Heart of the matter
Gabrielle Fagan dips into the latest paint shade set to star in homes and how to use it to its very best effect
Colour is a powerful mood enhancer. If you’re looking for a feeling of calm, warmth and reassurance (that’s all of us, right?) you could consider Heart Wood, the Dulux Colour of the Year for 2018.
The paint experts claim this smoky, gentle neutral with a tinge of purple heather can not only bring a sense of comfort, harmony and balance, but is so versatile it blends beautifully with other fashionable palettes, from inky blues and purples through to chocolate and pinks.
If it does, indeed, do what it says on the tin, it could just be an easy way to paint your way to a peaceful paradise ... CREATE LIGHT “Heart Wood can be described as a warm neutral — a colour inspired by natural materials, which contain hints of pink, gold or yellow,” explains Marianne Shillingford, creative director, Dulux.
“It can appear subtly different in changing light conditions, with notes of sophisticated ‘millennial pink’ through to a warm grey coming to the forefront. The shade has a subtle hint of heather, which creates a cosy, relaxed and welcoming look. It works perfectly with natural materials, woods and leather, and there’s a supporting palette of seven colours, from stunning Blackberry Bush to delicate Blossom Tree.” TIP: “Heart Wood can be used on all walls, or used as a band of colour for the lower part of a wall, as a feature,” says Shillingford. Alternatively, bring the shade into an existing scheme by using it to paint architectural features and furniture, and enhance the look with accessories. MAKE IT MELLOW AND MOODY “If you’re looking to give a bit of a kick to this laidback hue, pair with a flash of hot pink or a rich, deep navy,” says Nadia McCowan Hill, resident style advisor, Wayfair. “This will take the colour from grown-up to glamorous, especially if you add accents and accessories in on-trend gold or copper, and use tactile fabrics like velvet and linen for a luxurious touch.
“This neutral, which sits somewhere between smoky taupe and soft mink, can conjure a serene space that’s easy on the eye and instantly relaxing — perfect for a bedroom.”
TIP: “Lovers of more natural styling may prefer to go ‘au naturel’ and pair the shade with weathered wood furniture, rattan and sea grass touches, as well as brushed cotton and wool fabrics,” advises Nadia.
LIGHT STUFF: Wall (top) Pink Parchment; wall line divide: Sapphire Springs 1; wall (lower section) Heart Wood, Paint Mixing Flat Matt, 2.5 litres, Dulux
Wall painted in: Blossom Tree; top row left: Blackberry Bush; right: Pine Cone; second row left: Rose Bark; right Heart Wood; Third row left: Blackberry Bush; right: Fallen Burr; Bottom row: Pink Parchment, Dulux; Sofa, (left) reduced from £2,288 to £2,059, Sofas & Stuff
Chair, in Speckle Blush, £1,274; Footstool in Pixel Blush, £528, Parker Knoll
Lantern, £29, Barker & Stonehouse; throw, £69, Tolly McRae; table, £141, Amara; Louvred shutters, can be painted in a Heart Wood shade on request, from £299 per square metre, Shutterly Fabulous
Rug, £92.99, reduced from £99.99, Wayfair; Tealight Holder, £12, Brissi; Table Lamp, reduced to £252 from £277, Alexander & Pearl