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Paint effects but not like the 80s

From the Resene decorating blog

How to get sophisticated effects like ombre, colour blocks, mega-stripes or diamonds.

We all know the breath-taking effect a beautiful paint colour has on a home. Walls coated in a beautiful hue take us somewhere emotionally, bringing personality to our dwellings.

A sophisticated blue bedroom

Playful vertical blocks of colour mimic pools of light from these pendants, while also bringing in a colour to complement the dark blue walls. Walls painted in Resene Astronaut and Resene Echo Blue, flooring in Resene Smokescreen and Resene Oxygen and lightshades painted in Resene Alabaster. Bedside tables, bed, canvas and navy cushions from Freedom, bedcover, throw, 60x60 cushion and candle from Country Road, stripe duvet cover and pillowcases from Ezibuy, green linen cushion from Citta, pot plants and pots from Kings Plant Barn. Project by Emily Somerville-Ryan, image by Bryce Carleton.

The beauty of decorating a home with paint is that there’s more to experiment with than just colour; there’s also the range of effects you can create with them.

To work out which paint effect you want to use, grab some Resene testpots try one or two patterns out on a temporary surface to get a sense of whether you like its look or not. That way, you can decide which colours work best together too.

Ombre is one way you can transform a room and is when a paint colour gradually fades into another, the line between the two meeting in a rippled effect. Versatile to use in any room, let two bold colours meet or add a bright colour from the bottom up to jazz up a neutral wall.

Stylist Annick Larkin recommends a textured painted wall for its sense of movement. “I love a textured wall and have always dreamed of having a Venetian plaster bathroom, so here’s my budget-friendly version that still looks stunning,” Annick says.

An outdoor area with an ombre paint effect

An ombré effect can be used in any part of your home, especially on a moveable screen, and is an all-encompassing way to bring in a multitude of colours into one zone.

Screen painted from top to bottom in Resene Ebb, Resene Soothe, Resene Paper Doll, Resene Coral Tree and Resene Merino. Plant pots are in (from large to small) Resene Ebb, Resene Alabaster and Resene Paper Doll, pendant lampshade in Resene Alabaster and tray in Resene Ebb. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Create a cosy reading nook with colour blocking

Create a cosy reading nook within an open space using colour blocks in similar tones to zone areas. The effect of various colours brings depth and a soothing sense of comfort.

Floor painted in Resene Alabaster, main wall colour in Resene Alabaster, headboard block in Resene Silver Chalice, green block in Resene Peace and pale green/grey block in Resene Helix. Rug from Freedom, armchair from Contempa, ‘Thirteen’ artwork by Vee Speers from Pop Motif, teal cushion cover from H&M. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.

“Simply apply your paint using a flat, plaster paddle, rather than a roller or brush, as it will give your walls a gorgeous three-dimensional finish. This technique can be used inside or out. Try it in a neutral tone – such as Resene Sea Fog or Resene Bison Hide for a stylised textured statement.”

Horizontal, zig-zag or diagonal stripes bring a truly eye-catching effect even if they’re in muted colours. Just make sure you have plenty of washi tape – a useful tool to have in your painting arsenal, Annick says.

“Washi tape It is great for blocking off sections to paint and for creating beautiful designs and patterns,” Annick says. “Stripes of any shape or size – thick, thin, horizontal, vertical or diagonal – are an easy way to add interest to a room, but the trick to ensure the space feels elegant and sophisticated is to use a monochrome palette such as Resene Silver Chalice paired with Resene Wan White. Or use different paint finishes, such as Resene Eighth Pearl Lusta stripes in Resene Low Sheen and Resene FX Pearl Shimmer in the same tone to create contrast.

“Stripes can be used to dress up floors, furniture and ceilings too,” she says. This is a simple, easy to achieve effect – one thin horizontal stripe of bright colour can extend around a room, varying in direction at any stage, bringing interest to an interior.

Paint diagonal stripes in a kid's bedroom to add a playful element

Diagonal stripes are one of the many ways you can celebrate a playful element in a child’s bedroom, and with kids always being up for a bit of fun, they will love it. Get their creative juices flowing and help them choose a colour palette. Wall stripes painted in Resene Merino, Resene Ebb and Resene Truffle (stripes are painted 30cm wide), floor in Resene Quarter Truffle, bedside table in Resene Ebb, chest of drawers outside painted in Resene Merino, top drawer in Resene Brown Sugar, middle drawer in Resene Ebb and bottom drawer in Resene Apache, toy box in Resene Apache, round children’s table in Resene Soothe, stools in Resene Apache and Resene Brown Sugar, stacking rainbow painted in Resene Merino, Resene Ebb, Resene Truffle, Resene Apache and Resene Brown Sugar and pencil pot on table painted in Resene Brown Sugar. Duvet cover and lamp from Adairs, gingham pillowcase and mustard cushion from Homebody, pink plain cushion cover from H&M Home, heart cushion, muslin pillowcase and books from Little Whimsy, caterpillar toy from H&M Kids Home. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

You can also use washi tape and multiple paint colours to achieve geometric shapes. Go for a neutral and two complementary bold hues painted in an eye-catching pattern. A work of art in itself, you can also tie in a metallic finish to one colour for a hint of shimmer that will beautifully catch the light.

Colour blocking allows you to draw the eye to certain parts of a room, with randomly placed zones of colour. Your colour block can be any shape, ranging from a square, to a circle or even just a strip across or down a wall.

“Colour blocking is a trend that has periodically come back into fashion since the 1970s,” Annick say. “This simple and easy-to-achieve paint technique is done by selecting zones on a wall and painting them a different colour from the main wall colour.”

“This method is an easy way to highlight a feature or simply dress up an empty wall. Try blurring the lines between the two tones for a more sophisticated feel, such as Resene Napa and Resene Thumbs Up. For that finishing touch in a bedroom try using the colour blocking technique to create a headboard.

Colour blocking in the lounge

If you have a large open-plan space, colour blocking is an effective way of zoning areas within the room, helping the space to be used to its full potential. Using similar tones, areas have been squared off on the floor as well as the walls. Wall and floor painted in Resene Ravine with square in Resene Pumice, cabinets in Resene Blue Smoke, coffee tables in (from large to small) Resene Pewter and Resene Harp, vases, bowls and smaller accessories in Resene Napa, Resene Yucca, Resene Blue Smoke, Resene Pewter, Resene Ravine, Resene Haven, Resene Pumice, Resene Armadillo, Resene Eagle and Resene Harp and frame in Resene Napa. Sofa, chair, striped beige cushion and fawn cushion from Freedom, green cushion, patchwork cushion and ceramic vessel from Citta, grey throw and small earthenware pot from Allium, artwork from Etsy/Noamaart and Etsy/artroomexpo, stripe cushion with fringe and dark green linen cushion from Shut the Front Door. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Use colour blocking to zone areas of storage on your walls for the children, or highlight a desk space in your office or a dressing table area in a bedroom. It’s a perfect way to bring in two or three colours, layering them on one surface.

Murals are a way to draw out your inner artist in a colour you’ve always loved. Don’t feel daunted by the idea of creating this image yourself; even the most simple painted line drawing can create a stunning visual impact. Pick a neutral background and paint a mural in a rich hue. Or paint a bright colour onto a dark, dramatic background for effect.

“With murals, paint can be changed out with relatively ease and without huge expense,” Annick says. “Use paint to design a unique feature mural in your home using stripes, polka dots or geometric shapes – the possibilities are endless. Use contrasting tones such as Resene Nocturnal and Resene Triple Alabaster or colour clash with bold hues such as Resene Merlot, Resene Soothe, Resene Safehaven and Resene Jailbreak for the ultimate style statement.”

The beauty of paint effects is that they evoke an element of fun with their playful pattern. “I have concrete floors at home that always felt cold and uninviting. Painting them with a diamond-shaped pattern in warm greys makes the space feel much more chic. This is another simple technique using washi tape and a muted palette. Simply tape off the harlequin pattern and paint with a roller using Resene Black White and Resene Triple Black White.”

Spruce up a plain wall with a large diamond pattern, bringing in one colour onto a light base wall colour or alternating your colours amongst your diamonds. Using this dynamic pattern, you can go as large or small as you wish for stunning statement.

Using one way of these techniques is a way to bring a sense of celebration or colour and pattern into your home. Start off by using it on one wall first to see how it feels, or apply it to the side of a bookshelf or cabinet to add a fun dimension to a plain room.

Resene Helix

Resene Peace

Resene Thumbs Up

Resene Jailbreak

Resene Safehaven

April 27, 2021

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