Decorating with colour is a fun and cost-effective way to update your home. Whether you’ve just moved in and need to revive a tired interior, you’re about to list your property on the market, or you’re feeling inspired by the change in seasons, a quick coat of paint will deliver a high-impact transformation and bring your home into the here-and-now.

Wattyl 2020 Firefly Grey Ember Space Odyssey

But with an almost dizzying array of colours on offer, choosing a colour scheme can be overwhelming. A good place to begin your colour journey is by looking at what’s trending, according to the paint manufacturers’ professional colour forecasters.

While colour trends are by no means prescriptive, Dulux colour and communications manager Andrea Lucena-Orr describes them as a ‘useful roadmap’. There’s enough variety in this year’s offerings to provide plenty of inspiration, and the colours are grouped into palettes, which takes the guesswork out of selecting a cohesive colour scheme.

This year, as we teeter on the cusp of a new decade, the colour forecasters have picked up on society’s collective focus on nature and wellbeing, and our desire to escape the pull of technology.

‘With so much noise in the media and devices on all day, every day … our focus is on how colour and the environment you live, work and play in need to reflect back positivity and a sense of wellbeing in all areas of our lives,’ explains Wendy Rennie, colour and concept manager at Haymes Paint.

Andrea Lucena-Orr suggests that emerging colours for 2020 will reflect our desire to pause and reconnect with what matters most to us. ‘Recycled materials, nature-inspired palettes, and furniture that blends old and new will come to the fore, signalling a more mindful approach to the curation of our living spaces.’

Overall, the trending colours for 2020 are subdued and restrained. ‘Neutrals are soft and sophisticated, with a gently faded feel that speaks of stillness and calm. Clay, with its warm, earthy appeal, is emerging as a key neutral,’ Andrea says. Bright shades do get a look-in, she adds, but ‘they appear in smaller doses – think feature walls and details – and are often used tonally as a backdrop for hero furniture pieces.’

Feeling inspired? Here’s a quick round-up of the 2020 colour collections from Haymes, Dulux and Wattyl, plus some ideas on how to work these gorgeous new shades into your interiors.

Going green

The Haymes ‘Equilibrium’ palette focuses on ‘the power of greens’, says Wendy Rennie, and plays on the concept of finding balance in life with a minimal footprint. This palette is headed up by Pastel Pine, a soft, contemporary mint green. Shades of icy blue, sage, olive and moss round out this fresh, yet muted colour collection. ‘It’s natural without being too heavy,’ Wendy says. These botanical hues lend themselves to an eclectic look when teamed with textured linens and raw-finished ceramics.

Dulux’s ‘Cultivate’ palette is described as ‘a serene layering of greens’ and includes soft olive, pistachio and a darker verdant forest green, with accents of plum and chalky blue adding an unexpected edge. ‘The colours and textures in Cultivate are easy to work with and have a warmth that really conveys the essence of “home”,’ says Andrea Lucena-Orr. ‘They look beautiful paired with raw, mid-tone timbers, natural stone and transparent coloured glass.’

Earthy beauty

Wattyl’s ‘Natural Connection’ palette is inspired by the ‘integration of wellness, nature and conscious design’, explains Wattyl colour and design expert Sarah Stephenson. It’s anchored by Red Ochre, a deep, earthy pink that will transform living spaces with its warm glow. Decorating with these exotic shades is fun and easy: Sarah suggests harmonising mid-tone shades together to create a calming, cosy effect. ‘The layering of sunbaked pinks, ochre and terracotta creates a warm and inviting appeal,’ she says.

Dulux’s take on this look is decadent and luxurious, with rich burgundy, eggplant and warm, earthy browns taking their place beside faded terracotta and soft coral. Andrea Lucena-Orr describes the ‘Indulge’ palette as ‘dramatic and exciting’. ‘It’s guaranteed to add wow factor to a master bedroom, dining room or living room. Pink, a key colour of the last few years, makes an appearance, but in a more neutral tone that’s closer to tan, alongside a warm, dusty rose.’

When decorating with these warm, earthy shades, dial up the texture and visual interest by accessorising with plain-dyed textiles and chunky natural weaves.

True blue

Create a cosy, soothing ambience using the ‘Comeback’ palette from Dulux, which comprises ocean-inspired hues of azure and blue-green, highlighted with warm tones of burgundy, rust and clay. ‘There’s a lightness and fluidity to the ocean tones in this palette that speak of creativity and adventure, while the warm, earthy shades add cosiness,’ says Andrea.

Haymes has also curated a blue-themed palette for 2020 called ‘Positive Light’, which Wendy Rennie says ‘interprets the innate connections we have with our oceans and water sources’. The palette showcases varied intensities of blue to reflect both ‘beauty and fragility’. Calming and inspiring, blue is a great colour for the bedroom and home office.

Bright on

Saturated, high-impact yellow, blue and red are modulated with deep grey and a pared-down orange in Wattyl’s youthful, energetic ‘Bright Future’ colour palette. The inspiration here is ‘curating reality to look perfect in the digital world’, says Sarah Stephenson. These colours will deliver an upbeat, charismatic aesthetic. Unsure how to work them into your interiors? ‘For a playful feel, use a backdrop of fresh white with bright accents,’ Sarah suggests. Add pops of colour with statement furniture and geometric, sculptural accessories.

Dulux is also presenting a micro-collection of brights for 2020, which are designed to be mixed and matched with any of the other 2020 colour palettes so you can create a truly individual look. The ‘Highlights’ palette includes a 70s-inspired fuchsia, primary blue, orange-red and acid yellow. ‘Use them however you like – on a wall, front door or in a nook – to really make the space your own,’ Andrea Lucena-Orr says. ‘It’s those little touches of the unexpected that give your home personality.’