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Steeped in drama

From habitat plus - decorating and colour trends 2022

For a long time, dark and dramatic paint colours were thought to make homes feel claustrophobic.

But those who have taken the plunge with smouldering selections like Resene Double Foundry, Resene Dune, Resene Indian Ink and Resene Astronaut know the real power that these colours have to transform a space for the better. Off blacks, blue blacks and deep blue hues can bring a cocooning effect to a living space and create a sense of intimacy that can’t be replicated with lighter tones.

Lounge with stained timber walls

A dark dining room using red colour blocking

Lounge: Timber wall stained in Resene Colorwood Sheer Black, battens in Resene All Black, floor in Resene Colorwood Natural, sideboard, coffee table and plant pots in Resene Snow Drift, pendant lamp in Resene Black White, lantern in Resene Half Black White, bud vase in Resene Quarter Drought. Sofa and cushions from Nood, rug from Freedom.  Dining area: Upper wall in Resene Dune, lower wall in Resene Ayers Rock, floor in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony, vases in Resene Alert Tan, Resene Coconut Cream, Resene Digeridoo and Resene Ayers Rock. Dining table and pendant lamp from Good Form, chairs from Mr Bigglesworthy.

2020 Trend Spotter Trends: battens, see "Other trends2020 Trend Spotter Trends: colour blocking, see "Other trends"

Bring some balance and levity to the space with lighter coloured furniture painted in Resene Snow Drift, Resene Black White and Resene Alabaster. Rather than choosing a lighter colour for your ceiling, keep it dark and instead go for lighter paint colours like Resene Smokescreen or timber stains such as Resene Colorwood Natural on the floor for an uplifting effect that doesn’t break the cocoon you’ve created.

Top tip:  When opting for dark and dramatic colours, keep in mind that you may need to adjust your lighting to suit. Use lamps, accent lighting and dimmer switches to help create the right mood.

A dramatic blue master bedroom

A dramatic charcoal grey lounge

Bedroom: Wall in Resene Astronaut with ‘spotlights’ in Resene Echo Blue, floor in Resene Smokescreen, pendant lamps and plant pots in Resene Alabaster. Headboard, bedside tables, artwork, cushions and throw from Freedom, waffle bedcover and clock from Country Road, striped duvet cover and pillowcases from Ezibuy.  Lounge: Given the harshness of our natural light, it is often better to lean into picking a charcoal grey as a wall colour rather than trying to get a true black, which can end up looking washed out and spoil the effect. Wall in Resene Double Foundry. Furniture and accessories from Nood.

Top tip:  It’s common to think of black as being straight black, but in fact, there are many variations to choose from with undertones of blue, red, green and yellow as well as variants slightly softened with white. Always test your black with the rest of your palette in natural daylight and also at night to ensure all your undertones harmonise well with each other.


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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