FEATURES The Color of the Year 2018 is Heart Wood By Heleen van Gent, AkzoNobel Global Aesthetic CenterWe have selected Heart Wood as Color of The Year 2018, together with our diverse team at the Global Aesthetic Center and a group of international design and trend experts who dove into trends and insights from all over the world. Colour of the Year 2018Four palettesThree personas#HeartWood "Our homes are like our nests. We are in control and therefore we can create an environment that best suits our mood. Color plays a significant role in creating that perfect, comforting environment." Heart Wood is the color representation of a “welcome home” – a place where we can shut the door to the outside world and step into a sanctuary that is uniquely ours. We believe this contemporary, grown-up pink brings a feeling of comforting energy, lightness, and reassurance to people and the spaces they inhabit. The sentiment of seeking comfort in the home is something that has carried through from 2017 into 2018. Trends don’t just end on December 31 – they evolve and blend into new directions. Denim Drift was inspired by the idea that we are looking for “colors and things we know and recognize”, and that sentiment is still valid. That is why you will notice that we have bridged the color palettes including tones from the ever popular Denim Drift through to 2018’s Color of the Year, Heart Wood. We find that Heart Wood is able to blend harmoniously with currently popular interior decorating materials like leather and natural wood. These materials clearly served as inspiration behind the color, which results in an attractive tactile quality when the paint is applied to your walls, and further combined with these types of natural materials throughout the home. From research, we learned that the environment we create in our homes is becoming increasingly important in creating that sense of retreat that we crave. The world can be an unpredictable place but our homes are places of comfort. Our homes are like our nests. We are in control and therefore we can create an environment that best suits our mood. Color plays a significant role in creating that perfect, comforting environment. We believe that Heart Wood, as Color of the Year for 2018, helps to create a unique “welcome home” for everyone, especially when paired with our complementary palettes. The AkzoNobel Global Aesthetic Centre continuously monitors global social, design and consumer trends as they emerge. And then each year, together with a select group of independent experts, it aims to build a picture of what home life will be like for customers in the near future, and determine how our paint colors can play a role in their homes. These insights are translated into a set of complementary color palettes by a team of international AkzoNobel Decorative Paints color specialists. The palettes and tones are all tailored to our customers’ needs with the aim of helping inspire their color choices. As the world continues to modernize, our business has also evolved in terms of our thinking, becoming more technology-focused and digitally savvy. Nevertheless, our main focus for Color of the Year remains the lives of our consumers; what influences them and what their interests are when it comes to their homes, interiors and the colors they surround themselves with. Heart Wood is on my own walls at home now, and I’m very happy with its look and feel. I like all the palettes – the Comforting Home, the Inviting Home, and the Playful Home – but one has to choose, so I decided on the Heart Wood hero palette, which flows from blues to neutrals and greyed-off pinks. At AkzoNobel, we believe in the transformative power of color. Color has a huge impact within the home and it reveals a lot about who you are because color choice is very personal. As a business, we exist to empower our consumers to make the right color choices; choices that make them happy and proud of their homes. Heart Wood, Color of the Year 2018, is already on my walls, when will it be on yours? Enjoy!