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What colour is the future? Looking ahead at the design trends to come

From the Resene decorating blog

Trends, in the end, are a personal thing. You can sort through all the buzzwords and labels like cottagecore, Hamptons, Regencycore and the style descriptions like Scandi, minimalism, maximalism and mid-century, but in the end they’re just a way to filter through all the options and find what you like.

Trends work as a guide to keeping your interiors and exteriors looking up-to-date and fresh, and can be a big help in working out what you do and don’t like. They’re a tool to refine your personal taste, give you new ideas and help you create spaces that inspire you.

We talked to some Resene colour consultants, interior designers and stylists about what’s popular, what’s coming and how current trends are evolving.

Designing with bold and contrasting shapes

Though neutral colours remain ever-popular, there is a trend to experiment more with bolder, contrasting shades and shapes.

This floor is painted in Resene Double Sea Fog with walls in Resene Quarter Sea Fog and contrast trim in Resene Half Dusted Blue around a door in Resene Black Sand. Dining chairs in Resene Half Dusted Blue and Resene Quarter Sea Fog, sideboard table in Resene Triple Sea Fog, jug on table in Resene Baring Head, large case in Resene Double Sea Fog, U vase in Resene Half Dusted Blue, pillar vase in Resene Quarter Sea Fog, curved vase in Resene Nomad and small candleholder in Resene Double Sea Fog. Table from Bauhaus, small artwork by Hometime by endemicworld, large artwork by City Hall. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

An interior with dramatic blue wallpaper

Wallpapers can be a simple way to try dramatic on-trend colours. This Resene Wallpaper Collection ONB102706221 meets the trend for both bold blues and mid-century flair.

Pair it with timber flooring stained in Resene Colorwood Natural.

Popular colours to try

Amy Watkins, Resene Colour Consultant:

The latest colour trend is moving away from the cool palette of blues and greys into the warmer shades of green, beige, pinks and terracotta.

Homeowners are increasingly more interested in using stronger, richer colours into every part of their home instead of limiting them to small areas of bedrooms and powder rooms.

Try colours like Resene Dawn Glow, a warm pastel orange reflecting the sun, Resene Valentine, an ashen pink, or Resene Green Days which is the epitome of spring in a mix of yellow and green. These colours are all part of the latest Resene The Range fashion colours collection.

Louise Hilsz, interior stylist:

There is definitely a return to bold colour. The idea of having no white walls in your home will become increasingly popular. Think jewel-toned painted walls complemented with velvet furniture; perhaps a reflection of the Pantone Colour of the Year Viva magenta found in similar Resene shades like Resene Scrumptious, Resene Geronimo, Resene Pohutukawa or Resene Colour Me Pink.

Instead of neutral white interiors in renovated villas we will see more traditional colours like navy Resene Biscay and deep green Resene Welcome.

A bedroom with bold colours and natural finishes

The trend for bold colours meets the ongoing trend for natural finishes in this multi-use bedroom. Walls painted in Resene Forest Green with floor in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy. The headboard is in Resene Coral Tree to complement the screen trim in Resene Summer Rose, also on the desk. The bedside table and table lamp are Resene Meringue, the chair is Resene Forest Green and the vase is Resene Coral Tree. Screen from Mocka, quilt cover, pillowcases, cushions and faux flower stem from Adairs, linen throw from H&M Home. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

Rebecca Long, Resene Senior Architectural Representative:

Resene Tequila Sunrise and Resene I Dare You are giving interior walls and front doors a citrus boost, while warmed neutrals such as Resene Merino and Resene Double Rice Cake are rebelling against the cool whites and offering warmth to homes.

Jackie Nicholls, Resene Colour Consultant:

Accent colours are influenced by nature, becoming more complex and muted which makes them calming and easier to mix and match. Think of faded eucalyptus leaves, feathers and moss. Colours that reflect these are the dusty blue-grey-green of Resene Baring Head, moody olive Resene Rocky Point and the calming rural green of Resene Field Day.

Areas such as media rooms and master bedrooms benefit hugely from more colour and depth, which can completely transform the atmosphere of a space. Don't be afraid to add some drama here and there. You will find artwork and furnishings can look amazing against a deeper colour.

Kate Alexander, interior designer:

Neutrals continue to be popular but decorators are branching out to choosing tones that really suit their spaces, so it’s not either grey or beige, warm or cool, sometimes it’s both. I’ve been surprised to see a resurgence of Resene Tea but the difference is that it is being paired with crisp white for contrast and is being used more as a feature colour than an everything colour. I’ve had more clients keen to use colours other than white, particularly in tones of pale blue or green. Dark blues such as Resene Carpe Noctem and Resene Epic seem to be replacing black on occasion and pale yellow, such as Resene Corn Field, is definitely trending.

Trends that are staying but evolving

Amy Watkins, Resene Colour Consultant:

For the last few years we’ve have fallen in love with greens as a palette. What began as just using off-whites with a hint of green such as Resene Titania or Resene Thorndon Cream, grew to introducing rich emerald and forest greens like Resene Bush or Resene Palm Green in bathrooms and bedrooms.

The trend has now evolved into a class of its own. With so many undertones and depths to choose from it’s a palette that can be easily customised to your needs and tastes.

We are now seeing stronger greens like Resene Tarzan and Resene Contour used in living spaces as well as bedrooms, home offices and exteriors.

A bold interior with a textured finish

Textured finishes such as this wall in Resene Salted Caramel with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed in with Resene Athena, are right on-trend and are a great way to experiment with bolder wall colours. Floor, vase and plinth light in Resene See The Light, box seat in Resene Athena and desk in Resene Meringue. Lamp and chair from Cane Collective, cushions from Città, books from Father Rabbit, artwork from Maiko Nagao, pencil holder from H+M Home. Project by Melle Van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

Louise Hilsz, interior stylist:

I think there is a shift away from the neutral minimalist trend. More colour and layers are being brought in, even if the overall look stays somewhat neutral. The use of stone finishes on kitchen tops or coffee tables and texture is bringing this look out of its shell. Instead of gold hardware on furniture we will see pops of blue in hues like Resene Skylight and green in colours like Resene Wabi Sabi or burnt yellow in hues like Resene Liquid Gold. And of course, more indoor plants to finish!

Rebecca Long, Resene Senior Architectural Representative:

There is a notable shift towards blue hues, with greens starting to take on a blue edge. Resene Morning Haze, for example, is a gentle, sky blue with a subtle peppermint haze. Raspberry shades are becoming a touch brighter with Resene Very Berry taking on a sweet pink undertone.

Jackie Nicholls, Resene Colour Consultant:

As we spend more time in our homes and seek a relaxing haven from the problems of the world, a new selection of natural, Scandinavian whites are coming to the fore such as Resene Chalk Dust with its delicate warmth, soft and muted Resene Eighth Parchment and the bleached linen of Resene Eighth Bison Hide.

Inspiration comes from natural stone, pumice and sand. The deeper neutrals are also evolving, such as Resene Awaroa Bay, a nurturing sandy colour, Resene Credence, a gentle taupe, and Resene Kia Kaha, a smoky brown.

Kate Alexander, interior designer:

Soft curves and shapes, wall textures and any way of adding interest and evoking nature are still on-trend and are evolving as more products become available to make them easy to add to a plain existing wall. The feature wall is becoming three-dimensional. The other thing that’s becoming more popular is coloured painted ceilings.

Design influences on the horizon

Amy Watkins, Resene Colour Consultant:

House design colour trends are often influenced by fashion. I think we’ll still be seeing the natural, earthy design styles like Bohemian, Coastal and Rustic for a while yet. They’re easy to make your own as they offer plenty of flexibility. A new influence will be the use of more crisp and primary-based colours. These would only be used in small amounts to give a focal point to the space. An example of this would be a living area painted in botanical greens like Resene Contour or Resene Nirvana, then bringing some contrast notes in a blue like Resene Now Or Never.

Louise Hilsz, interior stylist:

I think we’ll see more ‘60s and ’70s influences in interior design. Recent movies like Elvis, with the amazing interiors and costumes by Catherine Martin and Don’t Worry Darling showcase perfectly manicured Palm Springs homes. These movies will start to turn decorators on to these design eras. Expect to see more coloured front doors and a wild use of fabric for those who are more adventurous with their style.

Rebecca Long, Resene Senior Architectural Representative:

Curves are still going strong and can be found across furniture design, wallpaper patterns and decorative paint effects.

Timber stains are becoming richer and are embracing a red undertone. Pair warmed stains such as Resene Colorwood Mahogany and Resene Colorwood Meranti with versatile Resene Merino for freshness.

Kate Alexander, interior designer:

Before Covid I attended a trends talk in Melbourne, where there was a lot of talk that the new Avatar: The Way of Water movie would spark a trend of underwater colours, textures and shapes. That movie has now come out after some delays so it will be interesting to see if that prediction comes true. Popular movies and TV shows can often bring a style to the forefront. For example, we might start to see “resort style” becoming more popular off the back off two great seasons of The White Lotus.

Check the Top 20

Resene’s Top 20 colours for the year is a good place to start for a snapshot of broad colour trends. While the Top 20 is typically dominated by whites and neutrals due to their versatility, subtle changes in the list can paint a good picture of where trends are headed.

For example, the 2023 list shows darker charcoals such as Resene Bokara Grey, Resene Grey Friars and Resene Shadow Match rising in popularity along with neutrals with subtly greyed undertones such as Resene Sea Fog and Resene White. To find the best blues, greens, reds, oranges, purples, yellows and browns to match with your neutrals search by colour on or Find your next favourite colours at

The full list is:

  1. Resene Grey Friars
  2. Resene Half Rice Cake
  3. Resene Double Black White
  4. Resene Shadow Match
  5. Resene Rice Cake

Resene Quarter Sea Fog

Resene Meringue

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Athena

Resene Valentine

Resene Morning Haze

Resene Dawn Glow

Resene Summer Rose

Resene Credence

Resene Baring Head

Resene Contour

Resene Field Day

Resene Green Days

Resene Wabi Sabi

Resene See The Light

Resene Liquid Gold

Resene Tequila Sunrise

Resene Tarzan

Resene Salted Caramel

Resene I Dare You

Resene Rocky Point

Resene Kia Kaha

Resene Carpe Noctem

Resene Epic

Resene Now Or Never

Resene Very Berry

Resene Welcome

Resene Black Sand

January 19, 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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