This autumn, expect to see soft, sun-baked neutrals bring a gentle warmth to our interiors. That's the prediction from Dulux colour and communications manager, Andrea Lucena-Orr.
"Most of us are still spending a lot of time at home, and after a tough year we're all ready for a change," she says "Colour can bring joy to every corner of your home, breathing new life into tired spaces and helping you fall back in love with where you live."
The Nourish palette - one of three trend colour palettes identified in the 2021 Dulux Colour Forecast - mixes earthy tones such as buff, ochre and olive with cool, greyish white for a look that exudes calm.
"These colours are like a gentle hug - warm, comforting and grounding," says Lucena-Orr. "There's a lightness and optimism to the palette that speaks of better times ahead. And with their soft, natural feel they're just the thing to surround yourself with if you struggle to switch off after a busy day working from home."
Lucena-Orr also suggests mixing furniture and accessories from different eras. "This year we're seeing a more laidback, sentimental approach to decorating - it's a bit of 1970s, a hint of 1980s, a dash of 1990s, sitting comfortably alongside contemporary styles - all of which creates a wonderfully relaxed and personalised feel."
To illustrate how easy it is to integrate these hues into your interior, stylist Bree Leech transformed an open plan living/dining space in a traditional home using the Nourish palette. "The home is bathed in natural light and the owners have some great furniture - through this mini makeover, I aimed to add another level of warmth and character to their quite neutral interior," says Leech. "There were also some charming period features we wanted to bring out using colour, including a decorative fireplace."
Leech reused many of the pieces in the room and focused on the integration of colour. "Paint is your best friend if you're looking for big impact with minimal outlay. And it's quicker than you might think - a makeover like this could be done in a weekend."
Leech replaced the dining chairs for something more dramatic; curvy upholstered styles in burnt terracotta. "When you're looking to add comfort to a space, curves are the way to go," she says. "Curvy furniture with deep cushioning feels relaxing and inviting, and it's easy to navigate around." Leech brought the walls to life with contemporary artwork in colours drawn from the Nourish palette. She created an open-shelf display with ceramics in shades of buff, terracotta and white.
"This is a quick and affordable décor idea - simply look around your local op shop for ceramics in a variety of interesting shapes and paint them in tonal hues," she says.
Autumn styling tips
Texture time. Style an earthy palette like this with raw textures and natural finishes.
Choose the right white. Cool whites, such as Dulux White Exchange Half, work best in open-plan rooms with plenty of natural light. Warm whites suit smaller and more traditional rooms.
Consider the view. When you're layering tonal colours like this, step back and view the room as a whole before deciding what to apply where.
Add one or two statement pieces in richer hues. This grounds your palette and creates a sense of balance.
Avoid clutter. To keep the look calm and open, leave plenty of breathing space around furniture and décor items (this also helps show off their beautiful shapes).