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The magic of magenta

From the Resene decorating blog

Our love of pink has matured into a deeper, plummier shade that is both sophisticated and surprisingly versatile.

Muted magenta wallpaper

The muted but deep magenta tones of Resene Wallpaper Collection E307314 almost work as a neutral in this space, while creating visual texture.

Add contrast with gold accessories in Resene Gold or Resene Rose Gold from the metallics range or bold charcoals like Resene Bokara Grey.

Pink is having a moment. And not just any pink. We're talking deep, bold magenta. Think Resene Geronimo or Resene Lip Service.

While the Barbie movie has seen a wave of bubble gum shades make frequent appearances in fashion, when it comes to interiors our love of pink has matured into a deeper, plummier shade that is both sophisticated and surprisingly versatile.

Pantone dubbed the shade Viva Magenta and named it as its colour of the year.

It believes magenta, existing between blue and red and often working with both warm and cool shades, is just the vibrant colour we need now, to shake off our post-pandemic gloominess and embrace some drama and fun. It also pairs well with a surprising range of other shades meaning it has the power to go beyond a trend to become an ageless style note.

In simple colour theory magenta is a secondary colour, made up of equal parts blue and red, and most of us know it as one of the four colours in our printers. But, in application and personal taste, magenta is often used to describe a range of shades, running from almost purple deep plums, through fuchsia to candied Barbie-type pinks. That makes it a really fun colour – or palette of colours – to play with in interiors. There is a shade of magenta for everyone!

A note of drama

Resene Colour Expert Jill Marsh says many magentas pair surprisingly well with warm and earthy neutrals. She suggests trying Resene Geronimo with the stony greige of Resene Zorba, or Resene Lip Service with Resene Half Drought. For a cosier room perfect for a relaxing retreat, paint your walls in charcoal Resene Quarter Bokara Grey, with accent notes like furniture in Resene Lipstick.

If you're a fan of minimalist finishes or classic black-and-white looks, a touch of magenta can be extremely effective as a note of dramatic contrast, particularly if used on just one piece of furniture and a small item of decor or two.

Think about a floor in timeless black and white chequerboard using Resene All Black and Resene White, against walls in Resene Merino. Add in a feature chair or sofa in deep magenta or a painted colour block in Resene Rock N Roll for high impact drama. Soften the effect if you prefer with more muted deep pink shades like Resene Mulberry or Resene Rouge.

Using deep magenta tones in your interior

Deep magenta tones punctuate this bold feature wall complementing both the warm neutrals and bold brights.

Wall painted in Resene Rice Cake, with mural shapes painted in Resene Thunderbird, Resene Arriba, Resene Yogi, Resene Contented, Resene Transition and Resene Valentine, side table and sideboard in Resene Very Berry, coffee table in Resene Inspire, floor in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy and vases in Resene Dawn Glow, Resene Summer Rose, Resene Arriba, Resene Thunderbird and Resene Yogi. Sofa from Danske Møbler, cushions from Città, throw from Kmart. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

A magenta coffee table

A magenta coffee table in Resene Pompadour puts a thoroughly modern spin on the classic pink and grey colour combinations.

This rear wall is painted in Resene Half Gull Grey with the left wall in Resene Element, floor in Resene Colorwood Whitewash and plinth stand and DIY artwork in Resene Eighth Black White and Resene Element. Sofa from Dawson & Co, vase from H&M Home, cushions from Kip & Co. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Colour combinations to try

As some more unusual colours to use with deep pinks Jill recommends the buttery yellow of Resene Chenin, or for an uplifting exotic look try the classic deep magenta of Resene Lip Service with a fresh tropical sea turquoise like Resene Fountain Blue or the more muted Resene Morning Glory.

Magenta sits opposite green on the colour wheel making the two colours complementary. Try the vibrant emerald of Resene Kaitoke Green with sharper, Barbie-hued pink Resene Scrumptious. A zesty, acidic note of lime also works well with plum-toned pinks. Try Resene Illuminate with purple-ish Resene Pandemonium.

It can be tempting to assume that if you're including a bold shade like magenta in your colour palette that other colours must be calmer, or more neutral and pared back. While a classic cream like Resene Pearl Lusta, can, says Jill, be very effective at cooling and calming a bold magenta, there is no rule that says you can't go for other dramatic, bold shades.

A bold magenta interior

Opting for a bold note of magenta doesn't mean the rest of your room must be neutral. A mix of bold shades creates an eye-catching, vibrant finish. Walls painted in Resene Thunderbird, with wainscoting in Resene Incarnadine and Resene Pandemonium, sideboard in Resene Staccato with tall vase in Resene Carpe Noctem, small vase in Resene Valentine, arched vase in Resene Very Berry, floor in Resene Half Tea and coffee table in Resene Meringue with vases in Resene Grape Escape and Resene Valentine. Chair from Danske Møbler, cushion from Città. Project by Annick Renell, image by Bryce Carleton.

For a plush, luxurious finish Jill suggests trying magenta layered with shades of purple or softer lilacs. For example, Resene Boogie Wonderland and Resene Pukeko look intensely beautiful with fuchsia Resene Smitten. Add freshness and emphasis with creamy off-white Resene Arrowroot.

For a colour-saturated maximalist finish try your magentas with rich deep oranges like Resene Whizz Bang. These shades work particularly well with magentas in the darker end of the spectrum like Resene Pompadour. To dial up the maximalism add notes of teal Resene Arapawa or rich blue Resene Decadence, and accent touches of Resene Gold.

The trick to working with multiple strong colours is really to pick one as your main shade, use another over slightly less area as a secondary shade then add one or two others just as accent notes, and think about adding a contrast like a fresh neutral or even a subtle yellow or green on some trim areas or a couple of small decor pieces.

Dialling it down

If you like magenta but are a bit wary of its intensity, make it a small accent colour used in different parts of your property as a connecting, recurring feature.

A shade like Resene Lipstick can look extremely eye catching as a front door, against a smoky grey-green like Resene Lemon Grass, with trim in a traditional neutral like Resene Sea Fog. Add a splash of fuchsia on a nearby planter or the mailbox for a pop of floral-like colour. It can be a great way to add spark to an all-green lawn and garden.

A wallpaper pattern with notes of magenta can be another fun way to use the colour, with all the colour matching already built in. Try the exotic jungle look of Resene Wallpaper Collection 91170 which pairs magenta tones with sunny yellows and botanical greens or try the architectural leaf pattern of Resene Wallpaper Collection 91170, pairing deep pinks with muted greens.

If magenta has given you a taste for pink, but you're not sure you're ready for bold brights, you can work with paler or duskier shades in some of the same colour combinations. How about pastel Resene Ballerina with the deep-sea blue of Resene Surfs Up or the muted duskier tones of Resene Merlot with fresh Resene Wasabi?

Resene Meringue

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Inspire

Resene Contented

Resene Rose Gold

Resene Summer Rose

Resene Dawn Glow

Resene Valentine

Resene Illuminate

Resene Grape Escape

Resene Staccato

Resene Transition

Resene Yogi

Resene Pandemonium

Resene Incarnadine

Resene Very Berry

Resene Arriba

Resene Carpe Noctem

September 15, 2023

Whatever shade of magenta, or its pink and plum relatives, catches your eye, this fun and versatile range of shades is a great way to experiment with more colour in your interiors. If you need help bringing magenta into your colour palette, visit your local Resene ColorShop, use the free Ask a Resene Colour Expert service online or book a Resene Colour Consultation – virtually, in-store or at home.

Book a colour consult | Ask a Colour Expert | Ask a Paint Expert

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