Dulux Colour Awards 2024: Beige, candy colours and biophilia

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'Hamilton House' by Lauren Egan Interior Design. Photography: Glenn Hester

It’s that time of year again when our interiors-obsessed eyes are drawn to the iconic Dulux Colour Awards. Currently in its 38th year, this year’s finalists have just been announced with an incredible 83 projects chosen from a record 527 entries. And while the awards recognise the exceptional and innovative use of colour across multiple categories, it’s the ‘Residential Interior’ category that we’re shining the spotlight on today.

'Hamilton House' by Lauren Egan Interior Design. Photography: Glenn Hester
‘Hamilton House’ by Lauren Egan Interior Design. Photography: Glenn Hester
FIGR Architecture Studio. Photography: Tom Blachford
‘Hot Top Peak’ by FIGR Architecture Studio. Photography: Tom Blachford

“This year, biophilia – the affinity of humans with the natural world – is a strong theme, with earthy colours playing a dominant role in interiors. Olive greens, warm greys, muted taupes and dusky blues are coming into their own across several categories,” says Dulux colour and communications manager Andrea Lucena-Orr.

'Ashfield' by Greg Natale.
‘Ashfield’ by Greg Natale. Photography: Anson Smart
'House in Surry Hills' by Architect George. Photography: Martin Siegner.
‘House in Surry Hills’ by Architect George. Photography: Martin Siegner.
'Rosetta' by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh. Photography: Prue Ruscoe
‘Rosetta’ by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh. Photography: Prue Ruscoe

Another trend that the judges noticed is the bold use of saturated candy-like colours, clashing and contrasting against one another. “It is an uplifting trend that shows a newfound optimism and confidence to try unexpected combinations for surprising and fun spatial impact. Architects and designers, as well as their clients, seem to have shaken off the gloom of the lockdown years and are expressing a profound sense of freedom through paint colours that epitomise playfulness and joy,” says Andrea.

'Hot Top Peak' by FIGR Architecture Studio. Photography: Tom Blachford
‘Hot Top Peak’ by FIGR Architecture Studio. Photography: Tom Blachford
'Maddison' by Studio Johnston. Photography: Anson Smart
‘Maddison’ by Studio Johnston. Photography: Anson Smart

As always, neutrals made a strong appearance but this year it’s all about warm whites, soft beiges, sand, buttery cream and crisp, chalky porcelain with multiple shades being used in individual projects. “Gone are the days of a single white or beige being specified for an interior. Now, nuanced shades of a colour are being utilised to create highlights, details and contrasts within the one project. It’s a sophisticated design strategy,” says Andrea.

'Smith House'
‘Smith House’ by Fowler and Ward. Photography: Martina Gemmola
‘Balmain Residence’ by Parker Studio. Photography: Jacqui Turk

The 2024 judging panel is comprised of Shaun Carter, founder of Carter Williamson; Monique Woodward, co-founder of WOWOWA Architecture; Sarosh Mulla, director of Pac Studio; Eva-Marie Prineas, founder of Studio Prineas; and, Nick Travers, co-Director of Techne Architecture + Interior Design. 

'Olive Tree House' by Bastian Architecture. Photography: Katherine Lu
‘Olive Tree House’ by Bastian Architecture. Photography: Katherine Lu

This year’s winners will be announced on Wednesday 29 May at an event at Sydney Opera House, during Vivid Sydney. We can’t wait to see the list!

For more on the 2024 Dulux Colour Awards

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