It’s time to self soothe. Calming neutral tones are pervasive in furniture and interior design palettes right now, as forecast at AIFF and Decor + Design last year by star Futurist Victoria Redshaw, of UK Trend Forecasting agency Scarlet Opus.

In a world run by technology and the not-so-merry-go-round of the news cycle, many of us are feeling a need to reconnect to the earth.

Redshaw calls it the “Earthbound” trend. It reflects a need to hark back to the fundamental qualities of being human. Ancient cultures, rustic minimalism and mysticism are interweaved with a colour palette of neutrals, ochres and terracotta – with a touch of metallic to add some zing. We’re also seeing a new shade of cream; a warm white that is often discreetly textured.

Furniture shapes are curved and sculptural, and textile patterns respectfully incorporate the traditional work of indigenous peoples. Aversion to technology and the mass produced is also seen in the new emphasis on crafts.

Image: Scarlet Opus

After a maelstrom of a year, neutral tones calm and smooth and put us all in a better light. The pink undertones of a hue like taupe flatter all skin tones and throw matte finishes into beautifully stark relief. British paint powerhouse Farrow & Ball’s colour ‘Jitney’ is a brown-based neutral which is perfect for bedrooms.

Farrow & Ball’s “Jitney” Paint

In addition, the Dulux 2021 Colour of the Year – Brave Ground – is a perfect reflection of the Earthbound trend.

‘Brave Ground’ – Dulux’s 2021 Paint Colour of the Year

Australia’s natural colour palette and our unique light responds perfectly to the current ochres and sophisticated neutrals such as Brave Ground.

Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux’s highly respected Colour and Communications Manager, will be speaking at Decor + Design & AIFF 2021 in Melbourne on the ‘Science of Australian Colour’, as part of the Seminar Series.

Plus don’t miss Victoria Redshaw’s next Major Design Trends Forecast, which will be our Virtual International Keynote this year. It will be available to download from 1st July 2021 – watch it before attending the show from 15 – 18 July at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Australian design personality James Treble will be interpreting the trends live at the event with his “Practical Design Trends Tours” around the exhibition.

Entry to the exhibition is free for trade visitors, seminar and tours are available from $55. 

Register now to attend – the exhibition is free but limited to design and furniture trade visitors.