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Dulux Colour of the Year: Brave Ground

Image of Dulux colour of the year 2021 Brave Ground Earth Palette

Dulux Colour of the Year: Brave Ground

Every year a group of renowned global experts and influencers, from the fields of architecture, design and technology, are invited to a three-day workshop at the AkzoNobel Global Aesthetics Centre in Amsterdam. There, they explore the trends that will affect the way we live in the year ahead. After this workshop, the Aesthetics Team distils the information into a story of colour. It includes the Dulux Colour of the Year 2021 and four inspiring supporting trend palettes.

This year was no different. By early spring, preparations for the launch were in full swing with locations agreed, sets built, photographers and film crews booked. And then everything changed with the arrival of Covid-19.

So, is the Dulux Colour of the Year still relevant for the times we’re living in right now? Should it be changed? Here, Creative Director Dulux UK, Marianne Shillingford, explains why Brave Ground is the perfect colour for the current climate.

Q: Why wasn’t it necessary to change the Dulux Colour of the Year in light of the global pandemic?

Each year we identify an overarching theme for our colour trends, a mood or feeling that the world shares and recognises. In early spring of this year, our panel of experts agreed that the mood of the moment is to have courage, the courage to change.

Even though we’re living through a global pandemic, we still face the same big issues that need our urgent attention. We need to protect each other and our planet. We need to make grave decisions that leave a positive legacy for the next generations. But more than ever, we need our homes to be the places that shelter, nurture, support and energise and ground us.

Despite coronavirus the course of our future is still the same. Some might even say that it’s taught us to be more prepared to face these challenges together.

Image of Dulux colour of the year 2021 Brave Ground Earth Palette
Q: How would you describe Brave Ground?

Brave Ground is organic, familiar and versatile. It’s a warm clay from which we’ve been building the fabric of our lives for millennia. From the vessels that we cook and store food in, to the ground beneath our feet. It’s what we’ve been building our homes with for forever. It is truly the Mother Earth of colours. And, being a good mother, it’s also supportive of all of the other colours in the spectrum, allowing them to shine.

Brave Ground is earthy and empowering. It evokes stability, growth and potential which helps to create environments that give us the courage to embrace change.

Q: Every year you create four supporting stories. Can you take us through them?
Image of Dulux colour of the year 2021 Brave Ground Earth Palette

1. Earth palette: Echoing the tones of the sea, the sky and the soil, the Earth palette (above) provides a connection to the natural world around us. Bringing the outside in, they are authentic and grounding colours that are ever changing in the light. So in the morning they’re bright and breezy and energising. And towards the evening they get softer and quieter and really help you relax. Just as in nature, these shades work together in perfect harmony. They create beautiful spaces that encourage us to embrace a simpler way of living. And they remind us of the fragile beauty of the earth and our need to protect it.

Image of Dulux colour of the year 2021 Brave Ground Timeless Palette

2. Timeless palette: The next palette is Timeless (above). This is all about marrying heritage and contemporary colours together to recognise the value of the past and its relevance for the future. Here, the focus is on powerful, inspiring shades of yellow, gold and red ochre, balanced with warm, soft neutrals. Rich without being overpowering, Timeless colours give interiors a warm, upbeat feel. They lend themselves to smart and subtle painted effects that create zones which enhance the room and the different activities taking place there.

Image of Dulux colour of the year 2021 Brave Ground Expressive Palatte

3. Expressive palette: The Expressive palette (above) takes inspiration from the Lotus flower, a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-generation and rebirth. Even when its roots are in the dirtiest water, the Lotus still manages to produce the most beautiful flower, positive, energising and surprising. The Expressive palette helps us to define spaces and empowers us to be ourselves in those spaces. It also bolsters creativity and a sense of self and wellbeing. This palette has been designed so energy levels can be dialled up or down with stand-out shades of reds and pinks balanced with soft neutrals.

Image of Dulux colour of the year 2021 Brave Ground Trust Palette

4. Trust palette: The Trust palette (above) takes it cue from colours that are trusted the world over – warm neutral greys and browns. These colours are quietly powerful and work brilliantly in combination to create spaces where people want to come together and share ideas. They also provide a neutral canvas which allows furniture and furnishings to come to life. These are the staples of any decorating scheme. Because they work so well together, it gives us scope to be creative with complementary colours and graphic shapes.

About Dulux Colour of the Year: Colour of the Year is part of the ongoing commitment Dulux makes to investing in colour and the future of paint and coatings. It forms part of the promise the brand makes to its customers, the professional decorator, its colleagues and community. 

Featured image: The Dulux Colour of the Year, Brave Ground, shown with colours from the Earth palette in a bedroom setting.

Want more? If you’re researching your next home project, don’t miss our other blogs on decorating.