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Bright Skies™ ahead: Trend experts predict hope and optimism for 2022 – and the colour we all need to embrace

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A desire for a fresh start and a wave of hope and optimism is set to dominate 2022, according to trend experts assembled by the nation’s favourite paint brand Dulux.

As Dulux announces its Colour of the Year for 2022 as Bright Skies™, an airy light blue that perfectly captures this hopeful mood of the moment, all signs point to new beginnings and a breath of fresh air.

For the 19th year in a row, Dulux has assembled leaders in design, fashion, colour and the built environment to consider the trends, innovations and events that will impact the way we all live and work. This was a year like no other and for the first time, rather than attending the Global Aesthetics Centre, the group gathered online for the first virtual summit.

The colour experts at Dulux then distilled the results of this into a single colour – and supporting palettes – that encapsulates this mood.

The result is Bright Skies™, a blue colour that can bring any living space to life and is good for the soul – a true breath of fresh air.

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With millions of people now adopting hybrid home and office working patterns, there is a need for colour that is flexible and open, to empower this multi-purpose lifestyle and the demands we put on our spaces.

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director of Dulux UK, says: “Right now, people want to feel revitalised and enjoy the freedoms that are returning to them, to look out and bring in new ideas. What better inspiration can we take than the endless skies around us?

“It is widely known that nature makes us feel better and taking steps to bring the outside in enhances our sense of wellbeing.

“So whether we are working or relaxing, creating or exercising, it is essential to have a space that reflects the optimism and desire for a fresh, new start that is top of the agenda for the year ahead.

“However, Bright Skies™ is not about idle day-dreaming. It is about turning those dreams into reality and forging ahead with the changes that we want to make. 

“This is why the Dulux Colour of the Year 2022 and its supporting palettes are practical, open and flexible to all kinds of requirements.”

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Bright Skies™ is supported by four colour palettes, to inspire and facilitate decorating projects in every kind of room – they are Greenhouse, Salon, Studio and Workshop. 

Greenhouse is full of fresh greens and blues that serve the purpose of being the perfect backdrop for bringing nature into a room, in the form of plants and natural materials such as bark or cork. This helps people feel the positive effects of nature.

Salon is an enabler of fresh ideas and creative thinking. Consciously pale and soft, this palette is for those who want a room, or a home, that’s ready for anything.  

Studio spaces seek to soothe, with a mix of pale pinks, reds and oranges. Subtle and inspiring, decorating with this palette enables the creation of a sanctuary, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Finally, the Workshop allows people to create adaptable spaces that reinvent the home. Whether this is zoning a multi-purpose space such as a studio flat or decorating a home office, these are light and positive colours that make the functional fun.

Heleen van Gent, head of the AkzoNobel Global Aesthetics Centre, says: “Over the past 19 years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift from a concentration on brighter tones to an emphasis on neutrals.

“This year, however, vibrant colours and light tones are re-emerging – a reflection, perhaps of our
need for positivity and a fresh approach. After a spell of feeling shut in, we crave expansion – the great outdoors. The 37 curated colours in this year’s collection help to make it easy to choose on-trend shades.”

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To inspire complete home makeovers, Dulux has teamed up with partners Houzz, DFS, Topps Tiles and Stoves to take Bright Skies™ beyond paint and into other elements of homes and interiors this year.

Furniture retailer DFS has produced a range of soft furnishings in Bright Skies™, including a sofa and complementary cushions in palette colours.

Kitchen appliances manufacturer Stoves, meanwhile, has created its Richmond Deluxe collection of range cookers in the Bright Skies™ colour as a centrepiece to a modern kitchen.

There are also two types of Bright Skies™ tile sold by Topps Tiles to encourage different transformation projects around the home.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2022 Bright Skies™ is available from 14 September 2021, in a specially designed unique can that features new branding to set it apart from the rest of the Dulux range.

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For more information, visit: dulux.co.uk/COTY22

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Charity

Tesco shoppers in Swansea help to provide £1million boost to health

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People in Swansea have been thanked for contributing towards the £1million raised for
three life-saving charities as part of Tesco’s ‘Helping you to live healthier’ initiative.

Tesco customers reached the landmark total for Cancer Research UK, the British Heart
Foundation and Diabetes UK from 13-26 September by rounding up their shop in store to
the nearest £1.

The funds raised will now help the three charities continue their vital work to save and
improve lives.

In addition to the £1million donated, the campaign raised awareness in Swansea about
the importance of people making sustainable lifestyle changes that can help lower their
risk of cancer, heart and circulatory diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

This was done with the help of trusted health information and advice, which was shared
to empower Tesco customers to take small steps to help improve their health.

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns at Tesco, thanked Tesco shoppers in
Swansea for their generosity, which will make a significant difference to many people’s
lives.

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She added: “It has been inspiring to see our customers really engage with the work we
are doing together, and we hope that we have played a part in raising awareness for
these conditions, as well as life-saving funds.”

The campaign was part of the Health Charity Partnership between Tesco, Cancer
Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK, which aims to inspire and
support Tesco colleagues, customers and their families to make healthier food choices
and live healthier lives.

On behalf of the charity partners , Claire Sadler, Executive Director of Marketing,
Fundraising and Engagement at the British Heart Foundation, said
: “We have been amazed by the incredible generosity of Tesco customers and colleagues
and would like to thank everyone who donated during September.

“Your donations will help to empower millions of people to make healthier choices that
lower their risk of heart and circulatory diseases, cancer, and diabetes. It will also help
our charities provide vital support to millions of people at a time it’s never been more
needed, and it will fund research with the potential to save lives.”

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Food & Drink

Work to start next week on new ‘Market Garden’ at Swansea Market

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Construction work is set to start next week on a new ‘Market Garden’ area at the heart of Swansea Market, where people can eat, work and enjoy themselves.

It follows a public consultation back in March where people were able to choose from a number of designs.

Swansea Council say that work will take several weeks, but they aim to keep any disturbance to a minimum and the market will remain fully open.

Transparent fencing will go up around the construction area to keep people safe and to maintain sightlines for neighbouring stalls.

The green-themed Market Garden- due to open in good time for Christmas – will feature more than 170 plants together with an assortment of comfortable, garden-style tables and chairs for visitors to enjoy food and drink bought from a wide variety of market stalls.

Operated in line with latest Covid guidelines, it will have free public Wi-Fi, power charging facilities, recycling bins and a water station to refill water bottles.

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Highchairs will be available to those with young children. There will be warmers for baby bottles and food – and there will be a toddlers’ play table.

For the first time, dog lovers will be able to bring their well-behaved pets to the market. Dogs will be able to enjoy a bowl of water at Swansea Jack’s kennel – as long as they follow the market’s new “doggie rules.”

Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “The Market Garden is part of a £440,000 improvement programme at this wonderful venue.

“It will help the market play a key role in Swansea’s great future, being led by our £1bn regeneration scheme.

“These are exciting times for the market and the wider city centre.”

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The Market Garden, which will be close to the famous cockle stalls, will be visible from every direction due to its 7.5m-high pergola, the shape of which mirrors the market’s monumental domed roof.

Once built, The Market Garden will stand on an under-used space in the centre of the market. It currently has tables rented by the day by casual traders.

They will cease trading in that area after this Saturday but will remain in the market, hiring space at a smart new area a few yards away and still next to the world-famous stalls that sell cockles, laver-bread and other delicacies.

Swansea Council appointed a new Market Supervisor, Swansea-born Darren Cox earlier this week. The news came as previous Market Supervisor, John Burns retired after more than 30 years in the job.

Lead Image: How Swansea Market’s new eating, meeting and greeting area – the Market Garden – will look. (Image: Swansea Council)

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Money

Cheapest car insurance falls to six month low despite return of traffic

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woman in yellow shirt driving a silver car

The cheapest average premiums quoted have tumbled over the summer to just £533 – a £60 drop year-on-year.

This is the lowest quarterly average for cheapest premiums available since summer 2015.

The fall in the cheapest average premiums has driven up savings available to motorists. Drivers can save an average of £98 on their car insurance by switching to the cheapest deal when their policy expires. 

The average annual car insurance premium declined by £71 year-on-year across the summer months (June – August), according to the latest Premium Drivers research from comparethemarket.com.

The average premium now stands at £631, compared with an average of £702 for the same three-month period in 2020. 

In each lockdown since March 2020, the cost of car insurance had fallen due to fewer cars being on the road and a subsequent drop in claims. Insurers had used savings from fewer claims to offer lower premiums to customers. However, the average motor insurance premium has also declined in recent months, from £644 in June 21 to £617 in August 21.

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The fall in premiums over the past three months is surprising, as more Covid-19 travel curbs were relaxed and road traffic increased in this time. In fact, road traffic has reverted to pre-pandemic levels with car use returning to 98% of its February 2020 level, on average in August 2021, according to figures from the Department of Transport1. This more recent fall in premiums suggests insurers may be competing more aggressively to attract new customers.  

Young motorists can benefit from the greatest savings by switching car insurance. The average premium for drivers aged under 25 has decreased to £1,085, falling from £1,134 in the same three months (June – August) in 2020.

If young drivers shop around for the cheapest deal on average when their policies come up for renewal, they could typically save £201 on their car insurance. 

Lead image: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com)

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