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Dark and stormy

From Habitat plus - decorating and colour trends 2020

Dark and dramatic colours have captured the imaginations of courageous colour lovers seeking a refreshingly different look to bring into their interiors.

Moody navy blues in particular, such as Resene Indian Ink and Resene Wishing Well, are making some serious waves – especially when paired up with stormy greys like Resene Porter and Resene Suits. These shades are ideal for building up a deeply layered cocoon-worthy look – especially in a space where you would want to linger, such as a bedroom or lounge. They are also ideally suited to pops of gold, mustard and butterscotch such as Resene Influential, Resene Cleopatra and Resene Bi Hoki.

A sophisticated master bedroom layering cloudy greys and moody blues
A dark blue office with a graphic painted wall feature
Bedroom: Cloudy greys and moody blues are layered sky high in this sophisticated master bedroom while brass details and an ochre velvet chair provide a touch of warmth to balance out this otherwise cool space. The walls are painted Resene White Island, the panelling is in Resene Indian Ink, the floor is in Resene Half Chicago, the nightstand is in Resene Wishing Well and the vases are in Resene Wishing Well, Resene Remember Me, Resene Bluetooth, Resene Meditation and Resene Poured Milk.

Graphic wall design: This Resene Wishing Well wall has been given a graphic treatment with a painted feature in Resene Cleopatra and Resene Time After Time that reflects the shapes in the console table. The large vase at the right is in Resene Influential, the shorter vase is in Resene Cleopatra and the plant pot and drawer are both in Resene Half Tea.
Trend: Yellow, see "sunny disposition"

Resene Porter

Resene Suits

Resene Influential

Resene Cleopatra

Resene Bi Hoki

Resene White Island

Resene Remember Me

Resene Bluetooth

Resene Meditation

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Time After Time

No space too small

The oft-quoted ‘rule’ that dark colours shouldn’t be used in small spaces unless you want the space to feel claustrophobic simply isn’t true – so feel free to break it. Look for colours with a cool base, which will visually recede, and pay attention to your lighting as it may need to be adjusted to suit your new paint colour palette.

Look for dark colours tha visually recede in small spaces


Deep dark blue Resene Colorwood Woody Bay waterborne stain was used to colour the plywood wall of this wintery lounge. The floor and pendant lamp are painted Resene Sea Fog, the sideboard and coasters are in Resene Casper, while the coffee table was first painted Resene Indian Ink and then was wiped with a rag dipped in Resene Sea Fog for a washed look. The bowl, woven baskets and cork tealight holder are painted Resene Felix, the tall vase is in Resene Indian Ink, the small vase is in Resene Sea Fog and the screen has been given a weathered look with a coat of Resene Sea Fog wiped over Resene Felix.

Trend: timber, see "inspired exteriors"

Finely toasted

Sophisticated yet cosy, soft yet dramatic, this lounge seems like the perfect place to tuck in with a book and a beverage and wait for colder weather to run its course. Layers of cognac-coloured accessories in Resene Route 66 and Resene Barnstorm with hints of Resene Poured Milk balance out the near black walls and timber floor in Resene Suits. The smoky side table and basket in Resene Thunder Road and Resene Rebel layered alongside highly-textured soft furnishings in leather, toasted marshmallow and toffee tones creates a rich look that is steeped in depth.

Slate sophisticate

This colour scheme – inspired by the wrapping paper featured in the frame – takes a traditional tropical theme for a more sophisticated spin. The key textures and motifs that you’d expect have been anchored in the deep smouldering tones of Resene Quarter Bokara Grey, exemplifying a space that’s chic rather than shabby. We’ve doubled down on the moody grey with Resene Eighth Bokara Grey on the floor and layers of smoky-coloured bed linens, cushions and rugs.

The room’s deep base makes the vivacious Resene Virtuoso on the bedhead and table bloom like a tropical flower. The whole look is kept fresh with notes of barely pink Resene Ethereal on the lightshade and ladder, dusky Resene Rebel on the tealight holder and crisp notes of Resene Dreamtime on the bedside vase.

Other colours to try with charcoal greys – just about any vibrant colour you please, such as a bold blue like Resene She'll Be Right, spring green like Resene Away We Go or turmeric yellow like Resene Thumbs Up.

Lounge - sophisticated yet cosy, soft yet dramatic
This bedroom takes a traditional tropical theme for a more sophisticated spin
Finely toasted: Wall and floor in Resene Suits, fireplace in Resene Noir, side table in Resene Thunder Road, basket in Resene Rebel and vases on mantle (from left to right) in Resene Barnstorm, Resene Poured Milk, Resene Route 66 and Resene Moccasin. Swap in some pink accessories in a shade like Resene Love Me Do for a warmer look (see circular insert).

Slate sophisticate: Walls in Resene Quarter Bokara Grey, floor in Resene Eighth Bokara Grey, rattan headboard and bedside table in Resene Virtuoso, pendant lamp and ladder in Resene Ethereal and vase in Resene Dreamtime.

Resene Route 66

Resene Barnstorm

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Suits

Resene Thunder Road

Resene Love Me Do

Resene Noir

Resene Eighth Bokara Grey

Resene Virtuoso

Resene Ethereal

Resene Dreamtime

Resene Away We Go

Resene Thumbs Up

Other on-trend darks to try:

Resene Purple Rain

Resene Fast Forward

Resene Twilight Zone

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