Dulux Visualiser

Instantly visualise this colour on your walls

Discover Brave Ground and how to use light to your advantage

Colour consultant Jim Biddulph joins us this week to discuss Dulux' Brave Ground, painting over dark colours, and why room orientation matters.

Episode 4: Gather round, it’s story time

Let's colour podcast - episode 4

Pop the kettle on and get comfy, our fourth instalment of Let’s Colour is out now and it’s our biggest yet! Here’s why…

In between recording, we launched the Dulux Colour of the Year 2021. This is not only a special event in our diaries, it’s the shade we’ll be talking about in this episode. On top of that, we recently announced this year’s Colour in Design Award winners. Zoe Noakes with Spectral Magic and Naomi Cairns with The Affinity.

Find out more about their wonderfully positive pieces and how they’re using colour to make life a little better.

Steph recently returned from her rainy break in Devon, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. She came across trends that you should be implementing in your home.

  • Cottagecore – embracing and reconnecting with a simpler, slower way of life
  • Japandi – a hybrid of Japanese aesthetic and Zen living with Scandinavian interior styling
  • Biophilic Design – bringing the outside in and connecting with nature in your home. Hint: house plants everywhere! We talk about this in episode 2.

Whether you’re already a listener or you’ve unexpectedly stumbled upon us (we’re glad you have!), here’s what we cover in episode 4.

In our Colour Lookbook, we get up close with the Dulux Colour of the Year. Colour consultant, Jim Biddulph, joins us for a chat and Dr Dulux (Marianne) explains how you can use light to your advantage.

All episodes are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify – don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!

Colour Lookbook: The Brave Ground Palette


For anyone who’s passionate about colour and home decorating, the launch of the Dulux Colour of the Year is like Christmas come early! So, you can imagine how giddy we were to talk to you about the Brave Ground palette.

How does the Dulux Colour of the Year come about?

The process takes 18 months in total, from initial research to the launch. It all comes together in a publication called Colour Futures, think of it as our Bible.

The trend experts don’t just pick a colour at random, there’s always a story behind it. They take a human focused approach and look at what’s happening to people, how we’re living and what we value at this moment. From there, the narrative behind the colour, and its four trend palettes, is born.

What’s the story behind the Brave Ground palette?

All our Dulux Colour of the Year choices are a sign of the times, Tranquil Dawn, Spiced Honey, just to name a few. Brave Ground is all about finding the courage to embrace change and to make fearless decisions. And this couldn’t be more relevant for what’s happening in the world right now – not that we could’ve predicted all this!

We’re spending more time in our homes than ever. It’s where we live, work, rest and recharge. So, we need them to work harder for us. That’s why paint has become more than just paint.

Why did we choose Brave Ground?

It’s the Mother Earth of colours. Some may think that brown is dull or boring, but brown is beautiful. Brave Ground is a grounding and supporting colour. It’s not in your face, it gives you a big hug. It’s a bedrock for decorating.

What are its four complementary palettes?

With the Dulux Colour of the Year comes four beautiful colour palettes. Each tell a different story and pairs perfectly with Brave Ground.

Read on to explore all four palettes and how they can transform your home.

#1 Expressive colours

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Earth Palette 

  • Represents the land, sea and sky
  • Connects you with the outdoors in a fundamental way
  • A selection of blues and greens, which complement Brave Ground’s earthy, clay colour
  • Includes both dark and light tones to create different atmospheres in your home

Learn how to combine Brave Ground with earthy tones.

Expressive Palette

  • Helps you create a space that reflects your individuality and captures your spirit in your home
  • An extraordinary collection of reds and pinks, which Brave Ground helps to balance out

Learn how to combine Brave Ground with expressive tones.

Trust Palette

  • The most popular neutrals from all over the world
  • Tonal layers of stony neutrals, browns and greys
  • Brave Ground is an equal player in this palette

Learn how to combine Brave Ground with trust colours.

Timeless Palette 

  • A combination of golds and ochres
  • Brave Ground cools this palette down
  • These colours have a contained energy and warmth within them
  • When paired together, it’s like sunshine and land!

Learn how to use Brave Ground with the timeless palette.

Where should you use Brave Ground in your home?


The Dulux Colour of the Year is perfect for creating a quiet retreat in a busy home. Bedrooms and office spaces are a great example, as they are where you go to be with your own thoughts or decompress. Brave Ground also works well in a dining space, where you can really get the most of the Timeless or Expressive palettes.

It's also important to consider the senses when choosing a colour and how you want the room to feel. We talk more about this in episode 3.  

Special Guest: Jim Buddulph


In episode 4, we catch up with and get colour know how from colour consultant, Jim Buddulph.

Who is Jim Buddulph?

Jim is a Material, Colour & Interior Consultant and an all-round inspirational, courageous human being. He is the living, breathing embodiment of Brave Ground. Jim was also on the global trends forecasting panel for 2021 and 2022.

What’s your speciality?

“Materials are at the forefront of what I do and think about, but I also have many years of experience teaching different creative courses around design.”

What’s the selection process for Colour of the Year like?

“Usually the panel meets at the AkzoNobel Centre in Amsterdam. Over three days, we listen to presentations from each panel member, from all corners of the globe. It’s really insightful to hear different perspectives and experiences. And from this, we try to fathom stories, narratives and come up with the Dulux Colour of the Year. It’s fascinating to be a part of!”

Can you tell us a bit about what you went through last year?

“In January I found out I had a rare form of cancer. And by the end of August, the treatment had seemingly worked. Then weeks later, I was presenting in Holland and I knew I had to talk about some of it because it dominated so much of my year.”

What are you doing now? What’s making you happy?

“This year and last year shaped my thinking in a new way. I have a new interest and passion for being in nature, which is a big theme for the Colour Futures 2021. I’ve even got into gardening and added garden design to my training.”

“I’ve also had more control over my working and personal life, you realise that work isn’t the be all and end all.”

Dr Dulux: choosing colours for north facing rooms


This is where our very own Dr Dulux (Marianne) prescribes the perfect remedy for your DIY dilemmas.

Vicky in Croydon wants to know… which colours are best for my very sunny and bright kitchen?

Firstly, a bright, sunny kitchen will take any colours! But if you want to cool down the room, use blue and green palettes so the room isn’t overpowering.

Rich blues, like Sapphire Salute, are perfect for smaller details including a feature wall, splashback or even chairs and table legs. Greens also take the heat out of a room and stimulate our appetite. Use a colour like Fresh Pine on a feature wall or pieces of furniture paired with Village Maze on the remaining walls.

As you’d suspect, if your room doesn’t get much light or is north facing, we suggest using warm colours like yellows and pinks.

Follow this link to read more about the best shades for north, south, east or west facing rooms.

Dr Dulux: painting over dark colours


James in York wants to know… how to paint over an already dark painted wall.

The first thing to note when painting over dark colours is that you’re probably going to have to do quite a few coats. You will need to get rid of the colour as much as you can with white. Then put your chosen colour on top. This is also important, so that you don’t waste lots of expensive paint!

Do you have a question for Dr Dulux? Submit yours now.

Colour Confessions


Last episode we added a new section to our podcast. We told you we want to create a safe space for you to share your own colour confessions and decorating mishaps. There is no shame in sharing, we feel your pain and a secret shared with us will never leave this podcast.

That’s why we can’t reveal anything here, you’ll just have to listen. Or you can send us your confessions… your secret is safe with us!



We couldn’t finish this episode without a feel good colour story about the Dulux Colour of Year. While the launch is exciting, it’s a little nerve-racking too. After a few sleepless nights, we finally announced Brave Ground and, well, the response was fantastic! We’ve had the best response we’ve ever, ever, ever had to a Dulux Colour of Year.

Brave Ground is a feel good colour. And if it helps make people happy as it does us, then we couldn’t be prouder!

Close-up pictures of Marianne Shillingford and Steph King

With that said, we draw episode 4 to a close. We had a brilliant time recording and hope you enjoy listening to it – or reading these show notes!

You can listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

And if you do have a spare few moments, please leave a review, we’d love to know what you think.

Let’s Colour!

Episode 5 - Blue colour palette

Colours with magical powers

There’s something magic about colour. Don’t you think? They have the power to make us feel better both in our homes and our bodies. In this episode, we explore the blue colour palette and how soothing colours can help relieve migraines. We also have tips on painting new plaster and chat about colours that reflect light.

Like the sound of that? Discover more episodes on your favourite platform

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