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Positively painterly

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

In this lounge, a wall in Resene Solitude has been given a gorgeous painterly treatment with a watercolour-style mural in shapes and colours inspired by an artistic cushion featuring a design painted by artist Dana Kinter.

To make sure our colours would work well together, we uploaded a photo of the cushion to the free online Resene Colour Palette Generator. This nifty tool takes away the guesswork when it comes to putting together a colour scheme and is extremely helpful if you’re looking to build a particularly cohesive look.

Paint a cushion inspired mural in your lounge Cushion inspired mood board
Cushion inspired mood board Paint a cushion inspired mural in your lounge
Mood board: Background in Resene Chino with A4 drawdown paint swatches (from top to bottom) in Resene Solitude, Resene Half Copyrite, Resene Elephant, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Tussock, Resene Calico, Resene Gimblet, Resene Kombi and Resene Saratoga, vases in Resene Elephant, Resene Calico and Resene Gimblet, bowl in Resene Calico, tea light holder in Resene Kombi and coaster in Resene Solitude.

Created using Resene FX Paint Effects mixed with Resene Tussock, Resene Saratoga, Resene Elephant, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Calico, Resene Cobblestone and Resene Bubble White, the key to nailing this style of mural is not to overthink your brushstrokes and using the right tools. Keep movements soft and fluid, work up your layers and use a high-quality painter’s brush – a soft one with lots of bristles – plus a small flat artist’s brush to add more details. While the bulk of the work was done using the mid-range colours that the Resene Colour Palette Generator matched to the cushion, it’s the high-contrast details in dark blue Resene Elephant and olive green Resene Saratoga. These shades are the ones that really add interest, but they need to do so fairly sparingly so not to overwhelm.

The icing on the cake? Paint the rest of your surfaces using the same colour palette so that everything ties in together. This floor is in Resene Chino, the sideboard is in Resene Elephant with drawers in Resene Half Copyrite and handles in Resene Chino, the nesting coffee tables are in Resene Saratoga and Resene Tussock, and the accessories are in Resene Half Copyrite, Resene Calico, Resene Elephant, Resene Kombi, Resene Solitude, Resene Tussock and Resene Gimblet. To seal the look, use each colour on two surfaces. When combined with the cushion, every hue in your colour palette will follow the ‘rule of three’, a key principle in interior decorating.

Paint a floral mural in your lounge
Mural inspired by Dana Kinter cushion colours

The rule, or guideline if you prefer, simply states that things arranged in odd numbers are more visually appealing to the human eye. Our brains love odd numbers because they challenge us mentally, and groupings of items in odd numbers tend to look dynamic and more natural to us. Three seems to be the magic number for interior design, though the rule also applies nicely for groupings of five or seven. For best results, no matter when you stand in your space, you should be able to see each colour – or at least your main accent colour – in three, five or seven places (though the latter will likely be overkill, unless those pops of colour are very small).

For a more simplified palette, cool and dreamy pale blues like Resene Solitude also look lovely with mid-range indigo, purple-blue grey and brave, bright violets such as Resene Chetwode Blue, Resene Link Water or Resene Deep Koamaru. Try all four together to create a blue-based tonal look. Or, use it as an accent in a smoky grey palette built with Resene Foundry, Resene Raven and Resene Half Surrender.

Paint: Wall in Resene Solitude, Watercolour mural in Resene Paint Effects 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, Nesting coffee tables in Resene Saratoga and Resene Tussock, Tall jug vase (with eucalyptus) in Resene Half Copyrite, Large bowl in Resene Calico, Large round vase in Resene Elephant, Tea light holder in Resene Kombi, Coasters in Resene Solitude, Other vases in Resene Tussock, Resene Gimblet and Resene Calico.

Accessories: Copenhagen Armchair in Navy Velvet, Rex Armchair in Steel, Rushdi Floor Rug, Mikkel Pendant Lamp from Freedom Furniture; Dana Kinter Eucalyptus Cushion, Home Republic Malmo Linen Throw in Spice from Adairs; All other props are stylist’s own.

Styling by Laura Lynn Johnston. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2020

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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.