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An inside guide to interior styling

From the Resene decorating blog

When your carpet doesn’t match your drapes and your renovation budget doesn’t quite match your dreams, you need a clever fix – enter paint, wallpaper and accessories.

A deep blue and moody grey bedroom

Deep blue and moody grey hues lend this bedroom an intimate feel. The panelled wall is in Resene Indian Ink, the side table from Freedom is painted in Resene Wishing Well and the floor is in Resene Half Chicago. The space is styled with items including a tall vase in Resene Remember Me and faceted vessel in Resene Mystery. Duvet cover set from Freedom, cushion from Furtex. Project by Claudia Kozub, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Given your walls comprise a large part of any room, changing their colour or texture will have a compelling impact, which presents design projects even DIY beginners can tackle. We had a word with leading interior stylist and colour specialist Megan Harrison-Turner for advice on using Resene paint and wallpaper to take spaces from whatever to wow.

Insider idea: Paint

“When it comes to decorating living and bedroom spaces, opt for very pale or very deep colours, as these tones tend to look more sophisticated and refined,” says Megan. “Break up large blocks of wall colour with artwork, potted greenery and dried floral arrangements.” Colour can also alter the visual proportions of a room. If you want to make your living or bedroom look more open and spacious, opt for crisp whites such as Resene Half Black White and Resene Quarter Merino. To make it seem more intimate, set the mood with a richer colour, like earthy grey Resene Dark Slate or handsome brown Resene Barista.

Insider idea: Start small

If you like non-neutral shades in theory but want to try one on for size before you change your home’s entire colour scheme, try colour in a transitional or small space instead, such as the hallway, laundry or toilet. Ease into it with pale rose Resene Cest La Vie or creamy Resene Half Popcorn as a more subtle statement.

An apricot rose home office space

Use colourful accessories to brighten up a space

Office space: Apricot rose Resene Wax Flower transforms the walls in this space from neutral to now. It’s teamed with clipboards in (from top left) Resene Warhol, Resene Sunflower, Resene Opal, Resene Japonica and Resene Cutty Sark, a desk in Resene Japonica and a chair in Resene Cutty Sark. Dinosaur planter from Junk & Disorderly, storage boxes from Città, paper hearts, oak string tidy and books from Father Rabbit, lampshades, vase, ceramic cup, washi tape, coloured yarn and assorted books from Collected. Project by LeeAnn Yare, image by Melanie Jenkins.  Hallway: Paint colourful accessories to update a neutral space. Pieces in (from left) Resene Smitten, Resene Hive, Resene Just Dance and Resene Twisted Sister form a vignette on top of this console table from Freedom and tie into the lampshade also from Freedom in Resene Quarter Bokara Grey and Resene Hive, and DIY artwork in Resene Tablelands, Resene Smitten, Resene Ethereal, Resene Twisted Sister, Resene Hive and Resene Just Dance. The walls are in Resene Rice Cake, the skirting boards are in Resene Tablelands and the ply floor is finished in Resene Aquaclear. Rug is from The Ivy House. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Insider idea: Texture

“Although colour is often the first thing we turn to when a home feels lacklustre, texture is an equally effective tool for livening up a room,” says Megan. It can also conceal the imperfections that come with age. If you have damaged paint or dents in your walls that you’d love to do away with, Resene Sandtex tinted with your favourite Resene colour can effectively disguise wear and tear, plus it can be applied to virtually any surface by brush, roller or spray. Use it with a basecoat of Resene Lumbersider tinted with your Resene Sandtex topcoat colour to ensure a uniform finish. This combination also makes a great basecoat for Resene FX Paint Effects Medium, adding extra dimension to the look you want to achieve, whether a sponged, colourwashed, limewashed or rag-rolled effect.

Insider idea: Accessorise

Rearrange your furniture and accessories for a room that’s as good as new. “Your sofa might look as good facing the view in summer as it does the fireplace in winter,” says Megan. Another no-brainer of a way to make a space interesting again is to create a picture gallery on one wall. Update an existing wall with photos and artwork in freshly painted frames or paint a feature wall as a backdrop to your new gallery-style hang. Bright Resene Surfie Green, rich Resene Mexican Red and mustard-gold Resene Thumbs Up are daring choices, but don’t let that hold you back, says Megan, because “a gallery wall will help ‘dilute’ the colour as it will be partially covered by the collection of framed images. Use no less than four frames for a project like this, as it’s the mass that makes it work.”

Channel cosy cottage whimsy with Resene  Wallpaper

Channel cosy cottage whimsy with Resene Kaleidoscope Wallpaper 90433. Resplendent with soft lilac blooms, it’s paired with dark slate Resene Raven paint on the ledge and dresser, and a warm wooden floor stained with Resene Colorwood Uluru. Use warm grey Resene Castle Rock and pops of purple Resene Marionette on plant pots and other accessories. Add a contemporary touch with adjacent walls in pale blue Resene Solitude.

If a gallery wall puts you out of your comfort zone, update your photo frames or a selection of vases with paint, then arrange them on a sideboard or shelf instead. Resene testpots are inexpensive and ideal for a project of this size. You could go multi-coloured or take a sophisticated tonal approach with colours that are closely related but of varying depth for interest; for example, a selection of seafaring shades such Resene Navigate, Resene Blue Moon, Resene Bali Hai and Resene Quarter Frozen.

Insider idea: Downplayed displays

There’s a fine line between collections and clutter, and the best styling acknowledges that the negative (empty) space is just as important as the pieces you put on display. Rather than showcasing everything you own year-round, try changing what you put on show with the seasons. Start building your vignettes with one or two of you favourite things and keep this equation in mind: something horizontal (such as a tray or platter) + something vertical (such as a lamp) + something sculptural (such as a vase or selection of pillar candles) = success. A vignette of single-colour pieces can be used to add interest to a plain or pale wall, or to offset busy patterns.

Painted green vases

Wallpaper artwork

Green vases: A selection of painted vases, vessels and pots in (from left) Resene Gravel, Resene Dingley, Resene Black, Resene Highland, Resene Dingley, Resene Clover, Resene Black, and Resene Highland (top) and Resene Gravel (base) form a tonal decorative vignette that both breaks up and enhances a feature wall in Resene Waiouru. The cabinet is in Resene Gravel. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.  Artwork: Wallpaper is wonderful on walls and also makes striking DIY artwork against a block-colour canvas, like this wall in Resene Coast above a console table in the same colour. The print pictured is Resene Wallpaper 98611, in a frame painted with Resene Gold Dust metallic. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.

Try using such a decorative display as the counterbalance for a Resene Wallpaper – another relatively easy way to add wow to your walls. “When choosing a wallpaper, go for the design you love the most, even if it costs a little more initially,” says Megan – that way you’re more likely to enjoy it for longer, and not find yourself wanting to replace it sooner rather than later. If your room has skirting boards, paint them to match the background colour of the wallpaper.

Resene Remember Me

Resene Mystery

Resene Ethereal

Resene Just Dance

Resene Thumbs Up

Resene Twisted Sister

Resene Tablelands

September 30, 2020

For more ideas and inspiration use the room and colour filter to search for the colour inspiration for your home and view the huge colour and wallpaper library at your local Resene ColorShop.

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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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