Onward and Upwards

Warmth, energy and versatility form the cornerstones of Spiced Honey, the Colour of the Year 2019 chosen by paint makers AkzoNobel.

Compiled by: BI Staff; Photographs: Courtesy AkzoNobel

In a world that’s full of strife and uncertainty, a sense of hope and optimism is vital to spark positive change. It is this sentiment that global paints and coatings company AkzoNobel (and makers of Dulux Paints in India) wish to convey with their Colour of the Year 2019 — Spiced Honey, a warm amber tone. The company’s Global Aesthetic Center has collaborated with a team of professionals from around the globe to examine social, economic and cultural trends. After careful analysis of the prevailing mood of today’s consumers, these experts chose ‘let the light in’ as the theme for the latest Colour of the Year upon finding that people are currently experiencing a renewed sense of optimism and purpose.

Spiced Honey is a contemporary colour, but more importantly, it is versatile. It can be paired with different hues and interior design styles to achieve varying effects from warm and energising to calm and nourishing. To illustrate this, AkzoNobel has come up with four different palettes, each inspired by the tones and properties of honey — natural, timeless, enduring, protective, rejuvenating, and healing. These include warm neutrals, soft pastels, intense pigments and bold  bright hues.

Each palette corresponds to a different mood. Warm neutrals, for example, indicate a need to contemplate, soft pastels possess a dreamy quality, rich tones underline a desire to love and vibrant hues signal action and initiative.

A Space to Think
We have been living through turbulent times. It feels as though we’re expected to process troubling events on almost a daily basis. With so many news sources, both real and fake, it seems like there are too many versions of the ‘truth’ out there. So we’re seeking clarity, asking searching questions, examining our values and deciding where to place our trust. We want to develop a new sense of independence and self-belief, to become strong, stoic and resilient in the face of adversity.

Therefore, with Spiced Honey at its heart, the Think palette combines rich neutral tones with burgundy, soft pink and deep blue. The mood that governs it is a need to contemplate and gain awareness of the world around us, in keeping with the recent emphasis on social design, exploring sustainability in an urban context and finding solutions towards building
happier communities.

The personality associated with this palette is of someone who looks at their home as a cocoon to rejuvenate away from the sensory overload of the outside world. They love to personalize their living area with interesting objects and artwork. When complemented with mid-century furniture and graphic rugs, the Think palette can be used to create a space that is thought-provoking yet calming.

A Space to Dream
While technology has enabled us to stay connected, it has also contributed to a sensory overload. We’re surrounded by stress and a need to constantly be on the go. This mood allows us to take time out from the serious concerns of our adult lives to engage with our inner child and once again be playful and experience wonder. In doing so, we become more connected with who we really are. There’s an emerging trend for embracing fantastical experiences and allowing them back into our world through fashion, books, art and design. The emotion behind the Dream palette is thus one of stillness and allowing the mind to engage in playful thoughts that can turn into creative inspiration.

This palette encourages one to take a deep breath and revel in the moment. It is serene and soft but sophisticated. It comprises a gentle mix of powder pinks and blues with the honey tones of the Colour of the Year 2019 lending depth. Pair it with pale wood, handmade objects and pretty fabrics to create a home that’s elegant and relaxed yet whimsical and playful.

A Space to Love
Isolation and loneliness have become an urban epidemic. People are taking positive steps to respond to this and choosing to connect with fellow human beings on many levels. Investing in all of our relationships is being seen as increasingly important; with family, with friends old and new and with our neighbours and communities. The Love palette is all about bringing people together, forging healthy relationships and building a community that thrives on tolerance, love and care. It encourages one to open their homes and connect with fellow human beings.

If you’re the kind who loves to socialize and often has visitors drop by, the Love palette is the perfect match. Replete with rich, pigmented shades such as deep forest green, bold teal and terracotta red that are balanced with pale neutrals and Spiced Honey, the warm palette creates a happy and welcoming atmosphere. Together with wooden furniture, botanical prints and unusual objects that hold a special meaning, it can help turn your home into a cosy den that you can share with loved ones.

A Space to Act
In recent years, there has been a growing sense of dissatisfaction with those in power. It’s time for us to take a stand and get involved if we are to make the changes we wish to see. All around the world, there is an urge to rally together for the good of society, whether its leading a more sustainable lifestyle or take on issues that matter the most to us.

The idea behind the Act palette is that your home can be a space where you can feel free to experiment and have fun. The most playful of all four palettes, this one is bold and vibrant but also warm and inviting. It charges one with energy and momentum with an invigorating combination of vivid red and green, pale pink and blue, the golden hues of Spiced Honey and crisp greys and whites. Complete the look with bold graphic shapes, reclaimed furniture, vintage rugs and cork and plywood.