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I know it may seem a little late in the day to be talking about the trending colours for 2023. I realise it's May, and these are usually announced between September and December of the previous year but I was thinking earlier this week…should we just check that the predictions we made back in 2022 are realistically following the trends of 2023?
We mix hundreds of colours every day of the week, so I’ve been through the most popular paint colours we see coming through every day, the questions we’re asked in our Friday #colourclinic and the gorgeous rooms we see across social media every day to pull together an interim 2023 colour trend update!
In this blog (spoiler alert but just so you can jump to sections that suit you if you don’t have much time for reading!) I’ll cover:
I’m sure that many of you will know that colour psychology exists but for those that don’t I’ll quickly step back to a brief overview which will lead us into talking about achieving mindfulness and contentment in our interior schemes.
Colour psychology is a school of thought that focuses on colour as a means of creating a specific atmosphere and mood. Selecting the right tone can invoke a certain emotional response from everything like raised energy levels, increased positivity, enabling creativity to create a balancing and calming space. This is where mindfulness and contentment come into our review of trending paint colours for 2023.
Over the last two years, based on what we all went through with the pandemic, achieving a sanctuary at home has become increasingly important. In addition to this it seems like we’ve broken down older barriers and are talking more about our mental health and how to support and improve your own mental health and wellbeing.
Using colour psychology people have been able to do this at home with the use of the colours green and blue. In 2022 we created a colour of the year palette ‘mindfulness’ and then as this trend was so beneficial and continuing we carried it on into 2023 with an update to ‘contentment’.
Green is a soothing and calming colour associated with balance, harmony and nature. It's the colour of growth and renewal (have you ever thought about the fact that actors wait in a green room!) and it's a very restorative shade. The connection to nature that you gain from this colour can help you to feel safe and secure so it's a fantastic colour choice in any room in your home.
It's important not to select saturated greens when aiming to achieve mindfulness as these shades can overwhelm. You’re best of selecting greyish greens, sage tones or even khaki shades as these can read as a neutral but with the benefits of a green undertone. In our colours of the year we created Retreat, Deep Breath and Self Gratitude in addition to our 2023 shades Eucalyptus and Hushed to fulfill all of your soothing green paint colour needs!
Beautiful green inspired rooms.
Blue is believed to bring down blood pressure and slow respiration and heart rate and is proven to have a large positive effect on mental and physical well-being. It increases intelligence, a sense of trust and the ability to find tranquility. It's not great for appetite so maybe not a good colour for your kitchen!
We created shades Blue Pause and Mindset in our colours of the year to deliver calming tones perfect for east/west or south facing rooms! Not quite a blue but another one to mention here is our paint shade ‘Peace of Mind’ from our 2023 contentment colours of the year palette. It's a cooler lilac tone which is a shade of choice when focussing on new beginnings. It symbolises hope and optimism whilst delivering a touch of glamour and important as we’re definitely seeing more and more purple sneak into our home interiors in 2023 as a trend.
Beautiful blue inspired rooms.
I’ve talked about neutral shades and off white shades a lot previously and they continue to remain popular as we move through 2023. It's not hard to understand why either. A neutral colour palette is a group of colours that have been muted or desaturated, they don’t have any intense hue.
The benefit of this is they tend to provide a calm and tranquil atmosphere and serve as a blank canvas in your home meaning you can get creative with your furniture or accessories. They’re not distracting and can help to make the space feel larger, especially when following the colour drenching trend of the moment by using the same shade across all surfaces from your woodwork, to walls to the ceiling!
Alternatively you can follow a monochromatic scheme which is taking varying depth of tone of the same shade to keep the room feeling cohesive and balanced.
Beautiful neutral inspired rooms.
Off-Whites are the other biggest question we field here at DCO. Seeking that perfect off-white shade for your home feels like a quest for the holy grail at times but if you understand the effect of the undertones in your off white (or neutral shades too!) then you’ll be able to unlock the skill of finding the perfect shade!
Before we get into spotting undertones, let's first quickly cover the benefits of decorating with whites and off whites. They’re clean and neutral, evoking feelings of purity and innocence meaning it can freshen up any room.
They reflect light which makes rooms appear brighter and more spacious and similarly to neutrals can provide the perfect backdrop and blank canvas for your furniture and accessories. Too much white or a bright white can make a room feel bland or sterile which is where it's beneficial to opt for an off white shade over a pure brilliant white and ensure you’re adding in accessories to break up the room.
As I quickly mentioned above, spotting the undertones in your shade is incredibly important. Your off whites and neutrals will have an undertone that comes through in the shade. It can be difficult to spot the undertone of your shade, I like to pop my samples next to a brilliant white if I’m struggling to spot the undertone as it will help to highlight if I feel it leans more towards a yellow, red or blue undertone for example.
When describing the colours on our website I like to add its undertones, especially with our colours of the year or DCO colours so if you’re struggling hopefully they’re covered there.
Understanding the undertone is important as this paired with the knowledge of the orientation of the room. Depending on whether you’re north, south, east or west facing will then depend on the type of light you get into that room. I have a detailed blog on this you can read called 'The Best Paint Colours For A North Facing, East Facing, South Facing or West Facing Room' but to quickly summarise:
North facing rooms will have a cooler based light. If you use a paint shade with blue undertones paired with the cooler light source you’ll end up with a really cold feeling room. You’re looking for yellow, red or pink based undertones in your paint colours for this room!
South facing rooms will have a warmer based light. These can work pretty much with any shade but warmer, yellow and red undertone paint colours will be intensified and may end up feeling quite overwhelming.
East and West facing rooms either get the cool light on a morning and warm light on an evening or vice versa. In these rooms it's important to consider what you use the room for and choose your colour based on when you’ll be in the room.
Beautiful off-white inspired rooms.
One that I didn’t mention or see mentioned much in the 2023 trend predictions was the prevalence of plaster shades and the hugely popular lime washing effect on your walls. We’re getting asked for plaster paint tones more and more in addition to how to create a limewashing effect which is based on a bare wall trend which provides a feeling of lightness and stillness in the space which pairs beautifully with a minimalist aesthetic.
Firstly, let's quickly talk about how to achieve a limewash effect. A lot of people think you need to invest in costly paint products to get the desired look which tend to be in limited colour options but there are nifty hacks for achieving the lime wash effect on a budget!
Step 1: its best to select a matt/chalkier textured paint rather than the durable matts or sheen finish paints. From our colour match products I would opt for a colour match Super Leytext or Vinyl Matt.
Step 2: is to paint your wall in your chosen colour to get a good base shade on the wall. This is applied as you usually would paint a wall without any need to amend the paint or your technique!
Step 3: to achieve the characteristic of limewash paint (which is a mottled matt appearance with variegated colours due to the traditional limewash paint penetrating the surface of your wall) you’re going to water down your paint. It needs to be quite a thin/watery consistency so it's going to be about ¾ water to ¼ paint (but don’t get too caught up on your measuring as it doesn’t need to be an exact science!). You will also benefit here from an additional shade to help create depth with your effect. Add a tester pot of a deeper shade to your basket too and use parts of this mixed into your watery substance in certain areas on the wall to achieve the look! The key to application is with a wider bristle brush. I recommend the masonry brushes which are available in 4 or 5” widths which you then will use to apply the paint in a criss crossing motion. One of our customers @scarlett_at_home did this very effect using the Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish wall paint in the colour Hessian and Steamed Milk mixed together.
Another options is the Rust-Oleum Chalkwash paint which is a fraction of the cost of designer alternatives at less than £50 for a 2.5L. Similarly to above you apply the first coat to your wall with a roller and the second coat in a criss crossing motion but there is no need to water down your paint and provides a fantastic finish creating a multi dimensional and textured looking wall.
@scarlett_at_home limewash effect walls on a budget and the chalkwash effect paint.
Now onto some recommendations for the most popular plaster paint colours for 2023.
Soft Stone from Dulux is a beautiful warm shade that is sandy neutral with a hint of soft pink. Craig and Rose’s Fresh Plaster is a cosy, wasming hue perfect for creating intimate spaces and imitating that sought after shade of pinky plaster. NTB31 is a colour match paint shade that mimics a newly plastered wall with soft dusty coraly pink tones.
If you’re looking for more of a sandy tone (more like once your plaster has fully dried!) I would recommend looking at warmer beige tones. Rust-Oleum Hessian is a warm toned neutral which feels beautiful, earthy and natural! Rabbit’s Ear by Voice of Colour is a soft, warm greige shade with an ashen undertone so it doesn't end up feeling too creamy and warm. Finally Dust Bunny from the Voice of Colour is a soft, warm dusty greige shade with an almond undertone.
It's been really great to take the time out and analyse what you guys are buying and looking for as we start to approach the midpoint of 2023. I could have added a few other trends into the mix above but I do find I end up talking an awful lot and these blogs get a little long so I capped it at 3 trends! If you want to view any others then take a look at our gorgeous colours of the year which are sectioned into key trends.
Whilst it's great to know about trends and have these available to help guide you with inspiration and moodboarding I will always caveat by saying that ultimately you must remember to do you! Don’t just select something for your home because it's a current trend.
You spend so much of your time there (especially post covid with many people working from home too!) that its important that your space works for you and how you use it. So take a look at this inspo, if it helps tick boxes and gets your creativity flowing for how you want your space to look then amazing news, you’ll love your space even if the trend changes. If these aren’t for you then always know that we’re here across live chats, whatsapp, social media, email and phone and we can chat colour options and choices until the cows come home…so get in touch!