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How to create a cosy, homely and comforting home for the cooler months

From the Resene decorating blog

Warming, inviting and welcoming, we all seek these sensations in our home. And in the winter months especially, an inviting comforting home is just what we need.

Creating a home that speaks cosiness and relaxation is priceless. It’s the ultimate way to let your home truly feel like a haven. Add to it the visual warmth of paint and you have a double blessing.

A cosy lounge painted with chalky greys and creams

Snuggle up amid chalky greys and creams in this cosy lounge setting. Painted stripes add visual interest and a soft, round rug echoes the grey of the mantle, its soothing curves offsetting the squares and lines in the room.

Walls painted in Resene Triple Merino with hand-painted pinstripes (above mantle) in Resene Double Cod Grey, floor in Resene Kensington Grey, mantle in Resene Raven with painted arch (on wall) in Resene Double Cod Grey, chess board table in Resene Double Cod Grey and Resene Seashell, bowl (on mantle) in Resene Leather, tall cylindrical vase in Resene Balderdash and other small accessories in Resene Double Cod Grey and Resene Seashell. David sculpture from Ornament, chess set from Cralyn Furniture, armchairs from King Living, rug from The Ivy House, grid cushions from Citta. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

A lounge with warming plywood walls

The warming tones of the plywood wall are celebrated with a simple stain while black battens break up the wall adding a textural element to the surface. Accents in uplifting white and warming terracotta add a soothing layer to the overall scheme.

Plywood wall stained in Resene Colorwood Sheer Black with battens painted in Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene All Black, floor in Resene Colorwood Natural, sideboard in Resene Snow Drift, coffee table in Resene Snow Drift, pendant Lamp in Resene Black White, plant pots in Resene Snow Drift, vase in Resene Half Black White, tall woven candle lantern in Resene Half Black White and small fluted bud vase (on coffee table) in Resene Quarter Drought. Sofa and dark cushions from Nood, rug from Freedom, jute cushion cover from Citta, circle vase from H&M Home, loafers from Zara. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Evoke these feel-good emotions with paint colours that uplift as well as provide rest to the senses.

Earthy, soulful clays paired with timber accents and ceramic pieces evoke a gentle, soothing presence in a room all day. When combined with soft pools of gentle lighting at night, they’ll offer an inviting setting in which to curl up. Soulful neutrals – use Resene Rodeo Drive, Resene Blank Canvas or Resene Half Gin Fizz – are beautiful, uplifting tones to wake up to and help maintain your mood all day.

Other on-trend warm neutrals include Resene Ebb and Resene Eighth Joss. Pink-based white will bring a warmth that resembles a spa, while whites with a hint of yellow will add vibrancy to your room. Pair with dark brown or black for a strong impression or décor accents in similar tones.

Caramels are sophisticated and cocooning, pairing beautifully with gentle pinks and greens. On-trend hues that will resonate beautifully are Resene Alert Tan, Resene Caramel and Resene Casablanca.


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Remember that wonderful rejuvenating feeling you experience when out on a bushwalk surrounded by greenery? Or the sight of grasses blowing in the wind on sand dunes at the beach. These settings are both restful and invigorating and can be brought to life in your own home with light and mid-toned green paint colours on your walls. You can extend this further past your paint colours; bring the outdoors in with a botanical-themed or landscape painting or vases of cut flowers.

Coat your walls in green hues with a touch of blue – think teal colours such as Resene Deep Teal and the jewel-tones of Resene Aquamarine. Teal is often linked with balance and restoration, both essential in a changing world.

For a cosy, encompassing feel, use a dark inky blue, complemented with a pale spearmint or terracotta, mustard or jewel tones for a touch more drama. If you use this in your kitchen on your cabinetry, offset it with brass accents and a neutral stone benchtop for a luxurious homely feel. Earth-toned veining in a marble-look benchtop will bring a sense of movement to this blue.

A bedroom painted with uplifting, gentle neutrals

Uplifting, gentle neutrals dictate this relaxing bedroom setting, punctuated with black accents and given softness with layers of textured bedlinen. Wall painted in Resene Tea, floor in Resene Blanc, bedside table in Resene Bison Hide, table lamp in Resene Black and shade in Resene Bison Hide, small bowl in Resene Black, vase on bedside table in Resene Tapa and large print frame in Resene Tapa. Artwork from Etsy/WArtDesign, duvet cover, pillowcases and cushions from Adairs, chair from Freedom, throw, cushion and Rolf rug from Città. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

For a lighter, more tranquil setting, go for a duck egg blue, such as Resene Duck Egg Blue. If you prefer a greyed green blue, use Resene Ziggurat, Resene Blue Bayoux or Resene Juniper. A flat and low-sheen finish using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen and Flat will bring an attractive weathered look that will resonate beautifully.

Studio Reno interior designer Stacy Heyman says there isn’t one uniform colour choice that dictates cosiness. “Every person has a different colour palette in mind when they imagine comfort,” she says. “For some it’s bright, bold and cheerful and for others, it’s neutrals and whites for a more calming space. For myself, I prefer the natural tones and colours inspired by the elements surrounding us, like Resene Ravine and Resene Linen – soft calming green tones which are light enough they can be used on entire walls.”

Stacy always includes some fail-safe decorative elements when creating a soothing lounge. “A few ingredients to creating a cosy, comforting setting within a home are things like rugs, especially on harder surfaces,” she says. “Even in the summer months, it’s nice to have a soft landing-pad beneath your feet. Ensuring you mix up the shape language in a room, offsetting hard edges like coffee tables or dining tables with curved couches or curving floor lamps.”

A lounge with colourful geometric shapes

Geometric shapes of uplifting colour bring a playful, feel-good notion to this lounge. Rejuvenating pops of teal and aqua are grounded by warming earthy tones of terracotta and a comforting soft furnishings. The result is a comfortable, positive place to be. Wall painted in Resene Tea, side wall and coffee table in Resene Summer Green, hexagons in Resene Ming, Resene Summer Green, Resene Brown Sugar, Resene Bush and Resene Blue Night and cabinet in Resene Ming. Sofa, navy cushion, cups and faux plant from Freedom, hexagon cushion from Wallace Cotton, linen cushion and throw from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

Once you have your base layer of wall paint selected, turn your attention to your window finishings with comfort in mind. “Last but not least, add in soft touches,” Stacy says. “Curtains or sheer drapes can soften a room, making it warmer – and lighter if you opt for white – and you can never have too many assorted cushions on your couch! The key to comfort is definitely in the detail of decor.”

Bring in lighting that exudes warmth and a golden glow and ensure your floor is comfortable, not stark and hard. Bring in soft texture for a silky feel – think plush carpet in your bedrooms and living rooms, with a little pile for added comfort.

Update your bedding with a thick, soft bedspread and a new set of pillows. Arrange areas of quiet beauty with sculptural pieces you love and favourite vessels with stems of flowers from the garden.

Create a snuggly nook for reading, bring in brass elements such as lighting that will catch the natural light and let its golden glow radiate throughout the room. And don’t forget to make sure a pair of soft slippers is at hand.

April 28, 2021

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