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Move to the dark side

From the Resene decorating blog

There’s something so inviting and alluring about a room with unapologetic smoky, masculine colours. Not just for the men of the world, but for anyone who is drawn to soothing, deep tones that offer a sense of protection and sophistication. Whatever time of year it is – summer or winter – dark interior palettes can be embraced. Simply swap them out for lighter linen in your bedroom in the warmer months.

Whether you want to colour a floor to ceiling bookshelf, a feature wall or an entire room, masculine colours will bring a sumptuous feel, inviting you in and to stay and get cosy. For an extra cocoon-like effect, continue your colour from your wall onto your ceiling and onto your trims, so it completely surrounds you, or balance it with a beautiful neutral.

A masculine bedroom

Cosy and cocoon-like, these sumptuous bedroom walls in Resene Monkey and the floor in Resene Space Shuttle provide a comforting retreat. The dresser is in Resene Kabul, the bedside lamp is in Resene Americano, the side table is in Resene Kilamanjaro, the books are in Resene Kabul and Resene Space Shuttle, the DIY artwork is in Resene Kilamanjaro (monochrome version) and Resene Monkey and Resene Madison (blue and brown version), the tall vase with dried flowers is in Resene Americano, the bowl is in Resene Tide and the tall plant pot on the shelf is (with dark plant) in Resene Felix. Vases are in Resene Felix, Resene Kabul, Resene Americano, Resene Monkey and Resene Space Shuttle. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

Moody charcoals and luscious greys are right at home in masculine-toned interiors. Bring in the elegant grey of Resene Tuna, which comes alive even more with Resene Half Pearl Lusta. Or for a smokier feel, Resene Eighth Masala offers a grey that makes its mark next to Resene Triple Arrowtown and Resene Lumberjack. If you prefer a lighter, more neutral grey Resene Copyrite resonates with Resene Condor, Resene Caffeine and Resene Night Moves. For a shade lighter Resene Rakaia is a popular hue.

Inky blues are captivating and alluring, worth of our attention. Resene Tangaroa will make an elegant impact, as will the blackened blue of Resene Indian Ink and the refined grey blue of Resene Licorice. Bring in accessories in shades such as Resene Half Black White and Resene Raging Bull and Resene All Black. Stylist Kate Alexander says dark slate grey blues are bold and embracing – especially in a lounge or bedroom. “Try Resene Balderdash, Resene Big Stone or Resene Dark Slate – mix them black trims.” Stylist Annick Larkin says navy blues are much more welcoming than black. “Try Resene Dark Side, Resene Safehaven or Resene Coast,” she says. On grey blue walls, tie in accents in bright azure, pale pink or lime green.

Dive into the deep murky blue green of Resene Celtic and recharge in its inviting hues. Keep your accents earthy with Resene Pavlova or Resene Putty on side tables and chairs.

Sitting room painted in warming feel-good goldens

Warming feel-good goldens work their magic with rich velvet, moody tones and shiny accents. Walls painted in Resene Gold Coast, the floor is in Resene Pendragon and Resene Hairy Heath, the hall table is in Resene Noir, the nesting tables are in Resene Hairy Heath (large), Resene Pendragon (medium) and Resene Gold Coast (small) with legs in Resene Noir, the vase is (with twigs) in Resene Hairy Heath and the candlesticks are in Resene Noir. Project by Melle Van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

Rich chocolate browns are chic, sultry and sophisticated so don’t be afraid to cover all four walls in them. Try Resene Cinnamon for a warm copper brown, Resene Rebel in its deep warm smoked earth brown. Add finishing touches with the charcoal of Resene Zeus and grey black of Resene Nocturnal in accents furniture. For a deeper more burnt brown, opt for Resene Sepia, with accents in Resene Stonewall and Resene Hillary. A deep walnut hue can be found in Resene Monkey, with rich accents in Resene Korma and Resene Billabong. “Greens are another on trend colour that will appeal to those after a more masculine aesthetic,” says Annick. “Try Resene Permanent Green or Resene Balderdash.” Ochre and burnt orange accent colours are winning partners, try Resene Gold Coast, Resene Alert Tan or Resene Dark Buff.

Stylist Megan Harrison-Turner says some of her favourite strong, dark and handsome colours are Resene Dune and Resene Triple Dune, both being organic dark greys. She also suggests Resene Warrior, Resene Tarawera and Resene Elephant, all dark teals, as well as Resene Avalanche, Resene Bunting and Resene Midnight Express, dark blues. “There is more interest than the blacks that have been popular in recent times but they still work well with whites and pale accent colours,” she says.

Dark, crimson colours that are reaching the limelight include Resene Lone Ranger, Resene Vanquish and Resene Felix. Bordering into browns almost, these colours look effective when paired with feature walls in Resene Sorrell Brown and Resene Lone Ranger or Resene Antidote.

For masculine colours that are bold and brave, Resene colour consultant Amy Watkins recommends the earthy grey of Resene Dark Slate, the green of Resene Mako and the grey blue of Resene Atomic. The cool tones of Resene Black White or the warmer tones of Resene Alabaster are neutral enough to provide the right trim colour, she says.

Remember, there are alternatives to applying these masculine tones to an entire room. It might suit your home’s aesthetic better to paint a feature wall, or a vertical or horizontal strip in one room, painting the rest of the wall in a lighter accent colour. Of course there is always room for dark hues on shelving, kitchen cabinets and hardwood floors for a cohesive look throughout your space. By adding a high-gloss finish to your extra dark colours, for instance, on furniture, you’ll create an added sense of sophistication.

The key to these dark walls is to consider well-thought-out accents. Let lighting be your friend, lifting the space, whether it be by pendant lights, sconces or lamps, all in reflective surfaces. Scatter table and floor lamps and their warm glow across the room as opposed to having simply one feature pendant in the centre of your ceiling. Multiple lamps will bring an element of cosiness and comfort to your masculine-coloured interior. Make use of these shiny items, be it a statement vase or bowl, as they will catch the light and illuminate it around the room, adding a luminosity to the space. Brass fittings suit dark, moody backgrounds beautifully and mirrors fit in elegantly, creating a sense of depth in the room.

A grounding bedroom painted with earthy hues

A dark green lounge with emerald and rose accents

Bedroom: Grounding, earthy hues create a sanctuary in this bedroom where texture takes the limelight. Olive meets its ideal partners in powder blue, burgundy and terracotta accents. The upper wall is in Resene Stone Age, the lower batten wall is in Resene Wilderness, the floor is in Resene Green White, the side tables are in Resene Alabaster with ‘marble effect’ in Resene FX Paint Effects Medium coloured with Resene Rolling Stone, the jug vase is in Resene Spitfire, the diamond-textured vase is in Resene Half Duck Egg Blue and the tiny vase and curvy vase are in Resene Lime White. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Wendy Fenwick.  Lounge: Channel the glory of rich emerald with brass and rose accents. The walls in this lounge are in Resene Palm Green, the floor is in Resene Greige, the cabinet is in Resene Double Spanish White with stripes in Resene Vintage, the large plant pot is in Resene Palm Green, the lamp is in Resene Midwinter Mist, the low bowl is in Resene Bubble White, the books are in Resene Deep Teal and Resene Rivergum and the vase is in Resene Blue Smoke. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

The role of textiles is important with these moody colours as they soften the aesthetic dramatically and bring a cohesive look. Pursue cosiness even further by way of layers of soft linen throws, sheepskins and woollen throws will add to the sense of cocooning. Try and go for good quality textiles, ones that won’t fade and rub easily, you want them to match the level of sophistication in your chosen paint. Lush pot plants in all their greenery will look beautiful against a petrol blue wall. Ensure your floors are of a darker tone too, adding rugs for added comfort in your cocoon-like dark haven.

Resene Safehaven

Resene Noir

November 30, 2020

Visit the Resene Decorating Inspiration gallery online for more decorating ideas from other DIYers and visit your Resene ColorShop for all the expert advice and products you need to decorate.

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