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Dulux colour of the year 2018: heart wood
Dulux has just announced the colour of the year 2018: Heart Wood. This browny, pinky, mushroomy colour is somewhere between mauve and taupe, with more than a flash of heather shot through it.
It's a warm neutral, and it's been chosen with the aim of helping us to make our homes feel like welcoming, inviting or playful (more on that later) - some natural respite from an uncertain world. "Calm or cosy, energetic or relaxed – the feel of your home can be transformed by Heart Wood in different ways," says Dulux.
So, let's take a closer look at this colour. Decide whether or not you like it, and then we'll think about how you can use it in your home if you want to...
What's 'colour of the year'?
Every year, Dulux announces its 'Colour of the Year'. This is the colour they think will be most popular in homes and interiors, and they make that decision after careful analysis of trends they're seeing in fashion and design, political events and a whole heap of other influencing factors.
Last year, Dulux announced 'Denim Drift' as their colour of the year 2017, with Pantone announcing 'Greenery' as theirs.
So, it's a little bit surprising to see 'Heart Wood' as 2018's colour of the year. Or is it?
Why heart wood?
And that's exactly what we're seeing more of with Dulux's 'Heart Wood', I think. This dusty pinky brown - somewhere between a taupe, mushroom and fading rose petal - is just as natural (if not more so), and conjures up images of heather, woodland or perhaps that hint of mauve you might find on an oyster shell. It's a natural neutral, and a warm one at that.
Heart wood paint: what do you think?
Of course, anything that looks remotely brown or pink is going to divide opinion, isn't it? So, I took to Instagram Stories to ask you your opinion of Dulux's new colour of the year 2018.
And here's what you said: 48% of you said you liked it, and 52% of you said you didn't. What a close call!
But that's not altogether surprising really. For the 'average' pedestrian, this shade looks a bit 'hmmm'. A bit muddy, a bit brown, a bit scarily pink. For homes and interiors aficionados, it's perhaps a bit more exciting... unless of course you've 'done' mushroom before, or think that this pink-ish shade of paint looks right at home in Farrow & Ball's colour swatch - and has probably been selling rather well for years - and therefore isn't utterly groundbreaking.
But for a good chunk of us, heart wood is a colour we're warming to. And really, you only need take a look on those beautiful folksy Instagram accounts or spend some time in a home & interiors store to see why... this colour picks up the warmth and red-tones of all the wood we're seeing right now (particularly walnuts and darker woods) and works perfectly with the accessories we're already buying: brass, gold, copper, leather, polished concrete, hardwood flooring and jewel tones, to name but a few examples.
Heart wood: nailing the look
I'm going to assume that if you're reading this far, you're a fan of heart wood. Or at least, you're open to the possibility of being swayed. Perhaps. So what do you need to do to make sure this paint colour looks right in your home?
Well, the first thing to do is consider the approach you want to take. Dulux has suggested three ways to play with this colour: go 'inviting', 'playful' or 'welcoming', but unless you're an interior designer, that might not mean much... So, here's how I'd suggest using it:
Play it safe: use this shade of paint with shades of cocoa, warm almond and charcoal grey - it will bring out the more subdued undertones and appear more like heather than pink.
Go bold: use heart wood all over with splashes of deep red, rich artichoke, gooseberry, pine needle, cobalt blue and ink - it will really show off the pink and serve as a surprisingly neutral backdrop in comparison while providing plenty of depth and warmth.
Think about textures: heart wood is all about the natural world - so add plenty of wood, leather, faux fur, greenery, as well as metallic accents including copper, gold, brass and steel. Brushed metals will look more natural, and don't be shy about using this colour with botanical prints or jewel tones in sumptuous fabrics such as velvet.
Heart wood: is it for you?
So, what's your verdict on heart wood? Will you be buying and tester pots to try in your house? I like it - mostly - and think it would make an interesting bathroom colour or a great alternative to a grey hallway. Whatever the case, don't worry too much about it being a 'trend'. If you love it, use it in your home. And if not? No worries - just choose another.
p.s how to choose the right shade of paint, every time.