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Colour Lookbook: Iconic Mid-Century Interior Design - Exploring The Colour Schemes of the Era, with Dulux

Mid century design was a buoyant, vibrant and exciting scene, as the world emerged from the chaos of World War Two and began to seek comfort and joy in colour.

Trends came and went across the whole colour palette, from the gentle pastel pinks of the 1940s, to the bright marine blues of the 1950s - soothing the nation’s spirit before seeking something bolder.

Continue on for a glimpse into 1940s and 1950s décor, and also discover the trends seeing a re-emergence in contemporary homes today.


Powder pink - 1940s

In the 1940s, people sought comfort in soft, sugary shades like salmon and shell pink. Muddier tones made people think of wartime, and so pink offered a genuinely pretty, uplifting alternative.

For today’s homeowner, adding a gentle splash of pink can make a huge difference to the atmosphere of any room. We recommend shades such as Pressed Petal, Dusted Fondant, and Blush Pink. At once soothing and enervating, pink has undeniably powerful feminine energy, and is enjoying something of a renaissance.

Read our brief guide for six ways to use pink as a powerful statement.

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True blue beauty - 1950s

By the 1950s, people were eager for something new. Something bold, something bright, and something heavily inspired by the natural world. Legendary designer Yves Klein famously seized upon blue as his colour of choice. And Britain went marine crazy.

Cobalt blue and beautiful turquoise blue were reminiscent of the sea and sky, and could be found in homes everywhere. As for the hugely popular duck egg blue, the clue’s in the name...

Today, we recommend modern colours such as Sapphire Salute, Denim Drift and Nordic Sky - giving a fresh twist on those undeniably mid-century blues.

If you’re looking for more blue inspiration, visit our hub


Britain discovers the beauty of DIY

As interior design became more visible and affordable, and austerity became a thing of the past, British people began to pick up their own paintbrushes and start ‘doing it themselves’. With a little help from Dulux, of course.

In 1953, we helped spark this DIY revolution, launching our bold new-formulation paints for homeowners, as well as inspirational decorating tools and guides. We’re proud to say that we quickly became the best-selling paint brand in the UK. And nearly 70 years later, we’re still going strong.

If you feel like a spot of DIY - or perhaps are feeling inspired by all this gorgeous mid-century design - be sure to read our article on finding the right era of inspiration for your home

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A long-standing tapestry of colour

If you’ve enjoyed this insight into the mid-century décor of the 1940s and 50s, you’ll love our new Anniversary Book. Our limited-edition, 200-page history covers nine decades of vibrant colour and changing trends, as well as offering up a treasure trove of inspiration for contemporary home owners.

The book is designed to look fabulous on every copy table, and also makes a perfect gift for design lovers.

Order your copy of the Anniversary Book, only £45.

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