Colour of the Year 2021

Colour of the Year Showdown 2021: Dulux vs Plascon

by Rose McClement

I know, I know – since it is very nearly the end of February, I’m a tad late with the whole writing about the Colour of the Year 2021 trends! The chances are that you are already familiar with it. Well, at least the Pantone colours for 2021, since those seem to have a greater public spread (it’s yellow and grey for those who missed it). Last week, while sharing a past interior project on Instagram and Facebook, we noticed – by happy accident – that we applied those very Pantone colours to the room we designed. Maybe that is why I am drawn to exploring all the other chosen colours for 2021.

As you know, I am a #ColourFreak – I love colour! Through all my many years of exploring it, delving deeply into its ability to transform interior spaces (as if by magic), I find I never tire of it. I might shift gears often from bright to calming colours, from that which speaks to passivity over to that which enfolds you in a surge of passion. Moods – yes, colours are moody as well. It’s a state that is not only reserved for the female gender.

Dulux Colour of The Year 2021: Brave Ground

This morning I landed on a site that highlighted the Dulux Colour of 2021 (and its colour combos) – in video format. I found myself totally relaxing into the video’s words, content, and colours. Phrases such as “a drop of Courage carries us forward”, “courage to embrace change“, “invigorating“, “self-belief” and “collective connection” – the words grabbed my attention.

I think the psychology behind Dulux’s selections is a perfect summary of what we will need for the year 2021. We need “Brave Ground”. We need to be able to give ourselves permission to throw on the Cloak of Courage. To step bravely into that place of transformation that is calling us – whatever that might look like for each one of us. I have no doubt that every person in this “Global Village” has felt the shifting vibes that this transformation evokes.

And what about the colour itself? Brave Ground, which is a beigey neutral, seems to be stirring up a bit of controversy since it is so “sombre”. A lot of people question whether we need a colour so “depressing” at this time of the COVID PANDEMIC – wouldn’t the collective mood rather do with a pick-me-up colour?

Yes, there is truth in that thinking. YET, I also appreciate what the Dulux Colour Specialists are driving at. Hold that “Brave Ground” colour within the context of their bigger picture (as illustrated in their video) – a wider colour spectrum of which Brave Ground is more like a foundation.

You know, I have a feeling that more and more we are being ushered away from the grey tones that have been forefront for many years – towards the many tones of brown. Maybe, towards a more grounded context for life? Just think about it – how many of us would have entertained the thought of darker grey feature walls in our homes, gunmetal grey kitchen cabinets, etc. a decade ago? Now it is so every day, that even in the ‘burbs there are houses the exterior of which are painted deep, dark grey. Who would have thunk?

Quite frankly, I’m interested to see how the brown colour palette will gain momentum to become the “go-to” interior colour choice, so to speak! Let’s watch this space to see whether my hunch is valid.  

Plascon Favourite Hue of 2021: Golden Syrup

Well, for those who feel that Dulux missed the mark and that Brave Ground is anathema, Plascon has that pick-me-up colour for you!  They have selected the bright and bold colour “Golden Syrup” as their “Favourite Hue of 2021“.  Opposite of Dulux’s grounding colour, they have reached for the sun’s effects on us. What does the word and concept of Golden Syrup evoke within you? For me, I think of honeycomb and delicious desserts! Oh – and – childhood pantry raids! Yum!

To quote them (because they have said it so well and why reinvent the wheel):

“Plascon’s Favourite Hue of 2021 invites us to shake off the heaviness of the year gone by and dare to imagine a lighter, brighter future.”

Let your optimism take over and use Golden Syrup to transform your interiors from hiding places to creative spaces. Better yet fully embrace the audacity of hope and let it reflect boldly on your exteriors too.”

How do you like the sound of “embrace the audacity of Hope”. Wow! I like this.

Plascon Favourite Hue of 2021: Golden Syrup

So, as I see it, these two colours balance each other. Put them on the scales and you have balance. You have the firm foundation of “Brave Ground” for stabilizing transformation while embracing the sweet and yummy glow of hope in “Golden Syrup”!

Thank you. I’ll take that. 

I’d be interested to know which of these two colours intuitively grab your attention and why! Anyone???

Ciao for now wonderful Readers. 

Pantone Colour of the Year: Classic Blue | via thedesigntabloid.com

Pantone Colour of 2020: CLASSIC BLUE

Feature image via: Design Monarchy Interior Design Studio

by Marica Fick

Happy 2020 folks! 2020… can you believe?! It sounds very sci-fi. I hope you all had a lovely, rest-filled festive break and are all geared for the new year?

I’m sure by now you have all noticed a certain colour trend flooding your Pinterest, Instagram and blog feeds? You know the colour I’m referring to – it is a bold, almost primary blue… a kind of “delft-meets-school-uniform”.  Well, however you choose to describe it, it is called CLASSIC BLUE and it is Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020.

I know I mention this every year, but I was once again surprised by Pantone’s selection for Colour of the Year – it is never what I expect it to be. Not that I am going to complain because I just so happen to be a blue-girl. While Classic Blue is a tiny bit on the strong and bright side for me, I generally love all shades and hues of blue.

Thinking back on Pantone’s previous selections for COTY, it does seem that they prefer bold and bright above muted and soft. With the exclusion of 2015’s dusky Marsala and 2016’s soft pastel duo, Rose Quartz & Serenity, the last ten years have been pretty bold and punchy. Think last year’s Living Coral, 2018’s Ultra Violet, and 2013’s Emerald.

Pantone Colour of the Year: Classic Blue | via thedesigntabloid.com
The Classic Blue painted wall of this living room combined with the gorgeous green velvet Chesterfield sofa, quirky art pieces and crisp white painted mouldings and floor make for a dynamic and fresh interior. | source: Anthropologie

The selection of Classic Blue as Pantone’s Colour of the Year also came as a surprise to a good few trend-watchers and forecasters who anticipated a shade of green to win out. Plascon, for example, reflected this in their choice for Hue of 2020, Mulberry Leaf, a gorgeous moody green.

Some trend observers are of the opinion that Pantone was playing it rather “safe” by selecting a generally liked colour like blue.

In an article written for Dezeen, design consultant Michelle Ogundehin stated that in choosing a democratic colour like blue, Pantone played it safe and still missed the mark:

“… seeing as blue is routinely cited as one of the Western world’s eternally favourite colours – no doubt because it instantly recalls cloudless summer skies and warm calm seas – it couldn’t go wrong with such an inoffensive pick. Or could it?

Michelle went on to say that this rather safe choice is a result of the backlash and criticism surrounding last year’s COTY, Living Coral. Design commentators and critics felt the inspiration behind the colour and name selection was an insensitive choice considering the rapidly dwindling amount of coral left in our oceans.

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Pantone Colour of 2019: LIVING CORAL

Pantone Colour of 2019: LIVING CORAL

Feature image via: Honeycombers

by Marica Fick

Like previous years, I was once again surprised by Pantone’s selection for Colour of the Year 2019. My first reaction (and Rose’s too for that matter) upon hearing “The Chosen” colour for this year was: “Coral, really?! – been there done that!” That is so 8 years ago. In fact, we have actually mentioned coral in not one, but TWO blog posts in the past – both trend reflection articles – in 2011 and 2012.

Don’t get me wrong – it is not that I don’t like coral – I actually like it quite a bit and I was once again reminded of that fact while searching for all the gorgeous inspiration pictures we have shared below.

In Pantone’s defence – the way we use coral (now versus 8 years ago), how it is applied in an interior space and the colours we combine it with has evolved into something more “here and now”. Trends tend to do that – evolve.

Pantone Colour of 2019: LIVING CORAL
Kim Schipperheijn’s Netherlands home in Anthology Magazine’s Issue No. 15 / Spring 2014. | source: Anthology Magazine via honestly wtf | photograph: Henny van Belkom

I tried to recollect whether we at Design Monarchy have ever had interior projects that strongly featured coral. I immediately thought of one hospitality / retirement project we were involved with that included coral into the colour scheme. It was an upmarket seaside venue and we paired the coral with tones of blue – teal and aqua. See the fabric scheme: HERE.

On further reflection, I found that we had a few design and decorating projects that incorporated some shade of coral as an accent colour – be that a coral-coloured scatter cushion or a floral fabric featuring a lovely blue and coral bloom.

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Pantone Colour of 2018: ULTRA VIOLET

by Marica Fick

Happy 2018 everyone! I hope you all had a brilliant and rest-filled festive break?

I’m sure by now you have all noticed a certain colour trend flooding image-sharing websites and blogs? You know the colour I’m referring to – it is a bold and dramatic shade of purple with a slightly bluer undertone – an almost “Royal Purple“.  Anyhoo, however you choose to describe it, it is called Ultra Violet and it is Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018.

Pantone Ultra Violet
Source

Purple tends to be a colour that people either love or hate. It is often viewed as a transcendental colour – it symbolizes spirituality, the sub-conscious, creativity, and royalty. Purple is also associated with decadence and conceit and, in some countries, it is the colour of mourning.

Design Monarchy is no stranger to using purple in our interior design projects – we LOVE bold. In fact, when Pantone announced their new Colour of the Year last December, I immediately thought of two specific projects – Summerley Court and The Manor – both upmarket retirement/hospitality venues. While the purples used in the aforementioned projects were not the exact tone and shade of Ultra Violet, it serves as an excellent example of the power and popularity of purple.

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trend alert: blush

Trend Alert: Beautiful Blush Pink

By Marica

If you have been watching your Pinterest and Instagram feeds I’m sure you would have noticed a strong influx of soft and gentle pinks. And, just to be clear, when we say “pink” we are not speaking of a candy-coloured baby pink or a bold fuchsia. Oh no, we mean gorgeous shades of blushdelicate and warm with an almost “skin” like or “nude” undertone. So subtle a colour it is almost bordering on a neutral.

I have to admit this trend alert comes to you a little belatedly. However, Rose and I are so taken with this colour that we could not let the opportunity pass to share it with you. I suppose one thing that works in our favour is that trends take so long to reach retail level – it seems once the general public notices a trend and sees it on the shop shelves, it is almost old news online.

This gorgeous colour trend is another gifted to us by the fashion industry – think pretty barely-there pink lips, flowing and soft dusty rose fabrics, and stunning nude pink leathers and shoes.

Furthermore, it is not surprising that blush coloured interiors are all the rage as such a pink was Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2016. The lovely pink, called “Rose Quartz”, actually formed part of a colour duo, a first for Pantone. It was paired with “Serenity” – a soft blue.

Blush, while understated, can be quite chic and sophisticated. Even though the colour is soft and strikingly feminine, it is not necessarily fluffy or overly “girly”. Because of its dusty muted undertones Blush can easily be incorporated into a more masculine or gender-neutral interior.

In colour psychology Blush pink signifies tenderness, tranquillity and a nurturing strength. When introduce into one’s interior it can have a very enveloping womb-like and calming effect. It is therefore an excellent choice for spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms or any other areas where you seek comfort and relaxation.

Because of its warm almost-neutral quality, Blush pink falls more into the Winter colour sphere than that of Spring. It works well with greys, whites, and other muted pastel shades like pale sage greens. This rosy colour also looks beautiful when combined with lighter Scandinavian woods and warm metals like copper or rose gold.

If you are afraid of creating an excessively feminine space, use a more neutral colour as a base and only incorporate Blush as an accent by way of your decorative accessories.

source: Pompeli

source: Shauntelle Sposto

source: Junebug Weddings  |  photo: Kreativ Wedding

source: Rått & Sanselig  |  photo: Birgit Fausk

source: Rått & Sanselig  |  photo: Birgit Fausk

source: Ikea  |  photo: Sara Danielsson

source: Suite One Studio

source: vtwonen  |  photo: Alexander van Berge

source:  stadshem via gravity home

Pantone Colour of 2015: MARSALA

I’m sure by now you have all spotted a certain colour trend featured heavily on all image-sharing websites. You know the colour I’m referring to – it is sort of a dusty red-ish brown-ish colour… Or is it more like a dull cranberry? Maybe it’s pink-ish paprika? Anyhoo, however you choose to describe it, it is called Marsala and it is Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2015.

Named after the Italian wine, the colour Marsala is said to be both elegant and earthy. While it took me some time to warm to it, I have seen some beautiful applications. Sleek Hollywood leading ladies walking the red carpet draped in gorgeous Marsala-coloured silks and a plush Marsala-hued velvet sofa – very dramatic.

Here is what Pantone had to say about their choice:

“Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

“Whether in a flat or textured material, or with a matte or gloss finish, this highly varietal shade combines dramatically with neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. Because of its burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.”

And of course we can’t sign off without showing you some Marsala-inspired interiors and décor! Please click on the images below to enlarge and view sources…

So what do you think of the Colour of the Year? Yay or Nay?