De­sign dis­cov­er­ies

Fresh finds to covet

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Take a painterly pal­ette to in­te­rior de­sign choices and claim the mas­ter­stroke as your own ge­nius.

It’s pos­si­ble that the an­nual Milan De­sign Week has the sin­gle-big­gest ef­fect on home fur­nish­ing around the world over the fol­low­ing year. Designers pro­duc­ing fur­ni­ture, light­ing, ce­ram­ics and tex­tiles gather to show their wares and seek in­spi­ra­tion: it’s a huge event that takes over the city. Each year, Du­lux sends a team of colour ex­perts to Milan. The team scours the city, seek­ing out an un­known ce­ram­ics maker us­ing the dis­carded fil­ings of a lock­smith, for in­stance, or the ephemeral tex­tile masks of Kvadrat for GamFratesi. They mea­sure, record, weigh and ar­gue. It’s beau­ti­ful, yes, but is it a trend? Where is the world’s col­lec­tive taste head­ing? And, most im­por­tantly: how will this af­fect New Zealand homes in the years to come? They then re­turn to Aus­trala­sia to de­velop and tease out these ob­ser­va­tions – hun­dreds of them, recorded on phones and in note­books – into four key themes that drive the colours of the year ahead. It’s a unique way of work­ing, rooted in thor­ough re­search; plus, New Zealand con­sumers get ac­cess to the re­sult­ing pal­ettes just months after the event. No longer do we wait a year or two for the cy­cle to reach our shores. This year, the team noticed raw tex­tures and soft neu­trals, jux­ta­posed with rich, lux­u­ri­ous greens and play­ful tropical brights. It’s part of a big­ger, con­tem­pla­tive trend as peo­ple seek bal­ance, connection and com­mu­nity in their lives. The colours are rich and moody, rang­ing from lux­u­ri­ous to eth­nic in in­flu­ence; they are hon­est and de­light­ful to live with. “As we let go of the idea of per­fec­tion in both our homes and other as­pects of our lives,” says Dav­ina Harper, Du­lux colour ex­pert, “we are instead seek­ing to cre­ate bal­anced, har­mo­nious in­te­ri­ors that stim­u­late the senses while si­mul­ta­ne­ously al­low­ing us to re­lax and re­treat.” The re­sult? Bal­ance, a se­ries of four pal­ettes rooted in a gen­er­ous, en­velop­ing idea of home.

Essential

The Essential pal­ette fol­lows a Nordic phi­los­o­phy: no longer is con­sumerism the sta­tus sym­bol it once was. Instead we’re driven to own only the things we need. It’s soft, calm and nur­tur­ing, run­ning from warm shades of leather – Du­lux ‘Clay Court’ and ‘Gnu Tan’ – through to putty and cooler grey-greens, such as ‘Span­ish Olive’. There are other high­lights too – the dusky pink of ‘Morn­ing­ton Half’, or the blues of ‘Lit­tle Shoal Bay’ and ‘Adele Is­land’. It’s a pal­ette to both calm and re­ju­ve­nate the senses.

Kin­ship

So­cial and po­lit­i­cal changes are afoot: un­cer­tainty and un­rest fill our news feeds. Not sur­pris­ingly, we seek trusted peo­ple in our close cir­cle for truth and trans­parency. Folk­lore and tra­di­tions are re­vived: in this pal­ette, traditional cul­tural her­itage is re­newed in a con­tem­po­rary way – tas­sels, pat­terns, fring­ing, em­broi­dery and carv­ing. There are the earthy, rich hues of Du­lux ‘Motueka’, ‘Very Ter­ra­cotta’ and ‘Fortrose’, mixed with cosy neu­trals, such as ‘Glinks Gully’ and ‘Maiko’. This rich pal­ette re­minds us that the big­gest lux­u­ries in life are of­ten the most sim­ple.

Es­capade

As well as stay­ing close to home, we’re all global ci­ti­zens. Es­capade cel­e­brates lux­ury-hotel hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ences and the glam­our of tropical des­ti­na­tions – it’s play­ful and colour­ful, with a de­ter­minedly 1980s feel in the sat­u­rated orange of Du­lux ‘Tan­ger­ine Flake’, the teal of ‘Bondi’, along with the crisp, minty ac­cents of ‘Waitiki Land­ing’, and run­ning through to deeper shades of teal in ‘Manu Bay’ and blue with ‘Hurst­mere Road’. And no Trop­i­cana theme would be com­plete with­out coral – or ‘Cu­ti­cle Pink’.

Re­flect

Re­flect en­cap­su­lates our ob­ses­sion with moody, tex­tu­ral lux­ury by combining 1970s glam­our and – yes – 1990s swag­ger, plus a touch of 1930s el­e­gance, to cre­ate a range of jewel-like tones that are op­u­lent yet re­fined. The pal­ette is rich and pure: fo­cus­ing on greens (‘For­bid­den For­est’) and warm shades, from the pink of ‘Smoky Quartz’ to the greyed-off pur­ple of ‘Ron­go­tai’, show­ing that pur­ple’s day has come again. Av­o­cado, as seen with ‘Ama­zon Queen’, mean­while, makes a wel­come high­light.

Above left and right ‘Re­flect’ cap­tures our ob­ses­sion with moody, rich lux­ury, look­ing to the 1970s for glam­our and the 1930s for el­e­gance. Pur­ple and grey-lilacs, mean­while, make an ap­pear­ance in this so­phis­ti­cated pal­ette.

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