Spice up your Life

Courtesy of Dulux

It’s always an interesting day when one of the major paint brands announces their new “Colour of the Year” – mostly not for the colour itself but for the reactions it garners.  Pantone’s 2018 colour Ultra Violet for example, caused a massive stir last year as a bold hue that most would struggle to incorporate heavily in their interior palette.

I instantly hated it but was ready to be proved wrong and find myself living in a Quality Street themed house before the year was out.  Needless to say I am yet to buy or specify a single purple item, paint colour or accessory.  All of which starts to make you a bit sceptical that the whole thing is really just an elaborate PR exercise to get us all talking by coming up with the most loathsome shade imaginable.

So when Dulux announced their 2019 Colour of the Year this week I was more than ready to wince in response.  And then came Spiced Honey.  Not a dramatic hue sent to challenge your preconceptions but a “warm neutral” that almost felt underwhelming.  In fact, when I did an Instagram poll the overwhelming response was “meh”.

Courtesy of Dulux

Naturally the press images are beautifully styled.  This set up in which the colour takes central stage on the walls beautifully matches the shade with white and bleached out neutrals whilst providing a hint of a complementary pink in the room beyond.

But it turns out that with a Colour of the Year people of the year want to be challenged and inspired and so many seemed to feel that Spiced Honey missed the mark.

For me, however, Spiced Honey really strikes a chord amid a host of interior trends filling our houses today.

This last couple of years, for example, we have been swamped with images of beautiful jewel-toned velvet sofas to replace our boring leather and beige.  Teal, deep green and inky blue have become staples in the most stylish homes around the world and I’m still coveting one to replace our battered old sofas at some stage.

But as bolder upholstery and accessories become the norm it is important to have contemporary neutrals as the base with which to style and this is where adaptable Spiced Honey comes into its own.  Not yet another shade of white but something warmer, which will pair so well with such a wide variety of colours that we already have in our homes.

Courtesy of Dulux

As well as toning well with our furniture and accessories, Dulux have demonstrated how well the colour works with other hues to give our walls a modern makeover.  Think not of a whole room Spiced Honey makeover but of how well it works with other contemporary tones such as pink and indigo to create a more complex palette that will elevate any room.

Most of all, however, I love the 70s vibe of this tone which works brilliantly in my own house but also with the general retro vibe that has been so prevalent in interiors in recent months and years.  I love the idea of the combination of caramel with natural fibres like bamboo and cane, with shaggy rugs and carpets, with embroidery and macramé, teamed with terracotta and notes of brass.

So yes, it’s true that Spiced Honey might not be the new tone for your feature wall but in an era when we are once again embracing so many colours and styles in our homes I think a contemporary neutral may be just what we are looking for.