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Dulux Colour Forecast 2014: Future Tribes

Tribal reds and desert golds, rocky greys and cloudy blues, rich maroons and regal blues, and retro citrus tones; Dulux New Zealand has released the colour palettes it predicts will dominate interior design in 2014.

Gathered from emerging trends from around the world, the Dulux 2014 Colour Forecast, entitled Future Tribes, draws together unexpected colour combinations, curated into four distinct palettes.

The first palette, The Digital Nomads, is an eclectic tribal aesthetic, featuring bold golden hues, deep indigo and vibrant pink; The Retro Visionaries is quirky citrus yellows, clean emerald, sky blues, and rosy pinks, playing with sixties style colour-blocking; the more subdued hues of The Precious Elements gathers mineral blues and stony greys; and the classically-inspired The Romantic Spirits rounds out the forecast with rich maroons, plush pinks and an opulent navy.

Plucking her picks from the forecast, Dulux Colour Expert Louise McKenzie-Smith predicts that moody near-blacks, like Dulux Tuatapere and Dulux Mt Eden, will be the favourite shades for 2014: “They create so much drama.”

“In contrast, the fun pops of citrus colour will also sit well with kiwis. I love the ‘left field’ hues – the green-yellow of Dulux Mayfield matched with the buoyant blue of Dulux Lake Unknown.”

Alex Fulton, leading New Zealand interior designer, says she is particularly drawn to The Retro Visionaries palette. “These clear, bold and saturated colours win me over every time; but what really makes it stand out is the soft, complementary colours. This gives us a chance to play around with combinations.

“There are moods and collections of hues in the palettes that will match most personalities. They can be as intense or as subtle as you choose to interpret it – they’re really just the starting point for inspiration and creativity.”

With strong global culture influences, the four palettes strive to push the boundaries of traditional interior aesthetics in New Zealand.



The Digital Nomads 

Travel the world without leaving home. The Digital Nomadsdraws on energetic colour and eclectic patterns, imitating the aesthetic of Aztec tribes and Moroccan marketplaces. With an unmistakable warmth, the palette sweeps from the earthy gold of Dulux Riverton, to the reddish clay of Dulux Rangataua, to Dulux Cathedral Cove and Dulux Double Cove, a deep evening indigo and vibrant sunset pink, to the pale sandy Dulux Paekakariki and Dulux Marahau, a soft teal oasis.

 Says McKenzie-Smith: “This palette uses geometric patterns to combine colours beautifully; matching the bold red-oranges, coppery browns with the softer tones of smoky purples to create an eclectic, tribal feel.”

 The palette is styled by Wilhelmina McCarroll, head designer and director of Zuster, and interior stylists Bree Leech and Heather Nette King.


 Match Dulux's The Digital Nomads with these brights from Laminex.


The Retro Visionaries

Taking strong influences from the late 20th century, The Retro Visionaries is quirky, colourful and energetic, continuing the colour blocking trend into 2014.  The colours are cool, clear and cheerful – a citrus yellow in Dulux Mayfield, the emerald of Dulux Grove Arm, the sky-blue of Dulux Lake Unknown, the rosy tones of Dulux Roseneath, and the leafy teal of Dulux D’Urville Island.

Styled by well-known abstract expressionist, Rowena Martinich, together with Leech and Nette King, The Retro Visionaries makes a stand against traditional monochrome and proves that brighter can be better. “The style of The Retro Visionaries looks towards the future but at the same time is reminiscent of the digital culture of the 70s, 80s and 90s. The playful trend is also reflective of 1950s style icons within its aesthetic,” said Martinich.

                     Match Dulux's The Retro Visionaries with the Formica Anniversary Collection


The Precious Elementals

Softly schemed, the hues of The Precious Elementals are inspired by the earth’s natural elements and their geometric forms. With subdued shades and blue-grey undertones, the scheme features the light stone of Dulux Opononi Double, the wet rock-grey of Dulux Mt Eden, and the deep charcoal of Dulux Rawene, matched with the moody sky of Dulux Waioeka, the cloudy white of Dulux Lyttelton, and the metallic roughness of Dulux Exposed Granite Metallic.

Styled again by McCarroll, Leech and Nette King, mineral and metal colours modernise pastels and soft greys, while patinas and raw finishes reflect the weathering effects of nature.  “I am inspired by the light and dark shades of changing weather patterns and the shadows they cast on the landscape. I also love the idea of muted tones with bright colours. There are no rules anymore as to what colours should go together; if it works, it works,” said McCarroll.

 Says McKenzie-Smith: “This palette has a more cocooning, winter retreat feel. It’s a very Kiwi palette - the blue-greens teamed with the beautiful muted pastels, and the metallics add a sense of richness and mystery to the palette.”

 Match Dulux's The Precious Elementals with these stone & metal laminates from Formica.


The Romantic Spirits 

Seductive, sultry and rich in colour, The Romantic Spirits inspires a sense of romantic nostalgia. Drawing from the Dutch masters’ palettes, the style uses simple embellishments and flourishes resembling calligraphy strokes, with timber forms.  All gold and mahogany, the palette features the plush pink of Dulux Ohaeawai, the sumptuous maroon of Dulux Lake Hayes, the crystal blue of Dulux Benmore Half, metallic glints in Dulux Gaby’s Gold Metallic set against deep royal blue of Dulux Tuatapere.

Says McKenzie-Smith: “This is my favourite palette, and its hero Dulux Tuatapere is one of my top colours for 2014. From soft to dark and inky, the blue-greens in this scheme mix brilliantly against the burnished pinks and reds.”  Styled by Melbourne artist, Geoffrey Carran, Leech and Nette King, The Romantic Spirits capture history with patina finishes and worn looks which are contrasted against moody colours.

 “I wanted to create a space that echoes that same warm, enveloping sense that being caught up in a romance elicits. Drawing inspiration from the deep colours contrasted against lighter pastels and metallics, the Dutch Masters Still Life’s and Momento Mori were reinterpreted,” said Carran.


The four palettes of Future Tribes represent a strong balance of bold and muted colour trends for 2014. The stylists have demonstrated the use of dramatic colour and how it can be used to define the look of an interior space.

These colours have been selected from the Dulux Colours of New Zealand.   


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