Colour experts predict this is THE colour to decorate our homes in 2021

As Dulux unveils its Colour of the Year 2021...

As Dulux Colour of the Year 2021 is revealed it's time to put 2020 behind us and look to the future, for our decorating needs at least.

The colour chosen to decorate our future homes is Brave Ground, a warm neutral that feels both comforting and grounding. It’s not a 'wow' shade, but that’s the beauty of this neutral hue – it's the understated allure which we are being inspired to draw upon. Plus it pairs beautifully with so many different colour palettes, adapting to its surroundings.

More neutrals: Neutral living room ideas for a cool, calm and collected scheme

As Dulux explains, 'Brave Ground flexes in tone depending on the time of day and setting. Creating a subtly responsive environment that’s reflective of our growing desire to align how we live with our planet.'

Dulux Colour of the Year 2021 – Brave Ground

living room with sofa and table lamp

(Image credit: Brave Ground by Dulux)

‘The colours on our walls are the backdrop to how we live our life,' explains colour expert Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux UK. 'For many of us, lockdown has served to emphasise how important our home environment has become. It has been the place where we work, learn, relax. It can lift us up, nurture us, comfort us.’

'We continue to live through uncertain times' she goes on to say poignantly. 'In 2021, the warm and grounding tones of Brave Ground will allow us to find certainty in the strength from the very ground beneath our feet. Emboldening us to go forward and begin to live again and giving us the flex to adapt to the ever changing circumstances we face.'

living room with blue wall and sofa

(Image credit: Brave Ground by Dulux)

The safe neutral shade is from a completely different colour palette from 2020's soft green hue of Tranquil Dawn.

But it's no surprise that a warming neutral has been won this accolade for the year ahead. We're already starting to see a resurgence for beige muted shades to replace the popular cooler grey tones of recent years.

The trend predictions indicate we'll start to decorate with warming neutrals more and more over the coming months.

What determines the Colour of the Year?

The colour is chosen by a panel of experts, made up of colour designers, trend forecasters and architects from around the world. Now in its 18th year, the panel – chaired by Heleen van Gent from AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetic Centre – determine the chosen colour by looking at emerging global trends and insights.

This year how we live in our homes has been more relevant than ever before. As Heleen explains, ‘It’s been challenging this year to transform the key global trends into inspiring colour palettes. We’ve seen unprecedented global change, with all of us facing experiences that feel out of kilter with the modern world.’

room with wooden flooring and wooden table

(Image credit: Brave Ground (painted on far right wall) by Dulux)

‘At the same time, we’ve rediscovered more positive things. Solidarity in communities, strangers’ generosity, and the realisation that together we can do extraordinary things. We’re finding the courage to pick ourselves up and move forward.’

‘Our homes provide a sanctuary. A place to restore, repair and recalibrate ourselves on the road to recovery.’

More colour inspiration: Living room colour schemes brimming with character and style

How would you use this grounding shade in your home?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.