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Designing for wellness

From the Resene decorating blog

Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz reminded us on that fateful trip, remember? “There’s no place like home,” she told us. She was right, home should be our haven, our place of refuge – somewhere we can feel calm and content.

The time we spend at home has increased, with many of us working and learning for longer at the kitchen table or study. Because of this, we’re focusing more on our habitat and many of us are rethinking how it works for us and our wellbeing. Part of slowing down means a chance to reconsider.

A room painted in contemplative blue tones

A relaxing blue-green bedroom

Room with painted arch: Allow an emotional connection with your home, with reassuring and contemplative blue tones. Make a nostalgic nod to the 1950s with Resene Awash, seen here in this playful arch. It's set against the elegant Resene Seachange. Complementing these blues are Resene Breathless on the floor and a plant pot in Resene Rhino with a Resene Breathless stripe and Resene Awash triangle motifs. Project by Melle Van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.  Bedroom: Encourage the sweetest of dreams with bedroom walls in blue-green Resene Juniper. Bring it down to earth in the most relaxing way with Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash on the floor. A headboard in Resene Dover White and bench in Resene Balderdash unite this look, with vertically ribbed vases in Resene Balderdash and Resene Double Sea Fog. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

We know when our home isn’t making us feel good – if we’ve outgrown it or if it leaves us feeling frustrated. When you walk around your home, what makes your heart sing? What irritates you? Our homes should be an extension of ourselves so as to emphasis who we are in return. Small changes to our homes for the better can have huge effects on our happiness.

Our homes, more than ever, have become places in which to become more mindful. Choosing soft neutral colours helps to calm our minds and create a sense of well-being in a peaceful, nurturing environment. Selecting calming warm earthy tones, coastal-inspired palettes or nature-evoking greens are all great starting points.

Of course, colour is subjective, the soothing effect of a coffee cream might be someone’s else’s idea of lacking vitality. But there are a few things to consider. How do certain colours make you feel? Is this a short-term effect or do you want to be around them on a daily basis?

A clean modern aesthetic - moodboard showing items to layer

Adopt a clean, modern aesthetic with a base of Resene Black White or Resene Triple Black White. Layer elegant tones from here, as seen in these A4 drawdown paint swatches (from left to right) in Resene Gumboot, Resene Black White and Resene Despacito, small geometric plant pot in Resene Quarter Chicago, large geometric plant pot in Resene Saltpan and bowl in Resene Saltpan and Resene Gumboot.

Take note of nature. Blue is the superstar colour of the moment, bringing with it a sense of clarity, peace and strength – honouring the same tranquillity of the sky and the ocean. Dusty shades are holding their own right now and work wonders when creating a relaxing, tranquil space in the home. Try the softness of Resene Duck Egg Blue – timeless and soothing – or go a touch bolder with Resene Blue Bayoux or Resene Juniper in its Nordic blue-green glory. Once you’ve cleared out the visual clutter, let these blue get rid of the mental clutter, leading you to a calmer space.

Other restful hues are Resene Dust Storm or Resene Bud that will help encourage a sense of wellbeing. If you’re drawn to something more energised try sunny yellow, reds or oranges, such as Resene Golden Sand, Resene Red Oxide or Resene Whiskey Sour.

When designing an interior to enhance the feeling of wellness it really starts with identifying colours that physiologically fit your profile or those in your family, says Laura. “Generally, you will find the traditional tones of cool blues and greens will stimulate wellness the most, which is why we mainly see these colours in medical facilities,” she says. Wellness isn’t a one size fits all type of design scenario. “While an introvert might prefer Resene Secrets, an extrovert’s wellbeing would be balanced with an offset combo of Resene Smoky Green with an energising but muted Resene Sunbaked. It is about building your palette to suit your personality and the mindset outcome that you want to achieve, then selecting specific pieces to style with.”

A moodboard with rosy red hues

A lounge painted in creamy tones

Moodboard: Rosy hues evoke an inviting and comforting offering. Soothing and inspiring, they’ll pop beautifully against a calm backdrop of Resene Rice Cake. Resene Sauvignon, as seen here on the vase and tealight holder, and A4 drawdown paint swatches, from the top, in Resene Sakura, Resene Sauvignon and Resene Pohutukawa, add the final touches. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.  Lounge: Sooth and inspire with the muted, creamy tones of Resene Black White on the walls of this lounge. Add interest to the room with Resene Black White and Resene Triple Black White on the floor in a geometric design. Complementary accents include the coffee table in Resene Westar and shelf in Resene Black White. Milky tones such as these are the perfect backdrop for adding natural fibres and textures, such as woven pendants, cushions and ottomans. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

Soft lighting and soft colours are key, says artist Greer Clayton. “Colours that are similar tonally in living spaces always create a feeling of calm, and I’m a fan of different colours in different rooms to add interest.”

Muted colours seem to feel relaxing and varying the strength of one colour if you don’t want to use several is a good idea to ensure the spaces are cohesive, she says. “Fresh whites in bathroom areas for instance such as Resene Half Carrara and Resene Barely There mean clean, bright spaces. Resene SpaceCote is good for a soft but durable finish. Sage greens and nature colours like Resene Quill Grey, Resene Green Spring and Resene Ravine could be used on cabinetry to introduce colour and calm.”

Resene Colour Consultant Brenda Ngatai suggests using paints with no volatile organic compound in them. Resene Zylone Sheen Zero with no added VOCs and Resene EarthSense Ceiling Paint are popular for people with allergies, she says. “Keeping the paint finishes in a low-sheen or flat gives a feeling of calmness to an interior space,” Brenda says.

Home accessories inspired by nature

Soft, gentle and relaxing, Resene Breeze is a restful background tone. Objects bring subtle pops of colour, using nature as inspiration, with blue, green and cream. (From largest to smallest) Resene Lynch (blue vase), Resene Triple Black White (triangular dish), Resene Kelp (soap dispenser) and Resene West Coast (cup).

Removing messy physical and visual clutter and surrounding yourself with homeware that inspires you. Bring in soft, curved lines by way of your furniture for a gentle effect, tying in natural elements such as sisal, linen and wood.

Once you’ve got your colours sorted, tune in to your senses, they’ll allow you to get in touch with where your surroundings.

Add soft rugs underfoot for that added sense of comfort, plant some more trees near your windows that will attract the birds and their song and bring bedding into your bedroom that you love to sink into. Remove any unwanted plastic and opt for organic objects when you can. Get rid of any old uncomfortable bathroom towels and replace them with ones that feel beautiful against your skin.

How are the natural light and air levels? It might be time to get rid of those heavy curtains that are obstructing your windows and replace them with something visually lighter. Bring in the outdoors with air purifying plants – the Peace Lily is an easy-care option. How noisy is your home? Constant background noise can add to your stress levels so consider retro-fitting double glazing or high hedge planting to deter unwanted noise.

Ensure you have your own sanctuary where you can really escape to – a favourite corner or comfortable chair near your most-loved outlook. These little things may initially seem not worthy of consideration, but they all play their role in helping create a home that encourages happiness, greater presence and mental wellbeing.

Resene Despacito

Resene Sunbaked

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

October 25, 2020

For more ideas and inspiration visit your local Resene ColorShop or view the latest looks online.

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