Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flexible, Unisex and Easy on the Palette; EXCLUSIVEPaint Experts Reveal Smoky, Calming Denim Drift Is Colour of the Year 2017. Dominic Lutyens Finds out How to Use It

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flexible, Unisex and Easy on the Palette; EXCLUSIVEPaint Experts Reveal Smoky, Calming Denim Drift Is Colour of the Year 2017. Dominic Lutyens Finds out How to Use It

Article excerpt

Byline: Dominic Lutyens

WHEN Dulux concocts its latest paint colours, it doesn't do it by halves -- and no more so than when it picks its much-anticipated Colour of the Year, as revealed exclusively this week by Homes & Property. Denim Drift, the paint giant's Colour of the Year 2017, is a smoky, calming grey-blue.

An accompanying palette of 10 complementary blues, from Indigo Shade, resembling dark denim, to palest shade Clock Face, invites you to combine them to create any effect you like -- from crisp colour blocking to a looser, more painterly style.

Every year, Dulux's Global Aesthetics Centre brings together a colour-forecasting team of design experts from all over the world. "The process begins 18 months ahead of announcing the colour," says Marianne Shillingford, Dulux's creative director. "Paint colour trends go in three- to five-year cycles, so we have to choose one we think will be relevant for the next few years."

Major social trends are factored in when the panel determines not only the colour but its precise tone. "At our meetings, faded denim blue kept cropping up." The consensus among the team, says Shillingford, "was that this restful shade is relaxing in our increasingly hectic, technology-dominated lives where there is no dividing line between our work and personal life".

The denim shade was also picked for its cross-generational, democratic appeal to young and old no matter what they earn or do. The word "drift" was used because the chosen shade "seems to drift from being definitely blue to blue-grey". As with all paint shades, it looks different depending on which colours it's paired with, and on how light hits it. "Putting it next to wood in a warm chestnut brown brings out the grey in it, makes it cooler -- but combine it with greys and blues and it looks richer," says Shillingford. "The more natural light there is in a room, the richer this blue will look. Yet in a north-facing room with weak, watery light, its smokier side is accentuated." She adds: "Cooler colours, such as blues and greys, have become more popular over the past few years as modern, warm LED lighting makes them look much better, more alive than with traditional fluorescent lighting. …

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