AkzoNobel's Jeremy Rowe

Home & Decor catches up with Jeremy Rowe, Director for Decorative Paints, South East & South Asia, Middle East of AkzoNobel, to find out more about the brand’s colour of the year and other innovative products that are in the pipeline.

Having spent a decade studying paint trends around the world, can you tell us what colours do Singaporean homeowners go for?

Most Singaporeans tend towards pastels and lighter hues in the colour spectrum, which is not unusual and goes well with our light-filled environment. These colours are easy to match with furnishings and accessories as well. But there has been an observable trend where people are becoming more experimental with darker and vibrant colours, particularly with feature walls. They are also experimenting with textures and metallic paints.

Dulux's Colour of the Year 2018 is Heart Wood, a warm dusty shade that will transform homes into true sanctuaries. 

Is that why AkzoNobel decided to choose Heart Wood – a dark, warm and brownish-pink tone as the Colour of the Year?

We picked Heart Wood 18 months ago, when our colour specialists started going out into the marketplace to look at the colours people were beginning to use. We noticed people used warm-toned colours such as pink, grey and brown. After catching on to this trend, our colour specialists – an internal team and external group of international industry specialists – then deliberated on the Colour of the Year, as well as colour palettes that go with it.

What are some product developments at Dulux that homeowners can expect and be excited about?

For interior paint, one of the technologies we’ve been developing has been stain resistance because you want to keep a wall looking good once you’ve painted it. Our stain resistance technology, which exists in our Dulux Wash and Wear, turns liquid stains into beads that sit on the surface that can be wiped away, so the stains don’t seep into the paint film.

For exterior paint, which would interest residents of landed property more, we have been developing paints with self-cleaning technology so that a painted surface can clean itself by resisting mould and water. This technology is found in our Dulux Weathershield paint, which also has heat-reflective qualities that keep the outside wall at least five degrees cooler than with other paints.

Like Dulux, Pantone also releases a yearly Colour of the Year, this year’s being a vibrant blue-based purple named Ultra Violet. Are the two bedfellows or rivals?

Our respective Colours of the Year are actually not far from each other which is not surprising because we often observe the same trends in the market in order to deduce a representative colour. As such we see Pantone’s colour as complementary to ours. The minor difference is that ours is specifically curated for interior design use whereas Pantone’s has a much bigger influence.


Jeremy shares 4 steps to choosing the right paint for your walls: 

1. Express in words how you would want a particular room to feel. If you envision "happy" and "light", we suggest lighter and more vibrant colours. Other adjectives such as "cosy" or "warm" point towards warmer-toned colours. 

2. Narrow your options down to a key colour. It doesn't have to be a specific hue, but you can consider colour families, such as blues, greens or yellows.

3. Create a complementary or contrasting colour scheme using the colour wheel. 

4. If you're feeling bold, go a further step by creating a more layered look with textured paints that can produce finishes, such as a glossy marble look or linen fabric texture.