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Colour Lookbook: Modern Interior Design Trends from the Power of Pink to the Growth of Grey

Have modern interior design trends changed in the 21st century? What were the leading colour schemes in the 00s and 10s?

To find out, writer and TV presenter Michelle Ogundehin takes us back to the 00s to explain the millennial pink power trend, while writer and curator Priya Khanchandani discusses the growth of neutral grey colour schemes using anthracite grey and Tranquil Dawn in the 10s.

The power of pink in the 00s 

Interior designers were in the pink as the new century began. Tones such as sweet pink were adopted as the new neutral by men and women. That's because, explains Michelle Ogundehin, "Pink can be the most docile or dominant of colours and it's this contradictory nature that keeps us coming back for more."

Ogundehin charts the rise of pink to its soothing nature in hectic times – such as the turn-of-the-century panic about the Y2K bug. "When it feels like the world might yet spin out of control, pink comes to the fore. After all, as the singer Miley Cyrus once commented, 'Pink isn't just a colour, it's an attitude!'"

To add the power of pink to your home, we recommend Pressed Petal, Raspberry Diva, and Pretty Pink, plus here's our guide to six ways to use pink.

Dulux anniversary 90th anniversary bright pinks


Inspired by the rise of online dating in the 00s, we introduced a fun and frisky Colour Chemistry campaign that allowed customer to discover their perfect colour scheme partner.

Using the language of dating websites, the paints were given playful names and 'bios' such as Rock Candy, who was a bold, attention seeker needing a relationship with a loyal partner, and Midnight Cruise, a deep, calm character who wanted a companion to liven things up.   

Dulux anniversary 90th anniversary 00s colour guide

Shades of grey in the 10s 

The contrast between the 00s and 10s couldn't be starker as the soft and flamboyant pinks gave way to moody charcoal greys. Long seen as a boring colour, grey is anything but, according to Priya Khanchandani: "We shouldn't underestimate the power or the beauty of this seemingly neutral shade of the decade."   

Although it's not a colour that's naturally beloved, Khanchandani says the "greynaissance" of grey in the 10s is because it is "considered a colour of neutrality, perfect for setting off the stronger colours of objects and furnishings" and "more edgy than black."

If you're looking for an anthracite grey to set off your modern home décor, we recommend Urban Obsession or a charcoal grey such as Natural Slate. For further inspiration, see our guides to grey living room ideas and how to find the right grey.

Dulux anniversary 90th anniversary grey bedroom

Dulux Colour of the Year 

The 10s also saw the introduction of our Colour of the Year initiative which introduced DIY enthusiasts to never-before-seen ways to bring walls to life. Each year, our colour experts work with design experts and influencers from across the globe to create a new colour that captures the moment. 

The Colour of the Year for 2021 is Brave Ground™, a warm and versatile natural neutral shade that lets other colours shine. Find out more here.

Dulux anniversary 90th anniversary colour of the year brave ground

A colourful tour of decorating history  

In this article, we've been discussing modern trends but if you prefer to get home décor inspiration from the past, don't miss our limited-edition Anniversary Book.

Starting in the 1930s, the 200-page coffee table book delves into the Dulux archives to reveal the innovative colours that defined the decades. If you've got a painting project on the horizon, it's an invaluable resource.    

Order the Anniversary Book today for just £45.

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