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Black beauty

From the Resene Style Guides - styling ideas for your home

Like that little black dress, using shades of black in your home will never go out of style.

As a twist on a straight monochromatic scheme, dare to be different by choosing a slightly softer charcoal hue, and pairing it with a soft cream, instead of the more commonly used stark white for window frames, skirting boards and other trims.

Often the lounge is a multi-purpose room for busy families, but with a bit of creative flair and a few easy ideas there is no reason why you can’t balance comfort with cool. Au natural is a go-to for those who want to play it safe, but a deeper darker shade is effectively just another neutral, and is much easier to execute well. Layer, layer and layer again, using interesting shapes, graphic patterns, robust textures and tactile materials as your building blocks, to pull off a monochromatic look that feels lived in and comfortable.

Adding gloss finishes and more electrified shades creates a highly energised glamour look. To pull this off, keep other elements at a lower voltage with lashings of natural textures to balance the shine, and don’t overdo the colour hits. When using glossy surfaces, less is often more.

Tip: An extreme colour such as black often calls for an extreme finish - choose a flat (matt) finish to appear velvety and luscious, or a high-gloss finish to add glamour and help reflect light.

Note: If you’re using black on your exterior, use a Resene CoolColour paint to reflect more of the sun’s heat.

Dark walls with at a home art gallery

Go-to gallery

Black or charcoal walls are the perfect backdrop for a gallery-style layout of your favourite art and framed photographs. Just like the more classic Resene Black White, black acts as a neutral element and helps pull together the different colours from within the frames for a more unified look. Step it up, and wrap your gallery around a corner for a more interesting look.

Note: For a hard-working paint that will take the knocks on furniture like this chair or on picture frames, choose a waterborne enamel such as Resene Enamacryl.

Get the look: Resene Cod Grey, Resene Alabaster

Create a chalkboard wall

Chalk it up

Soften the edginess of a dark hue by choosing Resene Blackboard Paint. Not only can this be super practical but it also ensures this wall is an ever changing work of art.

Tip: By painting Resene Magnetic Magic underneath Resene Blackboard Paint you’ll also be able to use the wall as a magnetic noticeboard.

Get the look: Resene Blackboard Paint, Resene Sea Fog

Using dark colours in small spaces

Small spaces

Don’t be fooled into believing you can’t use dark colours in a small space like a bathroom. Dark colours create a sharp and dramatic look, and paired with a mirror give the room a good dose of glamour.

Tip: Black is a striking background to show off any collection.

Get the look: Resene Cinder


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Words: LeeAnn Yare. Pictures: Larnie Nicolson.

Resene Style Guides
Styling ideas for your home – how to achieve popular decorating looks with inspirational photos, great advice and paint colour suggestions.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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