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Add shine to your interior design

From the Resene decorating blog

There’s one thing that can be easy to overlook when you’re planning a new look for your interiors and that’s the importance of a little bit of bling.

It doesn’t need to be the full Versace-level where everything has a gilded finish, but the right amount of shine and shimmer in the right place can be the finishing touch that truly elevates your space.

A radiant and elegant sitting room - shimmery touches

A radiant and elegant atmosphere is created in this sitting room with Resene Wallpaper Collection E378010 on the wall. For final shimmery touches pair this feature wall with glass, brass and gold accessories painted in Resene FX Metallic Gold Dust and adjacent walls in Resene Putty.

An interior painted with jewelled colours

This mirrored stool looks like an actual jewel among these jewelled colours and plays off the patterned floor in a very eye-catching way. The rest of the space is layered with shine and shimmer that bounces light around, from the dining table painted in high-gloss Resene Enamacryl tinted to Resene Blackjack, to the two vases. Left wall painted in Resene RSVP, rear wall in Resene Memory Lane, right wall in Resene Noir, floor in Resene Elderflower with geometric pattern in Resene Black. Chair and vase from Backhouse, table/stool from BoConcept, artwork from Milly Watson from endemicworld. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

It might be as simple as a metallic light fitting or a glossy tile or as dramatic as a floor to ceiling mirror, but at least a small amount of shine should be factored into your room plan as another way of adding a new texture and potentially a source of light. They bring function as well as form to any space and aren’t just for the maximalists among us.

Let there be light

The key function that a few touches of shine brings to your space is light.

This is particularly important in rooms where you have opted for darker, moodier colour schemes. Adding touches of glass, crystal or metallics will bounce light around making the room feel less closed in or oppressive while increasing the impact of your bold colour scheme.

One of the best ways to bring more light into a room is with a high-gloss Resene paint colour on your ceiling. A glossy ceiling finish will help reflect light downward and add an unexpected element to the room. Glossy finishes will tend to show up surface imperfections, so make sure your ceiling is smooth to start with.

Be a little more cautious about adding high-gloss to the walls, particularly in areas you want to be relaxing and comfortable as they can create glare rather than just reflective light.

Gold accessories brighten a deep green lounge

A simple gold lamp both brightens the deep green of this living space and amplifies the sense of luxury.

Walls painted in Resene Palm Green, floor in Resene Greige, striped cabinet in Resene Double Spanish White with Resene Vintage and green plant pot in Resene Cutty Sark. Velvet chair, cushion and ottoman from Contempa, lamp from Freedom, candle from Illumina. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

A modern and sophisticated lounge

A shiny chrome lamp paired with bold pops of magenta adds modern sophistication to another otherwise low-key living room.

Left wall in Resene Element, rear wall in Resene Half Gull Grey, floor in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, plinth table and artwork in Resene Eighth Black White and Resene Element and coffee table in Resene Pompadour. Sofa from Dawson & Co, polka dot cushion and lips cushion from Kip & Co, circle vase from H&M Home, rug from The Ivy House, replica Eames table from Der Look. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Mirrors also make a big difference, not only do they bounce light around but they add the illusion of extra space, working almost like an additional window.

High gloss tiles on the floor of a small bathroom can also have a similar effect of making the space feel lighter and brighter. This works particularly well if you have floating vanity units attached to the wall rather than sitting on the ground so light reflects from underneath them.

The other element that reflective surfaces can bring to your space is brightness, which is subtly different from adding light. The ‘hard’ nature of shiny surfaces provide sharp contrast with most colour schemes so they add immediate energy to a room, and a focal point that can work well at breaking up a large stretch of neutral wall.

When you’re planning your interior, think about the artificial lighting you will add in, as well as the natural lighting and then experiment with how you might place touches of metallic finish, glass or tiles to complement or amplify that lighting. The goal is to have everything working together, rather than competing.

Top tip: Resene FX Pearl Shimmer is a waterborne pearlescent glaze ideal for creating shimmering or softly sparkling finishes. Use it in conjunction with a basecoat tinted to your selected Resene colour to add a little extra shimmer.

Affordable glamour

One of the reasons we love reflective and shiny surfaces is that they’re a simple and often cost-effective way to really elevate a room and add some every-day glamour.

Think about how a simple brass headboard might lift an otherwise plain bedroom, or how choosing the right metallic tapware perfects your new bathroom.

Add a second-hand glass or crystal decanter with a couple of elegant glasses to a mirrored tray for immediate side-board sophistication. Upcycle a lamp or lightshade with a coat of coppery Resene Magma displayed against deep blue walls in Resene Indian Ink, or paint floating wall shelves in metallic Resene Deep Space against matt tonal walls in Resene Nocturnal.

Pair your metallics with rich jewel colours or ornate patterned and floral wallpapers such as Resene Wallpaper Collection 99346 or Resene Wallpaper Collection E300163 to invoke the period luxury of Bridgerton or Downton Abbey. Wallpaper with an anaglypta wallpaper such as Resene Wallpaper Collection RD124 and paint over with a silver such as Resene Silver Aluminium to re-create the look of a traditional pressed tin finish.

Smoked glass in light fittings or vases is another simple way to bring shine with sophistications.

Top tip: Mirrors can be just as effective outside as in, creating the illusion of extra space and adding interest. Try a large mirror hung on the fence in a small backyard.

Bling for minimalists and monochrome fans

Minimalists may wince at the idea of lots of shiny, metallic surfaces cluttering up their simple sophistication, but elements of glass and metals can play an important part in lending elegance to pared back minimalism or monochrome colour schemes.

Try touches of gold and a large sculptural mirror against a white-on-white room in Resene Alabaster for some hotel chic at home. If that feels too icy, try a note of drama with a magenta throw or a hero piece of furniture or sculpture in a deep teal like Resene Mosque.

Silvery touches also work extremely well with black and white spaces, adding a top note of refinement. Try Resene Scotty Silver for a silver metallic finish with an undertone of warm blue or Resene Obelisk for notes of silvery green. Warm things up with inviting textiles like wool, velvet or suede and add in lots of warm lighting to soften the edge.

Tips for painting with metallics:

Metallic finishes are best paired with good lighting, as the light will help to accentuate the metallic finish, so always remember to review your lighting when you’re considering your paint colours.

Resene Elderflower

Resene Memory Lane

Resene RSVP

Resene Noir

July 10, 2022

Visit your local Resene ColorShop for more colour ideas and all the expert advice and products you need for a superb finish on all your decorating projects.

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