Prev Next 2June 17

After years of pared-back, minimal interiors, the wheel of fashion has once again turned towards the more dramatic and, well, colourful.

Nowhere is the trend more apparent than the paints we are choosing for our interiors.

Deep, dark blues, spanning shades ranging from navy to ultramarine and sapphire, started popping up in magazine spreads and social media feeds several years ago and are showing no signs of going anywhere any time soon.

As a feature colour, they are often teamed with metallic accents such as copper and brass and used to lift an overall neutral palette of greys or whites. But they are also being used as a broadwall shade, too.


Andrea Lucena-Orr, a colour expert for Dulux, says dark blues can create a calming, tranquil ambience, or inject a sense of moodiness, depending on how they are used.

“In a large room, with lots of natural light, you can use blue to make it more cosy and to give it some sort of atmosphere,” she says.

“It’s a colour that draws you into a space and makes you want to stay for longer.”


Greige – a handy portmanteau word to describe a tone that resembles a warm grey, or cool beige, depending on how you look at it – is terribly fashionable as a soft, versatile alternative to off-white.

And no discussion of colour could be complete without mention of millennial pink – a washed-out, 21st-century reinterpretation of the saturated hue beloved of Barbara Cartland, Paris Hilton and Barbie. (In truth, the term is something of a catch-all to describe a range of subtle, toned-down variations on blush, rose, salmon and peach.)

Lucena-Orr says millennial pink can be used almost like a neutral tone, making it surprisingly easy to work with in an interior colour scheme.

“It is light and neutral enough for people to use as a broadwall colour,” she says.

“Neutral pinks work so beautifully with other colours – shades with a brownish undertone can be mixed back with taupes, greiges and other warm neutrals, as well as deep teals.”

Textured paints, such as those with a metallic or suede finish, or formulations containing sand, are another emerging direction, in keeping with the growing desire to add depth, interest and character to interior spaces.

“Rough” application techniques, where the lines of the brush remain visible in the finished paint work, are another extension of the trend.

Chloe Matters, founder of interior design firm TomMarkHenry, says the renewed interest in colour and texture is driven by several broader design directions.

“It’s a mix between a whole lot of things,” she says.

“It’s partly the revival of the ’70s arts and craft movement, a little bit of art deco and industrial influences, plus an Australian flavour, reflecting the organic, natural materials we have here and our beachy lifestyle.”