Finalists announced for 32nd Dulux Colour Awards

26 March 2018

Dulux has announced that a panel of experts has selected 124 finalists for the Dulux Colour Awards, which are now in their 32nd year.

The finalists were chosen across nine categories - Commercial Interior – Workplace & Retail, Commercial Interior – Public Space & Hospitality, Commercial Exterior, Single Residential Interior, Single Residential Exterior, Multi Residential Interior, Multi Residential Exterior, International and Student.

The awards program, which recognises and celebrates the use exceptional use of colour by Australian and New Zealand design professionals, received a record-breaking 305 entries this year.

The finalists will now be judged by a panel of leading figures in the design industry, including Mim Design founder and principal interior designer Miriam Fanning, David Hicks director David Hicks, Houses magazine editor Katelin Butlerk, Flack Studio founder David Flack and Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architects design director Murali Bhaskar.

Winners of the Dulux Colour Awards will be announced at a gala event at the National Gallery of Victoria on 10 May 2018. Each winner will receive $1,000 in prize money, except the winner of the Student category, who will receive $500. All category winners, excluding the Student category, will have the chance of taking home the Grand Prix title and $5,000.

“We were thrilled to see such dynamic and inventive use of colour in this year’s entries. Architects and designers have really pushed the boundaries with colour application to create uplifting, engaging – and often thoroughly surprising – interior and exterior spaces,” says Dulux colour planning and communications manager Andrea Lucena-Orr.

“Darker tones of black and charcoal continue to dominate in commercial and exterior spaces but this year they’ve been punctuated with fun, vibrant accents of red, yellow and lime green in the form of panelling, door and window trims. There’s an unmistakable sense of 80s nostalgia creeping in.

“At the other end of the spectrum, we’re seeing a trend towards softer, warmer palettes in commercial interiors – chalky grey-greens, diluted pinks and earthy terracotta that add character and a cocooning vibe.”

Andrea says blue is emerging as a popular choice in residential interiors, with warmer tones used to add relaxed elegance and brighter shades used to energise and excite.

“Impactful tones of yellow are also making an appearance, often in unexpected places, such as ceilings and interior trims, adding a sense of unbridled joy into interior spaces. Grey has lost none of its appeal, particularly in residential exteriors but rather than opting for a single shade, designers and architects are layering up multiple shades of the one colour for a more sophisticated and interesting, tonal look,” says Andrea.

“We were also very impressed with this year’s student entries, which delivered bold and original colour concepts and applications.”

For more information on the 32nd Dulux Colour Awards, visit

As the editor of BUILD I have a keen interest in sustainable housing and new technologies.