After what seems like an age of bright whites and cool greys, is the interior and decorating world started to look towards a bit more warmth in the home and introducing earthy tones? The Dulux Colour of the Year 2021 was announced as Brave GroundTM and although not ground breaking, coming from a colour lover, I quite like it!
Dulux have described Brave GroundTM as “A drop of courage to carry you forward. It is a warm, earthy tone that creates a feeling of stability, growth and potential; and provides a firm foundation for change and creativity in your home.” Tranquil Dawn was chosen as the COTY 2020 for it’s calming and comforting qualities (see my blog post about the colour here) and it feels like Brave Ground is in the same territory.
I think there was a collective gasp in the interior world (especially online and Instagram) when it was announced as people were expecting something cheerful, bright and hopeful. There were plenty of people saying how they were disappointed and underwhelmed by the colour and couldn’t see themselves using it but I think they are missing the point. Dulux described Brave GroundTM as the “cornerstone of decorating” and a “warm elemental neutral which allows others to shine”.
But what about the WOW factor?
Brave GroundTM has certainly got people talking. What does the Colour of the Year represent? Should it be a colour that is full of drama and sensationalism? As Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director of Dulux UK, says: “The colours on our walls are the backdrop to how we live our life. For many of us, lockdown has served to emphasise how important our home environment has become, it has been the place where we work, learn, relax. It can lift us up, nurture us, comfort us”.
“We continue to live through uncertain times. In 2021, the warm and grounding tones of Brave GroundTM will allow us to find certainty in the strength from the very ground beneath our feet, emboldening us to go forward and begin to live again and giving us the flex to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances we face.”
Brave GroundTM was not chosen as the colour to uplift and brighten our homes, it was chosen to provide warmth and depth and to compliment the bright and bold tones we can use with it. The colour of the year needs to be a colour that people can slowly introduce into their homes and as much as we would all like something melodramatic like Rock Candy or Bermuda Cocktail, Brave GroundTM is a beautiful neutral tone that can help us bring the outdoors in and be more experimental in the colour we choose.
The beautiful tone of Brave GroundTM changes throughout the day. Its brown undertone gives it an earthy feel and can be quite dark and enveloping at night, but you can see hints of pink when the sunshine reflects off it during the day.
Has anything changed due to COVID-19?
I think the main question on everyone’s lips throughout the colour launch was, due to COVID-19, did the team of experts feel the need to change the colour? The Colour of the Year is a very long process and started before lockdown began in the UK. The colour forecast is created by a team of architects, designers and insiders from the world of technology by looking at design, social and cultural trends from around the world.
Marianne confirmed that they did not feel the need to change the colour saying “Despite COVID-19, the course of our future is still the same. The mood of the moment is to have courage, the courage to change”.
How can you use the colour in your home?
As ever, Dulux have announced 4 different colour palettes that can be used with Brave GroundTM and this is where the colour of the year really comes into its own!
The Earth Palette
This has to be my favourite Brave GroundTM palette of the four. Dulux explains it as “Echoing the tones of the sea, the sky and the soil, these earth shades provide a connection to the natural world around us. Bringing the outside in, they are authentic and grounding colours that work naturally together.”
- Brave Ground – Dulux | 2. Senna Cushion Navy – Fishpools | 3. Havisham Navy Curtain – Dunelm | 4. Mirror – La Redoute | 5. Midnight Garden – Dulux | 6. Waska Bedside Table – La Redoute | 7. Mundo Rocking Chair – Beaumonde | 8. Raffety King Size Bed – Made.com | 9. Wood Adelaide Medium Pendant Light – Cuckooland | 10. VONSBAK Rug – Ikea | 11. Anisheka Rosette Print Duvet Cover – La Redoute | 12. Abstact Face Grey Vase – Beaumonde | 13. Earth Palette – Dulux
The Trust Palette
“Earth tones from across the globe, these unifying shades reflect everyone. Warm neutral greys and browns, these colours complement each other and encourage connection, collaboration and a sense of harmony in the home.”
The Timeless Palette
“Inspiring shades of yellows and ochres, alongside soft neutrals, these are tones that can help create a backdrop that embraces old and new. Energising without being overpowering, they bring positivity and balance to a space.”
The Expressive Palette
“Stand-out shades of reds and pinks, balanced with soft neutrals, these are colours that can add verve and vitality to our homes, allowing us to create an individual space that energises, surprises and reflects who we really are.”
- Brave Ground – Dulux | 2. Clara Cotton Velvet Cushion – Dunelm | 3. Lorena Canals Geometric Round Rug – Cuckooland | 4. Parquet Brushed Oak Coffee Table – Oak Furnitureland | 5. Pink Sandstone – Dulux | 6. Strom Large Ceramic Vase – Matches Fashion | 7. Ashton Armchair in Dusted Dahlia – Living It Up | 8. Breathe Poster – Juniqe | 9. Watermelon Pink Lampshade – Mint and May | 10. Vox Ribbon Tall Bookcase – Cuckooland | 11. Dulwich Midi Sofa – Darlings of Chelsea
Brave GroundTM has certainly proved that you can’t please all of the people, all of the time. The colour lovers out there may be shouting about their outrage at such a terrible choice after having to live through 2020 but I think Brave GroundTM will slowly emerge in homes up and down the country with its own quiet confidence.
Bermuda Cocktail might be the colour people think deserves the COTY crown, but Brave GroundTM is the colour people will choose and use in their homes. What do you think?