Last week I attended the exciting launch of Dulux Colour Forecast 2023 to learn about the three new palettes, Balance, Connect and Revive. 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. In response, the palettes reflect our desire to reconnect with the environment, communities and people we love, with warming, earth-drawn neutrals, natural textures and an array of uplifting brighter hues. 

Walls: Dulux Mt Inaccessible

The annual Dulux Colour Forecast is based on year-round research into the latest global and local trends that are predicted to influence New Zealand and Australian design and how we live.

Dulux Colour Specialist Davina Harper says “Colour forecasting for interiors is an evolution. While fashion is an important influencer, the shifts in interiors are more subtle and nuanced. The palettes we can expect to see in our homes in 2023 are predominantly warm and nurturing, with nature continuing to be a key driver of trends. Brighter hues continue, however, they are deeper than last year.”
Sustainability will be another important focus in the year ahead. As Dulux Colour Forecaster and Stylist Bree Leech explains, “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. 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 – for example, by choosing traceable fabrics or learning the maker’s story. As a result, there continues to be a renewed interest in the handcrafted and pieces with a story to tell.”


The Connect palette immediately drew me in with its warm earthy tones, while Balance has an understated, elegant feel that also resonates. Here’s a close look at these two inspiring palettes.   


Connect 

Comprising moss, wasabi, sandstone, muddied yellow-green and burnt charcoal, the Dulux Connect palette is all about fostering our relationship with the great outdoors. Calm and comforting, it speaks of an honest approach to living and is influenced by many of the pastimes we enjoyed during lockdown such as cooking, hiking and gardening.


Walls and ceiling: Dulux Pataua Beach 

Walls and ceiling: Dulux Glinks Gully

Arched wall: Dulux Waitangi, Back wall: Dulux Basset Brown

The muddied yellow-green and cinnamon hues have a nostalgic, country-house feel, while the rich, warm brown adds an indulgent and contemporary twist. As Davina says “The Connect palette could look incredible in a cosy dining room or living area of a family home or a Kiwi bach.”

Back wall and ceiling: Dulux Remuera, Ceiling beams: Dulux Gentle Annie, Arched wall: Dulux St Bathans
Back wall and ceiling: Dulux Remuera, Ceiling beams: Dulux Gentle Annie, Arched wall: Dulux St Bathans

Simple, rustic furniture in timber, leather and rattan sits alongside stone flooring and bespoke, modern lighting made from recycled materials for a look that simultaneously speaks of the past, present and the future.
 
Walls and ceilings: Dulux Research

Walls and ceilings: Dulux Research

Balance 

Dulux Balance is a refined palette of serene marine blues, gentle greens and accents of deep garnet that evokes the beauty and fluidity of the ocean and shoreline.

Wall (left and hallway): Dulux Manorburn Quarter, Wall (right): Dulux Moana Reserve Half
Walls and ceiling: Dulux Manorburn Quarter, Bannister: Dulux Moana Reserve Half

Shelves: Dulux Manorburn Quarter, Surrounding walls, ceiling and cabinetry: Dulux Rāwene


Inspired by a ‘less is more’ philosophy, Balance focuses on minimal detailing, drawing from nature with a restrained approach to decorating. 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,” says Bree Leech.

Front walls: Dulux Manorburn Quarter, Back walls and ceiling: Dulux Kimberley Sea

Walls and ceiling: Dulux Ruahine, Ceiling feature: Dulux Kimberley Sea 

To finish, here are some helpful Dulux Colour Forecast 2023 integration tips by Davina Harper:

• To introduce colour, try painting the skirting boards or architraves in your living room, the edge of a door, the back of a bookshelf, a bedhead in your child’s room, or breathe new life into an old lamp base, chair or front door with a coat of paint. You’ll find that colour really makes a house a home – once you get started with paint colours, you’ll never look back!
• Before you start painting, it’s crucial when selecting colours for walls or soft furnishings that you consider other fixtures and fittings in your space that you can’t change easily – it might be carpet, tiles, laminate or stone, and/or curtains and blinds that you will need to ensure work with the new colour(s) chosen.
• For colour surety, simply order A4 Colour Swatches or Sample Pots from dulux.co.nz in your chosen colour(s) for your space – view these colours in your home’s natural light conditions. Alternatively, Dulux has an online colour advice team and a Colour Design Service if you want a design professional to assist in curating your space.


To find out more about the Dulux Colour Forecast 2022 including all three palettes: Connect, Balance and Revive, visit www.dulux.co.nz.

Image Credits

Styling: Bree Leech 
Photographer: Lisa Cohen


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