Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Dulux launches first-of-its-kind paint program to help add colour to commercial spaces

Canadian Contractor Commercial Emergency Environment

Dulux's functional colour and design program helps healthcare and educational facilities choose colour schemes designed to have a positive impact on patients, students and staff.

After more than two years of extensive research, Dulux paint has found a cure for the traditionally-sterile décor associated with healthcare and educational institutions.

The leading Canadian paint brand has launched a first-of-its-kind program to help
hospitals, healthcare centers, schools, colleges and universities add colour to their spaces. Called the Dulux Functional Colour & Design Program (, the initiative provides a palette of different colour schemes designed to have a positive psychological and physiological impact on patients, students and staff.

Part of
Dulux’s new colour series for commercial environments, the healthcare and educational platforms offer professionals easy access to more than 40 décor schemes and colour combinations, as well as information on the emotional impact of colour. With options ranging from light to dark tones in every colour family, the colours offered are spectrally-arranged to make the selection process easier, with palettes specially-designed for each industry. The healthcare palette alone, for example, features 596 unique colours specifically selected for healthcare environments.

The healthcare module provides examples of such areas as patient, exam, treatment and emergency rooms as well as public, staff and social spaces – along with a host of stress-relieving colour choices for those areas. The educational module does the same for such spaces as classrooms, lunchrooms, gymnasiums, public spaces and auditoriums.  Both modules also recommend products that will withstand the high traffic characteristic of healthcare and educational facilities.

“Through our research conducted using a wide-range of existing studies and resources, Dulux recognized the need within commercial design to create and offer supportive informational materials related to colour and design,” said Martin Tustin-Fuchs, Brand Manager for Dulux paint.

Based on science, the Dulux Functional Colour & Design Program was created with a wide range of elements taken into consideration, including light reflectance values, the intensity of colours and insight into the psychological and physiological aspects of colour. It also addresses a variety of factors when making colour decisions, such as the
end user, light sources, architecture of the space, existing or new décor elements and activity related to the environment. Among the program’s underlying principles are:

·        White walls appear unfriendly, antiseptic and institutional.

       Primary colours cause visual fatigue, while high-intensity colours over-stimulate.

       Warm, subdued neutrals – such as khaki, oatmeal, tea, vanilla, ivory, bronze and chocolate – are versatile, providing a high degree of comfort.

       Classic, sophisticated cool neutrals – such as fog, ebony, stainless, ash, frost, slate and stone – give a space an introspective feel.

“The effective design of healthcare and educational facilities is a challenging task,” Tustin-Fuchs said, adding that plans are in the works to launch modules for additional industries as well. “Dulux’s colour program aims to help healthcare and educational facilities create a positive environment that promotes the health and well-being of each person who enters their doors.”


For more information about the Dulux Functional Colour & Design Program, visit



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