The 2022 finalists of the Dulux Color Awards were recently announced, offering a glimpse into the color palettes trending across Australasia this year.

Soft art deco living space shortlisted in Australia and New Zealand's 2022 Dulux Color Awards.

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“We were excited to see such an exciting and imaginative use of color in this year’s entries,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux Color and Communications Manager. “Architects and designers have really pushed the boundaries with color application to create inspiring, engaging — and often surprising — interior and exterior spaces.”

According to the Dulux website, the annual competition “is Australia and New Zealand’s premier showcase of inspirational color application in interior and exterior residential, public, and commercial spaces.”

Each year, the Australian paint company selects a panel of design professionals to judge entries from architects, designers, and students to “[recognize] their creative and innovative use of color” with Dulux shades. The contest spans six categories: interior residential, exterior residential, commercial and multi-residential exterior, public and hospitality commercial interiors, workplace and retail commercial interiors, and students.

Minimalist living space shortlisted in the 2022 Dulux Color Awards.

Company executives noted an inclination toward moodier home colors this year. “Deeper tones of blue and green were popular amongst residential interiors, showcasing diverse moods in areas and differentiating functional use in a space — from deep and dark, to bright and lively — applied to cabinetry, trims, and walls to create a peaceful, relaxing interior setting,” Lucena-Orr says.

The Suzanne Hunt-designed

That was especially evident in “The Pad” by architect Suzanne Hunt, an entry in which all the walls were shrouded in slate gray as a backdrop to a set of indoor-outdoor Zen gardens. Natural light filters through the palm leaves and ferns, further balancing the seriousness of the dark grays.

Sage kitchen cabinetry and green marble countertops in the

Navy blue staircase in the

Other darkly pensive residential entrants included the “Malvern House,” with its wall-to-wall sage kitchen cabinetry and green marble countertops and backsplash. “The Grid House” highlights its stairwell with a navy blue that perfectly matches the carpet-lined steps.

Lucena-Orr also found that “impactful tones and washed walls are also making a presence, bringing a sense of moody sophistication to interiors.”

Two different-colored rooms in

For example, the “Nelson Road House,” named one of the year’s most stylishly colorful Australian homes, uses a tranquil pastel pink in the primary bedroom but switches it up to a night-sky blue in the formal living room, allowing for a full array of ambience throughout. The designers from Bloom Interior Design in Melbourne said they “treated each room as its own space,” which gave them the freedom to “play with a range of different colors giving each space its own persona.”

The Studio Quarters-designed

The Fiona Lynch-designed

Neutral-themed residential dwellings also made the 2022 list. The “Bondi Terrace,” designed by Studio Quarters, is a flow of understated whites and beiges with only touches of contrast in each room. The mildness of the paint lets the original period details like the marble fireplace and crown molding take center stage. The designers explain that they used full, half, and quarter strengths of the same color in different rooms to create an “overall calmness that permeates the whole house.” The “Sorrento House,” submitted by the Fiona Lynch Interior Design firm, also drew on a cream color palette for a soothing, restful effect.

The Pac Studio-designed

On the other hand, some finalists went bold and bright to earn their spot. For instance, the designers at Pac Studio used sunny yellow to liven up the kitchen of “Heron House,” giving it extra punch by painting the surrounding walls an azure blue.

The Dulux website says that all colors in the Dulux range were considered, even black and white. The final selections will be based on both the use of color and the designers’ reason behind the choice. The winners will be announced in announced in just a few months, so be sure to check back with us for updates!