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Design for a mood boost

From the Resene decorating blog

When the world around us feels a tad tumultuous, it’s nice if our homes feel like a haven of calm; a place where we can find some respite and happiness.

Painted organic shapes make this sitting room calmly uplifting

Organic shapes and a muted natural make this sitting room calmly uplifting.

Back wall painted in Resene Half Athens Grey with circular shape in Resene Quarter Perfect Taupe, curved timber backdrop to the daybed in Resene Colorwood Riverstone, left wall in Resene Oilskin, floor in Resene Quarter Delta with shape in Resene Atomic, shelf and stool top in Resene Quarter Perfect Taupe, artwork in Resene Quarter Perfect Taupe, Resene Atomic, Resene Oilskin and Resene Quarter Delta and bud vase in Resene Atomic Chaise/sofa bed from Nood, stool and lamps from Urban Sales. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Designing interiors that spark happiness is simply about curating spaces that celebrate the people, places and things we love. It might be a favourite piece of furniture that could be the starting point for a bold room design, the colours of nature that make you feel calm and at ease, or an unexpected clash of colour and pattern that makes you smile – Resene has plenty of options to give your interiors a boost.

There’s lots of theories out there about different colours and their impact on our psychology and mood, but the simplest approach to designing spaces that give you a mental or emotional lift, is to work with the things you love.

Clear the decks

Netflix declutter queen Marie Kondo is on to something with her mantra of only keeping things that bring you joy. Having a bit of a clear-out can, in itself, give you a bit of a mood lift. Think how good you feel when you’ve tidied the house and things are put back in their place.

There’s no need to go fully minimalist, but getting rid of things that you no longer use, don’t remember buying or don’t have space for will help give you a clean slate to build your new look from. As you’re clearing divide pieces into a throw-out pile, a donate or gift pile and an upcycle pile. It could be you have some gems hidden away that you still love, but they have just been forgotten in a storage box or at the back of a wardrobe.

Getting started on a declutter can feel a bit overwhelming. You ask an empathetic friend or family member to help get you started, and take it in small stages at a time. Start with that junk drawer that’s driving you crazy and work your way up.

If your decluttering demonstrates that you need more storage, try to incorporate that into your design and decorating plans, with extra shelves, seats that can double as storage boxes, or upcycled sideboards and drawers.

Bring the outside in

Flooding your space with as much natural light as you can gives almost any room an instant boost. Connection with nature and the outdoors are proven to give us all a mood boost, and letting the light in is a great first step to merging the inside with the outdoors.

If you want your happy place to be more of a cool retreat, than a sun-soaked sitting area, add blinds or soft billowing sheer curtains, rather than heavy drapes, for soft filtered light.

If you're short on windows, boost the impact of the natural light you do have with mirrors and subtly glinting surfaces like brushed metallics.

Adding even one or two plants to your space is another way to keep that connection with the outdoors. Talk to a garden centre about low maintenance options that will suit your space, if plant care is not one of the things that makes you happy.

Another way to connect with the outdoors for an indoor mood lift, is to recreate some of the colour schemes from nature that you find inspiring.

A bright and colourful home office

A mix of bright colours in unexpected but delightful combinations makes this a creative, inspiring office or study space.

Lower half of wall painted in Resene Coast, floor and top half of wall in Resene Poured Milk, desk in Resene Influential, chair in Resene Yes Please, bookshelf and magazine file on desk in Resene Raging Bull and centre circle memo board in ringed in Resene Shilo. The rest of the memo boards and room accessories are a mix of all the colours used in the space. Rug and alarm clock from Allium, floral stationery accessories from The Warehouse, glass and storage baskets from Citta. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

Primary colours bring a burst of energy to this Mondrian inspired bathroom.

Wall painted in Resene Eighth Black White with a grid in Resene Blackjack, colour blocks in Resene Jalapeno (red), Resene Aviator (blue) and Resene Galliano (yellow), timber floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, duckmat in Resene Black White and shelf in Resene Blackjack. Bath from Plumbing World, Resene Palazzo Towels from Briscoes. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.

Try calming earthy tones in pale, fresh shades like Resene Blanc, Resene Sisal or Resene Double Merino, with colours of the forest, like Resene Bush or Resene Palm Green and wood surfaces finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash or warmer Resene Colorwood Oregon. For a cosier, calming retreat try deeper background natural colours like Resene Brown Bramble or Resene Kelp with muted highlights in Resene Pine Cone or Resene Flax.

As another idea, paint your ceiling or a feature wall in the dark blue of Resene Midnight Express or Resene Rhino to resemble the soothing night sky. You could even add masked stars in Resene Alabaster with Resene FX Nightlight applied on top so they glow in the dark.

Add sunset or sunrise shades on another wall graduating in warm oranges and yellows like Resene Vesuvius and Resene Gold Drop, toned down with a soft neutral like Resene Half Spanish White. For a less intense version try muted or pastel sunset shades in Resene Just Dance, Resene Sorbet and Resene Despacito.

Finish your space by layering natural fibres and materials such as wood, stone, linen, marble, cotton and wool to emphasise the connection with the natural world.

Choose uplifting colours

The colours we find uplifting will vary person to person so have a play with Resene testpots in colours you know you like, and look for unexpected combinations that make you smile.

An airy and relaxing living room

Jewel tones against a soothing blue background with dark accents create a light, airy relaxing living area.

Walls painted in Resene Nepal with ‘tile’ paint effect in Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Frozen, floor in Resene Blanc, round coffee table in Resene Tuscany and console table in Resene Bokara Grey. Ceramics from Formantics, artwork by Maiko Nagao, candlesticks from Power Surge, dried flowers from Wandering Willow, lamp from Lighting Plus, sofa from Wolf & Co, rug from Good Thing, cushions and throws from Adairs. Project by Melle van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

A bold blue and orange interior

Bold blue and orange give this complementary colour scheme a vibrant bolt of energy.

Resene Bluetooth has been painted on the walls to balance the deep blue of the chaise longue and the vibrant Resene Jailbreak of the wall console. Tall vase painted in Resene Wishing Well, short vase in Resene Japonica, ribbed bowl in Resene Slipstream and floor in Resene Alabaster. Sofa from Contempa, artwork by Dada22 from Pop Motif, rug from Freedom, plate from Shut the Front Door, cushion and shoes from H&M. Project by Vanessa Nouwen, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Primary colours like blue, red and yellow are a good place to start. Each is traditionally associated with different impacts on our mood – blue for creativity, yellow for optimism and red for energy. In their bright primary hues like Resene Bondi Blue, Resene Moon Yellow and Resene Guardsman Red, they work well as bursts of fun and drama against a monochrome background. They’re also fun to play with in unusual bright combinations. Try lighter Resene Danube blue with a burst of orange Resene Sebedee or more muted Resene Mexican Red against the teal of Resene Bismark.

Of course, you don’t need to stick to primary colours for uplifting colours schemes. Pinks, purples, greens, oranges, turquoise all have a part to play. It just comes down to what you like, so experiment. Sometimes that little bit of uplift you’re looking for comes from the unpredictable, or whimsical notes in your room design that reflect your personality, or the things that have meaning for your family. Playing is part of the fun!

Some other design ideas for giving your home an uplifting effect are:

Relive your holidays

Whether it’s an exotic overseas location or a simple trip to the local beach campground, evoking past holidays in your interiors is a good way to ensure a mood boosting interior.

Take a favourite holiday photo, put it in an eye-catching frame and build your room design around it. Take inspiration from the colours and textures in the photo to spark happy memories.

Top tip:  You can turn your own photos into a mural with Resene WallPrint.

Create a gallery space

Turn one room into your personal gallery by gathering together some of the objects, prints or art that you love to display together. Create a gallery wall with framed photos, kids’ artwork, holiday souvenirs, wallpaper designs, or prints in different size and shape frames. Gather them around your favourite comfy chair, or the desk in your home office.

Floral fiesta

Florals can be a fun way to add a botanical boost to your space. Try a dramatic feature wall in Resene Wallpaper Collection DGKEN101, or for a subtler floral burst, wrap a small section of paper around a canvas, put it inside a frame or add it to the front of some upcycled drawers.

Add some whimsy

Try painting your own design on the walls. Sketch your design freehand if you’re feeling confident, or try measuring out geometric patterns if you want something simpler.

Alternatively add in a feature wall in a whimsical design like the quirky botanicals of Resene Wallpaper Collection E384605 or go for a full mural like the dusky sunset of Resene Wallpaper Collection P031VD3.

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Despacito

Resene Sorbet

Resene Just Dance

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Slipstream

Resene Bluetooth

Resene Yes Please

Resene Jailbreak

Resene Influential

December 29, 2021

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