Brave Ground, Dulux Colour of the Year 2021

I generally like to avoid being overly led by trends. My rebellious side kicks against being told what to like, and so, over the past few years, I haven’t given much thought to Dulux’s ‘Colour of the Year’ announcement. However, with a lot fewer distractions this year, I admit that I had a certain sense of anticipation as I tapped through the Instagram stories to the big reveal.

And my initial reaction? ‘Huh… but that’s barely even a colour’. Yep, it’s certainly not one for colour lovers – and that is an identity I usually veer towards.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2021, Brave Ground
Dulux Colour of the Year 2021, Brave Ground, image via Dulux

However, as it tends to go with these things, it was only a couple of hours before my mind had wandered off to mentally repaint the walls of my flat; imagining a minimalistic life cocooned in Brave Ground. I realise I’m in danger of sounding like I’ve simply gobbled up the press release, but I think they’ve pitched this one pretty close to perfect.

There’s a reason why people were drawn to baking sourdough and growing tomatoes during lockdown. Whether we like it or not, a lot of us have been forced to slow our pace of life. This calming shade seems a complementary backdrop for idealistic slow living rituals, like brewing loose leaf tea, making percolator coffee and baking banana bread. It was embracing small joys like this that helped me cope with lockdown.

Images from left to right, via The Future Kept,, Kraut Kopf,

Robbed of our usual routines, we’ve had to strip our lives back to basics. What better visual metaphor than the jumbles of unwanted items piled outside every tenth house at the peak of the pandemic. Now we’re rebuilding, carefully.

More aware than ever of our human footprint and the fine balance between us and the natural world, many of us want to make more considered, sustainable choices. Unsurprisingly, this earthy hue embraces nature. In my eyes, it goes hand in hand with unrefined, natural materials and textures, like washed linen and unvarnished wood, and a colour palette of natural dyes.

We’re looking for comfort, from our elasticated waistbands as well as our homes. Now is the time for soft, unfussy furniture to dive onto, get cosy and weather the storm. Undemanding and warm, Brave Ground matches the mood.

living room with natural materials
Image via Ingredients LDN
bathroom with wooden details
Image by Nicole Mason via Hunker
bedlinen in earthy tones
Image via Bed Threads

I’m sure there’s a tribe who will reject this ‘colour of the year’ in favour of brightening up a bleak picture with liberal use of vibrant colour. I don’t think the two approaches are necessarily at odds, though. I think Brave Ground has the potential take the edge off, or dare I say, ‘ground’ brighter colours, which is probably a welcome feeling for a lot of us right now.

Of course, it’s quite possible that a combination of world events and a lot of extra pondering time have led me to rave undeservedly about what amounts to a pretty basic neutral… Am I projecting a significance that’s not there? What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Brave Ground, Dulux Colour of the Year 2021”

  1. Good piece, makes me want to get started!
    Good colour too; a new warm, rich neutral, equally good with earthy greens, a balance for the ubiquitous greys, a foil for deep, vibrant pinks, or simply standing alone with fresh white accents. Definitely my kind of colour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great blog on Brave Ground. Originally, I dismissed the hype surrounding the launch of this new colour trend as I’m naturally drawn to vibrant colours but I do feel a pull towards nature at the moment … no doubt it’s in response to all the craziness around us. It feels ‘real and grounded’. Thank you 🙌


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