Sunday 15 September 2019

How to make it work

So farewell then, greys and blues. The colour of the year for 2019 has been unveiled. Prepare yourself for Spiced Honey, writes Jo Linehan

Spiced Honey, in all its glory, courtesy of Dulux
Spiced Honey, in all its glory, courtesy of Dulux

For the last 16 years, in an institute called the Global Aesthetic Centre in the Netherlands, a selection of top designers, architects, colour creatives and trend experts from all over the world have gathered to share ideas and observations. They look at everything from consumer trends to social and cultural movements. After much deliberation, they decide on a universal mood and spirit, which is then translated into a corresponding colour.

In 2017, when consumers felt a need for balance and calm, the colour of the year was dominated by cooler shades of blue and grey. For 2018, a great sense of uncertainty in the political sphere was translated into warm, comforting colours that would provide a feeling of solace and refuge.

And so, to 2019. Based on the institute's deliberations, Dulux has announced their new colour of the year, a hue that, apparently, reflects our collective sense of optimism and purpose.

We want to be the change in the world - politically and environmentally - and we are looking to do good and feel good in our homes while doing so. Say hello, then, to Spiced Honey, a warm, mustard-like tone that can be calming and nourishing or more stimulating and energising, depending on the light and colours surrounding it.

Ceramic bottle, €15: Pastels paired with the colour of the year, help create a calming environment; marksandspencer.ie
Ceramic bottle, €15: Pastels paired with the colour of the year, help create a calming environment; marksandspencer.ie
Ercol nest of tables, €929: Black is, surprisingly, one of the best contrasting colours; Arnotts.ie.

This all sounds well and good and mildly inspiring, but what does a colour of the year actually mean for us? Right now, it's a preview of the colours and complementary palettes we can to see trickle down to the high street next year. If you dig the new hue, then now's an opportune time to get ahead of the curve and figure out how best to interpret and incorporate it into your living spaces.

The magic of this colour is in its versatility. Lying somewhere between mustard, beige and orange, it's as acceptable on a bathroom wall as it would be in a kitchen, living room or hallway. It's all about the colours you pair it with Spiced Honey; if you want a relaxed space, complement it with dusky pink and white. Looking for an energetic setting? Match it with turquoise or reds.

Smithfield-based textile designer Jennifer Slattery wasn't an instant fan of the colour, but it's beginning to grow on her, "At first glance, I thought it was boring, but then I saw how it can act as a neutral to allow the most unusual colour combinations thrive. This colour is crying out for texture - linen cushions, wool throws and velvet with graphic detail and textured embroidery. Personally, I would go for an unlikely collection of accent colours like acid yellow, powder blue, royal blue, and white, to create an energising space. Spiced Honey, to me, gives life to an eclectic mix."

"As well as the draw of the beautiful name - Spiced Honey - the tone in this colour has such depth and warmth that it'll work with many different types of wood," says Carol-Ann Leyden, owner of furniture Mecca CA Design. "Pair it with natural elements - ash, oak, and offset it with walnut. It's not often a wall colour works equally well with both white and black furniture. It's a real all-rounder for all tastes and styles."

If versatility, neutrality and brownie points for being bang-on-trend are what you're hankering for this January, you've found your hue. If not, there's always next year.

Fern living room divider, €1,174: Pinks of any shade add a soothing energy to the colour; nest.co.uk
Fern living room divider, €1,174: Pinks of any shade add a soothing energy to the colour; nest.co.uk
Alva Rose cushion, €27.99: Soft shades calm the look; michaelmurphy.ie.
‘50s style chair, €850: “This Hans Wegner-style armchair will look immense next to a Spiced Honey wall,” says Carol-Anne Leyden; cadesign.ie
‘50s style chair, €850: “This Hans Wegner-style armchair will look immense next to a Spiced Honey wall,” says Carol-Anne Leyden; cadesign.ie
Mended tweed blanket, €471: Take Jennifer Slattery’s advice and add texture with this throw; mournetextiles.com

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