The KWD take on the Dulux Colour Awards 2017

The design industry loves the Dulux Colour Awards. They have become an annual event that sets a benchmark in colour innovation, pushing designers to be bold and creative, using colour in inspiring, clever and ground-breaking ways.

This year’s judging panel was made up of some amazing industry professionals:

Fiona Lynch is renowned for her artistic approach to interior design. She won Designer of the Year at the 2016 Belle Coco Republic Awards and the National Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).

Restaurateur Maurice Terzini is one of the Australia’s most highly regarded creative entrepreneurs, best known for establishing several iconic Australian dining venues including Icebergs Dining Room and Bar and The Dolphin Hotel in Sydney, Caffé e Cucina and Melbourne Wine Room in Melbourne and Da Maria in Bali.

Shelley Ferguson is the editor-in-chief of New Zealand publication Your Home and Garden. She recently won Editor of the Year and 360 Brand of the Year at the 2016 Magazine Publisher Association Awards and she is now co-host of The Block NZ.

Timothy Hill has had a design career spanning more than 30 years and his schemes consistently rely on an innovative use of conspicuous colour.

And Ryan Russell is a director of internationally recognised design practice Russell & George.  Best known for his work with the skincare brand Aésop, his design approach is strategic and holistic.

This year’s Grand Prix winner was announced on May 10, and a worthy winner it was. The North Bondi Amenities was designed to reflect and pay homage to its natural environment, the sea.


The building replaced the tired 1980’s amenity block, creating a space abundant with natural light and ventilation. The circular skylights form a glow throughout the interior, highlighting the inspired use of sea shades.


“The winning design is really quite incredible,” says Kate Walker. “The way they have taken the colour of the ocean and splashed shades of blues, greys and sea foam throughout, creates a fresh and crisp environment that is perfect for the location. The retro feel works so well.”

Some of our all time favourite design projects were nominated as finalists a number of categories – the work is truly amazing! We can’t decide which space we love more…


The Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, designed by Mim Design, is a project that’s close to Kate’s heart. On a recent family holiday to Port Douglas, Kate was awe struck by the overall design, and she loved the fact that Mim Design paid homage to ‘Christopher Skase’ pink, referencing the iconic pink paint that was a feature of the property Skase originally owned.

The whole building is washed with this pink shade, toned down by Mim Design and made oh-so elegant.


The $43 million dollar refurbishment has completely refreshed the property with coastal whites, sandy neutrals, natural materials and custom made carpets and light. It also features one of Kate’s favourite marbles, with Super White Marble used throughout the property. What an incredible achievement of design, every where you look.


One of our absolute favourites is the Middletown Café by Studio Tate. “I adore every finish in this space,” enthuses Kate. “The shade of blue they used, the chairs, the pop of pink and grey, the lighting – everything!”

The designers also made a feature of Kate’s all time favourite flooring, terrazzo, used in a checkerboard pattern for maximum effect.  “But it is really the colour that creates such a beautiful environment.  You can tell from my Instagram posts that I adore the colour blue.  It runs throughout my home, and my favourite colour combination is, and will always be, blue and white.”

Middletown Cafe’s bold yet refined interior was modelled on their ‘modern muse’ the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, a concept that was a collaboration with the graphic design studio Pop & Pac.


They have achieved a contemporary-meets-classic style with intricate details and a thoughtful layering of textures with stone, metal and timber set against that divine deep blue.  The result is a luxurious yet welcoming and comfortable style.


Another commercial design we love is the Finance Space created by Futurespace  We adore the textures and layers of design in this commercial interior.  The plywood ceiling is so warming and marries perfectly with the shades of greens and blues.


Our favourite two residential properties are such worthy Dulux Colour Award finalists, using colour in a spectacular yet understated and elegant way.


Kate is enamoured with this project by Doherty Design Studio.  She grew up in Melbourne the 1980s and 1990s when teal was THE colour – in fashion, homewares and interior.


“I feel at home seeing teal again, it reminds me of my childhood,” explains Kate. “Teal and timber work so beautifully together, and I always crush on Doherty Design Studio’s work. They never cease to amaze with their unique spin on each design they do.”


Finally Malvern House by Austin Design Interiors is sublime.  Says Kate, “I love designers who use bold colour.  It’s divine. They have created a bold formal room by using the perfect shade of blue, it adds so much elegance.  The furniture is simple and stylish, and lets the colour of the room tell the story.  I absolutely love it.”


So a huge congratulations to these amazing designers who created spectacular spaces worthy of being nominated as finalists in this year’s Dulux Colour Awards.  The amount of work involved in these projects cannot be overestimated, and we applaud them!

If you’d like to have a chat with the KWD team about your own commercial or residential building or design project, please call KWD on (03) 5974 1800.

Grand Prix Winner:  

North Bondi Amenities

(Sam Crawford Architects with Lymesmith, photography Brett Boardman)

Commercial Interior – Workspace and Hospitality:

The Sheraton Mirage

(Mim Design, photography Sean Fennessy)

Commercial Interior – Workspace and Hospitality:

Middletown Cafe

(Studio Tate, photography Alex Hopkins.  Website images by Peter Clarke Photography)

Finalist Commercial Interior (Workplace & Retail):  

Financial Services

(Futurespace, photography Sharyn Cairns)

Single Residential Interior:

Fitzroy Residence

(Doherty Design Studio, photography Derek Swalwell)

Single Residential Interior:

Malvern House

(Austin Design Associates, photography Derek Swalwell)





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