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Bring play into your interiors

From the Resene decorating blog

There’s something so satisfying about bringing colours into a home, playfully combining tones. It speaks to those who love the mood boost colour provides, whether it’s the cheeky orange of Resene Whizz Bang or Resene Half Resolution Blue, clear and bright, oozing a sense of summer fun all year long.

The magic doesn’t stop there; applying these colours in playful methods will elevate and personalise your finished space. We don’t have to solely apply one colour to four walls in a room; there are bountiful methods of using colour that are playful, fun and optimistic.

A dynamic interior mural

Soothing taupe and greens are gentle on the senses but needn’t be boring. This dynamic mural of swirls and fluid lines steals the show in this lounge.

Upper wall painted in Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream, lower wall in Resene Double Thorndon Cream, marble mural in (top half) Resene Cougar, Resene Half Cougar, Resene Craigieburn, Resene Half Craigieburn, Resene Quarter Craigieburn and (bottom half) Resene Terrain, Resene Evolution, Resene Cobblestone, Resene Quarter Karaka, Resene Half Karaka. Floor finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, pendant lamp in Resene Zeus and Resene Terrain, dowel table in Resene Cobblestone, lower round coffee table in Resene Zeus, large plant pot in Resene Rivergum, small plant pot in Resene Zeus, shelves in Resene Half Karaka and Resene Apple Blossom, ribbed vase (on coffee table) in Resene Evolution and book in Resene Half Rivergum. Sofa, armchair and ottoman from King, black dot cushion and throw (on sofa) from Freedom. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

An Antarctic themed kids bedroom

If you’re struggling to come up with a creative mural to bring in your playful colours, consider who the room is for. They may have a love of a certain flower, animal or place that will inspire you with your pattern and colour choices, like this Antarctic-themed child’s bedroom.

Upper wall painted in Resene Quarter Frozen with lower wall in Resene Spinnaker and iceberg painted ‘headboard’ in Resene Sea Fog, Resene Frozen and Resene Blue Moon, floor in Resene Spinnaker, dresser in Resene Quarter Frozen (top section) and Resene Spinnaker (lower section), shelf in Resene Frozen, pendant lamp in Resene Bright Spark, plant pot in Resene Matisse, vases in Resene Frozen and Resene Fuel Yellow, pencil cup in Resene Fuel Yellow. Duvet, navy pillowcases and blanket from Cittá, penguin puppet from Toyco, throw from Freedom Furniture, Resene Living cushion and Resene Kidz Zappity duvet from Briscoes. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

Colours that are considered playful are those that have a positive impact on our emotions; evoking an upbeat feeling. When we think outside the square and find unique ways to apply colour, they remind us that the world of colour is as vast as we want it to be and that pushing the limits with colour takes you somewhere unexpected. While it’s easy to play it safe and go with less intrusive colours, there’s plenty of bold colours to choose from that can be applied in whimsical form to meet your heart’s desire.

Colour can be painted on the shadiest corners, allowing them to shine; it gives us the liberty to show off varying forms of playfulness and creativity.

The first way to introduce a fun approach to hues is through your colour choices. Certain combinations evoke a cheerful feel, which will run through your room or home in a spirited fashion.

So, what colour combinations evoke playfulness? Take spearmint and blue; these bring forth images of the whitewashed houses in the Greek Islands or Mallorca with their colourful doorways – a truly carefree sensation. This colour duo has a freshness and vitality that is hard to beat; it reaches perfection when accents of paprika or sunshine yellow are added. Think the breezy blue of Resene Sail with the aqua-blue of Resene Riptide, met with accents in the bold orange of Resene Grenadier and sunshine-yellow Resene Cream Can.

If you need a guide to get your inspiration flowing, think of what you can combine your paint colours with. You may have a bedhead in a floral or stripe fabric that you want as your starting point. This doesn’t mean your surrounding walls need to be neutral; pick out three of your favourite colours from this print; two for your walls and trims and the third for accents.

A nursery with an eye-catching pattern

An eye-catching pattern or design is a perfect way to really celebrate your chosen colour. This child’s nursery resonates with a soothing baby blue, painted in varying tones for a rainbow effect. Wall painted in Resene Half Spindle with rainbow in Resene Frozen, Resene Spindle and Resene Zircon, floor in Resene Half Spindle with rainbow in Resene Frozen, Resene Spindle and Resene Zircon, pendant lightshade in Resene Black White, large toy box in Resene Zircon, small toy box (on wheels) in Resene Gelato and ladder in Resene Black White. Project by Emily Somerville-Ryan, image by Bryce Carleton.

Take the wild nature of the our native forest as your inspiration; wash your walls and ceiling in the grey-green of Resene Rainee, with another colour taken from your fabric, say Resene Fountain Blue, running along the architrave where the wall and ceiling meet.

Coral and pistachio are a dreamy, upbeat duo, with the retro-inspired green pairing refreshingly with the juicy pink-orange. This taps in on the fashionable, pale nature of soft greens, which pairs well next to pretty coral for a match made in heaven. Think Resene Spring Rain, fresh and dewy, next to the soft watermelon pink of Resene Glorious.

The wild nature of pale lilac meets its match with the grounding personality of charcoal. Shades of purple are varied and the colour itself is dynamic and invigorating while also bringing a calming feel to a space. So, it pays to explore the right lilac, which in this instance should be more of a soft, lush shade. Think Resene Fog, soft and whimsical, making its mark next to the strong grey of Resene Mako. Lilac also finds a playful home next to the warm nature of golden yellow; pair Resene Deluge, a muted purple, with the soft, warm yellow of Resene Bardot. Or the mauve of Resene Poet with the ochre yellow of Resene Splash – the result is eye-catching and dramatic.

Yellow and black are a joyful theme that brings optimism into a space; the yellow oozing happiness while the black balances in a dramatic way; pair with timber features for a polished look.

The uplifting, summery elements of pink and tangerine create a ray of sunshine to wake up to. Perfect for a bedroom or a lounge, they are joyful without being overpowering, especially when paired with painted accents in grass green and pale terracotta. Use the lush pink of Glamour Puss with punchy Resene Ecstasy, next to accents of Resene Bilbao, a sharp green, and Resene Sunglo, an earthy tone.

A night sky themed nursery

A night sky is reinvented in this nursery to set a magical scene with hand-painted Matariki and Southern Cross stars using Resene FX Nightlight glow-in-the-dark paint. Dark wall painted in Resene Warrior, right wall and floor in Resene Mystic, toy box in Resene Reservoir, lipped shelves in Resene Reservoir, vases in Resene Half Jumbo, Resene Reservoir, Resene Warrior and Resene Hermitage, star ornament in Resene Proton metallic. DIY kite mobile in Resene Proton metallic (hoop) with kites in Resene Reservoir, Resene Half Jumbo and Resene Black White and wooden bead accents in Resene Reservoir. Cot from Mocka, blanket, blue cushion and books from The Warehouse, Peter Rabbit toy from Toyco. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

Layering your colours with overlapping shapes is eye-catching in an expected manner. For instance, a wall in pale pistachio, also coated in a square block of pistachio in a darker tone, and circles of coral and white oozes dynamism not only in the whimsical shapes but also the out-of-the-box colour choices.

Consider off-centre forms too; paint your door a bright, bold colour, but paint beyond the door’s lines; don’t stick to the frame – extend your painted shape, covering some of the wall too.

Painting outside the traditional lines in your home can give you many options. One is to paint one half of your room (including your ceiling) one colour, and the other half another, for striking effect.

Don’t feel constrained by straight lines, however, if fluid shapes resonate with you better. Hand-painted murals bring interest to a wall, allowing a splurge of beautiful colour. Overlapping circles, floral shapes or flowing blobs of paint can anchor a large wall and frame a focal point in a room too. The ease of application means you can paint a new colour over it as you feel the need. Add a complementary colour on surrounding bookshelves or drawers or lamps. Repeat your mural colour or similar tones to allow your hand drawing to blend with the rest of the interior.

Add a playful element in a kitchen by painting your drawers in alternate colours, meeting their match with a bright colour on the wall. It’ll greet you with joy and an upbeat nature every morning at breakfast.

If large planes of colour make your heart sing, forget traditional white on your ceiling; paint it a colour complementary to your wall colour. Another option is to extend down your ceiling colour to cover the top third of your wall, showcasing the two hues together and bringing a flavour of difference to your space. Grounding the two shades, a neutral on your doorway can anchor the space.

Don’t forget to look down too, your floor can breathe an element of fun throughout your home. Painting stripes and checkers in varying colours can liven up a space, whether your walls are a complementary colour or neutral.

An easy and effective way to introduce playful colour is with your accents too, be they lamps, vases or mirror frames. These small but powerful elements allow you to adopt pops of neons or metallics; colour choices that make a playful mark and nudge you to go beyond your comfort zone.

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

January 15, 2023

For help choosing colours to suit your projects, visit your local Resene ColorShop, ask a Resene Colour Expert online or book a Resene Colour Consultation.

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