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From Habitat plus - decorating and colour trends 2021


Throw a curve

After years of boxy edges and clean lines, the design world is once again embracing curves. And nothing celebrates the curve better than an amazing arch.

From mirrors and ceilings to entryways and fireplaces, the arch design trend is in full swing. A shape that has stood the test of time, arches continue to be a classic design element that can take a mundane space and transform it into something marvellous. And no matter which design style you prefer: Art Deco, Boho Chic, Traditional, Contemporary, Old English or Moorish, arches are right at home. They can be funky, sophisticated, understated or dramatic.

A painted archway in child's room
Painted arch mural defines a seating area
Bedroom: Wall in Resene Island Spice with mural in (from left) Resene Mai Tai, Resene All Black and Resene Prairie Sand, timber floor in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt and toy box and shelves in Resene Island Spice. Bed, rug and floor cushion from Freedom Furniture, duvet cover, cushions, quilt, throw, whale toy and fox toy from Città, blocks and books from Little Whimsy.   Sitting room: Wall in Resene Smooth Operator with stripes in Resene Mountain Mist, floor in Resene Wafer, ombre peg stools in Resene Mountain Mist and Resene Kalgoorie Sands, large plant pot in Resene Rodeo Dust and lampshade in Resene Mountain Mist. Chairs from Dawson & Co, rug from Ivy House, bowl from Città.

If you're lucky enough to inherit these prized architectural details in your own home, then the hard part has already been done for you. But if you're like most of us loving the arch vibe and don't have any arches in your home, an afternoon and a tin of your favourite Resene paint colour might be all you need to transform your space.

Top tip: If your home has arched interior doorways, paint the inside surface in a contrasting colour to the rest of your walls to highlight them. Try a metallic paint colour like Resene Rose Gold for warmth and sparkle.

Dramatic painted arched hallway
Retro painted headboard highlighting curves and colour
Hallway: And feature wall in Resene Wonderland, other walls and ceiling in Resene Napa with trims and door in Resene Quarter Napa.   Bedroom: Wall in Resene Triple Merino, floor in Resene Merino, headboard in (from left to right) Resene Tide, Resene Tussock, Resene Nepal, Resene Americano and Resene Smooth Operator, pendant lamp in Resene Smooth Operator, bedside tables in Resene Nepal (large) and Resene Tide (small), arch vases in Resene Nepal (large) and Resene Gold Coast (on wall) and flat round vase in in Resene Blank Canvas. Duvet cover, pillowcases and throw from Città, round cushion from Adairs, arch wall hanging from Shut the Front Door.

Inspiring ways to incorporate arches

  • Arched windows are so much more exciting than plain rectangular ones. Some clever designers have taken to creating arched windows out of regular rectangular ones by building them with wood framing or plasterboard.

  • Painted arches can instantly make a space feel larger – try adding them to your walls, ceiling or floor

  • Create the illusion of an arched entry by painting a curve above a standard doorway and continue the same colour down on to the trim and the door.

Feature arch to highlights artwork
An archway in two toned living wall
Dining room: Back wall in Resene Flotsam with arch in Resene Alabaster and left stripe in Resene Bunting, right wall in Resene Polo Blue, floor in Resene Alabaster, chairs in Resene Link Water, vase in Resene Time Out and coasters in Resene Frozen. Art by Hannah Jensen painted in Resene Time Out and Resene Alabaster, table from Jardin, cart from BoConcept.   Lounge: Upper wall and floor in Resene New York Pink, lower wall in Resene Atlas with ‘stripe' panels in Resene Freelance, arches in Resene Sea Fog. Sofa, cushions, lamps and tables from King Living, pigs from WORLD, birds from Città.
  • Cut an arched headboard out of a large piece of plywood and paint it in a gorgeous earthy tone like Resene Tussock and play it up with layers of luscious clay-coloured bedlinen.

  • For those who like a project, built-in furniture is a great way to incorporate arches in your décor. Providing a more eye-catching solution to bookcases than your average rectangular counterpart, arched bookcases can serve as a beautiful frame for memorabilia and prized objects.

  • Hang an arched mirror. Not only will it bring the beauty of an arched form to your space, it will help to reflect more light around and make the room look bigger.


Dare to deco

Walk into any popular furniture store and you will see the undeniable presence of the art deco revival trend that has swept in seemingly out of nowhere. Art deco revival offers a new opportunity to bring an abundance of refined luxury and opulent elegance to our homes.

Art Deco inspired wallpaper from Resene

Resene Wallpaper Collection IUM203 works wonderfully with art deco-inspired furnishings.

High contrast black details, strong vertical linear forms – as well as round, exaggerated curves – jewel-toned velvet, veiny marble, brushed brass and high-gloss finishes are all things to look for. And, since these pieces have such a strong inherent character and simplistic, understated glamour, they're best suited in a minimalist setting. Which is to say, pick a few things you really, truly love with shapes, patterns or colours that complement one another, and stick to simple lines and a ‘less is more' mentality.

If you are keen to bring the drama of the roaring twenties into your home, a stylish and swanky wallpaper is the perfect place to start. Try a design from the Resene Wallpaper Collection – available from your local Resene ColorShop – to introduce some serious style.

Top tip: For more wallpaper ideas, pick up the habitat plus – wallpaper booklet, which is available free from Resene ColorShops or online.

Did you know... That new Resene Wallpaper Collections are regularly launched and older collections are usually deleted after two to three years, sometimes sooner? If you need to patch or replace damaged wallpaper later down the road, it may no longer be available. It's a good idea to order more than what's required just in case you need it later on


Different strokes

Painterly strokes have been showing up on home décor items and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down. Muted, seemingly semi-transparent watercolour washes, frequently taking the form of plants or dreamy landscapes, are particularly easy to find on bedding and accent cushions. For a pretty twist on the trend, why not take this look to your walls?

An watercolour nature inspired mural
Resene Wallpaper Collection 530834 - splattered paint effect
Lounge: Wall in Resene Solitude with watercolour style mural in Resene FX Paint Effects medium tinted to Resene Tussock, Resene Saratoga, Resene Elephant, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Calico, Resene Cobblestone and Resene Bubble White, floor in Resene Chino, sideboard in Resene Elephant with drawers in Resene Half Copyrite and handles in Resene Chino, coffee tables in Resene Saratoga (large) and Resene Tussock (small), tall jug vase (with eucalyptus) in Resene Half Copyrite, other vases in Resene Elephant, Resene Tussock, Resene Gimblet and Resene Calico, tea light holder in Resene Kombi and coaster in Resene Solitude. Chair from Freedom Furniture, cushion and throw from Adairs.   Wallpaper: Get the look of painterly splatters with Resene Wallpaper Collection 530834.

Using Resene FX Paint Effects medium mixed with Resene Tussock, Resene Saratoga, Resene Elephant, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Calico, Resene Cobblestone and Resene Bubble White, this room-defining paint effect was inspired by the cushion on the blue velvet chair. The key to nailing it is not to overthink your brushstrokes. Keep movements soft and fluid and work up your layers. Use a high quality painter's brush for the main piece and then add in the finer details with a small flat artist's brush. Before you start painting your masterpiece straight onto the wall, mock it up on a large piece of paper first and try it out in different placements around the room to ensure you've got it in just the right spot.


A twist on terrazzo

Terrazzo continues to be a popular choice for interiors, but finding the right terrazzo tile colour, shape or price can be challenging. A simpler and more economical option is to use paint to create a similar effect on your walls or floor. This effect won't break the budget and can be easily changed out if your tastes shift.

To create this trendy stone look, you'll need a high-quality painter's brush and four Resene colours. We used Resene Alpaca, Resene Tom Tom and Resene Urbane for our mismatched stone, with Resene Jaguar for the base colour. The trick to making it look authentic is to not be too precise. Terrazzo, by its nature, is random and unstructured. Make sure you have a mix of larger shapes and smaller shapes, some with sharp edges and others with curved edges. Space them randomly – some close and others further apart and allow your colour patterns to be ‘strategically random'. Start with your base colour and then faintly mark your terrazzo shapes over the top with pencil, followed by paint.

Resene Wallpaper Collection PO32-VD4 - marble look
A painted terrazzo look mural in a bathroom
Wallpaper for smaller  scale terrazzo look - Resene Wallpaper Collection 220185 or 220186
Lounge: For a larger scale stone look that evokes elegant marble, try a statement wall in Resene Wallpaper Collection PO32-VD4. Sofa, coffee table and chair from Good Form, throw, bowls and shelf from Città, dress and cup from Father Rabbit.

Bathroom: Back wall in Resene Jaguar with terrazzo tile effect in Resene Alpaca, Resene Tom Tom and Resene Urbane, floor in Resene Mercury, left wall, vanity and large coat peg in Resene Tangaroa and right wall and ladder in Resene High Tide. Basin and mixer from Plumbing World.

Dressing room: For a smaller scale look, try Resene Wallpaper Collection 220185 or 220186 – and you need not limit it to walls, either. Apply pieces that have been trimmed to size to coffee table tops, corkboards, room dividers or drawer fronts.

Changing stripes

While stripes have long been a popular decorating choice for those seeking a bold look for their walls, rugs and textiles, not since its heyday in the ‘90s has plaid seen such a sharp uptick in desirability.

A pattern that clearly communicates casual comfort, plaid is best put to work in informal bedrooms, lounges or snugs – especially at the bach. Use it as you would any other statement pattern by making it the hero of the room. Choose a plaid in hues you find appealing and keep it to one large item such as a duvet cover, sofa or painted on a wall. Then, pick out accent colours from it to use on other small items throughout the room, such as picture frames, vases or storage boxes by painting them with Resene testpots that match or coordinate with those hues for a cohesive space.

A hand-painted blue plaid wallpaper
Resene Wallpaper Collection 367154 - green plaid
Bedroom: Walls in Resene Sea Fog with plaid painted stripes in Resene FX Paint Effects medium tinted to Resene Indian Ink (vertical) and Resene Rhino (horizontal), floor in Resene Sea Fog, fireplace in Resene Indian Ink, bedside table in Rhino, vases and plant pots in Resene Indian Ink, Resene Kashmir Blue and Resene Double Sea Fog. Plaid cushion from Ezibuy, throw from H&M Home, art from Kmart.   Lounge: Use Resene Wallpaper Collection 367154 on a feature wall to warm up a lounge.

This statement wall was created using Resene FX Paint Effects medium coloured with Resene Indian Ink and Resene Rhino over a base of Resene Sea Fog. Simply measure and mask all of the horizontal stripes and roll on an even coat of your first colour. Once dry, remove the masking then measure and mask your vertical stripes before applying your second paint colour. If you wish, repeat the process again to add a third or fourth colour in thinner accent stripes for a more complex pattern.

To get a similar look, you can also opt for Resene Wallpaper Collection 367154.


Tide lines swell

An easy and popular way to add interest to a space or to help connect adjacent areas together is by adding a painted horizon or ‘tide line' effect. But rather than just limiting it to the walls only, this dip-painted effect can – and should – be run across joinery, battens, trims, doors and even furniture. Use a level and high-quality low tack masking tape to mark out your horizon line to get a crisp line and a super straight painted finish.

A tide line effect using shades of green
A tide line effect in an office using blue and white
Vertical stripes highlight a child's room
Lounge: Upper wall in Resene Zen, lower wall in Resene Woodland, floor in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony timber stain. Furniture, rug, pendant lamp, tabletop accessories and cushions from Città.   Study: Upper wall in Resene Escape, lower wall in Resene Half Carefree and floor in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt timber stain. Art by Matt Queree, desk from Me & My Trend, chair and lamp from Republic, mirror from Città.   Kids room: Run a ‘tide line' vertically for a unique spin on the trend. Left side of wall and shelves and toy box in Resene Island Spice, right side of wall and shelves in Resene Coral Tree. Cushion, throw and fox toy from Città, books from Little Whimsy and Father Rabbit.

Block it out

Colour blocking on walls has taken a turn towards more randomly placed blocks of colour. 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 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.

Note: Choose Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen as the base for your colour block and it will work just like a chalkboard. Leave notes or reminders for your family members, then simply wipe it with a damp cloth whenever you want a clean slate.

A Mondrian inspired bathroom  mural
Mudroom entryway with vertical stripes/cubby holes
Bathroom: There can't be more of a quintessential take on colour blocking than a Mondrian-inspired design. Wall in Resene Eighth Black White with grid and shelf in Resene Blackjack and colour blocks in Resene Jalapeno (red), Resene Aviator (blue) and Resene Galliano (yellow), timber floorboards in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, duck mat in Resene Black White and vase in Resene Half Black White. Tub, bath filler, vanity, basin and faucet from Plumbing World.   Entryway: Keep your entryway in order by using painted colour blocks to cordon off a space for each of your children's belongings. Walls in Resene Rice Cake with colour blocked stripes and outside of cubbies in (from left to right) Resene Cello, Resene Enigma and Resene Quarter New Denim Blue, inside of cubbies in Resene Rice Cake, floor in Resene Mountain Mist and coat rack in Resene Nocturnal.

Wild things

Straight out of the Sahara or extracted from the Amazon, jungle-inspired décor is red hot. Whether you're drawn to leopard spots and zebra stripes or leafy botanical prints, you'll be spoilt for choice when on the lookout for décor that fits with this trend.

Go for opulence over untamed by pairing these prints with gilded and glossy surfaces, especially on tables and animal-shaped totems or statuettes in gold and black. Just like the jungle, wild style isn't for the faint of heart. Be brave and don't be afraid to bring in a few punches of your favourite vibrant colour, particularly reds, yellows or magentas in shades such as Resene Bullseye, Resene Galliano or Resene Geronimo as a finishing touch to seal the look.

Tropical inspired bedroom
Tropical inspired lounge
Bedroom: Start a jungle-inspired look with a palette built from a warm Resene neutral like Resene Double Biscotti on the right wall teamed with an earthy olive like Resene Olive Green on the left wall. Furniture, art and accessories from Nood.   Lounge: Wall in Resene Jaguar. Furniture, art and accessories from Nood.

Mini murals

If you want to make a statement in your space, lending an ear to the old adage ‘a little goes a long way' could be just the ticket. For those with larger open plan spaces, painting a full wall in a contrasting colour might not be an option. Instead, try creating a ‘mini mural' – one of the hottest trending ways to create a unique look and define a smaller area within a greater space.

A two tone wall with continuous line mural - garden design
A two tone wall with a toetoe mural
Line mural: Wall in Resene Rice Cake with tongue-and-groove panelling in Resene Smoke Tree and continuous line mural in Resene Midnight Express, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash timber stain, coffee table, round vase and small plant pot in Resene Kabul, tall vase in Resene Grey Olive and coasters in Resene Indian Ink. Sofa from Nood, rug, plants and basket from Freedom Furniture, cushions and throw from H&M Home.   Toetoe mural: Lower wall in Resene Half Joanna with upper wall and toetoe in Resene Quarter Alabaster, table in Resene Highball, sideboard in Resene Half Truffle and vases in Resene Iko Iko and Resene Planter. Chair and globe from French Country Collections, cushion from Collect Living, rug from The Ivy House.

From small and intricate designs to larger geometric or abstract shapes, the options are virtually endless when it comes to bringing some artistic licence to your walls with paint. No matter which design you choose, it's always a good idea to mark out your plan on paper before you start, and mock-up your colours with Resene testpots on a large piece of card to ensure your palette goes well together. Once you grow in confidence with mini murals you'll have all the skills you need to take on larger projects.

Abstract red mural - dining room
Abstract blue - hallway
Dining room: Back wall in Resene Egg Sour with mural in Resene Paper Doll, Resene Coral Tree, Resene Avant Garde and Resene Nero, floor in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony and chairs in Resene Avant Garde. Pendant lamp, table, black chair, vase and bowl from Good Form, art by Brenda Clews.   Hall: Left wall in Resene Gothic and right wall in Resene Merino with mural in Resene Apache, Resene Bingo, Resene Gothic and Resene All Black. Side table from Good Form.
 

Eke out a niche

Having room to spare isn't a common problem. If you happen to have a bonus room in your home, consider yourself lucky. Most of us though – especially those with open plan houses and two or more kids living with us – might not have the space to step away from the rest of the family and enjoy some time alone behind closed doors.

Whether you need a relaxing spot to practice yoga or an organised area for your DIY supplies, chances are you don't actually need four walls surrounding you to get the job done. Most of us have some space – be it in a corner, closet, alcove or niche beneath the stairs – that can be reclaimed where we can create a special dedicated zone that's just for us without taking up an entire room.

Creative use of colour is one way to create boundaries beyond walls, such as painting your home office niche in a hue that contrasts with the rest of the room.

An orange study nook in Resene Alert Tan
Geometric mini murals hightlight a reading zone
Dressing room in Resene Dark Slate, Harlequin effect hall
Study: Front and back wall and shelving in Resene Alert Tan, side wall and chair in Resene Half Sour Dough, desk legs in Resene Leather and vase in Resene Grain Brown. Floor stained in Resene Colorwood Natural. Chair from Freedom Furniture, rubbish bin from Good Form, lamp from Backhouse, art by Emma Willetts from endemicworld.

Geometric: Mini murals are simple to create at home with high-quality painter's masking tape, a level, ruler and your favourite Resene paint colour. Wall in Resene Quarter Truffle with triangle and stripe design in Resene Bismark, floor and shelves in Resene Bismark, large vase in Resene Nero, plant pot in Resene Kabul and smaller vases and candleholders in Resene Pizza, Resene Bismark, Resene Kabul, Resene Half Mako, Resene Nero, Resene Dusted Grey and Resene Dune. Chair, rug and side table from Freedom Furniture, cushion and throw from H&M Home.

Cloak room: Paint a wallpaper-like harlequin effect below the dado line in a hallway in colours that coordinate with the rest of your home's palette to add interest without overwhelming. Back wall in Resene Dark Slate, hall walls in Resene Hermitage and Resene Destiny with trims in Resene Sea Fog, pendant lamp and vase in Resene Zumthor, vanity in Resene Destiny and organiser in Resene Hammerhead and Resene Zumthor. Rug from The Ivy House, mirror from Bo Concept, ottoman from Nood, art by Grace Popplewell from endemicworld.

Built-in seating

Whether it be a window seat for reading with a view, or a cosy dining room sofa, built-in seating is a growing trend. Space-saving and incredibly inviting, built-in seats can be worked into any room and upholstered to match your décor. If your tastes change like the wind, you can also opt for wooden seating, then add cushions with removable covers to accommodate new looks. Plus, if you build yours so that the bottom is flush with the floor, you won't even have to worry about dust bunnies collecting underneath.

Plywood built in seating

 
Storage: Everyone can use a little extra storage, so why not build some into your built-in bench? For a pop of colour, some of the door and drawer fronts of this impressive built-in window seating have been painted Resene Energise. Walls in Resene Longitude while the ceilings and trims are in Resene Eighth Spanish White. Design by Don Jamieson and Joshua Dubbeld, photo by Dennis Radermacher.
 

Plum has just begun

A relatively new trending colour, plums ranging from violet-based versions like Resene Memory Lane to red-based options like Resene RSVP are only just beginning to show their face in the world of interior décor. While trending lilacs have their roots in millennial pink, purples have transitioned out of chocolate browns and deep mushroom taupe hues.

Plum dining room

Try them with sharply contrasting black and white details in Resene Blackjack and Resene Elderflower and play up their red undertones with accents in hues like Resene Pohutukawa or Resene Merlot.

Walls in (from left to right) Resene RSVP, Resene Memory Lane and Resene Noir, floor in Resene Elderflower with pattern in Resene All Black and table in Resene Blackjack. Chair and vase from Backhouse, mirrored stool from BoConcept, art by Milly Watson from endemicworld.


Resene Elderflower

Resene Memory Lane

Resene RSVP

Resene Noir

Fab floors

If your concrete is looking a bit cold or if you have timber beyond saving, painted floors are an easy 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. Try a structured, geometric design in high contrast Resene Elderflower and Resene All Black in a glamorous space. Or, go for a more randomised stone effect in Resene Midwinter Mist and Resene Stack for a more laidback vibe.

A unique painted terrazzo floor

 
Photo: Back wall in Resene Arrowroot with brushed effect in Resene FX Paint Effects medium coloured with Resene Half Alabaster, left wall, desk, coat rack and lidded dish in Resene Explorer, skirting boards and trims in Resene Half Alabaster, ‘stone effect' painted floor in Resene Midwinter Mist with ‘grout effect' in Resene Stack, lamp in Resene Double Stack with brushstroke stripes in Resene Arrowroot, vase in Resene French Grey and picture frame in Resene Arrowroot.
 

A look for the ages

Embrace the beauty of a time worn and weathered aesthetic, without having to wait years for the effect to develop. If rustic, organic finishes are more your speed than prim and polished looks, recreate the look of a rusted patina with Resene FX Faux Rust Effect. It works on a wide range of surfaces for an overnight rusted effect. The rust look is especially popular for exterior features teamed with lush nature inspired greens.

A painted rust effect

 

Photo: For most types of flooring, Resene Walk-On is the right choice for painting solid colours or patterns. However, it's best to double-check with the staff at your local Resene ColorShop before getting started.


Within arm's reach

If decluttering and keeping surfaces a little less crowded is on your list of decorating goals, you're likely going to need more storage. Traditionally, much of the storage in our homes has been too tucked away, which can lead you to forget that you have things. These days, your storage solutions should help you to keep things at hand so you can grab them when you need them and store them safely and out of sight when you don't. Try adding decorative storage items like attractive sideboard cabinets or boxes to your living room painted in Resene colours to coordinate with your scheme so that items you do want to hang on to – but don't want to display – are always within easy reach.

Top tip: Chalk and matte finishes are an on trend option for rejuvenating furniture. Try Karen Walker Chalk Colour and Wax from Resene ColorShops to bring an artisanal vibe to your storage project.

Storage for your lounge
Adding a trolley to declutter your room
Back wall, return wall and cabinets in Resene Conch, right wall in Resene Blanched Pink, timber floor in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt, boxes (on bottom shelf) in Resene Smoky Green and Resene Blanched Pink, pots (on top shelf) in Resene Sorrell Brown, Resene Clouded Blue and Resene Jetsam Brown, trolley in Resene Periglacial Blue and vases (on trolley, from left) in Resene Periglacial Blue, Resene Quarter Periglacial Blue and Resene Grain Brown. Daybed, chair, coffee table, table lamp and shelving unit from Good Form, terracotta pot from Flotsam & Jetsam, vase from Asili, candlesticks and tray from Powersurge, vessels from Public Record, throw, cushion cover and floor lamp from Cittá, rug from Mulberi, art by Emily Wolfe from Melanie Roger Gallery, books from Father Rabbit.

Day and night

When we used to spend more time away from home, you may have only enjoyed your Resene colour choice in the morning, at night and on weekends. Now with a change in schedules and how we work you may be seeing more of your colour palette during full daylight. Like this dining room, the colours and mood can change considerably between day and night, which can be played up or down with your choice of accessories and artificial lighting.

If you like to entertain at different times of the day, consider having one set of casual accents to decorate with for when folks come over for weekend lunches and another set of elegant items to impress at evening meals. And make sure you test your colours during the day and night before making your final choice.

Top tip: Try to have a mix of lighting in your space, including ambient lighting (such as overhead lights), accent lighting (to play up art and architectural details) and task lighting to illuminate what you'll be doing in the space (such as purposefully placed table or pendant lamps).

Lounge in daylight
Dining room colours day and night
Lounge: Left wall in Resene Ottoman and right wall in Resene Celtic. Sofa, coffee table and plant pot from Domo, art and bowl from Nood, side table, plate and bowl from ECC, squirrel planter and dog vase from WORLD, printed cushion from Cittá, velvet cushions from Mood Store, clock from Republic.   Dining: Back wall in Resene Celtic and side walls in Resene Ottoman. Dining table and rug from Mood Store, dining chairs, candlesticks, clock and art from Nood, pendant lamps from Republic, rabbit and gorilla lamp from WORLD, swirl candleholders from ECC.
 

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