A pleasant, soft, moderately dark and muted blue, which captivates with its naturalness. Why "drift"? Due to the presence of gray undertones.

LRV 26
Hackrea, Visualizer

Blue shades are a limitless area of experiments for designers as well as for homeowners. Blue tones are included in all fashionable palettes, and colorists are constantly developing more and more new variations of this amazing color for us. However, if you look closely at the blues that have been at the peak of popularity over the past few years, you can notice one very interesting detail – all these colors are as natural as possible and remind us of objects familiar to us.

Excessively bright, bold, electric shades, if they enter the trends, then not for long. Shades resembling the summer sky and lake surface, cozy winter twilight and sea waves on a cloudy day, lagoons in the Caribbean region and fog illuminated by the sun, naval officers uniforms and wildflowers – it is these tones of blue that almost always win, and designers rely on. The reason is simple: such a palette is close to our hearts and is most pleasing to the eye. This time, we want to talk about another shade that can surely be attributed to the same group – Denim Drift by Dulux, which the brand has announced as the color of 2017.

Denim Drift paint color features

The choice in favor of Denim Drift as the color of the year in 2017 was a surprise for many – and a very, very pleasant one. At the same time, the Dulux team gave a very reasonable and original explanation for this. According to Marianne Shillingford, the company’s creative director, the designers were inspired by the color of faded denim, which was at the height of fashion at the time.

As you can see, their interpretation of this topical material was quite successful – the color turned out to be a pleasant, soft, moderately dark and muted blue, which captivates with its naturalness. The use of the word “drift” in the name also has a logical explanation – due to the presence of gray undertones, it can appear gray-blue and even bluish, and the name successfully emphasizes this property.

Denim Drift: is it warm or cold?

Like most blues, Denim Drift belongs to the cool tones, which once again emphasizes the presence of gray undertones. However, these undertones are quite diffuse and muted – as, indeed, the blue base itself. That is why Dulux’s Denim Drift does not seem too cold or oppressive. On the contrary, it is quite soft, calm, and, at the same time, extremely stylish.

How does lighting affect Denim Drift?

The best environment for Denim Drift is the balanced and not too bright daylight, or maybe a little lack of it. In such conditions, this shade of blue reveals itself in all its naturalness and balance, looks soft, balanced, and mysterious. However, even if it is a south-facing room, direct sunlight will not spoil it but make it lighter, extremely airy, and dusty.

But if there is noticeably not enough lighting or at dusk, gray tones can also appear on the stage, fighting confidently for dominance and even turning blue denim into gray-blue or restrained gray. If you don’t mind such metamorphoses and even find them fascinating, Denim Drift is definitely your color.

Denim Drift LRV

Dulux’s Denim Drift has a reflectance value of about 26, which shows it is part of the middle tones group. Such an LRV directly indicates that you won’t have to expect any miracles from it in terms of saturating the room with light: surfaces in the Denim Drift color can only reflect light if it is sufficiently intense. However, this can hardly be seen as a drawback since this blue shade with light notes of gray is unrivaled in creating a mysterious and peaceful atmosphere.

Denim Drift undertones

The character of Denim Drift is quite solid. Therefore there are practically no undertones in it, except for grays, which add naturalness, complexity, and ambiguous perception depending on the lighting. That is why we recommend that you be careful when using this color in rooms with insufficient light unless, of course, you need blue tones with as little gray as possible.

Similar colors

Dulux experts included Denim Drift in a group of 10 shades of blue that have a certain similarity and complement each other perfectly. In addition to the color we are talking about, Cornflower Bunch, Earl Blue, Sash Blue, Clock Face, Woad Walk, Borrowed Blue, Cobalt Night, Marine Waters, and Indigo Shade are in the same group. According to Marianne Shillingford, Denim Drift is the main reason behind the creation of this excellent palette of blues, which ensures that all shades from this group harmonize with each other. However, a similar play with blue tones can also be found at other manufacturers:

  • Norwegian Blue N470-5 by Behr – a darker blue with gray undertones, a little closer to sea blue;
  • Cold Steel MQ5-20 by Behr – a stylish counterpart to Denim Drift from another major paint manufacturer, the colors are almost the same;
  • Hearthstone 1601 by Benjamin Moore – a lighter blue-gray with a deeper and more noticeable gray undertone;
  • Shaker Gray 1594 by Benjamin Moore – a shade that appears more gray than blue, although very similar to Denim Drift under sufficient light;
  • Whirlpool SW 9135  by Sherwin-Williams – a shade surprisingly similar to Denim Drift, although with light purple undertones;
  • Moody Blue SW 6221 by Sherwin-Williams – a shade that fluctuates between denim and aqua depending on the light.

Coordinating colors

The complex yet intriguing Denim Drift requires close attention to the selection of partners. Of course, it is friendly to neutral shades, but if you want something more interesting, look for even darker blues, as well as bright and pastel colors that can give it a new sound. Making sure that you have something to start with, we invite you to evaluate the recommendations of Dulux experts for coordinating colors:

  • Breton Blue – a deep dark blue shade in which cool steel undertones are quite noticeable;
  • First Dawn – a very cheerful and airy watercolor blue, reminiscent of the morning sky just before sunrise;
  • Sapphire Splendour – an unusual and dark gray-blue shade that can change depending on the lighting;
  • Misty Mirror – very light and pale gray, reminiscent of a cool light haze .;
  • Moroccan Flame – rich and hot orange color, spectacularly awakening emotions;
  • Apricot Crush – a very delicate and warm shade of pink that looks especially elegant against the Denim Drift background.

Use of Denim Drift in interior

The tranquility, naturalness, and relevance of Denim Drift will honor any modern interior – although this shade of blue will look very organic in a traditional design. Dulux designers suggest combining it with blue and khaki in the bedroom to create an atmosphere as close to nature as possible and enjoy the calmness of a neutral palette of pleasant and relaxing colors. However, this is just one of the uses for Denim Drift – let’s look at a few more.

More love for denim

Many designers emphasize not only the visually pleasing features but also a special tactile perception of the Denim Drift color and even compare it with their favorite washed jeans, thin, rather soft, but comfortable and durable.

If you are happy to wear just such and adore denim in principle, you can safely use the gray-blue from Dulux for the interior as a whole. The walls, as if covered with jeans textile, the same armchairs and sofas, and even the table base – all this does not seem excessive and creates an unexpected feeling of comfort and tranquility. Add some white accents, glass, and green plants and enjoy the simplicity and harmony of the design.

Modern vision of tenderness

If trendy solutions using combinations of blue and neutral tones do not seem too sensual and do not evoke emotions, try the combination of Denim Drift and a pink shade – we guarantee that it will definitely not be boring! A gray-blue base and pink details in the interior replicate the harmony between femininity and masculinity, yin and yang.

The secret of the charm of such a color combination lies in the correct selection of a pink shade. Warm and light colors are ideal, such as the Apricot Crush we talked about above, although peach and dusty rose are also excellent choices.

Authenticity and naturalness

Another win-win option is the combination of Denim Drift and natural wood. It does not need to be worked on, painted, or varnished, as the open and natural grain of the wood itself is a beautiful decoration. Whether it is furniture, ceiling beams, floorboards, or even decorative pieces, this color and material combination will look good in a living room, bedroom, or foyer decorated in Scandi, Farmhouse, Vintage, or Nautical styles.

Kitchen and dining room

Contrary to psychologists who claim that the blue color significantly reduces appetite, Denim Drift does not detract from the pleasant experience of enjoying delicious food. It is this shade that creates a particularly stylish interior in which you want to stay as long as possible. If you are using Drift Denim for your walls, balance it with clean-cut wood or crisp white furniture and a couple of stylish accessories like mirrors or an elegant sideboard – and imagine yourself as the hero of a trendy movie or TV series.

In the case of the kitchen, Denim Drift becomes a real find for such styles as Minimalism and Farmhouse, and it is equally good for cabinets and background walls. However, we still want to add a few words about metal elements. Blue denim from Dulux is most successfully combined with warm-toned metal – gold, brass, or bronze. Silvery tones will seem too emasculated against a blue background and will convey their coldness to the color itself, making it very uncomfortable. Do not worry about finding the right hardware for a modern kitchen: today, there are plenty of options in the color of brass and bronze.

Home office

If you’re looking for a way to create the perfect workspace where you can maximize your concentration, Denim Drift is the choice you cannot go wrong with. It is moderately friendly yet reserved, cozy and motivating, calm and inspiring. Multiply all these feelings with natural wood furniture, trendy and comfortable lamps, and unusual wall decor.

Use of Denim Drift for house exterior

The decision to use Denim Drift to paint the exterior walls of the house is a very bold one yet not at all reckless. Of course, you’ll also have to think about the color of the trim (slight spoiler – snow white and taupe make great partners) and check how well this shade looks in the lighting conditions of your area. If there are more sunny days, the house will look unusual and elegant. In cloudy weather, it will take on a mysterious look and become a point of interest.

A few years ago, many designers claimed that the future of interiors would be all about blue. Denim Drift has become a reliable confirmation of their correctness: even 5 years later, it is relevant both on its own and in numerous topical palettes that embody the key values of residential interiors – harmony, comfort, individuality, and a sense of security.

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