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How to create a warm and welcoming home

From the Resene decorating blog

Whether it’s during the cool winter months or the warmth of summer, a welcoming and inviting home is a must all-year round.

A setting that invites us in and makes us want to stay leaves us feeling relaxed and grounded, as we know, we have a retreat where we can return to each day. Paint colours play a large role in forming this environment and feeling, as do the layers of accents that accompany it.

A spicy orange living area

Bedroom with sunset hues

Terracotta room: Optimism and energy abound in this living area, celebrating spicy oranges and warm terracotta. The back wall is in Resene Dark Buff, the shelf wall is in Resene Korma, the floor is in Resene Eighth Drought, the console table is in Resene Twine, the tall vase is in Resene Alpaca, the short vase is in Resene Gold Coast and the DIY artwork in Resene Korma and Resene Gold Coast. Project by Gem Adams, image by Wendy Fenwick.  Bedroom: Bring in warming, sunset hues to create a gentle, relaxing bedroom paired with soft, layered textiles. The wall is in Resene Eighth Canterbury Clay, the floor is in Resene Eighth Joss, the large pot is in Resene Quarter Bison Hide, the bedhead is in Resene Eighth Joss and the tall vase is in Resene Beethoven. Project by Melle Van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

Resene Colour Consultant Amy Watkins suggests bringing in warm neutrals such as Resene Rice Cake, Resene Orchid White, Resene Bianca or Resene Carrara. “If the room receives lots of sunlight, use Resene Rice Cake as it has a subtle grey edge to the cream that prevents to much yellow or green coming through. Or if the room is south facing, go for warmer, brighter hues such as Resene Orchid White or Resene Bianca to lift the space. Paint accents and trims in the same colour range, just two shades lighter.”

“If bringing in a feature colour, use warm Tuscany colours such as Resene Crail or Resene Sante Fe,” she says, “which carry good depth to contrast against the off-white colour palette, yet are still soft.”

For a Hamptons feel, use neutrals, but bring in blue tones. “Try Resene Iron or Resene Grey Chateau, or for more colour use Resene Botticelli or Resene Horizon,” Amy says. “This is more of a style trend that will give you a direction towards what kind of finishings you can use. Other options are Resene Double Alabaster, which is light to give a clean contrast against the stronger blue colours. Or creams with green undertones, such as Resene Half Thorndon Cream or Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream, also create a coastal feeling.”

Subtle nods to the ocean can be brought in by way of striped fabrics on cushions or curtains, or rattan rugs and light pendants. Layer your blue backdrop with shots of bold colours in accent items, reminiscent of warm, cloudless days at the beach. Paint your dining room chairs in the dreamy blue of Resene Escape or brighter Resene Havelock Blue, allowing them to sing out in confidence.

The optimistic nature of soft yellow is one that can’t be ignored when creating an inviting home. Bring in soft versions that aren’t too overpowering or harsh, such as the warm, orange-tinted yellow of Resene Half Buttermilk, gentle ochre of Resene Manuka Honey or golden, creamy tones of Resene Melting Moment. Such colours make a room feel inviting and warm, so are the answer for spaces in south-facing parts of the home, which tend to feel cold with little natural light. These always resonate well with blues – try Resene Duck Egg Blue, the slate grey-blue of Resene Lynch or the maritime Resene Captain Cook. Soft, pink accents by way of cushions, throws or painted plant pots or stair railings add another layer of warmth and a happy hue.

Painting colourful and cheerful circles on the wall

Living area with cheerful red and pastoral green

Mural photo: The yellow white of Resene Rice Cake, on the wall and floor in this room, meets the sweetness of Resene Dust Storm, on the lower circle and shelf, and Resene Twine, on the large circle. The pot plant is in Resene Biscotti. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick. Sitting room: Cheerful red resonates with pastoral green to uplift the atmosphere in this living area. The wall is in Resene Half Alabaster, the floor is in Resene Rakaia, the arch screen is in Resene Half Alabaster with stripes in Resene Pattens Blue, the tall side table is in Resene Code Red and the vase is in Resene Pale Rose. Project by Melle van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

If warming apricots and oranges are catching your eye, bring in these energetic hues, a step further from yellow. Resene Whiskey Sour, a blend of ochre, brown and orange, Resene Porsche, in amber gold, or Resene Tuscany, in orange terracotta, keeps things energised. For a touch brighter, autumnal Resene Smoke Tree or apricot Resene Roxy will conjure thoughts of energy, vitality and cheerfulness. Pink accents in shrimp-coloured Resene New York Pink or dusky Resene Coral Tree will spice your setting up further.

Give your home a complete recharge with a bold enriching, joyful reds, especially those with terracotta tones; try the warm, ginger-brown of Resene Dark Buff, earthy Resene Prairie Sand or the seductive red of Resene Jalapeno. These might feel better suited to dining room chairs, a side cabinet or your favourite bookshelf to make a statement without overwhelming the room.

“A hallway is a great place to have a strong colour as it is a transitional room whereby its nature no one ever spends much time in it, so the colour won’t overpower,” stylist Megan Harrison Turner says.

Resene Hot Chile and Resene Pohutukawa on the warm side would be great examples. Cool colours can be warm and welcoming too – try Resene Tarawera or Resene Warrior with Resene Copper Fire in a metallic finish.”

Kate Alexander, creative director of Places and Graces, suggests Resene Foggy Grey for a timeless calm feel or Resene Rakaia, a soft neutral with just a touch of mauve, suitable for all rooms. Resene Double Dutch White, Resene Blank Canvas and Resene Gold Coast go well together for a home with a warm Tuscan glow too, she says.

Of course, the entrance to your home sets the tone for what’s to come, and with this being the first impression made on visitors, it’s worth ensuring this is welcoming. “Starting with the impact of colour and then moving to softer colours can work well,” says Megan. “Try an entrance with Resene Warrior then moving to softer versions of the same type of colour, like Resene Cut Glass and Resene Half Opal.”

From the outside, paint your front door with a cheerful hue, not necessarily bright and bold, but one that gives character and is an inviting hue such as sunny Resene Golden Sand or terracotta pink Resene Japonica. Planters, painted in complementary tones, will enhance this look, as will the steps to your front door – so clean up any chipped paint or dirty floor surfaces. A painted chair that sits on your porch or deck is an inviting feature too. Once inside, paint a console and mirror in a colour that ties in with your home’s overall aesthetic to continue the warm and welcoming feel.

By bringing in these warming colours to your home, a sense of optimism will flow throughout your home, bringing a smile to the faces of those who step inside.

Resene Tarawera

December 05, 2020

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