In 2018, Asian Paints chose Passion Flower as their colour of the year. A colour that seemed subdued but was intended to be a conversation starter, a colour to give one clarity, a colour to give one a voice and that supported one’s evolution and growth. As much as we appreciated the radiant Passion Flower, this yellow seemed a little too safe and localized for our taste. It was a bit flat and excessively commercial to represent the tumult and drama that the past few years had brought, and that would come with 2018 as well. A pastel yellow could hardly be the shade that was to bring generations together, so when we saw 2019’s choice, we were naturally quite surprised.
Awakening is Asian Paints 2019 colour of the year and is a kind of deep plum shaded terracotta that really resonates with us and the decor trends for the year. According to the brand’s website, the colour represents courage, optimism and most interestingly is ‘woke’: a very millennial term to mean being conscious of injustices and discrimination in society. A semi-political and very strong phrase which we don’t think Asian Paints thought that much about before using it on their website, woke is a way of showing the world how current and relevant the brand aims to be. However, we appreciate the thought behind it. Awakening is a call to consumers to wake up and speak up about what is going on around them. To make the right choices, to question inequality and reject oppression. They connect the idea of being woke to being alive, which further gives this complex colour another layer to think about. The almost earthen red shows the connection to the earth while the sleek, modern hues make it an easy choice to use at home for almost anyone.
Awakening demands that you use your voice, not only to set what is wrong right but also to live a more woke and socially responsible lifestyle. One where we do not simply accept what is going on around us but remain curious and questioning. The colour goes against the idea of privilege as it reflects luxury and a niche experience while being easily available to anyone who wants this to be part of their lives. A dynamic shade of plum, Awakening offers a sense of adult luxury that many of us strive to infuse into our homes. Think of velvet sofas in this tone, a geometric printed wallpaper in shades of Awakening or glasses and cutlery that give off a ruby glow. Whichever way you choose to use this shade, the brand hopes you will understand the subversion and activism you are engaging in by being part of Awakening.
With a colour like this, we like the idea of more being more. Given the way it uses browns, reds, plums and purples; Awakening can be the neutral that you’ve always dreamed of. Think of painting a wall in this shade and then adding in furniture that connects with the undertones of the wall. This colour looks as good with metallic, floral or wooden accents so you have the freedom to wake, in whichever way you want!
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