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Use natural colors to create a supportive and enriching space for working

Transform offices with Dulux Professional Colour of the Year 2023

Today, we are more conscious than ever about looking after our mental health[1] , so we need a working environment that feels supportive and uplifting. Feeling connected with nature has been shown to help employees feel less stressed and to boost wellbeing[2] , and using color schemes that remind people of the natural world could enhance this connection.

Inspired by the colors of forests and woodlands, the natural greens, greys and lilacs in the Lush palette bring a fresh, familiar feel. Calming and soothing, they can act as a natural counterpoint to a sterile, tech-heavy environment.

The Raw palette also takes inspiration from nature, with tones echoing the shades of raw materials and harvested crops – wood, straw and wheat. Studies have shown that the use of biophilic design contributes to an increase in productivity and overall wellness . Together, these enriching tones create a springboard for creativity and innovation.

To bring value to office buildings with an environment that feels supportive and enriching, here are four color schemes using Dulux Professional Colour of the Year 2023, Wild WonderTM, with the Lush and Raw palettes.

1. A welcoming office space

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Biophilic design incorporates nature into the built environment to help create restorative and connective spaces. The colors in the Lush palette – inspired by the tones of forests and woodlands – could help achieve this. Here, walls painted in a soft green, combined with Wild WonderTM, feel subtle and soothing, while the furnishings help to bring the comfort and familiarity of working from home to an office meeting room.

  • Khaki Green 60YY 33/130
  • Winter’s Silence 50YY 49/191

2. Bring comfort to an open-plan office

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The Lush colors used in this open-plan office provide the perfect natural counterpoint to technology, making the space feel cosier and more approachable. A wall painted in a dark mushroom shade adds warmth, as well as defining the desk area, while adjacent and opposing walls painted in shades of green and Wild WonderTM bring a sense of natural richness and creativity to the space.

  • Kaki Daylight 20GY 46/067
  • Winter’s Silence 50YY 49/191
  • Khaki Green 60YY 33/130
  • Mouse Tail 52GY 24/050
  • Generous Grey 38RR 15/026
  • Awakening Feel 82YY 67/046

3. Add warmth to an office lobby

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The enriching tones of the Raw palette can bring warmth and energy to any office space. Here, different earthy tones – from peaty brown to soft clay – help to differentiate the floor levels, while a staircase painted in Dulux Professional Colour of the Year 2023, Wild WonderTM, creates a welcoming and invigorating feel.

  • Wright Stone 10YY 30/106
  • Winter’s Silence 50YY 49/191
  • European White 30YY 67/084
  • Brownington Court 90YR 36/203
  • Rosemont Hall 30YR 16/162
  • Bark 70YR 09/086

4. An inspiring office exterior

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Exterior walls and window panels painted in colors from the Raw palette help this building feel grounded and inspiring. The mix of soft, warm shadescreates a subtle contrast, emphasizing both the building’s unique characteristics, while also reflecting the natural light.

  • Rosemont Hall 30YR 16/162
  • Brownington Court 90YR 36/203
  • Winter’s Silence 50YY 49/191
1GWI, 2021. 34.6% somewhat agree and 28.1% strongly agree with the statement ‘I’m more conscious about looking after my mental health now than before the pandemic.’
2Pouso, S., Borja, Á., Fleming, L., Gómez-Baggethun, E., White, M. and Uyarra, M., 2021. Contact with blue-green spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown beneficial for mental health. Science of The Total Environment, 756, p.143984.
3 Biophilic design acknowledges that we are genetically connected to nature and that a human-centred approach can improve many of the spaces where we live and work… In an office environment, this is shown as quantified improvements in productivity, wellness and a reduction in days absent due to illness. The Biophilic Office, BRE Group.