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Design for the seasons – without breaking the bank

From the Resene decorating blog

If you love colour and interior design there is always a temptation to keep updating your home – or office – with the latest on-trend looks every season.

A wintery style lounge

Lifting out different colours from the dramatic drawer front design would be a great way to move this room into different seasonal looks. These wintery walls are painted in Resene Rocky Mountain, with the floor in Resene Sixth Sense and door in Resene Thunder Road. Side table painted in Resene Rivergum with pots in Resene Safehaven (large) and Resene Ethereal, chest of drawers in Resene Alabaster with a harlequin pattern in Resene Despacito, Resene Peace, Resene Safehaven, Resene Shabby Chic, Resene Porter and Resene Crowdpleaser, tray in Resene Courage, plant pot (on the tray) in Resene Grey Olive, candlesticks are Resene Courage and Resene Noir and vase with flowers in Resene Courage. Armchair and ottomans from Freedom, rug from The Ivy House, table from Shut the Front Door, tray and vessels from Freedom, throw from DMI Homestagers, artwork by Julz Donald. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Not only can that get expensive but it can also start to skew your original design vision as you tinker with new colours, textures and accessories for autumn, winter, spring and summer.

There are some simple hacks you can work with to keep room up to date for different seasons that will satisfy your seasonal creativity, without causing clutter or breaking the bank.

Be stylish rather than trendy

To keep your seasonal decorating plans and budget manageable it’s a good idea to really think about what your personal tastes and style are. Then think about ways you might incorporate seasonal trends into that.

The guide to choosing your colours and overall look for an interior is to go with what you love, rather than opt for something just because it’s popping up on everybody’s Instagram or TikTok.

It’s also a good idea to look around at different trends. Think about what’s driving them and how that might be applied to your life. For example, a trend toward warmer minimalism has come from spending more time in our houses in recent times, which is prompting us to declutter while wanting our homes to be relaxing and inviting. If that reason for choosing a sandy, softer neutral like Resene Perfect Taupe for your room resonates with you, you’re more likely to stick with it for longer. Whereas if you paint your room bright blue just because someone else said it’s trendy – you might get sick of it much more quickly.

There’s still room in all that to express yourself and change things up however and whenever you want, but it will help you build a collection of classic pieces for your room, that you can adjust to the seasons with throws, cushions, rugs and ornaments.

Top tip: Instead of thinking about seasons, it can be simpler to just think about ‘warmer’ and ‘cooler’ tones for your room. Fresh and cool shades for spring/summer spaces; warmer, moodier shades for autumn/winter.

Use your neutrals

It’s the obvious solution, but keeping the backdrop to your space – the walls, floor, ceiling and trim – to a neutral shade does make it much easier, as well as faster and cheaper, to update your rooms season to season.

It’s worth noting however, that creating a blank canvas for your room that allows for frequent switch-outs doesn’t mean white on white. There are a large range of neutral shades that offer a touch of background colour to your space, but which are flexible enough to still work with a wide range of seasonal accent shades.

One great example of this is Resene Half Tea. This grey-green tinged neutral is consistently one of Resene’s most popular colours for good reason. It looks summery and clean against bright whites like Resene Black White, but it also works very well as a backdrop for autumnal hues like Resene Moroccan Spice, wintry reds like Resene Well Read and pale spring blues like Resene Raindance.

Other flexible non-white neutrals to try are subtle smoked greys like Resene Silver Chalice or sandy beiges like Resene Prairie Sand.

Of course that doesn’t mean white on white, or classic black and white don’t work very well as an adaptable background too. Opting for a minimalism look might seem contrary to the idea of switching out accessories and colours for different seasons but it can be extremely effective. The secret is keeping your seasonal swap outs to just a few key items to get maximum bang for your buck.

Think about a background painted entirely in Resene Alabaster, with one or two items like an upcycled wooden chair or a bookshelf, that you repaint in a new dramatic shade each season – or just when you’re in the mood for change. It could be moody Resene Salsa for winter, herby Resene Amulet for spring, bold Resene Galliano for summer and spicy Resene Cumin for autumn.

The white background will make those few contrasting items really pop.

The other way to do this is to keep one feature wall, or just part of a wall, as your seasonal switch-out space that can be easily updated with Resene paint or Resene wallpaper for a new look, while the rest of the room stays the same.

Pops of sea blue make this a summery lounge

Despite the deep walls stained in Resene Colorwood Woody Bay, textures and pops of sea blue make this an undeniably summery room.

Floor painted in Resene Sea Fog, sideboard in Resene Casper, coffee table in Resene Indian Ink with Resene Sea Fog wiped on as ‘white wash’, tray and textured vase on the sideboard in Resene Escape, large planter and small tealight holder in Resene Lazy River and white rattan votive holder and pendant light in Resene Sea Fog. Sofa, chair and rug from Freedom, bottle from Farmers, artwork from Simply Creative, blue glasses from The Warehouse, jug from Citta, basket, faux palm, cushions and throw from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Deep colours and luxurious accessories make this a wintery lounge

The plywood wall stained in Resene Colorwood Woody Bay anchors the space. The cosy feel is amplified by deep, luxurious cushions and accessories.

Floor painted in Resene Sea Fog, rear screen in Resene Felix wiped with Resene Sea Fog, sideboard in Resene Casper, coffee table in Resene Indian Ink with Resene Sea Fog wiped on as ‘white wash’, basket and textured pot on the sideboard in Resene Felix, tall vase in Resene Indian Ink, coasters in Resene Casper, votive holder on the sideboard and bowl (on the coffee table) in Resene Thunder Road and bud vase in Resene Sea Fog. Sofa, chair and rug from Freedom, blanket from Ezibuy, velvet and woven cushions from Citta, grey cushion from Adairs, throw from Bed Bath & Beyond, artwork from etsy/middlevillageshop. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Furniture and furnishings

Most of us won’t be switching out a couch or dining room suite to meet the new seasonal colour trends, but you can still tweak your furniture to fit a new look.

When you’re buying your major furniture items you could opt for neutral shades that can be pepped up with cushions and throws. But just as with your walls, that doesn’t have to mean cream or beige. There are quite dramatic moody or bright colours that will still work with a wide range of other seasonal colours.

A summery outdoor space

Summer – Seasonal switchouts can work particularly well outside. These prints and neutrals make the space perfectly suited to summer. Back wall painted in Resene Triple White Pointer, side wall in Resene Half Friar Greystone with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Quarter Friar Greystone for a marble effect, tongue-and-groove flooring in Resene Triple White Pointer, trellis panels in Resene Woodsman Whitewash, large plant pot in Resene All Black, table tray in Resene Blanc and tealight candleholder in Resene Biscotti. Cheetah cushions and day bed from Bed Bath & Beyond, large palm (in plant pot) from Adairs, sienna cushion, military cushion and planter (on coffee table) with pine needle succulent from Shut the Front Door, silk blend cushion and glass tumblers from Citta, throw and wine glasses from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

A deep charcoal blue couch might seem intrinsically wintry but looks great with minty greens, pale peachy colours or duck egg blues for an airy, summery feel. Forest greens work well with charcoal and burgundy shades for a warm and cosy look, or muted pinks and sage tones for spring freshness.

Texture in your soft furnishings also impacts how cosy or cool a room can feel. Opt for luxury velvets and wools, with dark wood tones for wintery space, and switch them out for linens, muslin and natural fibres for a more summery feel.

Storage and ceremony

A big help to anybody wanting to be flexible and seasonal with their interiors is having plenty of storage space. It means you can set aside decor items and soft furnishings like cushion covers and throws when you’re done with them, and dust them off again when you’re ready.

A cosy outdoor space

Winter – warmer textures and the addition of the trellis screen finished in Resene FX Faux Rust Effect make this outdoor space feel more sheltered and cosy. Back wall painted in Resene Triple White Pointer, side wall in Resene Half Friar Greystone with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Quarter Friar Greystone for a marble effect, tongue-and-groove flooring in Resene Triple White Pointer and rear trellis panels in Resene Woodsman Whitewash. The large planter is Resene All Black and the smaller one is Resene FX Faux Rust Effect, as is the plant pot on the table. On the table the small vase is Resene Tapa and the tray is Resene Blanc. Sofa from Early Settler, blanket from The Warehouse, grey checked cushions (made by stylist using wool blanket) from The Warehouse, black cushion cover from H&M Home, Astoria amber fur cushion from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Another fun alternative if you have like-minded friends who also want to regularly switch up their interiors is to gather a couple of times a year for a swap session. It could be on a loan basis, or swap for keeps, but as long as everybody knows the rules it can be a fun way to really widen your supply of great interior decor items and share ideas for how and where to use them.

Of course, the other way to keep costs to a minimum if trying out new looks is your passion is to hunt through thrift stores for gems you can upcycle or re-use.

Changing your rooms out seasonally can be a fun activity for the whole family. Commit to dates each year that you change from winter to summer, or cool to warm and make it an event, involving your children in your colour choices – particularly if you're re-doing their rooms, and throw some themed snacks into the bargain!

Seasonal colours to try:

Autumn – the colours of turning leaves like Resene Tuscany, Resene Mexican Red and Resene Good As Gold.

Winter – Deep blues like Resene Coast, burgundy reds like Resene Persian Red and deep charcoal Resene Bokara Grey.

Spring – Fresh blooming colours from nature such as Resene Spring Green, Resene French Lilac, and Resene Primrose.

Summer – Sky blues, shady greens and sunny golds like Resene Onahau, Resene Permanent Green and Resene Galliano.

Resene Ethereal

Resene Despacito

Resene Crowdpleaser

Resene Shabby Chic

Resene Quarter Friar Greystone

Resene Half Friar Greystone

Resene Peace

Resene Raindance

Resene Lazy River

Resene Safehaven

Resene Sixth Sense

Resene Rocky Mountain

Resene Thunder Road

Resene Porter

Resene Noir

April 30, 2022

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