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Colours for bedroom bliss

From the Resene decorating blog

Don’t look now, but the colours you’re surrounded by are having an effect on your brain. Bright hues tend to stimulate and energise us, while softer ones work to calm and reassure, making them ideal for sleep spaces.

With all that life throws at us, everyone could do with dialling up the serenity and down the drama in their bedroom, and paint is a way to easily and affordably create the relaxing room of your dreams. Consider any of the following shades to help you rest, recharge and reduce stress.

A dark room with lilac accents

A moody grey bedroom with pink/red accents

Room with purple accents: Using lilac as an accent colour, such as in this stout vase in Resene Mamba, is a clever way to benefit from its the calming properties without overwhelming the room. In this room, it’s beautiful against the wall in Resene Gunsmoke and floor in Resene Avalanche, with other purple highlights including the dresser in Resene Chapta And Verse, the small wall-hung platter and small vase in Resene Couture, and the large platter in Resene Sumptuous. Floral cushion from Contempa, bedlinen from Indie Home Collective, lamp from Freedom. Project by Claudia Kozub, image by Melanie Jenkins.  Room with pink/red accents: Double down on moody grey by brushing Resene Quarter Bokara Grey onto the walls and Resene Eighth Bokara Grey onto the floor, then filling the space with a tonal rug, bed linen and cushions. The ladder and pendant light are in Resene Ethereal, the bedside table and headboard are in Resene Virtuoso and the slender vase is in Resene Dreamtime. Robe from EziBuy, wrapping paper framed as art from Father Rabbit, duvet cover set and small plum cushions from H&M Home, euro cushion, throw and textured cushion from Allium Interiors, rug from Kmart. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.


Many of us seek out blue when we’re strung out, via time spent gazing at the sky and sea, say, or in the cool tranquillity of a pool. In bedrooms that get lots of natural light and sun, cool, soft grey-blues, such as Resene Dusted Blue, Resene Casper and Resene Longitude, are a sophisticated option. Deeper grey-blues like Resene San Juan and Resene Cello have a cocooning effect, which can help you drift off to sleep more easily.

If you’re using blues on your walls, interior designer Annick Larkin recommends opting for off-whites like Resene Rice Cake or Resene Half Spanish White for your ceiling and trims – they’ll create a softer ambience than sharp, crisp whites.

A natural green bedroom

A calming beige bedroom

Green bedroom: Up the luxe with rich greens teamed with tactile materials. This wall painted in Resene Stone Age and ledge in Resene Wilderness combine with the floor in Resene Green White and side tables in Resene Alabaster given a marble treatment with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium coloured with Resene Rolling Stone. Other colours in this palette feature in the vase in Resene Toffee, lidded dish in Resene Hampton, small plant pot in Resene Teak and large plant pot in Resene Celeste. Bedding and cushions from Città. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Wendy Fenwick.  Beige bedroom: This gorgeous beige room has a feminine vibe, but it could easily be given a more masculine spin with some easy switch-outs, while keeping the main wall, floor and headboard colour the same. Rather than Resene Half Gin Fizz, the accent wall on the right could be painted in a brandy ochre like Resene Stinger. The main wall is in Resene Eighth Stonehenge; the shelf and skirting board are in Resene Ebony Clay; the pendant light, mirror and tote bag are in Resene Corvette; the headboard is in Resene Double Stonehenge; and the floor is in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash. Ink Moon artwork by George Sand Studio is from Endemic World, mirror (painted), duvet cover, pillowcases, quilted bedspread, rug and tote bag (painted) from H&M, cushions, throw and slippers from Collect Living. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.


Pale lilac lavender and violet typically have a blue base, so it makes sense that these colours also have a restful effect. “Using a lilac tone on your walls, such as Resene I Do or Resene Alluring, will evoke feelings of balance and inner peace, while creating a look that’s refined, elegant and romantic,” says Annick. Deeper, duskier Resene Gun Powder and Resene Chapta And Verse will have a similar blanketing effect to the dark blues mentioned above, helping you feel safe and secure.

A serene white bedroom

The right white for your serene bedroom might be a white-based wallpaper, such as this sweet, woodsy Resene Wallpaper Collection EAR102. The warm trims and window shutters in Resene Half Spanish White also set a restful tone. Other warm whites to try include Resene Half Biscotti, Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta and Resene Orchid White.The right white for your serene bedroom might be a white-based wallpaper, such as this sweet, woodsy Resene Wallpaper Collection EAR102. The warm trims and window shutters in Resene Half Spanish White also set a restful tone. Other warm whites to try include Resene Half Biscotti, Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta and Resene Orchid White.


Green is typically associated with nature and a fixture of many places we frequent when we want to decompress – parks, gardens, the bush. “Pretty much any shade of green will leave you feeling calm,” says Annick, who believes muddier Resene greens like complex blue-grey-green Resene Harp and Nordic blue-green Resene Juniper will leave you feeling more chilled out than their cleaner, brighter counterparts. For a more opulent luxury-escape effect, try old college green Resene Palm Green or deep green Resene Midnight Moss on the walls, teamed with tonal, textured fabrics such as velvet.


Far from being all stormy skies and moody moods, the right shade of grey on your walls can be the best thing for a bedroom. “Soft, barely there greys like Resene Black White and Resene Wan White from the Karen Walker Paints collection feel clean and are perfect neutrals that go with just about every other colour,” says Annick. Mid-tone greys with red undertones, such as Resene Pale Slate, will add visual warmth to cool rooms, while blue-toned greys such as Resene Neutral Bay and Resene Freestyling can have the opposite effect. For an insulating appeal, go dark with charcoal Resene Shark.


Bright yellows are probably more suited to making a statement than sending you to sleep, yet in paler form, they’re just as inviting and inspire the same optimism. Buttery yellows such as Resene Buttermilk are warming, while muddier Resene Golden Sand, creamy ochre Resene Manuka Honey and desert ochre Resene Apache are on-trend routes to feeling like you’re swathed in sunshine – and it doesn’t get much more relaxing than that.


Rarely as boring as its reputation suggests, beige is a fantastic neutral that works well on its own or as a base for highlighting other colours. “Black and beige is just as classic as black and white, but a bit more homely and welcoming,” says Annick. Stony grey-brown Resene Westar and tranquil beige Resene Serene have a certain warmth to them that’s reminiscent of the romantic ambience created by candlelight.

A bright yellow bedroom

Tonal colour schemes need contrast to keep things interesting. In this bedroom, the wall is painted in Resene Chenin and the floor in a lighter, buttery shade of Resene Mellow Yellow. Variety is introduced in the form of darker mustards, such as Resene Stringer on the door and the pendant lamp and citrusy lemons such as Resene Golden Sand on the tabletop. Framed artwork from Etsy/Artolo, bedding and cushions from Adairs, Allium, Città, Republic Home and The Warehouse. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.


White brings with it connotations of purity and cleanliness, however if you go too white, it can leave a room feeling clinical and cold. For bedrooms, Annick suggests choosing creamier versions such as sweet and gentle Resene Half Bianca and aged linen Resene Half Albescent White. Paint your ceiling, skirting boards, window frames and door the same colour to swaddle the room and ensure you really unwind.

Resene Dreamtime

Resene Ethereal

Resene Virtuoso

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Eighth Bokara Grey

August 27, 2020

For more ideas for your bedroom, see the collection of decorated bedrooms online and visit your local Resene ColorShop for all the expert advice and products you need.

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