The Dulux Colour Awards are always a feast for the eyes and this year’s finalists are no exception, despite being produced against the challenging background of a global pandemic. 105 finalists were selected from a pool of 437 entries across Australia and New Zealand, with six categories up for grabs including commercial and residential interiors and exteriors. It’s obviously the latter that interests us and there are some truly amazing finalists in this year’s list.
“We can’t help but view this year’s projects through a slightly different lens. While our focus is always on recognising innovation and excellence in the use of colour, our appreciation of the quality of work is heightened given the challenging climate in which these projects were created and completed,” says Dulux colour and communications manager Andrea Lucena-Orr.
And while several trends were identified, the move towards biophilia in design was singled out as a recurring theme – getting back to nature is no doubt a response to what feels like an uncertain world. “There’s a resulting swing towards more nurturing tones and natural finishes. The prevalence of concrete, stone and timber, as well as warm metals, paired with warm earthy hues and deep greens and blues, indicates the need for a return to nature and its grounding effect in chaotic times,” says Andrea.
It wasn’t all earthy tones though with plenty of vibrant blues, terracotta, coral and dirty yellow tones featuring too. “Despite these tendencies to earthy, natural tones, there is still an evident willingness to be playful with the use of colour, in unexpected highlights and accents. We commend designers and architects on their capacity to remain highly creative and to lead their clients to embrace innovative concepts when faced with such challenging and extenuating circumstances,” says Andrea.
Timeless, monochrome schemes featured heavily too with plenty of dark cocooning exteriors (think deep greys, charcoals and black), contrasted with light, warm interiors. “These combinations are no less innovative, but they are suggestive of designers and clients seeking reassurance, permanence and security,” says Andrea.
The judges will select winners and commendations across the six categories, with awards and prize money being handed down at a Melbourne gala event (live streamed interstate) later in the year.