From BlackWhite magazine - issue 05, red alert
The latest Resene colour trends herald an age of reinvention, rejuvenation and regeneration.
It’s a common misconception to think that colour trends only cater to aesthetic sensibilities, but in actuality, the hues that come into vogue are often indicative of how we collectively want to live. Colour is undoubtedly emotional, and it sets the tone for the way a project can bring our clients closer to who they aspire to be. It’s pretty rare for anyone to want their lives to stay exactly the same; there is always a desire for improvement, and in many cases, this can translate to wanting things to be a sharp contrast from the way they were before. This habit is a major reason why colour and design trends are cyclical. But in a world where you can theoretically get your hands on anything from anywhere, those cycles have been significantly shortened. Where we used to see trends come back around every two to three decades, we are now seeing trends return in as little as two or three years after they were last in fashion.
Trends are also dialled into societal and cultural shifts, too. When the greater world changes, we are inclined to want to shake things up in our individual worlds. But things are also messy right now. With so many rapid changes affecting our lives, an air of uncertainty hangs around us. While it’s difficult to predict what will happen next at the best of times, major disruptions like supply chain issues have been stacking upon one another and making a maddening mess of deadlines and schedules. For many clients, their projects are often the only spaces in their lives where they can feel like they are still in control – and helping them to pursue a finished result that reflects their wants and needs is the best job we can hope to do. Of course, Resene paints, wood stains and wallpapers remain among the most economical, accessible and simple ways to update the look and feel of our built environments.
For clients looking to hit the reset button and find a fresh new beginning, plenty of striking deep and vibrant hues await in the months ahead. But there are also many looking for soothing and familiar shades, like nature-inspired greens, dusted blues and warming neutrals to transform residential, hospitality, commercial office and educational spaces into comfortable havens. Here, we dive into more of the specific trends shaping our colour forecast, what Resene hues to use now and what’s on the horizon.
Living spaces have become our workspaces, and many have either embraced a hybrid model – where their time is split between WFH and the office – or never returned to the office at all. This trend affects both the way we design homes but also the way we design workplaces. Whether or not traditional workplaces as we’ve known them are completely a thing of the past is yet to be seen, but at least for the immediate future, commercial office spaces need to be designed to accommodate this historic upheaval.
The expectations of what a workplace offers have shifted sharply away from cut-and-paste monotony and dated ideas of corporate professionalism. Instead, highly individualised designs that include customised elements to make work more comfortable is the new status quo. In the same stroke that our homes have become our offices, the inverse is also true with workplaces taking on the look of domestic settings. From lounge furniture to indoor turf and pet-friendly facilities, today’s workspace makeovers are designed to beckon employees back to the office, increasing both its use and employee productivity. More than ever before, a wider palette of task-conducive colours is being used throughout commercial offices rather than a single, uniform neutral: tranquil, blue-edged greens such as Resene Infused for quiet spaces, warming brick tones like Resene Tuscany for eating spaces, energetic yellows such as Resene Wild Thing for collaborative meeting areas and the like.
For those working from home, interiors are being set up to suit far more precise needs so that they provide the right layout, setup and vibe for focusing. While that can differ greatly from person to person, soothing and recessive colours are generally being favoured, such as Resene Unite and Resene Eau De Nil.
For clients keen to embrace ‘the good life’, purpose-driven spaces that rely on highly-curated colours are being decorated with luxe furnishings, materials and finishes to elevate them to new, aspirational heights.
Wall painted in Resene Unite, battens in Resene Infused, floor in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, vases in Resene Meringue and Resene Forty Six and plate in Resene Dawn Glow. Chair, lamp and side table from Bauhaus, cushion, clock and mug from Father Rabbit.
Handmade, organic accessories continue to trend among clients looking to embrace imperfections and authenticity.
Background painted in Resene Tic Tac Toe with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Springtime applied on top and plate and vase in Resene See The Light.
As spaces are becoming more personalised and character-rich in general, interiors have begun moving away from the absoluteness of minimalism – something the pandemic taught us was not particularly livable – and we’re seeing renewed interest in more decorative styles. More of us are also feeling encouraged to indulge in eclectic looks that make the most of a range of design eras and leverage favourite elements from across many different decades.
Art Deco shapes, details and colours like Resene Vantage Point and Resene Field Day continue to remain relevant and we still expect 70s-inspired textures and hues, including avocado green, smoky brown and harvest gold such as Resene Smashed Avocado, Resene Rebel and Resene Liquid Gold, to stay on the upswing. While it might feel like the style only just left, mid-century colours and furniture are also on the way back in. Prized for its timeless shapes, made-to-last materials and playful hues, it’s a no-brainer how mid-mod style caters to today’s needs. Ultramarine blues and iconic oranges like Resene Aviator and Resene Clockwork Orange are among the most popular accent hues, which also had a heyday in the 1950s. And even some of the wildest colours, shapes and patterns that defined the 1980s and 90s and the Memphis Movement, such as Resene Boundless, Resene Funk, Resene Transcend and Resene Sugar Plum Fairy, are trending among the young and young at heart.
But as we alluded to earlier, what’s different now from typical period revivals in the past is the way they are being remixed. We’re taking the cues we like and working with them in fresh and contemporary ways. For instance, less traditional choices like petal, coral and papaya pinks such as Resene Inspire, Resene Awaken and Resene Tropical are being combined with chartreuse yellow like Resene Sunbeam and might be used in concert with Art Deco elements. Or touches of 90s-era Klein blue and peach such as Resene Ocean Waves and Resene Dawn Glow might be used to accent a warm 70s-era cream like Resene Solitaire. It’s become pretty fair to say that anything is on the table, so long as it resonates with the client.
Wall painted in Resene Athena, tabletop in Resene Black Doris, candlestick in Resene Creme De La Creme, large vase in Resene Tenor and small vase and plate in Resene See The Light.
Nature-inspired colours and honest materials continue to be desirable decorating choices.
Front wall painted in Resene Rewilding, back wall in Resene Creme De La Creme, floor in Resene Tic Tac Toe with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Springtime applied on top and small vase (on centre shelf) in Resene Black Doris. Chair and bookshelf from Bauhaus, wall hanging from Città, curtain, wooden vase and books from Father Rabbit, rug from Baya.
Cottagecore and homesteader looks continue to be significant trends, desirable for clients pining for the quiet simplicity and comforts of times past, while Grand Millennial and Coastal Grandma styles have been evoking wonderfully tender feelings and beloved childhood memories of visiting elder family members. Each of these subtly-differing sub-movements conjure a similar sense of nostalgia with a pleasant, quaint air and a respect for things done the old-fashioned way. Décor that embraces the beauty of imperfections like objects handmade from organic and locally-sourced materials are being preferred for these looks, especially unique and inimitable pieces with a raw yet refined quality. Pastoral and rustic elements like gingham and pottery are huge trends while dusty, faded hues like Resene Valentine, Resene Contented, Resene Timeless and Resene Duck Egg Blue are being used to add a poetic touch.
For some, these trends are rooted in environmental-consciousness and an inclination to make do and mend rather than replacing, but they’re also a yearning to be present in the moment. So while earthier hues like spring green, olive and wheaten whites like Resene Nirvana, Resene Seaweed and Resene Athena are a natural fit for colour schemes grounded in intentional living, less expected combinations like petrol blue, desert red and dusty rose alongside warm neutrals and a pop of vintage gold such as Resene Time Traveller, Resene Soiree, Resene Summer Rose, Resene Spanish White and Resene Gold Dust metallic can be just as effective at creating authentic feelings of warmth and intimacy.
The renewed focus on wellness continues to be a hot topic ever since the pandemic first shook up our regular routines, as there was nothing like a forced slowdown to help us realise we had been moving through our lives at breakneck speed. Being ‘too busy’ is no longer the status symbol it once was, and efforts to reclaim the hours in our day that are rightfully ours have brought terms like ‘quiet quitting’ to the tip of everyone’s tongues.
Earlier in the pandemic, specifiers and clients started looking to design environments that better facilitate healthy living and prioritise self-care as a way to cope with increasing stress, creating spaces for people to recharge so they could continue to function in our strange new world. But where a focus on wellness can also come hand-in-hand with an air of austerity, today the trend has transformed into prioritising ‘the good life’. As this elevated take on wellness spreads, bespoke interiors that cater to everyday activities as well as entertainment and exercise will likely see the number of luxe home cinemas, gyms and saunas grow. And in proper luxe fashion, we’re likely to see them coloured in suitably rich and dramatic tones like Resene Carpe Noctem, Resene Epic and Resene Night Magic.
With so many serious topics headlining the news today, it’s no wonder that we are seeking a sense of escapism and embracing play. At times, this trend presents itself in a physical way, with clients looking for opportunities to bring an element of fun and whimsy to their project. Depending on the typology, this could be the addition of a games room, sports court or other interactive elements. For other projects, it’s the incorporation of happy hues like sunny yellows, friendly peaches, peppy pinks, quirky purples and lively greens such as Resene Moondance, Resene Dawn Glow, Resene Drop Dead Gorgeous, Resene Twice As Nice and Resene Aloe Vera. These cheerful colours inject an air of optimism into the spaces they’re present in, and it’s hard not to feel better when you’re around hues that evoke that energy.
Of all the happy hues, it’s spritzes of citrus that are among the most popular, and demand for these acidic yet optimistic tones is only going to intensify in the months ahead. Look to colours like Resene Good To Go, Resene I Dare You, Resene Tequila Sunrise or Resene Clockwork Orange to squeeze a bit of this trend into your next project.
With a climate as favourable as ours, interiors that flow seamlessly from inside buildings to our outer surroundings may seem like something we’ve always done – but now the rest of the world is catching up. While nature and the outdoors continue to influence indoor colour palettes, a building’s location – whether tropical, mountainous or arid – now impacts its interior more than ever. As more people look to locally-sourced products, the more these items dictate the look and feel of the furniture, décor and, ultimately, an interior through the likes of timber, stone and wool.
Look to the latest Resene The Range fashion colours collection for on-trend colours which have been curated to carry you and your clients through to 2024 and beyond. Order yours online at www.resene.com/specifierorder.
Whitewashed and ‘natural-looking’ stains continue to be the most popular choices among those who choose to use visible wood grain as part of their building design, such as timber cladding, flooring or both. To embrace your chosen timber and get the most natural look, simply choose the Resene Woodsman or Resene Colorwood stain that’s most similar to the timber’s inherent tone. Or try Resene Whitewash, Resene Light Greywash, Resene Mid Greywash or a selection from the Resene ‘We Speak Beach’ collection to impart a weathered look.
By now, we also know how much the increased popularity of house plants and natural greenery has affected interiors, but this can also translate to wilder and more overgrown looks and things like gardens being incorporated within a building’s structure – especially in workplaces and other public buildings like community centres, shopping malls and schools.
Arcs, arches and rounded shapes have been trending for the past few years, with crescent sofas, tulip chairs, circular rugs, oblong mirrors and mushroom lighting nudging out more severe, rectilinear shapes. Now, there’s an even curvier outlook for the future as these shapes take on a more practical architectural purpose.
Curved niches and alcoves were used in the Renaissance for highlighting prized artwork and sculptures, but they can do far more than showcase pretty possessions. Today, these additions intersect form and function to reclaim dead space, add visual interest or create a purpose-driven nook for relaxation or focus. Often, these new niches and alcoves are being wallpapered or painted in a colour that contrasts from adjacent walls.
Peach, pink, carmine red, papaya, ultramarine and powder blues are hot colours among fans of the 80s and 90s revival trends and are easy to bring together in a distinctly contemporary way – especially in retail and restaurant settings.
Background painted in Resene Awaken with painted design in Resene Scoria, plinth in Resene Aviator, circle vase in Resene Scoria and small vases in Resene Dream Big (left) and Resene Tropical (right).
Customisation is trending, and so are architectural details like arches, niches and alcoves.
Back wall painted in Resene Dream Big, front wall in Resene Tropical with inside of arch in Resene Scoria, floor in Resene Timeless and table in Resene Aviator. Chair from Danske Møbler, lamp from Simon James, cushion from Father Rabbit. Projects by Amber Armitage, images by Wendy Fenwick.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Pantone picked a purple tone as their 2022 Color of The Year. Though it generally takes around two to three years for these colour picks to filter down into architectural and interiors – if at all – designers began embracing Very Peri, a periwinkle blue with a purple heart not unlike Resene Heliotrope, earlier than expected. While muted, this hue or similarly spirited ones like Resene Poet can make a real pop in an otherwise neutral setting.
But pale pastels are not the only purples turning heads. Plums and aubergines like Resene Black Doris, Resene Blackberry, Resene Staccato and Resene Half Aubergine are also trending, as are mauves like Resene Tenor. These darker and lighter tones can be used in tandem as accent hues and add a refreshing point of difference to brown and green based natural schemes. Try them with colours like Resene Rewilding, Resene Tic Tac Toe, Resene Springtime and Resene Creme De La Creme offset with a soft tussock yellow like Resene See The Light for an of-the-moment palette.
› For the latest on evolving colour trends and to get alerted to new trends as they emerge, keep an eye out for BlackWhite e-newsletters or visit www.blackwhitemag.com for monthly updates. If you’re not currently receiving BlackWhite e-newsletters, sign up for free at www.resene.com/enews.
Projects: Amber Armitage
Images: Wendy Fenwick
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