsmanship, longevity, authenticity and understated beauty – reflections on where our new values lie. Resonating strongly, this concept underpins what I love to share here on TDC, the choices I make for our home, and what I strive to create and showcase through my styling. And I know I'm not alone. Mindful about the purchases we make and the idea of ‘less is more’ permeates every aspect of our lives, designers are creating more quality products using recycled and repurposed materials, often in natural products, such as timber and stone. Our interiors are pared-back and uncomplicated, with furniture crafted from natural materials such as timber, leather and linen. 

Grounded palette featuring Dulux Glen Murray 

The Grounded palette runs from pale biscuit and caramel through to muddy lavender, while hints of terracotta add warmth. Many of the colours can be used as the main shade throughout your home, with gold and coral making for beautiful highlights. “We’re seeing a more tonal palette for 2020, and Grounded is a perfect example. It has a soft, neutral feel that creates a sense of relaxation in a space, with gold and coral adding touches of luxe." - says Davina. An absolutely beautiful palette, I'm excited to work with these colours over the coming year! 

— Cultivate —

Cultivate Palette featuring Dulux Pencarrow and Te Aroha
Peering in (Canopy) Original artwork by Clare Brodie, Studio Gallery Melbourne

The Cultivate palette centres around nature with a serene layering of greens — from soft olive and a pistachio to verdant forest green — with accents of plum, curd and chalky blue adding an unexpected edge. No longer an afterthought in home design, nature has many positive effects on our mental and physical health, and we seek new and innovative ways to bring it inside, whether it’s growing our own food or creating lush displays of indoor plants. “The colours and textures in Cultivate are easy to work with and have a warmth that really conveys the essence of ‘home’,” says Davina. “They look beautiful paired with raw, mid-tone timbers, natural stone and transparent, coloured glass." A palette that will resonate with home enthusiasts, Davina says "the colours and textures are easy to work with and have a warmth that conveys the essence of what ‘home’ really means."

— Indulge —

Indulge palette featuring Dulux Henna Red, Ceiling in Southern Alps
Lilac Moon IV, original print by Ellie Malin, Modern Times

Indulge palette featuring Dulux Pukehina

Adding drama to a space with rich burgundy, eggplant, earthy browns, faded terracotta and soft coral, the Indulge palette has certainly drawn me in. With less time on our hands and information coming at us 24/7, the desire to escape is powerful. We look to create spaces that will keep our dreams of travel and adventure alive, with rich and dramatic palettes, sumptuous fabrics such as velvets and chenille’s, curvaceous furniture that embraces the sitter and touches of bling. Colours are lush and romantic, and styling makes a nod to the past, with nostalgic touches of 70s disco and art deco. Wonderfully indulgent spaces that make us feel inspired and alive, Davina says "“This palette is not for the faint-hearted – it’s dramatic and exciting and is guaranteed to add wow factor to a master bedroom, dining room or living room. Pink, a key colour of the last few years, makes an appearance, but in a more neutral tone that’s closer to tan, alongside a warm, dusty rose.”

— Comeback —

Comeback palette featuring Dulux Mt Maunganui, Southern Alps and Master Blue

The Comeback palette centres around individuality, which is more important than even when creating intimate spaces that reflect your own personality. Looking to the past for design inspiration, mixing styles from different eras, Comeback features invigorating tonal blue shades, highlighted with warm tones of burgundy, rust and mustard that reinforce vintage storytelling. It’s a palette that hints at escape and adventure, encouraging us to step away from the drudgery of the day-to-day routine and embrace new thoughts and ideas. “There’s a lightness and fluidity to the ocean tones in this palette that speak of creativity and adventure, while the warm, earthy shades add cosiness,” says Davina. “It’s the ideal backdrop to combine furniture from different eras – from mid-century through to the 80s – in elegant and refined shapes.”

Still buzzing from this morning's launch, I hope you're as excited as I am about these inspiring colour palettes! 

To help you visualise them in your own home, all of the Dulux 2020 Forecast colours are available through the free Large Colour Swatches and also in the Sample pots. Order yours here.

To learn more about the Dulux Colour Forecast 2020, and to view the eMag, visit

Images styled by Bree Leech / Photography by Lisa Cohen
Courtesy of Dulux

This is a sponsored post. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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