The 2023 colour palettes to set you up for clear, calm spaces to soothe your soul and energise your mind | Kanebridge News
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The 2023 colour palettes to set you up for clear, calm spaces to soothe your soul and energise your mind

Refresh your home, your investment property and your mindset with these nature-inspired colour schemes

By Robyn Willis
Tue, Jan 17, 2023 9:36amGrey Clock 3 min

Anyone who has taken even a passing interest in interior colour trends in recent years will tell you that the tones and shades of nature have played a strong role. Whether it’s the deepest ocean blues, the softest greens or the earthiest golds and terracottas, we’re looking for a deeper connection to natural spaces and environments within our own four walls. That’s the strongest theme in interior colour choices moving into 2023. This perhaps should come as no surprise given the past couple of years when so many of us have turned to nature for solace and as a way to re-energise ourselves, body and soul.

Green leads the way in terms of colourways, almost always with warm undertones, from soft seafoam shades and eucalyptus green to deep shades of olive and forest green and tantalising mixes of teal green.

Australian paint company, Haymes, describes their ‘Carefully Nurtured’ palette as restorative and reinvigorating as we begin to power up after two years of uncertainty and, in many cases, separation.  

Biophilic elements – the human desire to connect with nature – make this palette ideal for creating connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, especially when teamed with natural materials such as timber and stone, as well as fibres such as linen and wool.

Warm colour bases ensure that while the green palette speaks of open space, a sense of cosiness is retained.

Similarly, the Balance and Connect colour palettes from Dulux focus on creating an equilibrium. While mid tones of teal and green speak of the natural world, 

the softness of these colours provides the perfect backdrop for contemporary or mid century furniture and abstract art.

For more inspiration, architecture and design news, order your copy of Kanebridge Quarterly magazine here.

These are palettes that focus on harmony over contrast, with similar tones placed alongside each other for depth. Equally at home on cool winter nights or warm spring days, lighter colours are ideal for shared spaces, like open plan living areas, while deeper shades create a sense of comfort, intimacy and even drama in less frequented areas such as bedrooms, home offices or formal dining spaces.

Indeed, the beauty of these palettes is their versatility, able to make themselves at home in contemporary environments, as well as breathing new life into more traditional homes.

Whether the look is relaxed elegance or contemporary chic, the sense is one of calm and serenity.

As we continue to examine what life looks like in a post COVID world, the beauty of paint is that if you tire of it or your priorities change, it’s one of the least expensive and invasive options to change your space.

And that’s something we can all feel good about.



This warm palette from Dulux (above) doesn’t shout its appeal from the rooftops. Instead, they are the kinds of colours that improve on better acquaintance. Choose from deep earth tones such as Cinnamon Sand or Research for intimate spaces like bedrooms and separate dining, or opt for Whisper White in shared spaces such as living rooms.  



Drawing energy

If there is one colour that has dominated interior palettes in recent years, it is green. A key element of the biophilic trend, where we seek out the nature to restore balance to our increasingly tech driven world, shades like Haymes Botanist Green (above) continue to delve deeper each season. Texture is key, as cut flowers or indoor plants.  




This dreamy palette (above)  from the Dulux range draws on the ocean for colour inspiration. Gleaned from visits to Milan design Week and Future Laboratory London, among others, this palette is about stripping back the superfluous to immerse yourself in colour. Team with luxurious textures like velvet and silk for a look that is both sophisticated and comforting. 



Light play

This palette from Haymes Paints (above) plays with notions of light – what colours reflect it and what colours absorb it. Colours like Empress Blue (below) play surprisingly well with pastels like Haymes Faith and Aloe Green. Add texture with hand made ceramics and organic patterns.



Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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At the World Plogging Championship, contestants have lugged in tires, TVs and at least one Neapolitan coffee maker

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GENOA, Italy—Renato Zanelli crossed the finish line with a rusty iron hanging from his neck while pulling 140 pounds of trash on an improvised sled fashioned from a slab of plastic waste.

Zanelli, a retired IT specialist, flashed a tired smile, but he suspected his garbage haul wouldn’t be enough to defend his title as world champion of plogging—a sport that combines running with trash collecting.

A rival had just finished the race with a chair around his neck and dragging three tires, a television and four sacks of trash. Another crossed the line with muscles bulging, towing a large refrigerator. But the strongest challenger was Manuel Jesus Ortega Garcia, a Spanish plumber who arrived at the finish pulling a fridge, a dishwasher, a propane gas tank, a fire extinguisher and a host of other odds and ends.

“The competition is intense this year,” said Zanelli. Now 71, he used his fitness and knack for finding trash to compete against athletes half his age. “I’m here to help the environment, but I also want to win.”

Italy, a land of beauty, is also a land of uncollected trash. The country struggles with chronic littering, inefficient garbage collection in many cities, and illegal dumping in the countryside of everything from washing machines to construction waste. Rome has become an emblem of Italy’s inability to fix its trash problem.

So it was fitting that at the recent World Plogging Championship more than 70 athletes from 16 countries tested their talents in this northern Italian city. During the six hours of the race, contestants collect points by racking up miles and vertical distance, and by carrying as much trash across the finish line as they can. Trash gets scored based on its weight and environmental impact. Batteries and electronic equipment earn the most points.

A mobile app ensures runners stay within the race’s permitted area, approximately 12 square miles. Athletes have to pass through checkpoints in the rugged, hilly park. They are issued gloves and four plastic bags to fill with garbage, and are also allowed to carry up to three bulky finds, such as tires or TVs.

Genoa, a gritty industrial port city in the country’s mountainous northwest, has a trash problem that gets worse the further one gets away from its relatively clean historic core. The park that hosted the plogging championship has long been plagued by garbage big and small.

“It’s ironic to have the World Plogging Championship in a country that’s not always as clean as it could be. But maybe it will help bring awareness and things will improve,” said Francesco Carcioffo, chief executive of Acea Pinerolese Industriale, an energy and recycling company that’s been involved in sponsoring and organizing the race since its first edition in 2021. All three world championships so far have been held in Italy.

Events that combine running and trash-collecting go back to at least 2010. The sport gained traction about seven years ago when a Swede, Erik Ahlström, coined the name plogging, a mashup of plocka upp, Swedish for “pick up,” and jogging.

“If you don’t have a catchy name you might as well not exist,” said Roberto Cavallo, an Italian environmental consultant and longtime plogger, who is on the world championship organizing committee together with Ahlström.

Saturday’s event brought together a mix of wiry trail runners and environmental activists, some of whom looked less like elite athletes.

“We like plogging because it makes us feel a little less guilty about the way things are going with the environment,” said Elena Canuto, 29, as she warmed up before the start. She came in first in the women’s ranking two years ago. “This year I’m taking it a bit easier because I’m three months pregnant.”

Around two-thirds of the contestants were Italians. The rest came from other European countries, as well as Japan, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Algeria, Ghana and Senegal.

“I hope to win so people in Senegal get enthusiastic about plogging,” said Issa Ba, a 30-year-old Senegalese-born factory worker who has lived in Italy for eight years.

“Three, two, one, go,” Cavallo shouted over a loudspeaker, and the athletes sprinted off in different directions. Some stopped 20 yards from the starting line to collect their first trash. Others took off to be the first to exploit richer pickings on wooded hilltops, where batteries and home appliances lay waiting.

As the hours went by, the athletes crisscrossed trails and roads, their bags became heavier. They tagged their bulky items and left them at roadsides for later collection. Contestants gathered at refreshment points, discussing what they had found as they fueled up on cookies and juice. Some contestants had brought their own reusable cups.

With 30 minutes left in the race, athletes were gathering so much trash that the organisers decided to tweak the rules: in addition to their four plastic bags, contestants could carry six bulky objects over the finish line rather than three.

“I know it’s like changing the rules halfway through a game of Monopoly, but I know I can rely on your comprehension,” Cavallo announced over the PA as the athletes braced for their final push to the finish line.

The rule change meant some contestants could almost double the weight of their trash, but others smelled a rat.

“That’s fantastic that people found so much stuff, but it’s not really fair to change the rules at the last minute,” said Paul Waye, a Dutch plogging evangelist who had passed up on some bulky trash because of the three-item rule.

Senegal will have to wait at least a year to have a plogging champion. Two hours after the end of Saturday’s race, Ba still hadn’t arrived at the finish line.

“My phone ran out of battery and I got lost,” Ba said later at the awards ceremony. “I’ll be back next year, but with a better phone.”

The race went better for Canuto. She used an abandoned shopping cart to wheel in her loot. It included a baby stroller, which the mother-to-be took as a good omen. Her total haul weighed a relatively modest 100 pounds, but was heavy on electronic equipment, which was enough for her to score her second triumph.

“I don’t know if I’ll be back next year to defend my title. The baby will be six or seven months old,” she said.

In the men’s ranking, Ortega, the Spanish plumber, brought in 310 pounds of waste, racked up more than 16 miles and climbed 7,300 feet to run away with the title.

Zanelli, the defending champion, didn’t make it onto the podium. He said he would take solace from the nearly new Neapolitan coffee maker he found during the first championship two years ago. “I’ll always have my victory and the coffee maker, which I polished and now display in my home,” he said.

Contestants collected more than 6,600 pounds of trash. The haul included fridges, bikes, dozens of tires, baby seats, mattresses, lead pipes, stoves, chairs, TVs, 1980s-era boomboxes with cassettes still inside, motorcycle helmets, electric fans, traffic cones, air rifles, a toilet and a soccer goal.

“This park hasn’t been this clean since the 15 century,” said Genoa’s ambassador for sport, Roberto Giordano.


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