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From Habitat plus - decorating and colour trends 2020

Flora and fauna

Botanical and animal looks are making a strong resurgence, but without the tackiness of the over-the-top schemes that were put out to pasture in the mid-90s.

Since today’s looks are all about layering on natural textures and graphic patterns, it’s easy to incorporate some ‘wild’ style into almost any room without things looking too untamed when you start with warm Resene colours.

Menagerie-themed wallpaper design
Animal looks with luxe details
Romantic wallpaper in entryway
Backdrop: The menagerie-themed design of Resene Wallpaper Collection GLA403 is an ideal backdrop for flora and fauna accents.

Lounge: Animal looks and luxe details seem to go hand-in-hand. While the gilded brass accents are certainly eye-catching in contrast to the Resene Mangrove walls with Resene Alabaster trim, it’s the monkey print cushion that really ties the whole look together. To carry the colours of the fabric even further, try adding accents in Resene Dreamtime and Resene Swiss Caramel.

Entryway: The romantic bouquet design of Resene Wallpaper Collection P021-VD2 completely defines this entry. Try it with Resene Ethereal and Resene Sixth Sense.

Resene Dreamtime

Resene Swiss Caramel

Resene Ethereal

Resene Six Sense

Circle of life

In the spirit of reducing and reusing, upcycling has continued to be a popular trend. Finding new ways to work pre-loved furnishings and materials into your home is a great way to create a unique space full of personality. Now, upcycling is moving past just one-off efforts to circular thinking to give objects not a just second life, but third, fourth and many more. And, often all it takes is a fresh coat of paint to make something old new again.

Block out

Colour blocking on walls has taken a turn towards more randomly placed blocks of colour, often larger and used as a feature in place of artwork. Whether it is a large square of colour on a wall, a wide vertical stripe or a circular shape, the size and focus are what draws in your attention, creating a focal point within the room. Pair it with a neutral backdrop so that it’s the block of colour that shines. For those yearning for more colour, multiple colour blocks can also be used, but the key is to give each enough room to breathe rather than filling up the whole space with shapes.

Upcycling trend
Circle of life
Colour blocking using Resene Soulful
Circle of life: Walls in Resene Family Tree and floor in Resene Colorwood Tiri. Pot, trolley, small potted stand and trunk all painted Resene Noir, with trim on trunk in Resene Alabaster.

Block out: A block of Resene Soulful adds definition to the Resene Alabaster wall behind a series of lipped shelves painted Resene Just Right to create the visual presence of a large bookcase without taking up floor space. The timber flooring has been finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash and the ladder is painted Resene Alabaster.

Circle of life colours...

Resene Family Tree

Resene Noir

Block out colours...

Resene Soulful

Resene Colorwood Whitewash


As odd as it may sound, choosing classic ‘anti-trend’ colours is a trend in and of itself. For timeless hues that look good in any space, look to the Resene Classics Collection – a curated range of perennial favourite colours. But just because you’re decorating with classic colours doesn’t mean you can’t use them in a modern way.

Classic colours are combined with flexible décor in these entryways. Painted hooks and playful pegboards allow you to decorate to suit wherever the mood and season takes you. In winter, pile up the coats, scarves and umbrellas and, in summer, change to beach towels, sun hats and beach bags.

Using timeless hues
Entryway with pegboard for storage
Entryway with chair: Wall in Resene Alabaster, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, plant pot and shoe organiser in Resene Pewter, chair and pendant lamp in Resene Indian Ink, hooks in (clockwise from left) Resene Swiss Caramel, Resene Desperado, Resene Putty, Resene Pewter and Resene Jaguar.

Entryway with pegboard:
Wall in Resene Alabaster, pegboard in Resene Neutral Bay, chest in Resene Putty with lid in Resene Desperado, plant pot and short vase in Resene Pewter and tall vase in Resene Swiss Caramel.

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Swiss Caramel

Architectural accents

Wish that you lived in a magnificent manor or a high-end hotel? Add extravagant-looking detail to your walls with a flash wallpaper and by masking off a bit of decorative linework. Here, the walls are in Resene Moby with ‘architectural’ painted details in Resene Alabaster and ‘panelling’ in Resene Wallpaper Collection 433234. Then, create a tiled floor effect using masking tape, Resene Sambuca and Resene Alabaster. Bring a lampshade into your palette by painting it a contrasting colour, such as Resene Memory Lane.


Monochromatic schemes continue to be popular, especially the technique of using more than one variation of a colour in what is called a ‘tonal’ or a ‘tone-on-tone’ colour scheme. The look started with layering different strengths of the same colour into a single space – such as full strength Resene Duck Egg Blue for the walls, quarter strength for the ceiling and double strength for the floor – and has also evolved into deeper, darker territory with the strongest shade being used on the walls with lighter trims and an even lighter floor. To top it off, add in a few contrasting pops of colour through accessories, either in the same hue or a completely different one.

Architectural accents
Architectural accents
Tone on tone colour schemes
This tonal kitchen look was built with a wide range of Resene blues. The lower wall and shelf are painted Resene Raindance, the upper wall is in Resene Mystery, the cabinet top and legs are in Resene Artemis, the architraves, pendant light and hooks are in Resene Safehaven, the door and cabinet drawer are in Resene Slipstream, the jug and bowl are in Resene Aura and the fluted vases are in Resene Unwind.

Architectural accents colours...

Resene Memory Lane

Tone-on-tone colours...

Resene Raindance

Resene Mystery

Resene Artemis

Resene Safehaven

Resene Slipstream

Resene Aura

Fab floors

If your concrete is looking a bit cold or if you have timber beyond saving, painted floors are a trendy way to bring them back to life and allows you the freedom to incorporate colours and designs that simply can’t be accomplished any other way.  

In the groove

Part of the move to add extra dimension to walls, tongue-and-groove wall panelling has made a huge comeback, especially in bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas. Combine floor to ceiling tongue-and-groove with dreamy weathered blues and soft greys for a restful space, or adopt a half-and-half look with a dramatic colour on tongue-and-groove on the bottom half of the wall and a lighter neutral or lighter tonal hue painted direct onto the upper wall.

A painted floor with stripes
Fab floors
Tongue-and-groove  wall  panelling  has  made  a  huge  comeback
In the groove
Fab floors: This creative craft room features a painted floor with stripes in Resene Rococo, Resene Memory Lane, Resene Unwind and Resene Jailbreak on a background of Resene Villa White. The wall and pegboard are in Resene Villa White with shelves, pegs and a hand-painted ‘frame’ in Resene Noir. The desk is painted Resene Rice Cake with legs and polka dots in Resene Noir, the short vase is painted Resene Irresistible and the tall vase is in Resene Noir with dots in Resene Rice Cake and Resene Rose Gold FX metallic paint.

In the groove: Wall in Resene Moonlight, panelling in Resene Untamed, shelf in Resene Noir, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, hook rack in Resene Moccasin, vases in Resene Noir, Resene Moccasin and Resene Bluetooth, chair (with blanket) in Resene Moccasin and Resene Noir and desk organiser in Resene Moccasin.

Fab floors colours...

Resene Rococo

Resene Memory Lane

Resene Jailbreak

Resene Noir

Resene Rose Gold

In the groove colours...

Resene Moonlight

Resene Untamed

Resene Noir

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Bluetooth

Weathered blues

Washed and weathered denim blues and greys continue to be popular colour choices inside and out. To get the look, try shades like Resene Grey Seal, Resene Mystery and Resene Remember Me, which were used to create the wavy wall feature below. The bench in Resene Bewitched grounds the look while the floor in Resene White Island keeps the space from feeling heavy. The vase is in Resene Grey Area and the candlestick and bowl are in Resene Dapper.

Smart walls

Paint is much more than just a pretty colour and Resene has plenty of innovative products that can bring your walls into the 21st century. Tap walls finished in Resene SmartTouch conductive coating to turn lights on and off. Use Resene Write-on Wall Paint to create a customised whiteboard or create interactive wall spaces with Resene Blackboard Paint and Resene Chalkboard Paint. Resene Magnetic Magic can be used under your favourite Resene colour to create a magnetic surface that can hold high quality magnets, just like the noteboard below.

Washed  and  weathered  denim  blues  and  greys for interiors
Weathered blues
Small wall products
Smart walls
A block of Resene Fast Forward defines this Resene Sea Fog wall. The dresser has been given plenty of character with triangles of Resene Truffle, Resene Bismark, Resene Permanent Green and Resene Thumbs Up on a Resene Alabaster base. The round noteboard is in Resene SpaceCote tinted to Resene Noir over two coats of Resene Magnetic Magic so that it is both magnetic and works as a chalkboard.

Weathered blues colours...

Resene Grey Seal

Resene Mystery

Resene Remember Me

Resene Bewitched

Resene White Island

Resene Grey Area

Resene Dapper

Smart walls colours...

Resene Fast Forward

Resene Thumbs Up

Curated collections

Shadow boxes and colour block painted wall features can provide spaces to display curated collections of items that are special to you. Use colour to bring your treasures the attention they deserve.

Painted circles behind circular corkboards
Shadow boxes in differing colours
Painted circles: Painted circles behind painted circular corkboards can be used to highlight and 'frame' your child's artwork and awards. The lower part of the wall is in Resene Coast, the upper section and floor are in Resene Poured Milk, the desk is in Resene Influential, the chair is in Resene Yes Please, the bookcase is in Resene Raging Bull and the corkboards and circular painted wall features are in Resene Raging Bull, Resene Influential, Resene Shilo, Resene Coast and Resene Yes Please.

Shadow boxes:
Wall in Resene Bunting, bedside table in Resene Breathless and shadow boxes (clockwise from top) in Resene Jalapeno, Resene Breathless and Resene Hammerhead.

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Influential

Resene Yes Please

Ready for anything

A transition trend has arisen within open-plan spaces to create multi-purpose areas that can change and adapt to have more than one function, providing fluid transformation from one purpose to another. A dining nook, for instance, could become a handy office space during the day by adding a screen that can be moved to hide your work area when guests come over – or, it could be used to provide some privacy from other family members relaxing in an adjacent area when your work takes you into the evening.

Horizon line

A visual horizon or ‘tide line’ creates a dip-painted effect by running it across joinery, trims, doors and even furniture. It’s an easy way to add interest to a space or to help connect different parts of a space together. Use low tack masking tape to mark out your horizon line for a crisp paint finish.

Multi purpose spaces
Ready for anything
A horizon line effect in a kitchen
Horizon line
Ready for anything: Something as simple as a folding screen can be all you need to create enough division and privacy in an open-plan space so that a dining area can become an occasional office. The wall is in Resene Tuscany and the white pot is painted Resene Rice Cake.

Horizon line: Homeowner Cameron Nimmo papered the walls of his kitchen in Resene Wallpaper Collection 46577. The bottom half of the walls is painted Resene Foundry and the top part of the window frames is in Resene Quarter Rice Cake..

More plum to come

One of the hottest emerging trends we have on our radar is plum, with shades ranging from grape versions like Resene RSVP to greyed purples like Resene Sixth Sense and Resene Rocky Mountain. While trending lilacs are an off-shoot of millennial pink, these popular purples have transitioned out of chocolate browns and deep taupes.

Plum - one of the hottest emerging trends
Wallpaper teamed with a whitewashed floor
Lounge: Wall in Resene Rocky Mountain, floor in Resene Sixth Sense, side table in Resene Rivergum, tray in Resene Courage, basket and small plant pot in Resene Safehaven and larger plant pot in Resene Indian Ink.

Wallpaper wall: Resene Wallpaper Collection GLA901. Team it with a whitewashed floor in Resene Colorwood Whitewash.

Resene RSVP

Resene Sixth Sense

Resene Rocky Mountain

Resene Safehaven

Battens up

Dimension and design are being added to enhance walls by incorporating battens, which can be arranged in a variety of patterns to bring sophistication and style. An increasingly popular choice for bedrooms, living areas and even bathrooms, this addition of texture instantly adds an ultra-luxe vibe to the space by creating depth through shadows. Try battens on a dark feature wall with both the wall and battens painted Resene Twilight Zone. Or, try mixing weathered blues and greys like Resene Dusted Blue on the walls and Resene Silver Chalice on the battens for a timeless and classic look.

Enhance walls by incorporating battens
Choose furniture in a similar colour to your walls for a tone-on-tone look.

Different gloss levels affect how your paint colour looks. Dark colours like Resene Twilight Zone look great in a matte finish, which will absorb light and make the colour look darker, creating a velvety finish. Use Resene SpaceCote Flat to get the look.

Dark tone-on-tone rooms are all at once cocooning, welcoming and strikingly rich. The approach of using furnishings that almost blend into the wall colour is also surprisingly versatile – you can use just a couple of designer furniture pieces for a minimalist, architectural feel, or add more accessories and tactile fabrics for a more traditional, plush approach. These dramatic batten walls are painted Resene Twilight Zone, the table top is in Resene Indian Ink, the bowl is in Resene King Tide and the floor is finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash over Resene Colorwood Crowshead for a richly layered look.

Resene Twilight Zone

Resene King Tide

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

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